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From the monthly archives:

November 2010

My Brother Jack Is Single

by Danny Fisher on November 19, 2010

As Jack and I work to rebuild our lives and careers, Jack is facing an additional adjustment in his personal life.  After many years of marriage, Jack and his wife have decided to go their own separate ways.

I told Jack today that this is just one more area in his life in which he should look forward to a bright future and not dwell on the challenges of the past.


Jack Fisher

I told him that he should change his facebook status to “single” – but I think he is not mentally ready.

So at the risk of annoying him deeply, I decided tonight to “out” him to the world as an eligible bachelor.  Jack is more than just eligible – he is a creative, sensitive film director and producer, co-founder with me of City Lights Media and  now Jack is president of Fisher Klingenstein Films.  He is truly one of a kind.

Jack, good luck in your new personal status as “single” and I look forward to the day when you find romance once again – or when romance finds you!

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In The Beginning

by Danny Fisher on November 18, 2010

israel stamp

I sat on a record, and it broke. Everyone in the room laughed and I felt humiliated. That is my earliest memory. In Haifa, Israel, where I was born. I was three.

* * *

When I was a kid, I thought that when you grew up, you had to move to another country and learn another language. I wondered where I was going to go when I grew up, and what language I would learn, and why one couldn’t just stay in the country they were from. My parents, my relatives, and all of my parents’ friends were from someplace else.

When we arrived in the South Bronx in 1958, I was four years old. My brother Jack was six. There was a great snowstorm that year, and everyone in my family says, to this day, that when I saw snow for the first time, I cried out in Hebrew that white sand was falling from the sky. I don’t remember speaking Hebrew.

south bronx with signThe South Bronx

* * *

My uncle bought me a Timex watch. It cost six dollars. I lost my watch soon enough. While walking in the park near our house, I was approached by two Puerto Rican kids. They asked me the time. I was scared. I said it was a quarter to three. One held my trembling arm, as the other stripped me of my watch.


My father was a tailor. When we lived in Israel, he made suits for Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan. In the Bronx, he made some of our own clothes. I wore a bathing suit made of thick wool at Orchard Beach that itched like hell.

bengurion 1

David Ben Gurion, 1948

* * *

Food was different. I can no longer taste what I tasted then. At Orchard Beach in the summer, my mother would make sandwiches of buttered, freshly baked rye bread, with sliced fresh green peppers sprinkled with salt. We ate the sandwiches, along with hardboiled eggs. The salty ocean air mixed with the aroma of our picnic lunch. I have been unable to recapture this taste. At home in the Bronx , I ate from a bowl of sour cream, into which I crumbled pieces of bread – there was nothing more delicious in the whole world. My mother made a dish I loved that I haven’t eaten since – mashed potatoes, mixed with flaked pieces of fried chicken skin.


The Bronx was sloped, and that made for great sledding in the winter and roller-skating in the summer. Roller skates would fit onto the bottom of your sneaker, and you would tighten them with a key. It was important not to lose your key. We would roll fast down the steep hill of Topping Avenue. In the snow-covered winter, the sledding was exhilarating. We were disappointed when our sleds were stolen.

Some kids next door had a set of plastic army figures, which we would line up on the sidewalk into great armies that faced each other at battle in a great big war.

* * *

A cousin of mine once told me that everyone would, at one time in his life, experience a very bad event. That worried me for years – decades actually. Every time I slid down the sliding pond in the park, I wondered if I would fall off, and whether that would be my bad event. I feared it, yet, in some ways, I wanted to be over it so I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. Some bad kids threw a rock at my brother Jack in the park, and it cut his ear badly. There was blood, and in the hospital, Jack had to have his ear stapled. I couldn’t imagine how you could have your ear stapled back on to your head, the way you would staple together two pieces of paper. I felt really bad for him. But I thought this might have counted as his bad event, and so, in a way, I also felt he was lucky to be over it. I imagined that my bad event would produce blood and that was scary.

