ELEGY
by Burt Prelutsky
If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. burtprelutsky@icloud.com 

(This is a year of anniversaries, among them the 70th anniversary of Israel’s birth and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of my father’s death. As such, it seems an appropriate time to share a piece I wrote at the time.)

While my dad was alive, I’m afraid I gave him short shrift. We didn’t seem to have very much in common. We were like two friendly strangers who happened to live in the same boardinghouse. Only after he was gone did I become aware of my profound loss.

As a young man in America, Sam Prelutsky settled in a part of Illinois where the most popular organization going was the Ku Klux Klan. After the Cossacks, though, I guess a bunch of farmers wearing bedsheets weren’t such a big deal. Years later, he used to laugh about his former neighbors inviting him – him with his nose and his accent – on Klan outings. Maybe they decided to overlook the obvious evidence in the belief that Jewish people didn’t raise chickens and candle eggs.

Later, after he was married, he moved to Chicago. For a while, he worked for a cigar company, rolling the stogies he couldn’t stand to smoke. But for most of those years he was a fruit and vegetable wholesaler. He’d drive his truck to the big central market at 3 a.m., pick up his load, and spend the next 12 hours delivering produce. In the dead of winter, he’d be out on that truck schlepping sacks of potatoes. In the middle of summer, he’d be muscling crates of watermelons, just begging for the hernia he eventually got.

We moved to L.A. in 1946. At that point he came to the conclusion that the grocers he’d been delivering to over the years had been living the life of Riley, home in bed snoozing while he was up schlepping. He decided to tackle the retail end. A few months at a bad location ate up most of his savings and sent him back to the truck. But L.A., massive sprawl that it was even then, was murder compared to the more compact Chicago.

His next venture was a cigar stand in the Harris Newmark Building at Ninth and Los Angeles. Not counting the roundtrip downtown, it was still a 12-hour day, spent mostly on his feet. But at least the lifting and hauling was limited to soft-drink cases and trash barrels. On the other hand, you had to learn to live with the goniffs who swiped candy bars during the noon rush and the merchant princes of the garment industry who’d run up good-size cigar bills and let you stew until they were ready to pay up. And my father would stew because he couldn’t afford to offend the potbellied, cigar-chewing, fanny-pinching, sweatshop aristocrats.

My dad was not an educated man. He couldn’t correctly spell the names of those sodas and candy bars he sold six days a week. I don’t know if he read two dozen books in his life. He loved America, Israel, pinochle, FDR and the Democratic party. He liked Willkie, Kuchel and Warren, but he could never bring himself to vote for a Republican.

He wanted me to get good grades, a college degree and have a profession, something safe and preferably lucrative like medicine or the law. He couldn’t imagine someone’s wanting to write for a living. Still, when I sold a poem for 50 cents, he cashed the check for me -- and much, much later I found out he always carried that undeposited check folded up in his wallet.

The other day, we went to the mortuary. We went through the ritual of selecting a casket. “They start out at $300,” the salesman informed us, pointing at something that looked like an old Thom McAn shoe box, “and go up.” We passed on the coffin that cost as much as a new Cadillac and settled on an oak box you could swap for a ’65 Chevy.

Then we had to sit there while some woman gathered data for the cosmetician. We tried to explain that it was to be a closed-casket ceremony, but she had not been programmed to receive such information. “Did he wear clear nail polish?”  Did Sam Prelutsky wear clear nail polish?! No, he never wore nail polish. But if he had, safe to say it would have been clear as opposed to purple or fire engine red.

It was finally spelled out for her that they could save their rouge and polish and stupid questions. She turned pale at our impertinence. Her shock was reassuring; she was not a robot, after all.

We buried my father the other day. I didn’t think I would, but I shed tears. I cried because he had worked too hard for too long for too little. For many years, I had resented him because he had never told me he loved me; now I wept because I’d never told him.

The rabbi’s speech was short and simple. What is there, after all, to say at the funeral of such a man? Had the responsibility been mine, I would have said the following: Sam Prelutsky, who was born in a small village 7,000 miles from here, 67 or 68 years ago, was a remarkable person. He was not a great man or a famous one, but he was the best man Sam Prelutsky could be.

Now, let there be no more tears today, for we are laying to rest a man who’s earned one.
If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. burtprelutsky@icloud.com 

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we never do see all we could when the people love are alive we do not stop long enough to appreciate we are alive and living.

your dad seemed to be a great man in his own way we all are.  it just may take us time to see it.

God bless

Bonnie

Yes indeed...

You can also reply to Burt. He would love to hear from you.

