Today’s morning names: Skidelsky, Sidarksky

The morning name I just posted about (the extraordinary line “Hut-sut Rawlson on the rillerah”) presumably represented some welling-up of childhood memory. Today’s would, I guess, come from recent glancing references to John Maynard Keynes, possibly in some (really racy) stuff on his sexual appetites I stumbled on. But, wherever it came from, it brought me to the admirable Professor The Lord Robert Skidelsky (as he is officially to be referred to), and from there I went to a Law & Order: SVU character (in an incredibly wrenching episode) I remembered as Robert Skidelsky, but who turns out to have been Robert Sidarsky (my memory for plot, in minute detail, turns out to have been virtually perfect, but not so much for the names). So now you’ll get them both.

Start with the famous historian. From Wikipedia, giving the synopsis and then a brief bit on his dramatic early childhood:

Robert Jacob Alexander, Baron Skidelsky, FBA (born 25 April 1939) is a British economic historian of Russian origin and the author of a major, award-winning, three-volume biography of British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946). He read history at Jesus College, Oxford and is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy in the University of Warwick, England.

Skidelsky’s parents, Boris Skidelsky and Galia Sapelkin, were British subjects of Russian ancestry, Jewish on his father’s side and Christian on his mother’s. His father worked for the family firm, L. S. Skidelsky, which leased the Mulin coalmine from the Chinese government. In Harbin a factory was built by L. S. Skidelsky in 1919 for obtaining albumin from blood. When war broke out between Britain and Japan in December 1941, he and his parents were interned first in Manchuria then Japan, and finally released in exchange for Japanese internees in England. Then he went back to China with his parents in 1947, living for a little over a year in Tientsin (now Tianjin). They left for Hong Kong just before the Communists took the city.

Skidelsky in his native element, looking happy (as he often does):

Then Robert Sidarsky, something quite other. He’s in Law & Order: SVU season 1 episode 2, “A Single Life” (first aired 9/27/99). Synopsis:

When the body of Gretchen Quinn is found wearing only a red slip after having been thrown out of a window, Benson and Stabler soon find out that “Gretchen Quinn” was just an alias [for Susan Sidarsky]. While trying to piece together her life, the detectives are led to the victim’s psychiatrist (Dennis Boutsikaris) and a well-known television newscaster (Michael Gaston), both of whom were sleeping with her. It soon comes to light she was a young woman who changed her name and identity after graduating high school, to get away from her sexually abusive father [Robert Sidarsky] (Paul Hecht).

Gretchen turns out to have committed suicide, in despair over a life with no hope of redeeming happiness, especially not from the father who took away her sense of safety when she was a young girl. There’s more, also bleak.

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