About Howard Freeman

Howard Freeman is a charitable giving professional and a published author. Born and raised on New York City's Upper East Side with a silver spoon that he lost along the way, he lives now on the Upper West Side with his wife, Karen, three school-age sons and a leopard gecko. (He never thought he would actually be fond of a reptile.) He is the author of Making a Difference 2.0 (Skyhorse Publishing, May 2012) and Lullabye, as well as numerous articles on money, generosity, and how children make you both crazy and ecstatic at The High Calling and elsewhere.

Next year’s model

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared in Howard’s blog, Mead on Manhattan.

My three sons and I went to the New York International Auto Show. I’m not sure how “international” it was—the most exotic thing I saw was the family from Union City, New Jersey whose Nike sneakers were made in Southeast Asia.

But it was indeed an auto show: there were lots and lots and lots of autos. Red ones, blue ones, silver ones, black ones, white ones, yellow ones—many, many colors like these. And there were large cars, small cars, cars in the middle somewhere. They all had black tires, and most ran on gas. Most of them seated between two and seven people, but there was a big black one that could seat twelve, plus three magnums of champagne, six egos, and four sets of spike heels.

The show cost $5 for kids and $15 for adults, which was very affordable, especially in light of the NYC museum option at $20 a pop, which most people don’t realize is an option and not a requirement. But of course, the price of a ticket to the auto sale—I mean show—didn’t include admission to adulthood in the form of a new car when your suburban kids turn 16, insurance for a teenager, or the cost of several thousand gallons of American blood seeping into Iraqi sand.

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Being a Man of Few Words

Editor’s note: Our Monday writer, Juliet, is unavailable today, both literarily and emotionally. She agreed to post this piece by guest contributor Howard Freeman via non-committal text message that left enough ambiguity to interpret her intentions in a variety of ways. This essay was written in 2011. You can read the original here.

Though I worked until nearly midnight last night and was dog tired, having got three hours of sleep the night before, I tossed for most of my six hours in the sack, trying not to wake my wife and thinking about that blasted NPR story on the “six-word memoir” that one of my Facebook friends posted.

I had clicked unwittingly on the link yesterday morning and, like a Koobface virus, the item quickly took hold of my greying brain coils and replicated itself within my consciousness, so that between about 3:00 and 5:50 this morning I could think only of that and whether my 45-year-old prostate was squeezing my bladder enough to warrant a trip out from the warm covers and over to the bathroom.  The allure to a writer – of the memoir thingy, not the bladder deal – is how to capture a life in so few words.  Legend has it Hemingway was asked to write a complete story in six words.  He penned, “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”  The challenge in this case, the article said, is to write a memoir, not a fortune cookie. Continue reading