Letter to the Editor of the Jewish Advocate 8-28-08

Letter to
the Editor: The Jewish Advocate of Brookline

August 28, 2008

Robert T.
Abrams said that I need a history lesson. I stated that Auschwitz
was not known as the final death camp terminus. (By the way my parents were
married by Stephen Wise in June of 1935) First of all, Sir Martin Gilbert, the
world’s leading expert on the Holocaust, states that fact in his book, “The
Allies and Auschwitz.” Second of all, a vast
amount of those two million Jews were killed by SS Units/ Einsatzgruppen troops
following regular Wehrmacht forces, and third of all, the Death Camps were
basically set up to systemize that killing, conceal the acts, and to take the
pressure off many of the regular German troops who were exposed to such
murderous activity. The Allies knew of Auschwitz/Monowitz as a work camp
dealing with war production, and until two heroic Jews were smuggled into the
death trains and left a message imbedded in the wooden frame of one of the
cattle cars, little was known, or believed about what Auschwitz
was about. Why don’t some of you arm chair experts read Lucy Dawidowicz’s book,
“The War Against the Jews.” You should blame the NY Times for putting
the story on the back pages. In Lucy Dawidowicz’s seminal book, she never even
mentions President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once in her 487 pages. But she
does cover in detail what really happened.

Ms. Racelle Weidman’s wrote that the War Refugee Board
was created with pressure from Congress, the Treasury Department and Jewish
Activists. The basic account of its creation has been written many times. She
should refer to “Mostly Morgenthau” by Henry Morgenthau III, the son of
Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. who went to FDR and told him of the
obfuscation and anti-Semitism of Breckenridge Long. It was FDR who created the
WRB and it had nothing to do with Congress. There is no doubt that thousands of
Jews were saved and a greater effort by the United States could have helped
many more. What I said was, and I quote,  “In fact that official process
did not become policy until the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942. By the
time World War II had started and France
and the Low Countries had fallen, the ability
of any Jews to get on a neutral or Allied ship was virtually impossible. In
fact, 95% of the Jews that were murdered in WWII lived east of the Oder-Niesse River,
in areas of the Baltic States, Poland,
the USSR and Hungary
where they were trapped.”  I said, and I reiterate, it was virtually
impossible to get on a neutral or Allied ship to “America.”  In the limited
space allowed by these letters any detailed historical statement is impossible.
Again, my statement was in regards to Mountain’s diatribe, the beginning of the
Holocaust, the creation of the Death Camps, and the lack of concrete
information determining what the real purpose of Auschwitz
was. I defy Rafael Medoff, Racell Weiman, or any one else to disprove that
history. Accordingly of the 8,861,800 European Jews in the pre-final solution
population, 5,933,900 were murdered. Of that total, 546,000 Jews came from Belgium, Norway,
Holland, France,
Italy, Luxembiurg, and Finland. Of
that amount, 44% or 243,000 Jews were murdered. Obviously these people, mostly
from France, Holland and Belgium were swept up by Nazi forces, with the
connivance of local Nazis and anti-Semites, and their ability to escape was
virtually impossible. Therefore 95% of the murdered Jews came from Germany and eastern countries (including Greece)
where access to rescue was “virtually impossible.” The numbers are the numbers.
To blame FDR and even the xenophobic Congress, along with its America First
allies for aiding and abetting the Holocaust, as does Tom Mountain
and others, is ridiculous, insulting and a blood libel. If Jewish revisionists
want to find an answer to the Holocaust, re-read Hitler’s words. Also they
should read the “War of the World,” by Niall Ferguson, and “The Appeasers” by Martin Gilbert and Richard Gott. After a few weeks
or months of critical reading, one could be better informed about both what the
European Jews faced in almost every country they lived. Also, one could be a
lot more knowledgeable about the anti-Semitism that emerged in America
in the 1930’s. Franklin Roosevelt made a commitment to prepare and move an
isolationist country, which almost unanimously opposed even helping England
survive, defeat the Nazi/Fascist aggressors. That is the issue, not the small
minded hatred from people like Tom
Mountain.

 Richard J.
Garfunkel

Reflections on the Democratic Convention 8-29-08

Reflections on the
Democratic Convention

the speeches of

Hillary Clinton and Barack
Obama

8-29-08

 Richard J. Garfunkel

 
I expected no less
from the greatest woman in the world. I expected no less from one of the best
and brightest of our time. Linda and I met her a few years ago in Scarsdale, and I was
astounded and flattered when she said, “hello Richard,” to me. I was mesmerized
by her famous speech at Wellesley
College many years ago
and I am still one of her greatest admirers today. It is no wonder that she had
the support of millions of millions of voters. I remember campaigning with her
in Mount Vernon when she first ran for the
United States Senate with my friend Rosemary Uzzo,
who was her co-chairperson for Westchester
County. I remember the
electricity she generated when she and Big Bill visited the Scarsdale
Mid-Chester YM & WHA a few years ago.

