Alan Kaufman is lucky to be alive.
In this podcast, the writer and poet traces his lineage back to his parents, who met in New York in the 1940s. His dad was a Jewish gangster, as Alan describes it, and his mom was a French Jewish Holocaust survivor.
Alan details a trip to Europe he took in 2014. His hosts in Zurich drove him to the mountains in Northern Italy where his mother and grandmother hid during World War II.
He fast-forwards to his parents' meeting and starting a family in the Bronx. When he was a teenager, he picked up a copy of On the Road, and the book ended up inspiring his move out west.
Please check back Thursday for the continuation of Alan's story.
We recorded this podcast outside of Alan's home in Oakland in October 2020.
Photography by Michelle Kilfeather