Caroline Kennedy's husband and me
First, an explanation of why nothing has been published in this blog during the past two weeks. I have had to assume some care-taking chores for my wife Sybil, who has been ill. This activity has obviously taken priority over blogging. She is now feeling better, and so this first posting since Dec. 8.
I have now been prompted to return to the blogosphere by the news about Caroline Kennedy's sudden interest in becoming a Senator from New York. Specifically, my curiosity has been aroused by the strange absence of any mention of her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, in all the publicity over Ms. Kennedy's political campaign.
I am a political news junkie and have read reams of material about her request to New York's Governor David Paterson that she be considered for appointment to Hillary Clinton's seat in the U.S. Senate. But as I write this, nowhere has her husband's name cropped up.
The news has been filled with personal detail about her being the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, the niece of two U.S. Senators, and other political history of her famed family.
Caroline Kennedy has always been exceedingly shy of publicity and has carefully shielded her three children from public exposure. Her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, has been even more publicity-shy.
As New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams wrote last year: "Besides marrying Caroline Kennedy, what else has he done? I mean...[does} anyone actually know what [Ed Schlossberg} does?"
What he does is own a Manhattan-based company called ESI Design, whose web site describes itself as "one of the world's foremost experiential design firms...we create physical and virtual spaces to interact, exchange ideas and learn from each other." In short, he designs museums and such structures as the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island.
I have a special interest in Ed Schlossberg, and thus my personal curiosity about his role in his wife's unexpected entry into the political arena.
His surname, which in German means "castle mountain," is an uncommon family name. My late mother had first cousins in Cleveland who bore the name. As I recall, one of them was a house painting contractor. I do not remember ever meeting any of them. But if Ed Schlossberg ever had family members in Cleveland, it is likely that he and I have a distant family relationship.
Like me, Caroline Kennedy's husband is the grandson of Jewish immigrants from Czarist Russia. Perhaps that is what stimulated his interest in the immigration history project at Ellis Island.
It is not unusual for Russian Jews to bear German-sounding surnames. Their Yiddish language is heavily based on medieval German, demonstrating that their ancestors lived in Western European, German-speaking territories many centuries ago before migrating to Eastern and Central Europe.
If Governor Paterson does select Caroline Kennedy to be a U.S. Senator from New York, Mr. Schlossberg's anonymity is certainly going to be shattered.
Labels: Kennedy family