Letter, Charles and Anna Mantinband to friends; 1962
THE MANTINBAND MEGILLAH
New Year 1962
We skipped this message a year ago. There had been chronicles during 1960, of our adventures at Youth Camp, and of our trips to Mexico (for thermal baths at San Jose de Purua and Istapan). Time to take inventory again.
Early in 1961 the doctors pronounced us physically fit. Then came the floods, and arthritis set in. Rabbi spent April and May as a patient at the Levi Hospital in Hot Springs. While his body took the cure, his mind and spirit were not idle. Anna continues to be accident prone. Her slight permanent disability requires the use of a cane, for balance rather than support. And what a collection of canes we have. They make good conversation pieces.
Travel remains in the blood. Are we not scions of the wandering Jew? Birmingham, Washington, Norfolk, New York, Carolina, Florida, Atlanta, combining business with pleasure. The work of a Rabbi has its compensations. On the home front, his is the role of a circuit riders covering an area of a hundred miles. We do not drive a car - one of the few lone Americans - consequently we cover twice as much territory with half the strain. Travel time is put to good use en route.
Special interests professionally include the local Ministerial group; (Rabbi is vice president in charge of programs, the only Jew in a membership of 75); the Mental Health Association (we bring here a distinguished rabbi-psychologist from the north in January); activity at the local college (Religious Emphasis resource leader); and the usual preaching, teaching, counseling and community welfare involvements.
Whenever at meetings by an effort of will,
I always contrive to keep perfectly still;
For once I speak out, in annoyance or pity,
And wham! there I am, on another committee.
Resolution for 1962. Less public speaking, more study and writing. An article on Mississippi has been accepted by Jewish Archives. Rabbi authored the 1962 Race Relations Message for the Conference of Rabbis. Others will follow.
We count our blessings. Not the least are our friendships, on every level. To these we cling tenaciously over the years. New on our list is Walter C., railroad engineer who for thirty years has collected daily newspapers on his run, and personally distributed them to the patients at Levi.
We doubt that we shall ever retire, unless it be to retire to some new sphere of endeavor. We still hanker to teach. Said a Chinese poet: "What is the supreme happiness? It is listening to the song of a little boy as he goes down the road, after having asked me the way."
Sholom u'vrocho. May 1962 bring you satisfaction and fulfillment. And may our paths cross soon.
Charles and Anna Mantinband
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