It is not easy to run for office, and over the past 39 years or so, I
was able to meet many national and statewide candidates like Hubert Humphrey,
Frank Church, Michael Dukakis, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Mario Cuomo,
Howard Samuels, Charles Schumer, Liz Holtzman, Richard Ottinger and countless
others. Politics is a tough business, not for the faint-hearted, and there is
only one opening for each job every election cycle. In the distant past some
women were able to get into political office through their husband’s name. Some
like Margaret Chase Smith did, and were quite accomplished. Others came and
went. Today we are blessed with many talented women from every corner of the
nation, who made it on their own, and they represent our country quite well and
affectively. Many said that Hillary’s election to the Senate was wholly
dependent on her name, and that she didn’t really earn it on her own. Well, I
for one find that incredibly offensive. She had been a great First Lady of
Arkansas, a great First Lady of America, and is one of the outstanding Senators
in Washington
today. For my money she ran a great campaign right to the end. She was the very
essence of “The Happy Warrior.”  Despite all the insults and crassness
thrown her way by people like Chris Matthews and others she endured. Even
tonight women like Campbell Brown and Gloria Borgias couldn’t wait to sharpen
their nails and extend their vapid tongues. It must be a jealousy thing. Fred
“Beetle” (Brain) Barnes on FOX News bad mouthed her. What else is new? What
were these talking head fools listening to?

Meanwhile, Linda
and I backed her from day one, and we were quite disappointed that she was not
the party’s nominee or Obama’s choice for Vice-President. But we are both
realists and being long-time politically involved people we knew “it is what it
is.” Tonight she electrified a basically moribund convention. I thought that
Governor Warner’s keynote address was incredibly mediocre and forgettable. He
certainly was no Frank Church, Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, or Barbara Jordan. But
he was lucky that he was followed by Senator Clinton, Because of her brilliant
eloquence, his speech, whether it was rated by the pundits, good or bad, will
be quickly forgotten. Tomorrow the headlines will be all HILLARY Conquers All
she Surveys!

Certainly after
such a bravura performance, there will be a period of enhanced “buyer’s regret”
from many delegates and millions of Americans. But, all in all, she did what
she could to rally a basically split party behind Barack Obama. I look forward
to Bill Clinton’s ringing endorsement and Obama’s acceptance speech. This
family will certainly vote straight Democratic in the fall, and hopefully the
country will wise up and throw the Bush Brigands and their surrogate John
McCain into the dustbin of history. Enough is enough!
     

More than 70 years
ago, FDR stood in the rain at Franklin Field, on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, and accepted the
nomination of the Democratic Party for the 1936 presidential race. More than
100,000 intrepid souls braved the inclement weather to hear FDR proclaim that
“this generation has a rendezvous with destiny.”  

This famous passage
has echoed through the portals of history. FDR said, “Philadelphia is a good city in which to write
American history.”  At one point during his address he lost his balance as
the startled crowd reflected its anxiety. But the “master” quickly regained
both his balance and his composure, as he went on to speak of the ”economic
royalists” who had helped drive the country into the Great Depression, and how
the “clouds of suspicion, tides of ill will and intolerance gather darkly in
many places.” How correct FDR was then and how prescience he was in view of
what we face today. Near the end of his great acceptance speech, FDR had a
sense of things to come when he mentioned “a mysterious cycle in human events.
To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This
generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” History has reaffirmed,
time and again his brilliance and foresight.

There are many
parallels to that bygone era, we seem them in the concentration of wealth in
the hands of the few, the decline of our middle class, the collapse of our
housing market, the speculators manipulating our energy markets, and the
decline and fall of many of our lending institutions and brokerage houses.

As FDR said in
1933, “We need change, and change now!” Last night Barack Obama put the
argument squarely on the table. Do we need more of the same? Do we need more of
the Reagan-Bush–Laffer curve economic voodoo? Do we need more of the same old
economic royalism of McKinley, Taft, Coolidge, Hoover and the other GOP failures of the
past? The answer is a resounding no!

We have a choice
before us, whether to go down that old trodden path of flat-earth thinking,
fear of the unknown, and the dark prejudice of hatred, or the new highway that
beckons us into a new era of cooperation, understanding and enlightenment. The
choice is ours this November like it was back in 1936. The future is in our
hands and in the ballot box. Let us not squander another opportunity.

 

 

The Advocates 8-27-08 Public Art

 “The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio
1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

August 27, 2008

All archived Shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

Wednesday, August 27,
2008, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM, or you can
listen to the program’s live streaming at www.wvox.com.  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to
reach us on the radio.  Our subject is
“The Importance of Public Art, and how what is its affects of our communities?”
Our guests are Barbara Segal, Rosemary Uzzo and Yonkers Public Works
Commissioner John Liszewski who will discuss this important topic.

Barbara Segal is the
public Art Consultant to the City of Yonkers, NY. She has had many “One Woman
Shows,” she has been involved in many group exhibits and has written numerous
articles that have been published in the NY Times, the Journal News, and other
publications. She is a graduate of the Pratt Institute and has a degree from
L’Ecole Nationale Supericure, des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France,
and a BFA degree from Pratt.

