That’s chapter 6 of Outtakes of a UFO Investigator, which I’m now posting as a PDF. Anna is the mother of Danny Shapiro, the “UFO investigator” of the book’s title.
You’ll find a few characters in this episode who were part of the original manuscript of Journal of a UFO Investigator, but whom I wound up cutting from the novel. Danny’s unmarried Aunt Ida is one. Another is Laurie, the Shapiros’ African-American housekeeper, whom you’ll meet again in a later chapter of the Outtakes.
If you’ve read Journal, you’ll recognize the Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor. It’s pivotal to the theme of the book: a border point, not only between Israel and Jordan (before the Six-Day War of 1967), but between Danny’s day-to-day world and his internal UFO world. Here’s how Danny describes it (in a letter home to the folks) in this chapter:
“It’s kind of a weird place. You walk down the street; and then all of a sudden you have to stop. Things don’t look any different, where you have to stop. But it’s like you’ve reached the end of the world, because there’s the border in front of you. You stand there, and you look at the Jordanian houses, and you know that as far as you’re concerned they’re on another planet …”
Some years ago, when Journal was in the process of development and I was discussing it with my Israeli friend and colleague Yaakov Ariel, I asked him if he’d ever heard of Abu Tor. He said: “I grew up in Abu Tor!”
And we talked; and I had the sense that I, and my thoughts and feelings about Abu Tor–which I saw during my own first visit to Israel in 1964–had come around full circle.
Click here, or on the picture below, to read the latest chapter.
by David Halperin
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