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In Appreciation Lee Minoff

Lee Minoff, who died recently, was a Sharon near-neighbor and my therapist for many years. (I’m long past the age where it worries me to admit that, and I’m not running for office.)

As one hopes for with any therapist, he guided me through some difficult times in my life, including an automobile accident that left me badly shaken though, thankfully, not physically hurt. That was the only time I ever called him outside of normal hours, and he was memorably kind and empathetic.

Lee was definitely old school. We shared a Queens Jewish upbringing. He taught me a few Yiddish-isms that taught me something about myself. He was strong-willed, and more than once we clashed. Usually it was over his saying something akin to, “It could be worse,” which is as New York City Jewish as it gets. But he had a point about appreciating the joys I have.

As a trained psychoanalyst, he might have leaned on Freud a bit much, and he never did succeed more than once or twice in getting me on the couch — literally. I was more interested in an interactive session than staring up at the ceiling.

I frequently met with Lee in the early morning, and he greeted me at the door of his beautiful Sharon house, occasionally in a bathrobe. A cup of coffee was waiting on the table in front of me, and a giant “Yellow Submarine” poster looked down on us from his wall. Lee took great pride in having been the screenwriter for the “Yellow Submarine” movie, as well as having worked as an assistant to legendary director Stanley Kubrick.

Lee loved his home, his family, his work, and playing softball. He was a real mensch.

Fred Baumgarten

Haydenville, Mass.

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