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Lake Erie (Photo by Paul Szynol)

May 10, 2021, 1:19 p.m.

My dad just sent me this photo.  My grandfather is standing to the right.  He looks like he was auditioning for a 50s sitcom but somehow ended up on the wrong set.  I literally just found out his name: Wilhelm.  He died fighting Nazis in Warsaw during WWII. 

My dad is sitting on his aunt's lap taking a bite of something, and my grandmother is leaning in behind them.  Poland had been partitioned into non-existence for well over a century, and when my grandparents were born it was still missing from the map.  He was German and she was Russian.  

And then there's my aunt Krysia, who was like my second mom and the only person in my family who loves animals as much as I do.  She's holding a dog.

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Birdsong, which was meant to be a feature but turned into a short, will premiere at the Brooklyn Film Festival in June. Here's the logline: Motherpigeon and Jason Trachtenburg, formerly of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, stand up for bohemia and New York City’s birds.

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