funny story

Beshert | Not a Chain Restaurant

In the early 1960s, when I was about 10 or so, I was in the backseat of our family car driving somewhere in upstate New York. My parents were in the front seat and my older brother, Paul, was next to me. It wasn’t the busy New York Thruway but it wasn’t a winding country road either. In any case, we were running low on fuel and our stomachs were growling as well. My father, the driver, was never one to let the gas gauge slip too low. But as we traveled onward, we noticed there were no filling stations along the way—nothing except trees and nature. This went on until the gas gauge pointed to near empty. We all got a bit apprehensive; anxiety mixed with hunger is never a good combination. Then as we rounded a...

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Sonny Fox

Sonny Fox: Kids’ TV Host’s Life Saved in a Nazi POW Camp

New Yorkers of a certain age remember Sonny Fox as the ruggedly handsome, dimple-chinned TV host of Wonderama and Just for Fun. Fox was a genuine, relatable adult who didn’t need outlandish costumes, buffoonery or pies-in-the-face to communicate with his kid viewership. Fox, who died January 24 of COVID at age 95, always dressed in a suit. He combined natural bonhomie with a sincere interest in his young audience. The mix of cartoons, games, magic tricks and guests (including New York’s Mayor John V. Lindsay and Senator Robert F. Kennedy) was must-watch TV for NY-area kids from 1959 to 1967. Fox was the role model for other such hosts in metropolitan areas nationwide. But underneath the good cheer was a memory of his service in the U.S. Army in World War II, witnessing perhaps the single greatest...

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Schwarzeneggers’s Condemnation of the Capitol Riot Was Personal

As the Terminator and a slew of other quick-draw movie heroes, Arnold Schwarzenegger was famous for lines like “Hasta la vista, baby” and “You’re luggage” while pulling triggers on opponents both human and reptile. But even if words took the place of shotgun blasts in Schwarzenneger’s stunning January 10 video broadside of Capitol rioters (and their inspiration, Donald Trump), the impact was no less powerful. The actor and former California governor made it clear that for him, it’s personal. Although other Republicans (ultimately including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) were forceful in their condemnations of the mob that seized the U.S. Capitol on January 6, none came close to Schwarzenegger’s invocation of the ghost of Nazism haunting his family’s past. He drew parallels between the Nazi mob on Kristallnacht in 1938 and the Proud Boys who were in...

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