Monday, November 16, 2015


After 37 years of serving the public as manager of Metropolitan News, years of hard work, standing on his feet days and late into the nights, in sweltering summer without air conditioning and freezing cold every time the door opened in winter, my father, George Rubin, just quit and walked out. Why? 

My Pop was well liked by everyone. People came back to Metro from near and far, always expecting to meet my father and chat with him again.

My father was manager of the store, but he always had to answer to Uncle Sam who owned the business. Uncle Sam would come running up the steps at 1248 Peel, give some orders and run back out. He talked to my father, not as his brother-in-law, not as the manager and the intelligence running the store and serving the public, but as if he was a menial servant. And my father always answered politely and did as Sam desired. 

As a child, I could see my father hurting, but he never complained. I hurt. Even as a little girl of eleven, twelve, thirteen, watching how Sam treated my father, I hurt. 

Uncle Sam liked to hire McGill University students for part time and summer work in the store. One day my Pop asked one of those students to move some magazines. The arrogant fellow answered my father rudely. He may have told my father to do it himself. I'm not sure of the details, but my father fired him. My father was a remarkably patient man and he took a lot of guff before he would lose his temper. But Pop fired him, so I believe this was not the first time that fellow had insulted him.

Sam came into the store and ordered my father to phone the student and ask him to come back to work.

My father refused.

The next day, when my father came to work, the student was back on the job.

That was the last straw for my father. After serving Sam and the public for 37 years, my father just quit. He walked out of Metropolitan News after 37 years, without a pension, into a life he could not have planned, thanks to my Uncle Sam Feldman's betrayal. He could not endure one more day under Sam's command.

I can only imagine my father coming home to tell my mother he no longer had a job. I didn't see it or hear it as far as I can recall, but I'll bet he cried. 

I only saw my father cry once - when he was in hospital and in great pain, and then he apologized to me for crying. I told him he had a right to cry. My heart ached for him. I didn't see my daddy cry after what Sam did to him, but my guess is, he did.

That was decades ago. I am now 79 years old. My Pop and Uncle Sam are both gone. But the memory of that betrayal still aches and I had to pour it out, as I cannot hold back truth without pain.

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