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'Hands Of My Father': A Life With Deaf Parents

Myron Uhlberg was born the hearing son to a deaf mother and father "shortly after midnight, July 1, 1933," at "the absolute bottom of the Great Depression." Uhlberg sees the timing of his birth, halfway through the calendar year, as a metaphor for his life, where one foot was "always being dragged back to the deaf world," the other "trying to stride forward... into the world destined to be [his] own."

He grew up in Brooklyn, near Coney Island, in an apartment his deaf parents secured in spite of their parents' objections and belief that the young couple "could not manage alone."

Uhlberg learned American Sign Language before he learned to speak. His first sign was for "I love you." But as soon as he learned spoken English, Uhlberg became his father's translator. He acted as the "interface" between his father's deaf world and the hearing world in the stores and streets of Brooklyn.

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