He was a New York Giants fan back in the days when they still were in New York. He showed me where to get a composition book to keep their baseball statistics, such as wins and losses, players and their batting averages. He also patiently showed me how to play stick ball, curb ball, jacks and other games we played on the street, 76th Drive in Forest Hills. On a cold January day, we would burn a discarded Christmas tree in an empty lot. We watched and helped as the school kids accumulated a pile of scrap metal in the school lot for the “boys overseas,” and topped it off with what must surely have been a WWI German helmet, because all the soldiers were overseas.
He was my first American friend, because we had just gotten off the boat in 1942, and he was one of the best human beings I ever met. He came to visit me after our family had moved to Long Island, making a difficult journey by train, and I never saw him again after that. It was just that I was still too young to make a return trip to Forest Hills, and way leads onto way.
He is firmly lodged in my memory, evidenced by this writing. There are few people that make so lasting an impression, and I hope to meet him again in that great beyond.