Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 12/13/2003 3:49:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 4:11:32 AM EDT by TomJefferson]
When I was in the 7th grade my family moved to the city. Our neighborhood was typical of the time with a neighborhood corner store and butcher shop across the street. It was a working class neigborhood mainly populated by steel mill workers.

An old Jewish man named Hiram Shanker owned the corner store. By todays standards many would ridicule him because he was so syteriotypical. He was a short heavy set balding man with a gruff almost NYC like exterior. He was gruff to almost rude and if he had an English accent you would have though him the aptitamey of Charles Dickens Scrouge. No credit was ever extended at Shanker's Store.

He would run off us kids with a broom and even refused to carry candy. Some of us found his soft spot which was the bible and he would lecture us on it anytime we would ask. This was the type man that you would think no one would care for but this was not the case. For behind the gruff exterior lay a heart of gold.

With the advent of plastic, increasing EPA requirements, and foriegn competition, the neighborhood began to decline as more and more neighbors were out of work. This was the days before welfare and food stamps so many families went hungry or at best relied on government surplus beans and rice callled commodities. Times were hard.

Rumours began to spread of families waking up to find grocery sacks full of food on thier front porches. There were no notes or bills just food, good food, with no explaination. The last person anyone suspected was the little gruff Jewish man for it was so out of character for him. Why he didn't even extend credit so why should he give away food free. That Christmas season about this time of the year a new miricle took a new face.

For eight straight days, poor families found groceries on their porch. You can guess which eight days. There was little doubt now that Hiram was really Santa for he was the only Jew in the neighborhood. Confronted he would get angry and deny it loudly waving his hands in the air, but we all knew better. For years this little man would walk the neighborhood at night helping others in time of need espcially during Hanuka. He never asked for recognition nor compensation.

Though gruff and rude our neighborhood relgiously patronized his store and we would smile as he barked his rudeness. Us boys would shovel the snow from his walk knowing we would be chased by him and his broom. Never did anyone talk of his good deeds but we all knew.

One winter the little man died of pneumonia to be buried by only his sister but a whole neighborhood mourned his death. This time of year I always remember him and vision him waddling down the block grouceries in both arms going to help one of his neighbors.

God Bless you Hiram and thank you for the childhood memories I have carried with me through my life.

Tj

Link Posted: 12/13/2003 3:52:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 4:01:43 AM EDT by raven]
Sweet guy
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 3:56:33 AM EDT
Great story for this time of year.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:01:42 AM EDT
nice story TJ.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:06:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 4:07:21 AM EDT by anothergene]
MD 20-20 for all, good story.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:15:52 AM EDT
Good story TJ. Not a lot of people on this board that would have known what "commodities" where! They still give cheese away around my area. It's the result of a price support program for certain agricultural products.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 6:24:43 AM EDT
Shameless Bump!
Top Top