When it’s all said and done, I’m a New York City boy.
Born in Brooklyn, raised in Staten Island, and starting in my late 20’s a good deal of time spent in Manhattan.
It was in Manhattan that I really first met and made friends with Jewish people. To this day I feel there’s something quite special about New York City jews, and often when I’m traveling people think I am Jewish. This is a perception that never ceases to intrigue me. I’m hoping a bit of their wisdom has rubbed off on me!
Steven Buckwald is a long time friend from my days of doing business in New York. I’ve known him and shared my life with him, for more than thirty years now. His father Sid who’s in his eighties, is one of my favorite people, and one of THE best story tellers I’ve ever met.
There were many times when I was supposed to be busy working, that I’d meet Sid on the street outside the flower shop owned by his two sons. He’d smile his warm smile, and greet me by saying, “Heh Charlie, have you heard the one about…..” And from there he would usually rattle off about ten minutes of stories and jokes before needing to come up for air.
I heard the following story from Sid, more than thirty years ago. In writing it down now for the first time, I hope I’ve captured some of the essence that Sid conveyed with his inimitable slow rambling style. I just wish there was a way to write that would let his accent come through!
Bless you Sid! I hope we meet again soon in the near future.
2. Such a good looking suit!
“A man went to a tailor, and tried on a suit.
As he stood before the mirror, he noticed the right hand side of the suit jacket was lower than the left hand side.
‘Oh,’ said the tailor, ‘don’t worry about that. Just hold the left side down with your left hand and no one will ever notice.’
As the customer proceeded to do this, he noticed the right lapel of the jacket curled up some instead of lying flat.
‘Oh that?’ said the tailor. ‘That’s nothing. Just turn your head to the right and hold the lapel down with your chin.’
The customer complied, and as he did so he noticed the length of the pants was a little short and he felt the crotch was a bit too tight.
‘Oh, don’t worry about that,’ said the tailor. ‘Just pull the crotch down some with your right hand. Not only will the length of the pants increase, but you’ll have more room in that all important area as well..’
Although the customer felt a bit awkward doing all of the hand and head movements, he agreed with the tailor that the suit was an excellent value and he purchased it.
The next day was a holiday, and the man decided to stroll around the neighborhood wearing his new suit. As he limped through the park with his chin holding down the lapel, his left hand tugging on the suit jacket, his right hand pulling his crotchc two old men stopped playing checkers to watch him stagger by.
‘Haimi, oh, my God!’ said the first man. ‘Look at that poor crippled man!’
Haimi reflected for a moment, and then replied….
‘Yes, Moshe, the crippling is terrible, but you know I wonder… where in the world did he buy such a good looking suit?!”