For displaced, misplaced, and nostalgic ex-Bronxites

Born in Da Bronx on November 21, 1935


by Larry Korman

I

have a piece of paper that says that is the day I arrived in the wonderland of Da Bronx.That week was typical of the cool, brisk, Fall sunny weather we had in Da Bronx. How do I know that? I have home movies of it. I can insert a video tape into my VCR and push a button and see myself 64 years ago.

There is my mother dressed in her warm persian lamb fur coat emerging from a taxicab with me in her arms. She looks very happy with a big smile on her face and is talking to my father who is filming this. If I could read lips, I could understand what she is saying. The sun is very bright that day and my father is shooting into the sun. I can see the building that I will be living in for the next five years at 2157 Wallace Avenue. It is only 3 blocks to the Bronx Zoo which should be a lot of fun. Time to take a nap.

Wow ! This house smells good. My mother is in the kitchen cooking one of those delicious dishes that has been handed down from my ancestors who came from Galicia in the Austrian-Hungary Empire. I will not have the pleasure of her cooking for awhile. Pablum and oatmeal for me. I can hear my father's booming voice in the background calling out, "Anne".

I see myself in my baby carriage going through a playground bordering The Bronx Zoo. The sun is bright and the leaves are on the ground. There are children on a seesaw having a ball. More children on the monkey bars. They have these funny looking leather wraps around their legs while they are climbing around. The girls have those fur things they can put their hands in to keep them warm. More kids are playing with a pink ball. I see a pushcart in the background with a Knish sign on it. The steam is coming out and it looks like it is on fire. In the distance I can see a Giraffe poking his head over the fence.

I see a man's face with hair under his nose pick me up from my carriage. He kisses me and it tickles. It is one of my father's friends, Al Fenster, who lives in the apartment next door. More of my parents' friends come over with big smiles on their faces. My grandmother Ida picks me up and holds me in her arms and softly hums Yiddish tunes in my ear.

I think my parents were very smart. They picked a great place to live. Good food, plenty of friends, and a lot to do and explore. I think I am going to really enjoy living in DA BRONX !




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