The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, August 26, 2016

My Grandson. Oy Vey.

That's me! I always wore the tie...
I came to this great country in 1911. To Ellis Island. Beautiful island, stinky as it was. I never saw a lady look so gorgeous as Lady Liberty. From the old country I had nothing. Others had those big old sturdy trunks. I had a tiny bag for my underwear. There were holes in the underwear. Not where they should be, mind you. My first job I earned 10 cents a day cleaning up after Moishe's Live Poultry. Chicken heads, droppings, blood. I was as grateful as a turkey in December. By the end of the first month I had a bed in a one-room apartment with 8 cousins. Three had the runs from the dysentery. I never laughed so much. By the turn of the decade I apprenticed a hot dog truck! By the start of the Great War I had my own truck! I worked that truck 14 hours a day most days. In the mornings I sold Rachel's knishes. Imagine me, hungry every day since my mother died on my birth bed in Poland. Now I could eat as many knishes and dogs as I could fit in my stomach. But I was wise. One knish, two hots a day. I wanted to save every penny. When I met Ginny I had enough for the biggest ring on the Lower East Side - cost me $100! That's a lot of hot dogs, boy. But she was worth every penny, every hot dog. God rest her. She's sleeping just next door, about four feet away, though I can't see her through all the dirt.

My youngest son, of 9 you know, he worked as hard on his books as I did on the truck. Jack wore glasses, and I paid for the best. He never wanted for anything, and he paid me back by going to college and taking the train down on weekends to help his mother with the chores. Good boy. Good grades! A lawyer! And me, crying like a fountain at his first paycheck. He married late, in his '30s. His mother and I worried maybe he was funny about girls, so we were relieved when he brought home Susan, though she was much too skinny. After a daughter, they had you. Named after me! Ezra, but you preferred Ezzy. Ezzy you were always more the artist. Drawing, writing, daydreaming. We were worried, but they your dad pulled some strings and whoosh you were at Harvard University, greatest in the world! So proud your gramma and me. He's going to be President I said to my friends. Then you get a big fat MBA, and me I'd finished 5th grade. What an accomplishment! From hot dog cart to top of the world in two generations!! You get a job at a bank, one of the biggest in the world, you bought a big house in Westchester. Your kids they're all artists, maybe not so hard-working, but you've got it all Ezzy!

Just one question, Ez, my boy. After all that...why did you give it all up to start your own hot dog cart? Sorry, "artisanal locally sourced grilled cheese." I'll never understand it. I go back to sleep now, after all I'm nearly 120, but still...I just don't get it.


babs said...

Unfortunately, that's not quite the story. Morris was founded by Michael Jacober, who also operates Glady's. Both spots are very community-oriented, with Glady's having a menu of Caribbean food and drink.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Um, did you know that Babs, or did you google it just to ruin my punch line? Switched out the picture. So there.

babs said...

Actually, I did know that. And if you haven't been to Glady's you should check them out. Best p'tit punch I've had in quite a while.