* * *


One day a big box arrived at our apartment. It was our first television set, with a rounded black and white picture tube and rabbit ear antennas you adjusted to get good reception. Someone told me that there were little people inside the television that acted in the shows, and I used to try to look inside the television from the back to see if I could find them.

The first television show I remember watching as a family was the Eichmann trial. Eichmann was in a glass booth, and I didn’t understand anything about the trial. I just knew that it was very important. And that it somehow had something to do with my parents, but I didn’t really know what.

eichmannEichmann in Jerusalem

* * *

It is amazing to me now how many years it was before I realized that I was a child of parents who survived Hitler’s concentration camps. It wasn’t as if I never knew about it. It’s just that I never consciously thought about it. It was after I graduated college, when I was about twenty-two, and I was experiencing bouts of anxiety that I decided to see a therapist. I had been in therapy for months, when one session the therapist asked me if there was anything about my upbringing that differentiated me from others. I thought and thought, but did not come up with anything. The therapist told me I was a child of concentration camp survivors. My first thought was, so, what the hell does that have to do with anything? And then it hit me hard, and very deep, and I thought for a long time, for every day and every year since, that this heritage was at the core of my being.

* * *

Excerpt from a novel I have been writing called “White Sand Falling.”

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Reinventing Myself – A Progress Report

by Danny Fisher on November 17, 2010

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass…

I started this blog 11 months ago, and described in its first post my losing a company I founded and ran for 27 years, with 400 paid employees last year.  The past 11 months have been devoted to rebuilding.  Part of rebuilding is figuring out what I had in fact lost – and what I had gained.  Part of rebuilding is reinventing myself.  Part of reinventing myself is searching for what my self is.

walt whitman

Walt Whitman

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,

You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)

You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look

through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,

You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,

You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self…

I am much happier now than when I owned a large company, which ultimately became a treadmill rather than a career.  I now work out of my Park Slope brownstone, where I walk through Prospect Park as the glittering leaves turn yellow, gold and reddish brown, just as Walt Whitman walked the same Brooklyn streets more than a century ago.  And I can really call my work my home.

I have had the privilege of connecting with so many people over the past 11 months, some people I have not seen or communicated with for decades, many new people I met and continue to meet, and reconnecting with friends and colleagues in the industry.  I am so grateful for the support and friendship of so many.

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the

beginning and the end,

But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,

Nor any more youth or age than there is now,

And will never be any more perfection than there is now,

Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.

Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,

Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn…

I am grateful that so many have either retained or regained their confidence in me and placed their trust in me – investors, corporate clients, industry creatives and business professionals.

I have gone from established business to running a start up.  And I like that.

Production business is picking up, busy with commercials, corporate work and videos for the web.  Co-producing a Broadway musical (“Josephine”) and developing two television series.

And perhaps the real success story so far is Jack’s and my relationship with producer/financier Alan Klingenstein, together with some outside investors who have faith in us to develop and implement a new model of acquiring and distributing independent film.  We are now working for Fisher Klingenstein Films, and stay tuned for more progress reports to come.

And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,

And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,

And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women
my sisters and lovers,

And that a kelson of the creation is love,

And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,

And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,

And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap’d stones, elder, mullein and

- Walt Whitman, from Song of Myself, Leaves of Grass

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Cup of Tea

by Danny Fisher on November 11, 2010

cup of tea

“And as in the game wherein the Japanese amuse themselves by filling a porcelain bowl with water and steeping in it little pieces of paper which until then are without character or form, but, the moment they become wet, stretch and twist and take on color and distinctive shape, become flowers or houses or people, solid and recognizable, so in that moment all the flowers in our garden and in M. Swann’s park, and the water-lilies on the Vivonne and the good folk of the village and their little dwellings and the parish church and the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, towns and gardens alike, from my cup of tea.” – Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

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