Barbara Segal has earned a
firmly established reputation as an important public artist and advocate of the
arts in New York State. Her exhibitions and larger scale
public works have consistently met with rave reviews. The New York Times
describes her sculpture as “provocative and exquisitely carved”,
responding to her installation exhibit at the Neuberger Museum of Art in 2000.
“Tour de force well describes Barbara Segal’s achievements in sculpture.
She is a master at creating complex, detailed and unusual objects from hard
stone”, states the Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs at the museum. The
fall of 2003 welcomed the opening of a sculpture park on the Hudson River
waterfront in Yonkers, N.Y. The City of Yonkers exclusively contracted Barbara Segal
to organize and design this ambitious project as a symbol of its extensive
cultural revitalization. Completed in 2005 is “Muhheakantuck”,  an MTA Arts for Transit commission is a
two-part seventy foot cast aluminum wave, charting the original borders of the
Sawmill River. It runs along both sides of the historically land marked
Metro-North viaduct in the heart of downtown Yonkers. 
Barbara
Segal in partnership with JMC Art Partners created Yonkers Artrucks, launched
during Business Week 2007 for the Dept. of Public Works. Together the team
developed the concept and implemented the project to transform 6 garbage trucks
into “mobile art galleries” with artist-designed vinyl wraps
promoting environmental awareness. Currently Barbara is a consultant for the
City of Yonkers
working with the Dept. of Public Works and the Downtown Waterfront Development
Corp. She spends everyday in her studio in Parkhill creating new works of art
for galleries, museums and private collectors.

Rosemary Uzzo, a
member of “Who’s Who in Education,” has a BA and an MA from Fordham University.
She was a member of the Yonkers Board of Education from 1961 through 1996.
During that period of time she served as the Director of Information Services,
for the Yonkers Board of Education, served as an Assistant Principal, a
curriculum Coordinator, and a curriculum writer. She is still active as an
Instructor for Adult Education through BOCES, been the director of the Jewels Learning
Center at the Yonkers
YMCA. Ms. Uzzo has been an instructor at Mercy
College, and an adjunct professor at Fordham University. She is the author of
“Exploring New York,” and activity text for fourth grade students in New York State. She has served on numerous Boards
and Councils, which include Mayor’s Community Relations Board, Westchester
Council on crime and Delinquency, National Council of Christians and Jews,
Bronxville Women’s League, the Italian-American/African-American Dialogue
Group, American Association of University Women, among a number of others. 

Commissioner of
Public Works, John A. Liszewski, started his career in the City of Yonkers in 1987 as a
senior budget analyst. He became Administrator for the Yonkers Police
Department, then Director of General Services in the Department of Public
Works. He was then appointed by Mayor Terrance Zaleski as Commissioner and was
reappointed by both Mayor John Spencer and currently by Mayor Phil Amicone.

As Commissioner of
Public Works, Mr. Liszewski holds full administrative responsibility for all
phases of the public works operation, including the water system, the sewer
system, solid waste collection, snow removal, recycling, bulk pick-up, and the
maintenance of all public areas (streets, bridges, highways).

He continues to work
on increasing the percentage of recycling that we do as a City. His duty as
Commissioner of Public Works has always been to continue to enhance the quality
of life for all residents of Yonkers
and to maintain our proactive approach. In addition, he participated in
collaboration with the City’s Art Community to create an exciting project to
transform six garbage trucks into mobile art galleries.  The outcome was
to promote environmental awareness and educate the public on the integral role
DPW plays in sustaining a clean and save environment.

He is a member of
Westchester Counties Solid Waste Advisory Board, American Public Works
Association, Westchester County Public Works Association, Westchester Counties
Water Works Association, as well as many other community and civic
associations.

He was born and
raised in Yonkers,
were he currently resides with his wife.  He has three children and two
grandchildren.

 Our guests will
address some of these following questions:

 ·       
How does
public art impact a Community?

·       
Who
should pay for it?

·       
What is
the difference between public art and gallery art?

·       
Is there
a discernible economic impact regarding public art?

·       
Why have
public art in a community?

Meanwhile, the
mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current
“public policy “issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation
legally and traditionally follow. Over the years, the “public policy” of the United States
has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public
education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time
great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public
policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation,
state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the
“draft.”

 

The Program is
sponsored by the Green Briar Adult Home, in Millbrook, Dutchess County, NY.
One can find my essays on FDR and other subjects at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com
and one can also see and hear all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com. 

Richard J. Garfunkel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Advocates 8-20-08

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio
1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

August 20, 2008

All archived Shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

 

Wednesday, August 20,
2008, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM, or you can
listen to the program’s live streaming at www.wvox.com.  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to
reach us on the radio.  Our guest today is
author Robert J. Flower, Ph.D., and our subject is his book “Your Exceptional
Mind,” and his thoughts on how “enhancing one’s intelligence promotes the
expanding of understanding.”

Dr. Flower, who is a
resident of Bronxville, NY,
is a graduate of both Fordham University and Walden University
with a BA degree in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Philosophy along with
Organizational and Systems Sciences.

Dr. Flowers is a
member of MENSA, has lectured and appeared on radio extensively. Part of his
career has been devoted to the real estate industry, college lecturing and he
has traveled extensively all over the world on archeological and
anthropological investigations. He is has spent numerous years studying and
reporting on “The Search for Natural Intelligence.”

