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Before Google

June 16, 2017

familyWhere did you turn to before Google? Do you remember? The library? The phone book? Asked a friend or called 411? What did you do when you were curious to know one of the top songs in 1986? (Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel) Or when you wanted to know the name of the 16th president? (Abraham Lincoln)

I asked a few people what they did B.G. Some shrugged, while a few admitted they didn’t know they were curious about wanting the information until the answers became so readily available.

I remember exactly what I did Before Google. I had a personal source. Still do. Many others use this source as well. Some call him Richard or Ricky or Rick, but my sisters and I simply call him Dad.

Dad was a straight-A student at Boston Latin School. He aced his SATs and graduated from Clark University before attending Yeshiva University in New York City for a doctoral program. But that plan was cut short when he was drafted and joined the U.S. Navy at the height of Vietnam. After serving two years and now married with a daughter (guess who?), he saw a well dressed man in a suit carrying a briefcase and walking down a Boston street. When Dad found out the man was an attorney he thought that was a more direct way to earn a living than being a psychologist. “I wanted to do something concrete and leave a mark at the end of each day. When I get an idea I try to follow it up,” Dad said.

It was summertime. Wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers without socks, Dad walked into Northeastern Law School. “There was only one other guy there and he was dressed like I was.” Turns out, it was the dean and they had a nice talk. After listening to Dad’s background and skills, the dean arranged for Dad to take the LSATs the following week. (Note: The LSATs recommend a minimum of three months of study before taking them. Just sayin’.) Dad scraped together the $50 exam fee and took the test. Out of 1,400 applications for 40 seats to Northeastern Law, Dad got one of the top scores. “They called me and said, ‘we’ll take you.” That fall he enrolled.

Now, 45 years and over 10,000 cases later, is it any wonder we still go to Dad before Google?

Happy Father’s Day Dad!


From → Uncategorized

  1. Madalyn Hillis-Dineen permalink

    Your Dad is a great guy!!! Happy Father’s Day to Richard!

  2. Richard J. Cohen permalink

    So, what’s the next question?


    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

  3. Mary Foote permalink

    You’re the best! Thanks for helping Sherry Gelles. Here’s to your Google/Dad.

  4. Marilyn permalink

    WOW! What a wonderful story! I remember meeting him in Florida just one time. Wish I knew him better! Hope you are well , wish your family well and have a great weekend! Hugs, Marilyn 😘🌹

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Deborah Golden permalink

    I cried Felice when I read this. My father died of cancer on January 5th, 1998 at 6:45 pm. I miss him everyday and his B. G. knowledge. So much died with him. He was bright, warm and kind. I tell my beautiful daughter about him and how much he would have loved and treasured her (she was born in 2001). As he was near his end I apologized to him that I never gave him a grandchild and he gave me back a great gift. And although I know that he would have loved a grandchild he said that “I was enough”. We had a loving and supportive relationship. Happy Father’s Day to your Dad. His reward is you and all those who love him.

  6. Richard Aberson permalink

    Yep—your Dad sure is Special !

  7. Joe F. permalink

    A great tribute to your Dad for Father’s Day. I miss reciting a little poetry and historical passages with him. I met him and your beautiful mother when I was at Spaulding. Wish him well for me on “our” day, Sunday.

  8. Judy Rachelle permalink

    Good for you. Lucky dad

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Auntie M permalink

    Before your Dad there was my Dad, your Grandfather. I too went to him for important information, Many times he had me sit down & write a letter.i.e. “Dad, when is President Eisenhower”s birthday?”
    I got a 3 page typewritten response, showing me that lots of people took the time to answer.

  10. james nomikos permalink

    nice tribute Felice best, naomi

  11. XYZ permalink

    Cool question/tribute…

    For most of us without easy access to a fountain of knowledge, it is hard to think of how we managed before the internet. But before Google (and Wikipedia), there was Alta Vista, Excite, Netscape and dial-up. Those were the dark ages. Ha!

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