He Did it His Way by Margaret Teichman
One way to start off this biography of Arthur’s is with the title of a song made popular by Frank Sinatra which some of you might remember called “My Way” because that’s how Arthur went forward with his life. It was “his way.” He seemed to have this internal compass that would steer him exactly to what he inwardly needed. He knew who he really was. Amazing to witness.
He loved books, preferring history and philosophy, had loads of them, was an extremely avid and rapid reader. I’ve never seen anyone read so fast. Together with his inner sense of things, there was very little he couldn’t find out about, or prevent him from participating in his many interests. He was blessed with a quiet steadfast courage of simply going forward even despite any fears that might want to interfere. He would be very supportive and encouraging to me and others. I would refer to him as my rescuer.
He changed his name when he was four. He was given the name Abraham Moshe Teichman until one day he found himself with his parents standing under the awning of the King Arthur Hotel for protection during a quick rain shower. He looked up and exclaimed “Arthur that’s my real name” over the objection of his parents he insisted that he wouldn’t answer to anything else and thus became Arthur Moshe Teichman on that day.
His parents separated when he was quite young and his mother needed to support both of them. Arthur was put in child care which then consisted of a woman who watched children for working parents in her apartment. Arthur seemed to have an unhappy time there because for a long while he stopped talking to his mother.
They then moved in with two of her sister in laws and Gerri the daughter of one, who was around Arthur’s age. He was now living with 4 females and kept mainly to himself and his books. Then Gerri decided to hatch a foolproof plan. As soon as he came home from school she would quickly run, grab his books, and hide them and wouldn’t return them until he finished playing with her. Worked beautifully for the both of them and also cemented a close loving relationship between them.
He was 17 when he finished high school and decided to enlist in the armed services needing his mother’ss permission. Spent some time in England and when he left the service he had the GI BILL which enabled him to enroll at NYU for his degree in English. Later he went to the New School for his degree in Philosophy. He completed his thesis for his masters but when his professor wanted him to make some personal changes which Arthur felt strongly against, he disagreed, refused and left without getting his degree. His principles were at stake.
He worked for NY STATE for 35 years and retired as Head of his Department,
The Administrative Analysis department. They were using a manual system for checking the functioning of the many state offices and designing forms and procedures to improve efficiency. Arthur an English/Philosophy major was able to head this department quite successfully even though his training was in Liberal Arts. His mind very flexible and open to many possibilities.
He had this quiet general inner love and respect that inspired people to trust him. Among the activities he chose were those that were mainly “positive”. There was Aikido a self-defense method that would not allow use of Arthurs strength to return an attack to his attacker. But rather turn the attackers own energy back to him for a defense. He trained as a Feldenkrais Practitioner after retirement and for a while led Awareness through Movement classes.
In his continued search for personal development he became part of a spiritual group and was very active in that community. And he was very actively quiet throughout his continued journey and respected by those who knew him. His intelligence was amazing. He rewired our whole house just by reading a book. He was teaching himself German by working through a book on the etymology of languages. All he needed was a book to simply follow. It was simple for him.
Finally for his burial, his special friend from Brooklyn, now relocated in Boston offered to notify New York people. It was at least over 15 years Arthur had been away from being active in his spiritual group. Many people had moved or died. I expected few or none. When I arrived at the grave site I saw this long line of cars and wondered who might be having such a large funeral. It turned out it was Arthur. Sixteen people had come from all different surrounding areas——- New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc. It was a wonderful show of support for Arthur and his work with people many years ago in the quiet, loving and unassuming way that was his style.
To make a gift to the Fellowship Community in honor of Arthur please visit