Priya Morganstern (PM): I’m Priya Morganstern.
Ken Morganstern (KM): Excuse me. Can you raise the volume?
PM: Oh you want me to speak louder? I can raise my volume.
KM: Yeah, louder. Yeah.
PM: Okay, let me turn the dial. I’m going to be interviewing my father today and I’ll be interviewing him with my sister, Bhavani. Dad, why don’t you say your name and how old you are.
KM: I’m Ken Morganstern. Um…hmm. I think 81. PM: That’s right.
KM: Is that right?
Bhavani Jaroff (BJ): Yes.
PM: Alright Dad, I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions.
PM: And you’ll answer them the best you can from your memory. So let’s talk about your kids a little bit.
KM: We had four kids. Is that the right number?
PM: Yes it is.
KM: Good. They were great.
PM: Who are they?
KM: You. Who else?
PM: There’s Priya, Bhavani.
KM: Priya, Bhavani. And uh…there’s a man in there.
BJ: David, Dad.
KM: David, yeah.
BJ: David’s not going to be too happy when he listens to this, Dad.
PM: Who’s the best kid?
PM: He was actually the best kid. No, he definitely was.
KM: He was.
PM: And you see us all a lot still, right dad?
BJ: Priya was asking if you still see us a lot.
KM: Sure. What are you talking about?
BJ: (Laughs) We’re just asking you a question.
PM: Yeah, what’s your life like now Dad?
KM: Oh, it’s a wonderful life. I get up in the morning, go to sleep at night, and in between eat three meals.
PM: (Laughs) It’s a nice thing that it’s so easy to make you happy, Dad.
KM: I’m very much like, I think, my father. He was an easy going guy. People used to call him ”Happy Harry” and I had a lot of his characteristics, I think.
PM: Dad, was there anything you wished you had gotten in life that you didn’t get?
KM: Anything I wished I had gotten in life?
KM: I have no regrets on anything. I have a family that I love. And they’re loving people. That’s the biggest thing you can leave is a…
KM: Legacy, yeah.
PM: I wanted to tell you Dad that I’ve always considered you my guru and teacher.
KM: Well, thank you.
BJ: I would say the same. You’ve been a role model for all of your family. People are constantly saying to us how lucky you are to have all of us. And I turn to them and I say, ”We are because of him.” You’ve created such a love around you and we want to be with you.
KM: Thank you honey. That’s awfully nice to hear.
PM: It’s the truth.
BJ: We love you Dad. [Music]
PM: It was very easy to be patient with him because he was delightful. I mean he was blind, but he would always say, ”It’s a beautiful day outside.” And of course he couldn’t really see. It could be raining or gray, but it was like, ”Yeah, beautiful day.”
BJ: I remember one time we stopped for a bagel, and he’s taking a bite, and he goes, ”Gosh! Who would have ever thought eating blind could be so much fun. Every bite’s a surprise!” That’s how my father was. You know? He was just happy.
PM: He was so present for us when we were kids that I actually grew up thinking that he didn’t work during the summer, because I thought he was always there!
BJ: I remember him putting us to sleep, and he would just give us little tiny kisses all over our face and on our eyelids and…
PM: Little baby kisses.
BJ: You’d just go off to sleep. It was the best.
PM: The night that he passed, we were all there. Telling funny stories and singing. And we played the clip at his funeral. And it was just like he was there.
BJ: Yeah, I listen to that clip often. I think my father had the opportunity to say what was important in his life. And it really came down to love.
PM: We were lucky. We were really lucky.