Arvin Reingold is coming up on 50 years as a Chattanooga lawyer. He's been a comic and good-natured sidewalk and hallway needler even longer than that.
A one-time legislator, at age 76 he hasn't slowed down his law practice and he also sits as the judge in East Ridge.
The Reingolds had a round-about journey to Chattanooga. His parents, Joe and Fannie, were in families that had to flee from small villages in Russia at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. "They were victims of both the Bolsheviks and the Czar," Arvin says.
Both made their way to New York City, and they were married there.
Arvin says the experience made his parents cherish their liberty and new home. "They had a great love for freedom and dearly loved this country."
The Reingolds were still in New York City when Arvin was born. But they had arrived at Blue Goose Hollow on the side of Cameron Hill by 1943. One of Arvin's sisters, Miriam, met and married a Chattanoogan, David Richelson. The other sister, Ann, married David's brother, Isador Richelson.
At Blue Goose Hollow, the Reingolds had a mom and pop grocery. They lived over the store.
He remembers, "Nobody was scared then. You could walk over to the picture show without any problem."
His parents "taught us to work hard and they stressed ethics and family values."
Arvin attended seventh grade at Dickinson Junior High School, then went on to City High and the University of Chattanooga. The family stayed on at Cameron Hill until they were forced out by Urban Renewal. His parents then moved out to Talley Road in Brainerd.
Arvin had two years in the U.S. Army with the First Infantry during the Korean Conflict. Afterwards, it was on to UT Law School in Knoxville in 1954. He had been torn between the law and public administration, but settled on a career as an attorney.
Meanwhile, he met Lillian Rubin of Toledo when she was visiting a cousin in Chattanooga. They were married in 1951.
His shingle went out in March of 1956. He practiced with Ed Davis, who later became attorney general. He was also in with Joe DiRisio, who left in 1974 to become Criminal Court judge.
Then came Reingold, Powers and Schulman with John Powers and Richard Schulman. Arvin currently practices with Howell Clements.
His office has long been in the former Plaza Hotel. He was one of the partners acquiring the triangular building in 1980 and converting it for office and commercial use.
He has concerns about the legal profession today, saying "Many have turned it into a trade instead of a profession. They become slaves to the timesheet."
Arvin has a son, Arthur, who is a vice president with Kraft Foods in Deerfield, Ill. His daughter, Gayle, is married to Toby Steinberg and lives in Atlanta. There are four grandchildren.
He is sold on Chattanooga. "It's a beautiful town. I have always felt very fortunate that my parents relocated here."