73 Years…

73 Years, Hard to Believe
        It’s hard to believe just a quick seventy-three years ago, not yet “da harv” was a mighty fourteen years old and was in the process of making, or having, a monumental occurrence in his young life fostered upon himwhether he liked it or not. The year was 1948, WWII had been over for two years.
        By way of my diligent and concerted efforts, I was able to find some blissful memories of yesteryear still influencing what I began to become.
P.S.233, Brooklyn, New York, along with a photograph of my fellow classmates. You might take note: it was January 29, 1948.
What you’re looking at, below, is the autograph album of our eighth-grade grammar school graduation class. Two of the more important pages in the album signified our eighth-grade graduates. The names of our elected officials appear on two of the pages: seven (7) “CLASS LEADERS” and four (4) “CLASS OFFICERS”.
        Some of you will be amused by the fact the kids of that era considered the following seven qualities, or requisite categories, for their school leaders: brightest, wittiest, most popular, most cheerful, best athlete, best looking, and best dresser.
        The brightest guy, as well as my very best friend, was right up at the top, Joe Beberman. Carl Smith was my archrival, we competed in every category grade school had to offer. To this day, I can’t figure out how Carl could have won any of it… I had him beat all the way… it had to be a rigged election. I mean, the class officers election did appear to be honestBarbra Wolf, if she was around today she’d probably have been elected our first woman president. Elain Surgen, for sure, would become secretary of state.
        And why, you wonder, do I return like the Lone Ranger… to a simpler time of life? From out of the west, he and his sidekick, Tonto, came riding back into almost all of our lives… Once a week, each and every week, they rode in and wekids and parents alikegathered around our radios and renewed our pleasant emotions together. It was always the same. There were the good guys and the bad ones. And each week, my dad and I rooted them on. And though dad would fall asleep before the show’s climax, it really didn’t matter; we always knew everything would work out for the two of them.
        And as an aside, so many years later, I was stopped in my tracks when the former announcer on “Your Hit Parade”, was there before me as a client awaiting my directions. Andre Baruch was a known commodity for every kid in our neighborhood. (What was going through my mind was: if only my dad was alive and around to see this.) While Andre was known as a feisty Frenchman and a hard guy to work with, at this point of my career, it wasn’t often anything could scare me. And so, when I spoke, Andre did what I suggested he do.
        It turned out in a matter of a week or two, Andre got a job with the help of my direction which would help him earn far more than he ever could in the old days of radio. For those of you who may remember the old Robinson’s department stores, it was Andre Baruch who became their commercial spokesperson. Turned out, it was more fun for me recalling what he did on the Lucky Strike commercials. Regarding the “Robinson’s” gig, a simple word of thanks was never heard uttered from his lips.
-At Age Fourteen-
I’ve given
So much thought
A lot about
Important things
Each and every day…always
Wine, women
(Not yet an acquired taste)
And certainly song
Opening my home
Where friends belong…
All people belong
Way back in ’48
Even our army
We all learned to desegregate
#42 Jackie Robinson entered my life
Someday soon
I’ll be telling you
How we truly learned
To cover each other’s back
How we began to bloom
Seventy-three years have gone by
Look, dad, I’m still in bloom.

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