I am sorry for your loss. Your family was not the only one, where emotions were not shared. As long as you knew inside that both you loved him and he loved you, do not mourn any more for that. That generation was stoic, not emotional, and you are your father's son, after all. God bless.

I had many problems with my Dad, while my  Mother was my stoic soul mate. Hindsight memories have made me exceptionally grateful for being born to the two who I was born to. The silver linings from their strengths and weaknesses, and the extended family's silver linings, have provided me with the knowledge that those same problems gave me later strength———MUCH later, that finally, as someone over 60 and teaching, that I can use to help my students, especially those with similar traits as I have.

Believe confidently, that this was God's plan, and it included His plans to bless you and grow you through the journey you have walked, with your Dad, Mom and others, to make you someone, who through grief, can console someone else. Who through joy, can share joy with and for someone else. Through trials, to learn patience, persistence, and hope. Just look at how shallow the left is, how cold, how murderous, how duplicitous, and contrast that with who your Dad was, and you are, and the rest of your family, because I bet they are just as good as you are. God says we are beautiful, perfect, righteous, and holy.

It cannot get any better than that.

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LIGHTER SIDE

ALERT ALERT

Breaking:  FBI Admits Comey Leaked Memos 
 That Were Classified   Material! 

The FBI turned over the Comey memos to Congress today after missing their deadline earlier in the week.

Congressional leaders threatened to impeach deep state leaders if they continued to stall on the memos.

Fired FBI Chief James Comey wrote about the memos in his book and leaked the documents to reporters last year. Congress has not yet had a chance to look at the memos — Until tonight.

AND—– THE MEMOS ARE CLASSIFIED!

Meaning Fired FBI Chief James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS TO THE PRESS.

From the report:

From the DOJ to Congress:

Therefore, pursuant to your request, we are providing the requested memoranda in both the redacted and unredacted formats for your convenience. Consistent with your request, we are providing an unclassified version of the documents redacted to remove any classified information.

The DOJ wrote Congressional leaders this evening.

page 2

Hannity: Good news for Trump, crushing blows for the left

GOP Congressional Leaders Nunes, Gowdy And Goodlatte Release Statement On Comey Memos

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) issued a statement on the memos later tonight.

The House chairmen note that the memos prove that fired Director Comey never felt obstructed or threatened from his relationship with the president.

And… former Director Comey leaked at least one of these memos for the stated purpose of spurring the appointment of Special Counsel.

The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence published the statement tonight:

Today House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) issued the following statement:

“We have long argued former Director Comey’s self-styled memos should be in the public domain, subject to any classification redactions. These memos are significant for both what is in them and what is not.

Former Director Comey’s memos show the President made clear he wanted allegations of collusion, coordination, and conspiracy between his campaign and Russia fully investigated. The memos also made clear the ‘cloud’ President Trump wanted lifted was not the Russian interference in the 2016 election cloud, rather it was the salacious, unsubstantiated allegations related to personal conduct leveled in the dossier.

The memos also show former Director Comey never wrote that he felt obstructed or threatened. While former Director Comey went to great lengths to set dining room scenes, discuss height requirements, describe the multiple times he felt complimented, and myriad other extraneous facts, he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation.

The memos also make certain what has become increasingly clear of late: former Director Comey has at least two different standards in his interactions with others. He chose not to memorialize conversations with President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, Secretary Clinton, Andrew McCabe or others, but he immediately began to memorialize conversations with President Trump. It is significant former Director Comey made no effort to memorialize conversations with former Attorney General Lynch despite concerns apparently significant enough to warrant his unprecedented appropriation of the charging decision away from her and the Department of Justice in July of 2016.

These memos also lay bare the notion that former Director Comey is not motivated by animus. He was willing to work for someone he deemed morally unsuited for office, capable of lying, requiring of personal loyalty, worthy of impeachment, and sharing the traits of a mob boss. Former Director Comey was willing to overlook all of the aforementioned characteristics in order to keep his job. In his eyes, the real crime was his own firing.

The memos show Comey was blind to biases within the FBI and had terrible judgment with respect to his deputy Andrew McCabe. On multiple occasions he, in his own words, defended the character of McCabe after President Trump questioned McCabe.

Finally, former Director Comey leaked at least one of these memos for the stated purpose of spurring the appointment of Special Counsel, yet he took no steps to spur the appointment of Special Counsel when he had significant concerns about the objectivity of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

As we have consistently said, rather than making a criminal case for obstruction or interference with an ongoing investigation, these memos would be Defense Exhibit A should such a charge be made.”

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