His mother, he said, gave birth to him in a bathroom, in which she had somehow gotten stuck. Despite this rather anxious beginning, he was healthy and lived, the first of several children to do so. His mother, Rebecca Chazan Fishman, doted on him. She was a successful businesswoman with, among other ventures, a store, The Palace, in Williamsburg. People came from all over, I have been told, to have Rebecca wrap gifts for them because she was remarkably creative and artistic in this fashion.
His father, Louis Fishman, had been a traveling peddler in Georgia before coming to New York and settling down with Rebecca. He had an eye for a beautiful woman, a trait he passed on to his son.
Irving would be the first of four living children: Milton, Miriam, and Robert (Bobby) followed his birth.
Well, Irv, we miss you, though I know there is no such thing as presence nor absence, separation or joining. "All love through all infinity," he said in a note he left for us to find after his death (making it clear, in another note, that this was not a suicide note. "It's in case I exit naturally during sleep."
Happy birthday with all love always from Ladybelle.