In the ’80s, Milton Ritz became a Reagan-voting neoconservative. He persevered. He avoided financial catastrophes and, with Mom’s strong help, began to save some money. In the course of his lifetime, he was able to move himself and his family from working class to middle class. I came to admire that achievement. I came to appreciate how his conservative approach—“The point of investment is not to gamble money but to protect money”—finally afforded him the comfort that he and my mom had long sought. Their money fears, excited by the Depression that they had experienced as children, were finally assuaged.
“Do you know what it means to be rich?” asked my father, who had modest tastes.
“Being able to buy what you want. That’s why I consider myself rich.”
David Ritz wrote a very lovely essay about watching his father struggle to provide for his family in Dallas, Texas for the latest issue of D Magazine, which just hit newsstands yesterday.