One of my dear great aunts emailed me today asking for some old family photos that I discovered at my grandmother’s house a couple of years ago. She misses her late siblings badly, she told me, and thought having and seeing some of the pictures might help.

As I dug through the old photographs I stumbled across this one again. Seeing my grandfather, may he rest in peace, at a backgammon board is no uncommon thing. He could be found playing backgammon with anyone who was willing, whenever it was possible. But what I love about this picture is the story that my aunt & grandmother told me just last year.

Our grandfather was a private practice psychiatrist in Egypt in the 50s during a time when the mental institutions were much like prisons. After his first visit to one of these institutions, they tell me, he came home with a mission and it was shortly after that this picture was taken of him playing backgammon on a retreat to the country with the patients from that institution, most of whom were going outside for the first time since they had been admitted.

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  1. abravelove posted this