About Carl Harris Shuman
I was named to honor the memory of Chaim Szumowicz, of Zembrov, Poland, and Moshe Yom Tov Paul, of Anyksciai, Lithuania.
This is what they looked like:
Me, at the beach, as a child
My Hebrew name is Chaim Yom Tov.
Moshe Yom Tov Paul, of Anyksciai, Lithuania
Moshe Yom Tov was a rabbi, which may explain why I like to tell stories and explore midrashim based on biblical texts.
My other great-grandfather,
Chaim Szumowicz, of Zembrov, Poland
Chaim crossed the Atlantic Ocean many times, which may explain why I like to travel. And why I like ships.
My dad, my sister, Heidi, and me, in Madurodam, Holland
When I was eight, we moved to the Netherlands for a year so that my father could teach Dutch people how to be child psychiatrists.
If you look at the building behind me, you will see that it is quite small. The Dutch are some of the tallest people on the planet. It must be very difficult for them to fit into their houses. This may explain why they need so many psychiatrists.
Except for our year in Holland, we lived on Ventnor Avenue in Atlantic City until I was eleven and a half. That’s right. I lived in the yellow space on the Monopoly board. There were very few children in my neighborhood, so I used to ride my bike around the block for hours, singing show tunes at the top of my lungs.
I also used to sing myself to sleep. Now I help lead services in synagogue. Unfortunately, they will not let me lead services while riding a bike – or while I am asleep.
Me, on my bike, as a child, singing show tunes
From Atlantic City, we moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where I began to write stories and poems in high school.
I was fortunate to have wonderful English teachers who inspired me to pursue writing and who have been my lifelong friends and mentors.
Two of my beloved English teachers, and me
Me, playing a baby, on stage
I also acted in high school musicals and plays.
See? I told you. I have been trapped in a grown up body for a very long time.
After high school, I went to college and law school, became a lawyer, and got married.
My wife, Beth, and I have three children whose names all begin with the letter “S.”
Only one of our two grandchildren think I am funny.
When I am not writing or lawyering, I am painting:
Or creating weird art projects...
Among the many living (and dead) things in our garden, we have two paw paws and a fig tree. I’m not sure what to do with the paw paw fruit yet but I have discovered a passion for making fig jam.
I also like to bake challah for Shabbat.
And, my wife tells me that I make a pretty good salmon croquette.
My favorite children’s author?
My favorite book?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
My favorite quote?
It’s from My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.:
After all these years I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.
Welcome to my world . . .