As a result of this
work, his books deal with intellectual potential and how it can enhanced, and
utilized. His books have included, “Decoding Potential,” “A Revolution in
Understanding” and “The Intelligence Cubes.” This afternoon we will explore his
thoughts on intelligence and he will answer some of the following questions:

* What
exactly is Natural Intelligence?

* How does
it help people?

* How do
you use it as a community activist?

* What is
your view of governance?

Meanwhile, the
mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current
“public policy “issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation
legally and traditionally follow. Over the years, the “public policy” of the United States
has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public
education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time
great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public
policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation,
state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the
“draft.”

The Program is
sponsored by the Green Briar Adult Home, in Millbrook, Dutchess County, NY.
One can find my essays on FDR and other subjects at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com
and one can also see and hear all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com. 

 

Richard J. Garfunkel

The Last Time to the Big Ball Park in the Bronx and a Drive to Coney Island- 8-1708

The Last Time at the Big Ball Park in
the Bronx

and a

Drive to Coney
Island

By

Richard J. Garfunkel

August 17, 2008

This past Saturday, August 16, 2008, Linda, Dana I headed
off to the old Yankee Stadium for our last visit. We expected to be accompanied
by Jon, but he was held up in Boston
for an emergency weekend work at his firm. C’est la vie! We headed down to the
“Big Ballpark in the Bronx,” as the late great
Mel Allen used to say. It is sort of hard to believe that Mel, “The Voice of
the Yankees,” was let go before the 1964 World Series. That ignominious event
coincided with the decline of America’s
greatest sport’s franchise. He made his way back to the Yankees in 1976, after
a thirteen year exile, under the aegis of George Steinbrenner, and until his
death in 1996 he was again part of the Yankee family. Funny when Mel came back
the Yankees returned to respectability with their first pennant since his
departure.

As usual we always go south to the Stadium by the Bronx River Parkway to the Mosholu Parkway in
the Bronx to the Grand Concourse. The road was
first conceived in 1870, as a means of connecting Manhattan
to the parkway in the northern Bronx.
Construction began on the Grand Concourse in 1889 and it was opened to traffic
in November 1909. Built during the height of the City Beautiful movement, it was modeled on
the Champs-Élysées in Paris but was considerably
larger, stretching four miles in length, measuring 180 feet across, and separated
into three roadways by tree-lined dividers.

The cost of the project was $14 million, the equivalent to $310 million by
today's standards. The road originally stretched from the Bronx Borough Hall at
161st Street north
to Van Cortlandt Park, although it was later
expanded southward to 138th street
after Mott Avenue
was widened to accommodate the boulevard. In 1923, Yankee
Stadium
opened near the Grand Concourse at 161st Street. South of Fordham Road, the
palatial Loew's Paradise Theater, at one time the largest movie theater in New York City, was
constructed in 1929.

Although the Great Depression ended the period of tremendous
growth, privately financed apartment buildings continued to be constructed.
During this period, The Bronx had more amenities than other boroughs: in 1934,
almost 99% of residences had private bathrooms, and 95% had central heating. In
the 1939 WPA guide to New York, the Grand
Concourse was described as “the Park Avenue of middle-class Bronx residents and the lease to an apartment in one of
its many large buildings is considered evidence of at least moderate business
success.” Over the years one could see thousands of residents congregating near
the Concourse, on the benches that abutted the road and in and around the parks
that flanked the western part of the road.

Of course the Concourse went through many changes in the
post war years as many of the Jewish residents moved north to Westchester.
At one time there numerous synagogues lining the broad street, but today most
are gone and they are now mostly Spanish iglesias or Pentecostal churches. Over
the decades the road has been torn up repaired and torn up again. But today,
with the coming of the new Yankee Stadium, and an improvement of the economy of
the region, the Concourse is in marvelous shape. New curbs, tree-lined
sidewalks and a newly paved roadbed made the trip a breeze. No longer does one
have to dodge the limitless potholes, the open sewer digs, and the various road
hazards that used to make driving there a dangerous and risky adventure.

We parked in a lot along the corner of 164th Street and Jerome Avenue, just
north of the old Stadium and right next to the new Yankee colossus that is in
its final stages of completion. The address is just about the same. The new
Stadium will be on the north side of 161st
Street and still on River Avenue. Of course the new Stadium
is on the site of the old Babe Ruth Field. It was the site of many Babe Ruth
league and high school baseball games over the decades. I even played one or
two with the Bronx Red Wings and faced the legendary Rod Carew, who was from
the Bronx, via Panama.

Before there was a Yankee Stadium and in fact before they
were known as the Yankees, they were originally known as the Highlanders, who
owed their name to the location of their ballpark and the fact that their owner
Joseph W. Gordon’s name reminded some folks of the famed British Army unit
(Gordon’s Highlanders.) In 1913 the current owners (Farrell and Devery) of the
Highlanders, who were quite often referred to in the press as the Yankees, were
unhappy with their antiquated park, and therefore accepted an invitation to
play in the Polo Grounds. But moving to the Polo Grounds did not bring the
Yankees or their owner’s financial or artistic success

