in the Works of
The Stanley Tree
In the later 1960´s, Mark, David and Erica, Stanley Weintraub´s children, wanted to persuade their father to let them put up a tree at Christmas. Until then he had been unwilling. With the encouragement of their mother, they developed a strategy. The children stuck an evergreen branch into an empty rubber cement bottle, appropriated from their father's office wastebasket as a base, and set up their surprise in the living room. Dangling from it, made secretly, were matchboxes covered and decorated as miniature facsimiles of his books...Private Shaw and Public Shaw, War in the Wards, Beardsley, The Last Great Cause, and a few others. He was charmed. His opposition gave way....
In 1978 the ever larger branch was replaced by a small artificial tree, and more books hung from it: Shaw: An Autobiography, Whistler, Four Rossettis, and others. Some new books to be reproduced were Mom´s, like Rodelle´s Fabian Feminists.
One by one the children left for college. The books continued to be produced, often from afar. They married....and their spouses (Judy, Carie Lee, and Bruce) took turns decorating additional matchbox books: The London Yankees, The Unexpected Shaw, Victoria, Long Day's Journey into War, Shaw´s People.
Soon the grandchildren (MaryAlison, Sarah, Sofia, Hannah, Jimmy, Isaac, Benjamin and Noah) began helping do miniature books....
Inevitably, the tree had to get bigger, to hold Disraeli, The Last Great Victory, Uncrowned King, and now MacArthur´s War, Dear Young Friend, and The Importance of Being Edward, the newest. And, now that the second generation has begun to publish, Erica´s first book has appeared on a branch. Some fifty matchbox miniatures now hang from the "Stanley Tree."
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