Allan Fuks is the son of Russian immigrants. He grew up all over the place: in New York City and Northern California, before finally landing in suburban New Jersey. But no matter where he went, the taunting and bullying at school followed.

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You see, Allan’s name is spelled a lot like the mother of all curse words.

He recently sat down with his middle school classmate, Spencer Katzman, to look back on their preteen years.

Top photo: Spencer Katzman and Allan Fuks at their StoryCorps interview in New York City. By Mia Warren for StoryCorps.
Middle photo: Allan Fuks in Fair Lawn, New Jersey at around age 13. Courtesy of Allan Fuks.

Originally aired June 8th, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.