“Zaida Said”

Mom’s dad said of Reds

Better than Tsars and Pogroms:

but he worked for thugs*!


*(A New York City Fashion District runway tailor – straight out of Ukraine – knew who actually controlled much if not all of that garment industry’s wealth.  His son financed his way through pharmacy school by toting bags of cash.  There is one family tale I witnessed: At grandpa’s headstone unveiling in a White Plains Jewish cemetery, there was a man in mid-July wearing a topcoat over his incredible three-piece suit – who himself was accompanied by two rather large and stout similarly attired men – who approached dad with an envelope.  I did not see what was in the envelope or what was said between my short and stout father, just recently retired from the U. S. Navy, but I did see dad swing his head back and forth in a negative manner, shake the man’s hand and return to the family.  Later, I asked. And dad said the man had offered him box-seat tickets to a Yankees game in The Bronx for us three boys and himself. “Wow!” I returned.  “And what did you say?”  He said he replied: “No thanks! But Thank You for the kind offer.  My boys and I will not be able to attend.”  But, Dad, I asked: “Why?” Son, the man who was a Golden Gloves weight-class champ aboard USS Hornet before it was sunk in October of 1942, and stood on a picnic bench in Sanford in 1956 or ’57 and told a man – as I was well-accomplished in lip reading – who was pointing a small short-barreled handgun at his midsection: “You better pull that trigger, or I will take that pea-shooter and ram it up you ass!” at a Navy Appreciation Day barbecue at The Shrine Club picnic pavilion  on First Street, calmly put his arm over my 12-year-old shoulder and said: “Son. Those men are Mafia.  You never take a gift from a crook because nothing ever is free from the likes of them.”


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