David Eisenberg lives a love story. No, not a man-loves-a-woman kind of love story. Rather, a man-loves-a-place story. Eisenberg was driving through Botetourt a few years ago, and “I just fell in love with the place,” he said. He went back home to Long Island, called his daughter to check out her reaction — she was just finishing college and had no objections to his new love — sold his house and moved to Buchanan. He bought a car the right size so he can carry two kayaks on the roof, one for him and a second for whoever visits him, and settled in to enjoying his new life here.
The matter of how he would have the money to live on settled itself right away. Experienced in litigation from 25 years of practicing law in New York, he does legal research and writing for another attorney in New York. With the internet, cellphone, computer and all the other devices of modern life, “they let you do things you couldn’t do before.” That is, live in one place and work in another.
Eisenberg really enjoys working for another lawyer rather than having his own law office, too. “Most of the work I do comes from this one attorney who has me do a type of work I do better than him. And it takes away all the administrative part,” such as having staff. “My office now is in my lap top.”
Right now he’s busy figuring out what to do when this one attorney retires. But, he takes Thoreau’s advice. “I don’t want to be like him and live in the woods. But I don’t want to work so hard I miss my life. I didn’t want to wait until age 70 to live in the mountains and near a river.”
When still in college, he dropped out for a year to get married and work in a factory. “I hated it and they hated me. I was the college boy.” Then after his degree, although he thought he’d like to become a journalist, he turned down an entry level job at The New York Times and went to law school instead. “The single biggest mistake of my life.”
Practicing law did not keep him from his two great literary loves: the study of Greek mythology and the book “Born Free,” which he first read at age 4. He even has in the past two years taught himself to read classical Greek so he can read Homer in the original language.
Once for two years he taught constitutional law on the undergraduate college level as a substitute teacher, which he liked. But he has found that jobs teaching law to undergraduates go to those with doctorates in political science, not law degrees. So he has filled his desire to teach by writing editorial page pieces, some of which appeared in The Roanoke Times. Last year, he explained why, according to the Constitution, the Senate by law had to seat the man nominated by the governor of Illinois to fill an opening. As you remember, they eventually did so but not before a lot of political commotion.
Eisenberg also fills his desire to tell stories by writing fiction. He even wrote a screenplay for a competition in which he came in among the top ten.
But mostly he enjoys taking visitors, among them his girlfriend, on kayak trips on the James, driving his car up to New York, and European travel. He just go back from Greece, and has visited Corsica, Ireland and Italy, among others.
When you live a love story, however, you come back to your true love: Buchanan.