Living for the Fun of It
Every night, it seems, came the clarion call of Michele Bergsohn. It went like this: "Alvin! Make it lower! I'm trying to talk on the phone!"
For in her living room, her 48-year-old husband -- adult credentials: equity trader at Cantor Fitzgerald -- would be cranking up his electric guitar, careering through songs by the Allman Brothers, Elvis Costello or Hot Tuna, while watching sports on TV. Such a multitasker! When the game was over, he would traipse off to the den and catalog his Very Serious comic book collection.
Mr. Bergsohn's mordant view of life -- no expectations, no disappointments -- liberated him to seize each day and squeeze the most fun from it. He worked hard, leaving their home in Baldwin Harbor, on Long Island, before 6:30 a.m., but he returned for family dinner every night. He was a nonpartisan flirt, a rock concert fan, a softball coach for his two boys, Sam, 14, and Harris, 12. That last weekend, he perched on first base, dancing and singing wildly in between shouting out coaching orders.
For someone with no expectations, joy, when it comes, tastes of delighted surprise. At Sam's bar mitzvah, Mr. Bergsohn made a speech that did go on — and on. Forgive him: his face shone with astonishment and pride, love and fulfillment.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 29, 2001.