Therefore, the modern Yankees are really traced to the
partnership of (NY National Guard honorary) Colonel Jacob Ruppert, (aka The
Prince of Beer) who owned the Ruppert Breweries. He was a former four-term Democratic
Congressman (1899-1906 from NY’s Silk Stocking District!) and reputedly worth
between $50 and $75 million, who teamed up with one (retired Army Corp of
Engineers) Colonel Tillinghast l’Hommedieu “Til” Huston, to buy the team.
Huston, a construction millionaire and Ruppert bought the Yankees in 1915 for
the astronomical sum of $460,000 from Big Bill Devery and Frank Farrell, who
had paid just $18,000 for the Baltimore franchise in 1903 before moving it to
New York, (The Yankees had a previous 12 year losing record of 861-937, and an
average attendance of 345,000 fans per season.) Of course, it was the
innovative Ruppert, who supposedly designed the team’s brand new pinstriped
uniform in the 1920’s. He thought pinstripes would make the Babe, who had a
tendency to expand his belt-size, look slimmer. Ruppert liked to win and told
his new business manager “I want to win.” He also said, “Every day I want to
win ten to nothing. Close games make me nervous.” I always heard that Ruppert,
the proto-typical Yankee fan also said, “I like to see the Yanks score nine
runs in the first inning and pull away gently!”

The Yankees stayed there as tenants of the Giants until
1922, when John McGraw asked the Colonels Jacob Ruppert and Til Huston to take
their team and leave. It is a mystery why he did that. The Yankees were big
draws and outdrew the Giants in 1920 (in this year the Yankees set a major
league record, drawing 1,289,422 into the Polo Grounds, 350,000 more than the
Giants), 1921, and 1922 and most would have thought that the added revenue
would have been hard to resist. Maybe the Giants felt that they were being
overshadowed by the presence of the Yankees new star Babe Ruth. John McGraw, an
exponent of “inside” baseball or “little ball” as they term it today, hated
Babe Ruth and his home runs. He said in 1921, “The Yankees will have to build a
park in Queens or some other out-of-the-way
place. Let them go away, and wither on the vine.”

They moved directly across the Harlem
River and built “The House that Ruth Built.” The 58,000-seat
concrete and steel edifice, opened up on April 18, 1923, at the cost of $2.5
million. It was built in 258 working days and featured the first triple-deck
grandstand. The Opening attendance, with Governor Alfred E. Smith throwing out
the first ball, was reputed to be over 74,000, but later on it was revised down
to about 60,000. John Philip Sousa and the Seventh Regiment Band led the
procession of Yankee and Red Sox players to the centerfield flagpole for the
raising of the 1922 pennant. There were a few changes since 1923. The right
field triple deck grandstands were extended around the foul pole to the
bleachers in the late 1930’s, and some of the outfield distances were
re-adjusted before the great re-building in 1974-5. Originally center field in
the old ballpark was 490 feet. It was later reduced to 461 feet and to its
present day 408 feet. Deepest right center was an astronomical 550 feet, but
quickly reduced to 457 feet and to its present day 420 feet. The right field
foul line remained at 296 feet until the renovation where it was lengthened to
314 feet and the fence was raised from 4 feet to 8 feet. Left field was
originally 280.5 feet but was quickly adjusted to 301, and it is presently 318
feet with and 8-foot wall. Ironically, in 1923, when the new ballpark opened,
and the Yanks won their first World Series, they only drew 1,007,006 fans,
which was far less than the 1,289,422 they drew to the Polo Grounds in Ruth’s
first season. They would not break that franchise record until 1946!

The Yanks still remain on property purchased from William
Waldorf Astor for $600,000 and the Giants, who eventually went broke, left in
1957, and currently play in San
Francisco. Many years later, in 1974-5, when Yankee
Stadium was being re-constructed, they moved over to Queens and became guests
of the City of New York,
in Shea Stadium, for two unhappy seasons.

But growing up in New
York, in the late 1940’s and 1950’s, was a great era
to be a young boy and a Yankee fan. It seemed every year the Yankees were
winning the pennant and fighting for the World Championship. The old stadium
was quite caverness, and even though it was smaller than in the Babe’s day,
center field was still 461 distant feet away. It was so deep that the three
massive monuments, erected for Miller Huggins, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, could
sit majestically in center field without anyone ever worrying about them being
in play. It did happen, once in a while, and even the flaky Red Sox center fielder,
Jimmy Piersal, wound up hiding behind the monuments in the waning innings of a
dull Yankee-Red Sox game. It even was said that one or two baseballs were
caught behind the monuments.

It was 57 years since I made my inaugural visit to the old
Yankee Stadium. I certainly don’t remember much about that game with the Red
Sox, but I do remember being very impressed with Johnny “Big Jawn” Mize, the
Hall of Famer, who loomed bigger than life at first base. Mize originally made
his name, in the late 1930’s, with the latter edition of the Gas House Gang,
Cardinals from Saint Louis.
Mize, after his salad days with the Cards, was traded to the Giants in 1942.
After serving three years in the service during World War II, he came back to
the Giants in 1946. His bat seemed to like that “short porch” in right field.
By the next year, he hit 51 homeruns. This remained the National League record
for left handed hitters for many, many years. Of course, times were a changing,
and Leo “The Lip” Durocher, the new Giant manager, switched boroughs and teams,
and wound up in the Polo Grounds after a decade in Brooklyn.
Leo wanted to make his mark on the lumbering Giants and one of his earliest
moves was to bench big John Mize. Mize was not to happy riding the bench, and
gathering splinters, so as to shut him up; Durocher shipped him over to the Bronx.

