The idea to do this blog came from Suzie’s brilliantly named http://swimmingsydneythemrsgspot.wordpress.com blog.
One read and straight down to Bronte ocean baths in my size 46s I went frightening the locals and maybe the sea life too. Now I’m an addict. Another addiction I have is my father. Basking in his love as a child, constantly having people tell me how wonderful he was and listening to his jokes wasn’t a bad way to grow up. Here’s a few.
Dad’s delivery was the looking around, aw shucks, maybe I can help you with my little suggestion, style.
The only place to shop for clothes for the stylish teenager in the late 60’s was John and Merivale. I came home with my canary yellow, Napoleon collared, safari suit and Dad felt the material and nodded. Ahh yes, tachrichim. I said what’s that and Dad replied, shroud material, see, they only need every third stitch, who’ll notice?
Mick and I were baking bread because some 60’s spiritual hippie group had told us it was good for our souls making things from basics. Dad came in and said what are you up to? Mick explained the idea and Dad said to Mum, Good news! We’ve got house bricks. Then Mick poured himself a glass of water Dad said, Michael, what’s wrong with you? Go up the back and sink a bore.
Every Sunday morning Dad would go down to Starks, the Jewish delicatessen. One Sunday morning I drove up and parked as he was coming out of the house. I had a sticker on the back of my car saying ‘Save the Elephant, don’t buy ivory’ and Dad came over, took a look and said, lucky you’re here, I was just about to buy ivory, I’ll get smoked salmon and bagels instead.
Gil, my brother, and I worked in Dad’s shoe shop on Saturday mornings and Gil’s idea of work was more to the leisurely end of the spectrum. Dad came out looking for Gil when he was nowhere to be found, certainly nowhere near the work and he said, Alright, where’s the Stakhanovite? Stakhanovitch was a Soviet worker who put in so many extra hours labour they named a medal after him and awarded it to the record breaking workers.
Gil was off to London and he’d cunningly disguised a pretty heavy metal coat of arms in this zipped up suit protector. Dad picked it up and said, Nu, what’s this? And Gil said, It’s my suit protector, saves on the ironing bills. Dad said, yes, $2 for ironing and 5000 for the hernia operation.
After the war a lot of Jewish people decided that being Jewish was too dangerous and they brought their kids up as anything but Jewish. The kids, for some reason had no idea but to us it was obvious. One guy looked more like Woody Allen than Woody Allen and ended up in Hong Kong with only Jewish business partners. I asked him about Jewish life in Hong Kong and he said something to the effect of why would I be interested, I’m not Jewish. I said OK but what were your parents who escaped from Germany in 1938? He told me they were Free Thinkers and I said, of course, Free Thinkers getting out of Germany was a big thing in 1938.
I’d just done a wedding for some of these Free Thinkers in an Anglican church in Watson’s Bay and I got home and Dad said how was it? I said it was funny. The bride was Jewish, the groom was Jewish, all the guests were Jewish. The only one who wasn’t Jewish was the priest. And Dad said, How do you know the priest wasn’t Jewish?