Saturday, January 27, 2007

Just pulled out my copy of The Man With The Iron On Badge by Lee Goldberg to reread.

For three years when we have called security to get a pass for a guest we have used the confirmation number 9. We just found out that is not our code and this is the frst time we have been questioned

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Everybody has their bucket of sand to carry.

I brought the mail to the office from the post office. Uncle Dave had just had laser surgery on his eye. For most of his life he almost no vision in one eye. His doctor started with that eye for repair.

Opening the Wall Street Journal he removed his glasses and began reading the stock market page using only the repaired eye. He was like a kid but sobered as he told me this story.

Mabel Morrison taught the English as a second language course at Sharpstein in 1921.
She also was my math teacher at Green Park school twenty some years later. She noticed the problems young David was having with reading and sent a note home with him suggesting he be taken to a professional for an eye test.

He translated the note into Yiddish for his mother. She was aghast! I wear glasses but I am an old lady. Do you want to look like an old lady? It isn't right for a boy your age to wear glasses. All the kids will call you an old lady.

He took his case to his father who made an appointment and the vision deficit was confirmed.

His dad could rattle his cage also. He gave this as an example. At the time B. Barer and Sons was very much into the business of buying animal skins. Coming home with a batch of furs he had purchased from a mountain trapper, he was quizzed as to what the bounty had cost. As dad carressed a beautiful silver fox skin, he began, that cost me $50.00. Fifty dollars? Nobody pays $50.00 for a fox. Even a beauty like this should top out at $35.00.

You don't understand Dad. Every buyer had looked at the skin and offered him various prices but his heart was set on getting the fifty dollars so I bought it at that price. Then he said here are the rest of my furs which I bought at a good margin. The fifteen dollar give away got me in the door. We will make a few hundred dollars on the rest.

David, nobody in his right mind pays $50.00 for a fox!!!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Burl asked about the parachute drums.

Before I go any further I have to tell a story that has been dear to me all these years. I believe I was still at th U. when the first shipments arrived. Uncle Dave asked me take some samples to Seattle to pedal them.

I tried "The Three GIs". While they advertised that their business was "ïn tents" their office was actually a surplus quonset hut I don't remember whether it was George, Don, or Buford togged out in surplus army uniform who informed me he had seen them advertised and had passed on them.

Next I tried a barrel reseller. A young man met me at the warehouse door and we began chatting and I showed him a sample of the unique half drums at which point an older man came out of the office.

Dad this is Mr. Barer from Walla Walla. He has these interesting army surplus drums for sale.

So he has them in Valla Valla? So ve are in Seattle! So vat do ve do? Meet inYakima?

I could see the interview was over

Saturday, January 13, 2007


In Walla Walla coffee groups are the thing. One of my friends would go to Tomy's Dutch Lunch at 6:00 AM to meet with his ranch manager and other farmers to discuss fertilizer, rainfall and markets then to the Booknook at 7 to play cribbage with the president of the Bank. Then he would pick up his mail at the post office take it to his office and be available for a nine o'çlock meeting of our coffee group.

Actually, Uncle Dave met with the nine group of senior execs and I met with tenners but as the nine group mostly slid into retirement they opted to meet at ten and we flipped to the nine slot.

Gossip and jokes floated around the table and a heated contest involving calling out a number that the scorekeeper had written on a napkin that would result in the caller picking up the check added to the lightheartedness.

Jack's son Jay came to the gathering frome to time. Off to college he came back with this story.

In Walla Walla there was very little opportunity for contact with African Americans. Jay's roommate at the University of Washington was from Watts.

Jay was curious and continually peppered the students with questions about his backround.

The roommate in exasperation said this weekend I will give you a first hand look. We are going to a favorite hangout of my "brothers". It is a very rough spot so be sure and have a razor available.

The roommies entered a smoky dark social club and drank their beer at a back table listening to fabulous music. The host excused himself to visit the restroom. On his return he encountered a some threatening looking dudes.

Back at the table he reported that the ruffians had accosted him about his guest and invited them to carry on their discussion in the back alley. There would be a loss of face if they did not comply.

In the alley behind the trash bins they took up a defensive position.

Do you have your razor?

Yes, b,b,b,but

Where do I plug it in?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Doing the Palm Springs Film Fest. Shows are better than ever. Even the entry from Kherghistan was slick.

Well maybe three a day is a bit masochistic. What was that one we saw this morning?

One in particular stirred memories. It was titled Äviva My Love" and was about an Aviva Cohen in Israel.

The Aviva Cohen that entered my thoughts was the daughter of Walla Walla's first Rabbi, Franklin Cohen.

I talked to her younger brother, Hillel Cohen, Rabbi Emeritas, of the Riverside Ca. Congregation.

Asked about Aviva. I said my brother had a bit of a crush a a child.

He replied that everyone loves Aviva. He related this story.

In the late 1930's Rabbi "Fritz" Cohen, active in the Zionist movement in Germany and a highly visible Rabbi in Berlin could see the handwriting on the wall.

He made a decision to emigrate to the U. S. To do so he needed to get paperwork started. At some phase he found himself in a very long line to be considered for some vital permits.
Since his wife was not well that day he had taken the preschool Aviva with him. He was about to scold Aviva for flirting with a man walking by. He was really scared when the officious looking bureaucrat grabbed his arm and said come with me.

The officer slipped behind a desk and bade them sit. He asked a few questions and then said "I fell in love with your cute little daughter, I am issuing your family priority papers to expedite your exit from Germay. With this clearance you should have no problem with further processing."

The Cohens landed in New York. Fritz Cohen changed his name to Franklin and was assigned to a waiting community, Walla Walla, where he divided his time with rabbinical duties to the congregation, producing an interfaith radio program, being USO chaplin to military in Pendleton and Pasco, and being bookkeeper to Epstein Bros. scrap metal company.

He moved on to Seattle as leader of Herzl Synagogue then to California where he served various pulpits and later was a cofounder of the University of Judiaism in Los Angeles.

If he hadn't taken Aviva with him that day ?????