In the hallowed grounds of the “House that Ruth Built,” Mize
blossomed as one of the premier pinch-hitters of all-time. In reality he hit
only .284 as a pinch-hitter in those five years, but his 53 hits and numerous
homeruns were usually in the clutch. He wound up with 25 home runs in 1950, an
amazing pace of one home run per every eleven at bats. Mize was one of the few
Yankees to play on their five straight World Series championships teams from
1949 through 1953. No wonder I liked him from my earliest days as a fan!

One of my great memories of Yankee Stadium was with my
grandfather, who was a member of the American Millinery Men’s Association, and their
trade group bought an entire block of tickets for a game on Friday night,
September 1, 1961. One of the highlights of the early part of the evening was
the entrance of the then welterweight champion of the world Emile Griffith, who
strode into our section of the mezzanine. Griffith
worked in that industry. (One may recall the famous Griffith-Benny “the Kid”
Paret fight of early April, 1962, where during the weigh-in, Paret impugned Griffith’s masculinity by
calling him a “maricon.” Some say, as a result of that remark, Griffith gave an extra
beating to Paret who was trapped on the ropes as referee Ruby Goldstein watched
and watched. Paret suffered massive head injuries resulting in his death on
April 3rd). But aside from that future situation, this was the year of the home
run. Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were making their famous two-player assault
on one of the most sacred of the Bambino’s records, his 60 home runs in the
legendary baseball year of 1927. By the time September 1st came
along, the Detroit Tigers had turned into a powerful hitting machine with Norm
Cash, Rocky Colavito, Al Kaline, Billy Bruton and their ace pitcher Frank Lary
(23-7) who beat the Yankees almost every time they faced him. On that night
they had the old veteran Don Mossi (15-7) facing the Yankee ace Whitey Ford
(25-4). It was a warm night, the Yanks and Tigers were tied for first, and
there was a sell-out crowd of 65,566. Whitey Ford hurt himself and Bud Daley
relieved in the 5th inning. Late in the game, Yogi Berra, who was
playing left field, because Elston Howard had become the regular catcher, made
a remarkable play in left field and threw out Al Kaline, who was attempting to
stretch a single into a double. Luis Arroyo relieved late in the game as the
contest remained scoreless, until the bottom of the ninth when Bill ”Moose”
Skowron hit a single through the left side that scored Elston Howard with the
winning run in the 1-0 victory. It was the turning point of the season for the
Yanks. The ballpark, which had been hushed into silence through most of the game
exploded. Later the “Moose” credited 3rd base coach Frank Crosetti
for tipping him off on Don Mossi’s pitches. The Yanks next swept the Senators
four straight and the Indians five straight. They beat the White Sox and then
finally lost a double-header to the Pale Hose after reeling off 13 straight
victories. By the time they met the Tigers again, their lead had been expanded
to 10 games, and they never looked back. By the end of the season Maris had hit
61 homeruns, and Mantle was in the hospital with an abscess on his hip. The
Mick had finished with 54 round-trippers. The Yanks had won the pennant with
109 victories to the Tigers 101 and went on to crush the Reds in the World
Series 4 game to 1.

By the way, in that year the box seats cost $3.50, reserved
went for $2.50, the grandstand $1.50 and the bleachers were 75 cents! Parking
cost $1.00 and a program went for 15 cents. They served Ballantine beer and the
hot dogs went for 25 cents 

Times are a bit different these days. After many years of
success, the Yankees have become an incredible attraction. They are drawing
fans at an incredible pace over the last number of seasons, and this year,
2008, they also will draw over 4.3 million. It wasn’t always like that. Back in
1961 they led the league with an attendance of 1,745,725 or 21,444 per game.
But to be fair, in those years they played a number of double headers,
especially on the holidays like July 4th

The Depression did not hurt attendance in the Bronx as badly as their neighbors in the other Boroughs
because of their great lineup of stars, winning ways, and bigger ballpark. But,
also in the war year of 1943, with people working double shifts in war plants,
attendance shrunk to only 618,330 and they still led the league! After the war,
baseball fan interest erupted, and the Yankees started a remarkable run of five
years of 2 million plus fans in 1946. That explosion in fan interest peaked
with a then New York City
baseball record of 2,373,901 in 1948, a year where the Yanks finished in 3rd
place. In those five years they drew 11,183,406 fans to the Bronx.
The Yankees would not match those numbers again until 30 years later
(1976-1980).

So finding parking, getting into the Stadium and moving
around inside the ballpark is an incredible effort. Dana wanted to go to Monument Park in left center field. In the old
Stadium, before its overhaul in 1974-5 there was no monument park, just
bleachers. Way out in centerfield were three large marble monuments dedicated
to the memory of Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. As the years went by
the Yankees put bronze plaques on the walls near the monuments, and in the
1950’s and 60’s, after the game, one could walk across the vast Yankee Stadium
outfield, out to the 467 foot mark on the wall and then exit on to 161st
Street. But unfortunately thousands of others had the same idea and by the time
we reached the entrance far back in the recess of left field, the park was
closed. 

