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– Part V: A Curtain Blows into the Room –

over the store completely when he died; have always been able to make a living. I remember your father’s joke about the Jewish guy, Harry, who got hit by a car. Harry’s lying in the street, bleeding. A fellow from the neighborhood rushes up to him, puts a pillow under his head, covers his torso with a blanket, asks, ‘Are you comfortable?’ Harry replies, ‘I make a good living.’ Your father was and remains my joke-telling role model. He could fire them off like a machine gun.

I even made peace with my father and would occasionally accompany him to Mass. Remember, I’m the guy who tells jokes, not the guy who has much of a deep side. By the way, I still don’t believe in the Transmigration of the Soul. It just stopped making a difference in the bigger picture. Or perhaps the fight went out of me, who knows. Anyhow, one day when I’ve gone to Mitten Heaven (where all the never recovered mittens in your Lost and Found went) or my ‘sell by’ date arrives, I’ll discover if my soul is to be inserted into another body or being or thing, or if it’s to be left to wander amongst other wandering souls.

When you’re back in New York, how about a reunion in the old neighborhood before all the ghosts of our footprints are gone? Maybe there’s material for a book about growing up in the fifties? After all, we were the children and grandchildren of immigrant Jews and Italians and Irish and Polish and Greeks


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