Foresights and Hindsights From Harry

In May 2015, a year after longtime Montgomery County resident Harry Zubkoff passed away, daughter Elaine Blackman relaunched the blog her dad began at age 88. She posts newfound essays, musings, historical notes, and excerpts from published and unpublished stories, novels, and poems, all mined from his computer and voluminous paper files. As a Jewish veteran, pilot, and writer, Harry reflected on life in Buffalo, WWII, Greenbelt (MD), DC, the Pentagon, music, Israel, and journalism. Harry’s inspiring tales impart lessons for all generations. Elaine hopes they also will encourage writers to keep writing, and help her honor a promise made in her dad’s last moments to stay in touch with their relatives and family of friends.

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We can Learn about Family from Interviews with WWII Oral History Project


In his interview with the World War II Oral History Project, Harry recalled that Aug. 15, 1945, was the day President Truman announced the end of the war. He also mentioned another reason for the date’s significance, as you’ll see in the transcript on this page. I first heard the interview after Harry died, on […]

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Greenbelt’s Laugh-a-minute Reunion – Part 2


Maybe Harry was a wannabe comedian. Luckily he lived to see my son actually become one. I dedicate this post to Harry’s grandson, Mark, in honor of his upcoming marriage. It’s the transcript of side two of an audio cassette tape. (Side one is the previous post on this blog.) Harry kept the jokes coming […]

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Harry as Funnyman at 1996 Reunion – Part 1

Greenbelt Reunion 1996 photo 1 499x513

Harry Zubkoff loved jokes. On March 23, 1996, he kicked off an event with lots and lots of them, chuckling as he went along. And judging from the laughter on the audio cassette tape, the audience enjoyed them, too. Harry was the master of ceremonies at a reunion party for elders who had lived in […]

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Harry’s Wrap of ’50s Pentagon Memories – Part 4

Memories for the Pentagon6

Here’s the last of Harry’s pages of notes in his computer files on the Pentagon publishing operation in the 1950s. They were last edited March 3, 2010, although that could be the date he reorganized the files. These reflections follow the previous three posts on this blog. Together they reveal a snapshot of our father […]

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Historical Notes Highlight Pentagon Players – Part 3

Memories for the Pentagon Historians

On this page we see more reflections from Harry’s early Pentagon years. Whether he intended anyone to see them (other than the original recipient) we’ll never know. As our family reads these notes, however, we can pair some of his experiences with the Pentagon photos taken during his career. I found these notes dated Jan. […]

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Harry Recounts ’50s-era Pentagon Publishing – Part 2

Memories for the Pentagon8

Harry’s notes below appear to be continued from those in the previous post on this blog. There he recounted how the Early Bird, the Pentagon’s former signature publication, got its name in the 1950s, and the start of the long-time Current News. I found these last edited April 3, 2009. So, who in the world […]

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Memories for the Pentagon Historians - Part 1

Memories for the Pentagon Historians.fw

Since I began this blog in 2015, I’ve focused on paying tribute to my dad through writings discovered in his files. In so doing I’ve delighted in connecting or reconnecting with family and friends who knew him, as well as many who didn’t. Another reason for this blog: to “file” Harry’s writings in a permanent, […]

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Poems Honor Marriages, Friends Not Forgotten


Nearly two years ago I began this blog to highlight Harry Zubkoff’s (my dad’s) life through his left-behind writings. In this post, we see yet more colorful memories from his personal files. I discovered the photos in my parents’ memorabilia, too. I hope these blogs inspire you to seek more about your loved ones, too […]

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Timeless News-Reading Tips in 1973 Speech

Photos on this page show Harry in the workplace, 1970s

Do you remember ’73? Two weeks after President Nixon’s second inauguration, on Feb. 4, 1973, my dad, Harry Zubkoff, delivered the following speech at a D.C.-area synagogue event. He was 52. After he died, I noticed the audio cassette tape of the speech mixed in with his music collection. It’s valuable now since we have […]

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Greetings by Harry Live on After All

This folder full of little poems led me to another discovery about my dad: He mailed them to greeting-card companies, only to be rejected by all. Throughout his life, he seemed to think outside-the-box of ways to make extra cash through writing.

Harry crafted countless poems throughout his well-lived life, On every theme conceivable, and (we think) without help from his wife. Now, we’ve learned, he also tried to sell some rhymes to those, Who made appealing greeting cards with sympathetic prose. These poems date from ’58 through 1966, They mention all occasions – no words of […]

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