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A Song for Everyone

by Lou Charloff For several days now I have been singing the same song over and over and over again. I love the song but I can’t seem to be able to stop. It is a very interesting song. I don’t believe that I have ever encountered a song as short as this one. It […]

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Lou Charloff: The Two Treasures

by Lou Charloff I was a little kid during the Great Depression and we were, of course, very poor. That was by no means unusual. Except for the rich people, everybody in America was poor. My family did, however, own two treasures which I can still see if I close my eyes. They were The […]

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Lou Charloff: The Speech

by Lou Charloff My parents and I came to America in 1923.  In only a very few short months, my father became a member of the Workmen’s Circle and remained a dedicated member for the rest of his life. The Workmen’s Circle still exists, but it was at the peak of its power and significance […]

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Ameridish

by Lou Charloff My father’s generation of Jewish immigrants was incredibly creative and practical in adding to our glorious Yiddish language.

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Lou Charloff: A Pair of Shoes

by Lou Charloff I was 11 years old, it was the depths of the Depression, and I was living at 888 Fox St.  That neighborhood was described a couple of decades later as the most crime-ridden neighborhood in the Bronx.  However, when I was a kid, the neighborhood was very respectable, although very poor. In […]

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Lou Charloff: Knickers

by Lou Charloff My father’s sister, that is to say my Tante Fayge, was a very small woman. When I was a teenager, a source of great hilarity was for me to say, every single time that we were standing next to one another, that I could eat an apple off her head. Odd that […]

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It’s Good to Have a Hobby

by Lou Charloff The year was 1934. I was 13 and Bernie was 12. Like me, Bernie was short; he was also very smart and he was my best friend. We lived in the Hunts Point area, not far from Southern Boulevard, which was the prime shopping section of neighborhood. I am not referring to […]

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Lou Charloff: In Other Words

by Lou Charloff My father was a very funny man, but not always on purpose. My whole life long, we would spend hours on end conversing in Yiddish.  He was a great raconteur, spoke a beautiful literary Yiddish, and I enjoyed each of our talks enormously.  When I came home from the army, he was […]

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Lou Charloff: Silence is Golden?

by Lou Charloff In the 1930’s, the big political struggle in New York was not between the left and the right – it was between the left and the left. My Aunt Bess was a fiercely dedicated Communist.  She strove all her life for a world in which government, which of course meant the people, […]

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Lou Charloff: Aunt Bess

by Lou Charloff Whenever I find myself sharing family stories with new friends, I find myself saying, “Let me tell you about my Aunt Bess”.  Well — let me tell you about my Aunt Bess. Aunt Bess was a pistol and you tried very hard not to irritate her because she had a rapier-like tongue.  […]

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Lou Charloff: Sweet Land of Bigotry

by Lou Charloff My return home from the army after World War II was not completely free of unpleasantness.  For one thing, I learned that shoeshine boys had raised their price from ten cents to a quarter.  Was this why we had fought against the evils of fascism?

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Lou Charloff: On Being Ugly

by Lou Charloff The words nerd, geek and dweeb were probably created by somebody who knew me in high school. All through elementary school and junior high, I was always one of the two shortest kids in the class.  It was just about the time I entered high school that I enjoyed a sudden spurt […]

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Lou Charloff: The Greater Depression

by Lou Charloff You call this a Depression? Sure the economy is bad right now, but it is vastly superior to the time of the Great Depression that we had when I was a young guy. Like every other brand-new high school graduate in January of 1938, I started to look for a job.  A […]

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