The worst it can be is a disaster
Contributed by Aileen Reid on Nov. 2, 2016
From The Worst it Can Be is a Disaster (2007), the autobiography of the theatre director Braham Murray (b. 1943):
'This is the last chapter and it's time to talk about Uncle Max, or more accurately Great-uncle Max. My mother's paternal family name was Prevezer. Originally there were seven sons and four of them escaped from the Nazis to England. They came over on the onion boats with nothing. My grandparents Sam and Fay, waited outside the stocking factories where each night the rejects were thrown out. They matched them up and sold them off their barrow in the East End. Eventually they made enough to buy a proper shop, S. Prevezer Hosiery in Whitechapel High Street [No. 86]....
The curse of the Prevezers was total emotional constipation. Inside they were cauldrons of feeling but none of it could be expressed.... Uncle Max was the most extreme example of the Prevezer curse. He had a shop [No. 93] about 20 yards from my grandfather, M. Prevezer Hosiery. Whenever I visited him my grandfather always sent me to say 'hello' to Uncle Max. This I did and always got some pocket money for my pains.
One day Uncle Max simply stopped talking. When I went to say hello he merely grunted. "Hello, Uncle Max."
"How are you?"
"How's Auntie Bertha?"
"I've got to go now, Uncle Max."
Grunt, and some pocket money.
Uncle Max retreated from the world. It was a tendency in all the brothers...'