The Phaserl


The Upstairs and the Downstairs

by Hugo Salinas Price,

My brother Robby (four years younger than I) died in 2012, at 76. He was a rare soul, gifted with a mischievous sense of humor. He was a great book-collector and accumulated a magnificent library during a lifetime of collecting. I purchased from his heirs an almost complete collection of the Loeb Classical Library which at present consists of 521 books; these contain almost all of what has come down to us of the most important written works of the Classical Age, which came to a close about two centuries after the birth of Christ. One large bookcase contains the bedrock of our civilization. I love to contemplate it.

Robby liked to poke fun at visiting Americans. They would come around to talking about “democracy” and the social equality which prevails in the US. Robby loved to scandalize these naive aliens. On one occasion the conversation turned to slavery and Robby came up with “I own several slaves. I have two to drive our cars, two to do the garden, two housemaids – one for cleaning and one for washing – and the cook and her helper. They are all excellent slaves and have been with the family for decades.” This did raise eyebrows.

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