This article is taken from Stand 229, 19(1) March - May 2021.

Robert N. Friedland The Referral
Ribicoff was a tall man. He had a prominent nose and light brown eyes with much darker streaks that gave the impression of his eyes having been much darker when he was young. Despite his age, he appeared strong and tautly muscled. He was wearing a dark grey suit of high quality, but of a cut that had been in fashion several decades before and had not quite yet come back into vogue, or come back in precisely that iteration.

Mac knew Ribicoff by his reputation. Ribicoff was a descendant of one of Vancouver’s earliest Jewish families. Professionally, he was an accountant. However, his area of practice was, and had been for many years, entirely as executor for the estates of many of Vancouver’s wealthiest Jewish families.

‘Mr. Gleicher,’ Ribicoff began, ‘I am the executor for the Samuelson Estate. Ordinarily, I am represented by Fraser Johns in these matters, but he tells me that he has some conflict that makes that impossible.’

Mac knew that, as well.

‘Mr. Gleicher,’ he began.

‘Please, Mr. Ribicoff. Call me ‘Mac’, everyone else does.’

‘All right, Mac,’ he emphasized and resumed.

Mac was miffed. Ribicoff had not returned the gesture, had not invited him to call him, ‘Nahum’. Maybe it was a generational thing, Mac wondered.

‘Mac, in 1910, there were about one thousand Jews living in Vancouver. At that time, almost all of them spoke Yiddish. Do you know what Yiddish is, Mac?’

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