Author: Ronald Probstein
Publisher: iUnvierse, Inc
ISBN: 978-1-4401-4187-4

Click Here To Purchase Honest Sid: Memoir of a Gambling Man

Ronald Probstein is an eminent scientist and Ford Professor of Engineering, Emeritus at MIT. He is also the author of ten critically acclaimed professional books. Honest Sid: Memoir of a Gambling Man is his memoir growing up in New York during the depression, where his loving father was a bookie, gambler, ticket scalper, and horseplayer living just below the edge of the law? His parents were constantly in debt and never knew where they would earn enough money to pay for food or rent. It was not unusual to move from apartment to apartment several times a month in order to escape paying the rent.

If you want to get a good picture of Sid Probstein, just imagine some of the characters that American essayist Damon Runyon created that focused on gamblers, gangsters, and actors who never used their legal names but rather colorful nicknames as “Harry the Horse.” As Probstein mentions, these characters “shared disdain for normal work, they were always holding the hot tip that was sure to make them rich.”

Even with all this insecurity, Probstein still loved his father, who, likewise, adored him. However, unfortunately, except for a brief moment in his life, his father never held a normal job. His idea of work was either that of a bookmaker or a scalper where he would sell theater and other kinds of entertainment tickets at a higher price than his purchase price. However, unlike some other scalpers, he never charged exorbitant prices for tickets that were unavailable or that someone wanted at the last minute. As a bookmaker, he always made good on the bets, even if this meant borrowing from loan sharks to cover the bets. His cronies always considered him a great guy who would take the shirt off his back.

Ironically, even though Probstein grew up in this horrible environment, his math skills had been greatly sharpened by his father's bookmaking games and this, coupled with his mother's unfailing memory for numbers and ability to manipulate them would prove invaluable in his future education. Probstein's boyhood settings were betting parlors, fighter's gyms, cigar shops and transient hotels, as a result, he can tout that due to his father's connections within this environment, he could meet a variety of celebrities from the world of sports and theater.

Honest Sid: Memoir of a Gambling Man is a moving memoir where each page is filled with small details that resonate with meaning. It is a fascinating peek at an nontraditional way of life that leaves you wanting more. However, to say that when you reach the end of the book that everything is resolved happily would be misleading, although, one consolation, Robert Probstein certainly did turn out alright, notwithstanding his childhood environment.

Click Here To Purchase Honest Sid: Memoir of a Gambling Man