Allen Stein

Posted by Ellen

Elissa and Nora and Maggie were college roommates, and then Elissa and Nora were in Maggie's wedding, and then they all three decided to get together for a little roommate reunion in Seattle last week.

We see Maggie here, but where are Elissa and Nora? Replaced for photographic purposes by a couple of guys Maggie refers to as "Stein boy cousins," who happen to live in Seattle. So the roommate reunion also incorporated a cousin reunion. And there was also a happy dog, Omar Little.

Posted by Ellen

A few minutes after commencement and commissioning last Friday, in the parking lot outside the Naval Academy's football stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, the new ensign in his choker whites and shades got his first salute, from midshipman Aaron Kalil, who still has a year to go until his own graduation and commissioning.

Per tradition, the new ensign bought this first salute, handing Aaron a silver dollar.

Ensign Stein now begins five years of active duty in the navy. Midshipman Kalil begins a year as captain of the U.S. Naval Academy wrestling team. There was champagne all around.

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Thanksgiving weekend was seasonably cold in Maine, so sipping coffee was among the smarter things to do at the beach.

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An after-dinner moment.

(Standing, left to right: Amelia, Peter. Seated: Bob, Hank, Allen, David Klein.)

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All five Stein brothers in an elevator, on the first day of 2010.

From left to right:   #3, #1, #4, #5, #2   (1981, 1978, 1988, 1992, 1979).

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To be more precise: at least one mitten came off late in the afternoon of Christmas day when Hank and Al had at it on the bluff above Kettle Cove, on the nearly snowless southern coast of Maine. It wasn't a real fight, just a little sibling rasslery.

Posted by Ellen

The rocks are 400 million years old, give or take.

The photo is five years old.

The occasion was the birthday gathering on Peaks Island in Maine in honor of Bob Horowitz--my father, and the grandfather of these fellows--who was then 80 years old.

There's one obvious constant through all these years: some of us hominids are hard-wired to build forts and weapons and stuff out of rocks or whatever is close to hand.

Not as obvious, perhaps, but just as constant: some of us are hard-wired to knock down other people's forts and stuff. Hank recalls that he had to rebuild this whole structure all by himself. Had to.

My father will be 85 this next week. He's well beyond the stone age; most days, he aims for the Big Band era.

Left to right: Brothers Ted, Hank, Allen, and Joe Stein, with cousin Nick Horowitz.

Posted by Ellen

At the Naval Academy, all the students, even the wrestlers, are required to attend all the home football games, They march in uniform from campus out to the stadium, where they parade onto the field by company and then march up into the stands, where they stand, literally, on their feet throughout the game. When Navy scores, plebes race down into the end zone and do pushups, one for each point scored.

But on parents' weekend, some of the students drift on out of the midshipmen's section of the stands to sit with their families like regular people--assuming that "regular people" is a fair term for lightweight wrestler Allen Stein and his good friend Mike Landis, the wrestling team's heavyweight. Mike was captain of his high school football team before limiting his energies to wrestling at the college level, but even without him in the lineup the Midshipmen did well last Saturday, beating Louisiana Tech 32-14.

In acknowledging the victory, the Academy superintendent awarded all the midshipmen an extra hour of liberty Saturday night, till 1 a.m. The wrestlers wasted that hour with the best of them.

Posted by Ellen

Ever since last week, the Susquehanna River's been missing a big fish. Just kidding--he threw it back. Allen says this small-mouth bass is 19 inches long and weighs about four and a half pounds.

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This photo is ten years old now. Since then our five boys have rarely shown up in the same time zone, much less the same picture frame--this is an important document in family history.

The original negative is gone; there may be some high-resolution prints around somewhere, but I'm not sure where. What I've got on my computer is a scratched, speckled, and stained scan comprising just a handful of pixels.

This gussied-up version is only arguably better than the straight scan. Whatever: from left, in order of age, that's John, Ted, Joe, Allen, and Hank.