Opening Day

By Prashker, Ivan | Midstream, Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

Opening Day


Prashker, Ivan, Midstream


At Katz's Delicatessen on Houston Street, which had been around forever, there was still a World War II sign that read, "Send your soldier boy a salami." Seeing it and grinning, Harry Steinhardt ordered two pastrami and two corned beef sandwiches, four pickles, a large container of coleslaw, and a couple of cans of cream soda. He and his friend of more than fifty years, Lionel Kirshbaum, would be lucky for each to ingest a single pickle plus a sandwich, even luckier not to suffer heartburn later that day. But eating sandwiches from Katz's and watching the Yankees' home opener on Lionel's TV in Baldwin was a venerable tradition with them.

From Katz's in lower Manhattan out to Lionel's would take about an hour, provided the traffic on the Long Island Expressway wasn't a nightmare. Harry usually drove listening to WQXR, because a little Mozart went a long way. This time, however, he traveled to Lionel's without turning on the radio.

For the last ten years, Harry had been sending Lionel checks totaling twenty thousand dollars annually. Lionel, a painter, had been experiencing, he said, a terrible time selling his work this past decade, and Harry, who'd done exceptionally well in the stock market, had promised to help out as long as he could. Today Harry was going to tell Lionel that he could only afford to keep sending him ten thousand a year. The reason being, Harry had taken a number of recent hits, and his money manager had advised to quickly cut down on expenses or his financial situation would start to seriously deteriorate.

Two Jewish boys from New York, Harry and Lionel had served in the Army together, beginning in 1943. Each spoke Yiddish fluently, which was why they'd been assigned to a military government detachment based near Munich. There Lionel fell in love with a German-Jewish girl, Trudie. Yet he decided not to marry her because she'd had a kid a year before with a German officer who was later killed. It was Trudie who'd introduced Harry to her cousin Lisel, and rather a miracle that both girls had survived the Nazis. In truth, it wasn't really a miracle but for the German officer who, at great risk to himself, had saved them. Why save them--guilt? infatuation? perversity?--Lord only knows. But talk about irony, luck, talk about surprises.

Another was that the more conventional Harry wound up marrying Lisel. Two years later, back in New York, Lionel married a Bronx girl, Sylvia Roth. While Sylvia was neurotic, possessive, and congenitally unhappy, Trudie had loved to laugh. She ended up marrying a Canadian soldier and lived in Toronto. Lisel kept in touch with her, although they'd had a falling-out a while back and were no longer close friends.

Because Sylvia was aware of Lionel's wartime affair he was the kind of man who couldn't help telling everyone-she wasn't wild about either Lisel or Harry. Besides, she knew they both thought Lionel had made the mistake of a lifetime not marrying Trudie, even if Trudie had been saddled with a kid.

'You guys planning to make yourselves good and sick this year, or just anticipate some mild indigestion?" said Sylvia, who had watery eyes and long gray hair she wore in a bun.

"How are you, Sylvia?" Harry said, as the enveloping smell of brine and garlic quickly perfumed the kitchen. In the old days, he'd kiss her on the cheek to be polite. Now he no longer went through the motions.

"I ought to be back by five," Sylvia told her husband. She was on her way to meet her sister and go to a movie. "Don't forget to take your pills after you eat, Lionel. Not that they'll do you any good today."

God forgive Harry, but he was always happy to see her leave, and Lionel seemed to exhale gratefully as well.

Lionel was on the short side, heavyset, almost completely bald. He wore bifocals and had large brown eyes and a generous mouth. His appearance suggested a man born to be cheerful, but Lionel had a bad temper. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Opening Day
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.