I grew up in central Los Angeles. My father was born in Russia. He was a survivor. He had come to the US in 1915, when he was 16, not speaking a word of English, on his own, at the insistence of his family. He landed in Ellis Island and made a life for himself. My mother was from the Lower East Side of New York. She was a secretary, she was good with numbers and played the violin, but not professionally.