A bit dejected, we fought and squeezed our way through the
mass of Yankee faithful and eventually found our Field Box seats in Section 15,
box 53K.
We settled in with our sandwiches, peanuts, pretzels, bottles of water we
purchased outside, to what would prove to be another long afternoon of
frustration. Unfortunately, as it is widely known, the Yankees have been
playing dull and uninspiring baseball all year. Against the lowly, lack luster
Kansas City Royals, who had defeated them the two nights before, they could
hardly scratch out a run. By the 9th inning when we headed home the
score was 2-2 and it would take the Yanks to the 13th inning to
finally eke out a victory. They had left many, many, runners on base, could
obviously not hit in the clutch and overall looked pretty miserable for a team
with a $200 million dollar payroll. But Yankees Stadium had another sellout of
over 54,000 and it remains America’s
biggest cash register. Meanwhile the weather was beautiful, it was filled with
many fans who were obviously guests of ticket holders that chose not to come to
the ballpark and nobody seemed to complain. The amount of people with Yankee
logo shirts and hats was incredible. The Stadium was like a sea of dark blue,
with every type of shirt and hat imaginable. I am not immune to fan silliness,
and I always where my white Yankee hat with its blue brim, which is festooned
with all sorts of metal pins commemorating Yankee feats from the past.

But, it wasn’t like the old days when the park was filled
with smaller crowds of hardcore fans who would vent their frustrations and
anger with noisy catcalls, boos, and hardy invectives. Those days seem to be
over at the moment. This generation of fans enjoys the atmosphere of a
“happening” and the score seems secondary to most. The ballpark certainly wasn’t
rocking, and maybe that could be attributed to the score and the lack of real
action. These types of Saturday afternoon Yankee fans are the more gentile and
laid back variety with their young kids in tow or their girl friends and they
are more interested in eating hotdogs then chugging beer. Dana wanted to stay
until the 9th inning, which we did, and then we made our way out to
the parking lot, took some pictures of the new Stadium and made our way to the
car. Most of the cars were still in the lot, and getting out was a lark. Our
escape from that steel and concrete edifice was seamless and and in no time we
were back on the Grand Concourse.    

PS:  Our Visit to Coney Island

Dana is a real adventurer at heart and not only did she
venture this spring to Israel on her own, but just the other day she took the
train into New York, made her way down to the Battery Park and took a boat ride
to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In all my years here I have yet to
do that. She asked me to go along, but for some silly reason I declined.

The next day we were talking and I had some regrets that I
didn’t go with her to see the Lady in the Harbor. So I suggested that we drive
out to Coney Island. So without any real
planning, we hopped in the car, and headed down the Saw
Mill River
to the West Side and the Brooklyn Battery
Tunnel. The trip was uneventful and we passed “ground zero” and the new Stuyvesant High School, which when built, was the
most expensive secondary school constructed in the world. Interestingly the old
Stuyvesant High
School, built between, 1905-7 was located at 345 E.15th Street
and my father, who lived on Kelly
Street in the Bronx,
commuted there every day. Later on he told me it was his greatest mistake. My
father was friendly with at one time with George Raft, the famous actor, who
was originally from Washington
Heights. He also was a
graduate of Stuyvesant
High School, but was nine
years older than my father, who was born in 1904. My father “hung out” with a
wannabe actor named George Repp, who was friendly with Raft, who was a dancer
with a stage act at Texas Guinan’s saloon, the 300 Club, located at 151 W.54th Street.
She was known for her famous greeting, “Hello suckers!” The police “busted” The
300 Club often for violation of the Volstead Act, and at times for the exposure
of a bit too much epidermis. Guinan always claimed she never sold liquor in her
establishment, but that guests must have brought their own. Unfortunately for Texas, who was born in Waco, and had been a silent film star, known
as the “Queen of the Westerns,” she died at age 49, of amoebic dysentery, in
November, 1933, only one month before the repeal of Prohibition.

As to Raft, in the early 1930s, Tallulah
Bankhead
nearly died following a 5-hour hysterectomy
for an advanced case of gonorrhea, she claimed she got from Raft. Only 70 pounds when
she was able to leave the hospital, she stoically said to her doctor,
“Don't think this has taught me a lesson!”

In 1929 Raft moved to Hollywood and took small roles. His success came in Scarface (1932), and Raft's convincing
portrayal led to speculation that Raft himself was a gangster. He was a close
friend of several top organized crime figures, including Bugsy Siegel,
Owney Madden
(who owned the Cotton Club) and Siegel's suspected killer, Meyer Lansky.
Raft was considered one of Hollywood's most dapper and stylish dressers and he achieved a
level of celebrity not entirely commensurate with the quality or popularity of
his films; Raft became a pop culture icon in the 1930s matched by few other
film stars.

He was definitely one of the three most popular gangster actors of the
1930s, along with James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson (Humphrey
Bogart
never matched Raft's stardom during that decade). Raft and
Cagney worked together in Each Dawn I
Die
(1939) as fellow convicts in prison. His 1932 film Night After
Night
launched the movie career of Mae West
with a supporting part as well as providing Raft's first leading role (Raft and
West would die within two days of each other 48 years later and their corpses
would wind up in the same morgue at the same time.)  By the way, my father’s brush with baseball
immortality came when he played for the “Peg Legs” (Stuyvesant’s school
nickname) against Commerce
High School and the great
Lou Gehrig.

