Saturday, March 18, 2006

RicK Markovitz

Attended the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies last nite. I think it is the sixth consecutive year.

In his monologue Rick reported that in response to the fuss created by the Port deal, the Emir of Dubai ordered a group of his sheiks to come up with a boycott list of goods labeled "MADE IN USA". They have found one or two so far. They suggested boycotting China.

My first year in "The Desert" I purchased a pair of trousers in a downtown Palm Springs clothing store. As I handed the sales clerk a credit card, I heard my name and turned to see an acquaintance from home. He was in a chatty mood. Meanwhile, I could hear the clerk mumbling that my card wasn't right.

As my friend left, I turned to the salesman and asked to explain the problem. He smiled and said that there had to be a mistake as my last mane was the same as his. Don Barer had owned a clothing store in Northern Califonia and retired to Palm Springs. Bored, he had wandered into the shop. On hearing Don's previous experience the manager hired him imediately.

I had met Don's sister, Elaine Gould, at Chuck Barer's 80th birthday party and his father, Ben Barer, had visited Walla Walla many years before. Ben had known Grandfather Barel and Grandmother Rissa in Russia and is my source on some of the information here.

Unfortunately, Don passed away recently.

I mentioned my encounter to Aunt Sophie. She told me that the day her family arrived at Ellis Island thet transfered to the ferry to Newark to visit the New Jersey relatives. Ben's sister took the greenhorn (newcomer) by the hand to the beauty solon and the clothing store to shed the shtadle and get an American "look".

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

One of ther rewards of my series of dcommercials was the number of people who came to the store from as much as one hundred miles away to tell me that they had known grandfather Barel.

In 1993 I was attending the century anniversery of Wa-Hi a lady approached me to tell me that grandfather B had lived in her mother's boarding house prior to going to Europe to pick up his family 72 years before. She remembered his great sense of humor.

A man came into B. Barer & Sons one day to relate this story.

I was walking across Main Street one day many years ago. I saw your Grandfather bend over to pick up a penny from the street. I said to him "Mr. Barer, you are a prosperous merchant why are you bending over to pick up a penny?" He replied that I would only have to know how hard he had worked to earn a penny during his lifetime to understand.