When Maximilien Robespierre was 24 years old, exactly 1 day and 242 years before me, he resigned his position as a local judge in Arras, citing his moral and ethical opposition to using capital punishment. At 24, Gilles Deleuze had just finished his master's degree and begun to lecture in philosophy. Lou Reed began recording the first Velvet Underground album just a month after turning 24.

My father had just moved to New York at 24, in the year 1985. An email he sent on my birthday included,

"Concerts I remember from then: The Replacements at the Ritz, and Camper Van Beethoven at CBGB. Bowery was very different in those days."

He knows exactly what I want to know. We had a talk when I was back home for passover about our regrets at not being able to ask the older generation questions about their life and experience. My great-great grandfather Moishe Steinhouse lived in a tiny village in Poland and was a quartermaster in the Imperial Russian Army during the Great War.

Questions we want to know:
1. Where did they get their shoes? Was there a cobbler in their village everyone went to, or was there a really good one a few kilometers away that was worth the travel?
2. What happened during the Revolution? Did he fight for the Reds or Whites? Was he conscripted by Bolsheviks against his will? Did he take up a patriotic cause and fight for the Tsar? Did he lament the pogroms and oppression of the Romanovs and dream of parading Nicholas's head around on a pike? Did he have any politics at all besides loving and caring for his family?
3. What was the boat journey like to America? What did they eat?
4. What was the first movie he saw?
5. What was his favorite car/color/musician/book?

Unfortunately, you never know what to ask until its too late. I'm 24 now, and I am happy to be a part of it all.