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Welcome Tiger James Fallows
The world needs some good news. Here is some: In California, a baby boy.
Early this morning, July 31, 2022, in Los Angeles, proud and grateful parents Tom Fallows and Lizzy Bennett Fallows were blessed by the arrival of Tiger James Fallows. For them this is their fourth child, and first son. For Deb and me, this is our sixth grandchild, and second grandson.
Tiger, his mother, and all others in the extended family network are doing very well. His big sisters — Tide, Navy, and West — will have a new responsibility. Their whole family, based in Santa Barbara, will have the new adventures that come with so many live-wire personalities, and the mix of a boy with the girls. His numerous cousins are excited for new comrades. So of course are Lizzy’s parents, Susan and Don Bennett. We are so happy for all of them.
A word of background on names: Deb and I have two wonderful sons, Tom and Tad. They both had the good fortune, unlike me, of having known all four of their grandparents as significant parts of their lives while growing up.
Only one of those four is still around: Deb’s phenomenal mother, Angela Zerad, whom I wrote about last Thanksgiving when she turned 100. Deb is visiting her this weekend, and Angie continues to thrive.
Our sons also got to know very well their two grandfathers. Deb’s father, Frank Zerad, grew up in Chicago as the child of immigrants, and spoke Czech before he spoke English. He was a loving, big-hearted, good-humored, open-minded, endlessly curious, broadly informed, and remarkably tolerant man. He was a submarine officer during World War II; he ran a successful small business in the Midwest; and then, starting in their 50s, he and Angie spent several decades as volunteers for the International Executive Service Corps, with multi-month and multi-year assignments in South Korea, Indonesia, Egypt, Kenya, and elsewhere. Our boys came to know, love, remember, and have vivid recollections of Grandpa Frank — and Grandma Angie, who is still here.
My father was James A. Fallows, A for Albert. (I am James M. Fallows, M for Mackenzie.) He was known as “Sunny Jim” in his childhood in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and as “Tiger Jim” during his years as a civic leader and beloved small-town doctor in Redlands, California. I wrote about him extensively at the time of his death, in 2008, and shortly before that when he received a delayed undergraduate degree for the two rushed wartime years he spent at Ursinus College before medical school. Our sons knew him well. They also knew and dearly loved (as I did) my mother, Jean Mackenzie Fallows, who was a grade-school sweetheart of “Sunny Jim,” married him when she was 20 years old, and was with him until her death.
I knew my father as “Dad.” Our sons eventually knew him as “Tiger Jim.” In sharing the news of Tiger James’s arrival, Tom and Lizzy said today: “We hope he is inspired by Tiger Jim and Frank's senses of adventure, compassion, gusto, and lifelong curiosity -- big shoes to fill!”
I agree, and can’t wait to see them all.
Previously in this series:
Welcome Jack Fallows, in August, 2011;
Welcome Tide Fallows, in June, 2014;
Welcome Eleanor Fallows, in February, 2015;
Welcome Navy Fallows, in May, 2016;
Welcome West Fallows, in September, 2018.
Glad to add ‘Welcome Tiger James Fallows,’ on this last day of July, 2022.