In a small sepia-toned snapshot taken just before their marriage, my parents Lily and Jack, are standing together on Stinson Beach, a few miles north of San Francisco. They are the same height—Lily is tall for her generation. Wearing the discreet bathing suit of the twenties, she looks out with a shy smile. Her dark wavy hair is cut in a bob that emphasizes her Slavic cheek bones. On the back of the snapshot someone has written “Lily’s birthday—July 22, 1926. Lily is nineteen.