Monday, September 23, 2013

Interview - Sheldon G Levin

Sheldon Levin poses with his dog Sandy

Sheldon G Levin.

Santa fe, NM.

Shelly, a man who's been wounded in war, while serving in the elite force skiing the alps, hes also  traveled 57 countries, worked on computers from when they were in separated in different rooms, lived in Israel for awhile, after retiring he started his own business and bargains for government projects.

A "Mathematician" working in Radial technology and research.

Shelly closes the new blinds that were installed that morning.

Born in 1926 April 15th, "I was a tough kid" he say's remembering the trouble he made in his younger years, I had a lot of energy, but I was strong willed and even the training in the army was easy and doable, "I've even carried a friends backpack while he was barely making the training". He goes back to tell us the story, "Never smirk your sergeant" - they were in training and the sergeant warned another soldier about doing a "military pushup"  - and he smirked.

"Do you think its funny?"


"Do 10 and show us all"

"So I did it, and it wasn't that difficult either but it was worth it just to prove him wrong."

Skipping a few months, he was wounded in the shoulder and was sent to the hospital to heal - he recounts that it was the best thing that ever happened to him "I was able to choose to go back to school, which I did for free and after 4 years I had my degree"

"I loved what I did, I had the best life, Charlotte and myself traveled the world 57 countries "

He would work on government projects and he would make up a project based on what he wanted to do, and where he wanted it to take him. If he got the winning bid thats how he would travel.

As a hobby, he also would love to bring along his camera and record photographs.

He showed me a roll of film he's had developed/retouched/digitized and printed on portfolio board, I myself really enjoyed the time he took to take us back with him to those places where he took the pictures, it was a RollerFlex with color film, back in 1947 -Shelly was 20 years old then.

Europe was a different world then how it looks today, you can see the clothes, cars, the glass milk bottles, the toys and kids playing on the street. The difference really explains how far we've come.

Its like a flashback in a different planet - no electricity, phones, internet.

People would go to the market place to shop, try to put food on the table for their kids.

Simply. Life. Living.


Walking Sandy along behind his home.
Moving on a few years, he's now living in Espanola, NM - On a comfortable plot of land, which he purchased 30 some off years ago, he has a well for water, electric backup generators, Heated solar system, 5 computers, an old dark room, now a digital camera office, 4 photo printers, a heated Jacuzzi, vegetable garden, tomb stones for late personal pets, a sound system that can buy you a car.

And a gun at every door.

(We stopped to Davven Mincha as we watched the sun set)

Currently, he spends time studying Tanach, Chumosh, listening to some old street Jazz music from the record player with his dog

He's a regular at the Chabad of Santa fe, New Mexico.

This week while you are all celebrating Simchat Torah, Shelly will be with on foot in the air, dancing with the heavy Torah scroll and remembering the good of which Hashem has blessed him with.

Kein Ayin Hora, at 87 and a recent travel to Namibia with his son, he doesn't plan on stopping his yearly trips and hikes and seeing the world.

He will tell you, "I've seen the most remarkable places in this world, hikes the beautiful places, and enjoyed some of the best sceneries  and I thank god I was able to, and given the chance to have done that."

What I felt the most inspiring was his appreciation for the opportunities that god has given him, from the places he's been to the people he's met.

He won't ever take it as "luck" or "happen to come by" - He will tell you "I was lucky to have lived the life I had - we were poor, very poor as a child, army no one had money either but at least I was able to travel on the army airplane network. - wounded in the army gave me free education, got married and traveled with little money, work/travel/work/travel"

"After I retired, getting a pension in the country, I started my own business and bargained for government projects and thats where we really made money"

A blessing from the man who grew up during the war, he watched as the world digitized, technology has grown leaps and medicine is available almost everywhere.

"Live life, learn, work, explore, don't spoil yourself by being comfortable in one place and steal yourself of the places you can see in the world,"

Shelly tells his story. (Photo of the Lubavitcher Rebbe can be seen on the wall)
Shelly's own printed images on the wall in his home.
A Painting that was made from an image he took on film. Painting by a talented Israeli artist. 

Here are some photo's from our experience shooting a .22 with Shelly.

He likes to teach the bochurim that come to visit how to shoot a rifle and use a scope.

His home truck, not really used for far distances. 

Short break for the Mincha prayer.

Old printed images from his rollerflex back from his travels through Europe in the 60's

Should I do this as a series? Your opinion matters.

Happy holidays!