Get My Name Right!
My name is Ira…I…r…a. Not Era or Eara or whatever. My last name is Berkowitz….B…e…r…k…o you get the picture. It’s not Ber-cow-itz like the animal. It’s not Berko-vitz, even though Siri thinks it is. Oh, and it’s Mr. not Miss or Mrs. or Ms, although I am fond of saying Mr. Berkowitz leaves in Florida.
I’m Not Agreeing with Donald Trump But…
…he’s not entirely wrong when it comes to the Bushes. Last week The Donald correctly pointed out that the World Trade Center attack occurred during the Presidency of George W. Bush. Score 1 point for The Donald.
The Little Things I Miss
After I posted the blog about my recent disaster at E-Z Way Airport Parking (http://www.irasez.com/use-e-z-way-parking-at-newark-airport-at-your-own-risk/), I got an online message from a friend who said “I’ll drive you to the airport next time.” It made me smile and fondly remember the days when friends used to do that for each other. As a kid growing up, we never took a cab or car service (and there was no Uber). A family friend would drive us, pick us up and my parents would return the favor. If anyone is listening, I would do that now. Here’s a few other little things that I wish people would still do.
Flash Your Brights On & Off
That was the way folks used to warn other drivers that a police/speed trap was just ahead. I actually still do this and can never figure out why this isn’t done all the time.
On Your Right!
Or “on your left.” Used to be commonly heard on the ski slopes when you passed someone. Nowadays, very rare that someone does that and again, I still do. More often than not, they just zoom by you, as if they were the only on the slopes. Assholes!
C’mon, who doesn’t miss being sick at home and having the doctor come to you! Well not the sick at home part, but it was so nice not having to move and have the doctor come to you. It’s too bad the modern health care model has pretty much killed this part of the doctor/patient relationship. Actually the modern health care model pretty much kills the whole doctor/patient relationship…house calls or no.
Going Home (Or To Town) For Lunch
There are so many things kids miss out on today. When I was in elementary school, I only lived about 5 or 6 short blocks from my house. Was not uncommon for me and my friends to walk home for lunch. And when we got to 6th grade, we could walk into town for lunch as town was also only about 6 blocks from our elementary school. For $1.00, you got 2 slices of pizza and a soda. Not really realistic for many kids to do today but would be nice for those that could.
Take Me Out To The Ball Game
When I think back on being a little boy of 10 or 11, this is the memory that always makes me think “I can’t imagine this ever happening today.” I grew up in Great Neck, on the longisland railroad line that went directly to Shea Stadium. It wasn’t unusual on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, for me a a few friends to get on a train and go to Mets game…all…by…ourselves. A group of 10 or 11 year old boys, at a ball game, in Queens, with no parents. That’s right…no parents. If you tried that today, someone would call DYFS on you.
And here’s the real kicker. Round trip train fare, general admission ticket to the game, score card, couple of dogs and a soda. All that for under $10. It’s worth repeating…under $10! A whole bunch of years ago, I promised the kids a day at Yankee Stadium. Between the tickets, the parking, the food and the inevitable souvenirs…$500. Yes, I said $500 (I’m repeating myself a lot with this one).
I’m sure many folks of a certain age have fond memories of things they miss from daze gone by. I’m sure our parents have similar memories, and I’m sure our kids will have ones as well. At least they will be able to revisit theirs on YouTube…or whatever comes next. And I’m not sure that’s such a good thing.
Use E-Z Way Parking at Newark Airport At Your Own Risk
Monday, September 28, 2015, just before 11 PM, our plane from LAX lands at Newark. At 11:09 PM, while walking through the terminal, I call E-Z Way Parking at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to have them pick Linda and
The Pope The Cardinal and The Rabbi
The Pope, a Cardinal and a Rabbi walk into bar. Just kidding, well sort of. As most everyone knows, Pope Francis has come to America. I found it ironic that his visit to our country coincided with Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the year for us members of the tribe. Not only do we have 2 major religious events on the same day but, it just so happens that 20 years ago, my Rabbi had a front row seat when Pope John Paul II came to Giants Stadium.
Back in 1995, the Senior Rabbi at Temple B’nai Jeshurun (TBJ), where the Berkowitz family has been a member for the past 24 years, was Rabbi Barry Greene. A little history about TBJ: It is the largest and oldest reform Jewish congregation in the state of New Jersey. It was founded in 1848 in Newark, by the influx of mostly German Jews coming to America from Eastern Europe. German Jews were big on assimilation. In other words we can know we’re Jewish but we don’t you to know we’re Jewish.
When my family first joined TBJ, I was one of a handful of congregants to wear a yarmulke (a Jewish skullcap) during services. That’s the way I was brought up – when in Temple, you wore a yarmulke. I learned that Germanic Jews very often shied away from any outward display of Judaism, which I discussed with Rabbi Greene.
In the 1950s, Rabbi Greene served as a Chaplain in the US Navy. His commanding office was Rear Admiral John O’Connor, Chief of Naval Chaplains. Yes, that John O’Connor, who would go to become Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York…and that’s how The Pope, The Cardinal and The Rabbi came together in Giants Stadium.
Rabbi Greene was invited by Cardinal O’Connor to sit with his delegation on the day the Pope spoke in New Jersey. Just like Bob Uecker, there’s my Rabbi, “sitting in the front row.” Might not have been the front row, but it sure was close. A couple of daze later, I happen to run into Rabbi Greene on Millburn Avenue just as he had left the one hour photo store (remember those???), where he picked up his pictures from his day with The Cardinal and The Pope. He very proudly shared those photos with him, and was quick to point the red skullcap The Pope was wearing. “Look,” he said to me. “The Pope is wearing a yarmulke.”
To this day, every time I put on my bright orange and blue yarmulke, I can’t help but think “just like The Pope.” Only mine is a slightly different color.