As to the Brooklyn Batter Tunnel, Robert Moses, whose career
was remarkably chronicled by Robert Caro in his masterpiece, The Power Broker, wanted to build a
monstrous bridge from Manhattan to Queens, but reason prevailed, or was it powerful
opposition from his only foe that had more power.

Robert Moses, the chairman of the Triborough Bridge Authority, attempted to
scuttle the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel proposal and have a bridge built in its
place. Many objected to the proposed bridge on the grounds that it would spoil
the dramatic view of the Manhattan
skyline,
reduce Battery Park
to minuscule size and destroy what was then the New York Aquarium at Castle
Clinton
. To spite everyone in New
York who loved the Aquarium, Moses shut it down for
years (1941-1957) as he obfuscated and delayed the tunnel’s plans. Of course he
was opposed to the tunnel because it wouldn’t fall under his control, and his
brother was a world famous tunnel designer, and he hated him.

Moses remained adamant, and it was only an order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, via military
channels, which restored the tunnel project, on the grounds that a bridge built
seaward of the Brooklyn Navy Yard would prove a hazard to
national defense. This edict was issued in spite of the fact that the Manhattan
Bridge
and the Brooklyn Bridge were already seaward of the
Navy Yard. By the way FDR was ably assisted by wife Eleanor, who wrote a
scathing piece in her My Day column about
the “bridge” concept and Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes who took on the
mighty Moses when no one else would or could.

Meanwhile, the 9117 foot long tunnel, the longest in North
America, was designed by Ole Singstad
and partially completed when World War II brought a halt to construction.
After the War, Moses's Triborough Bridge Authority was merged
with the Tunnel Authority, allowing the new Triborough Bridge and Tunnel
Authority
to take over the project. Moses directed the tunnel
completion, by 1950, with a different method for finishing the tunnel walls.
This resulted in leaking and, according to author Caro, the TBTA fixed the
leaks by using a design almost identical to Singstad's original. Moses was a
stubborn bastard who basically opposed the tunnel because he wouldn’t have been
able to control the project’s revenue.

Once on the other side of the tunnel we approached the Prospect Expressway
which was jammed by the usual construction, but made our way around and
eventually we merged into Ocean Parkway, 100 block long and 210 foot wide
thoroughfare that was originally conceived by Frederick Law Olmstead, who
created Central Park, Prospect Park, and the Eastern Parkway. The roadwork was
started in 1874 and completed by 1880. Houses started to be built around 1900
and horse racing was even held there until gambling was banned in 1908.

Once on that magnificent road, there was heavier traffic then I would have
normally expected. But we moved along, and within ten minutes or so we covered
the five mile stretch and drove under the Belt Parkway and into Coney
Island. It was once an island that was separated from the mainland
by Coney Island Creek. (It was called Conyne Eylandt, a Dutch name for Rabbit Island
back in the mid 1600’s.)  But the land
was filled in to support the Belt
Parkway and it is now a peninsular, and only an
island in name. Of course, Coney Island’s most famous attraction, aside from
the beach and the Cyclone Roller Coaster, a thrill ride that dates back to
1927, is the original Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog restaurant, which still sits on
the corner of Surf and Stillwell. It is not only the home of the best “hot
dogs” on earth, but is the venue where the world’s most famous frankfurter
eating contest is held in front of thousands of local fans and millions more on
television.

The 93rd annual contest was held this past July 4, 2008. Six-time champion Takeru
“Tsunami” Kobayashi
and defending champion Joey Chestnut,
were tied with 59 hot dogs eaten after the new ten-minute time limit, but
Chestnut prevailed by winning a five-dog “eat off” held immediately after the
contest. Both the contest and the eat-off were televised live on ESPN, which has held the
broadcast rights for this event since 2004.

We arrived a bit early for lunch, so we made our way to the famous boardwalk
and made our way over to Astroland, the Ferris wheel and the Cyclone, one of
the oldest roller coasters still left. Dana was game for a ride, but I wasn’t
up for the action, and the $8 cost seemed extreme. So we sauntered around like
real tourists, took a number of pictures and we played a couple of skeeball
games, and was roundly beaten by Dana. It was a bit empty, but there were a
number of kids with their day camp shirts, a few Russian gals with their
bikinis and some teenagers shooting paint ball guns at a poor victim in
protective garb with a shield. It was an interesting experience, and we decided
to make our way back to Nathan’s for the obligatory “hotdogs.” We only had one
“dog” apiece.

After our gastronomic delight we headed back to Surf Avenue, turned around and headed
back under the “El” to Brighton
Beach, which is locally
known as “Little Odessa.” Brighton Beach was dubbed “Little Odessa” by the
local populace long ago, due to many of its residents having come from Odessa, a city
of Ukraine.
In 2006,
Alec Brook-Krasny was elected for the 46th
District of the New York State Assembly, the first elected
Soviet-born
Jewish
politician
from Brighton Beach.

Brighton Beach was developed by William A. Engeman as a
beach resort in 1868, and was named in 1878 by Henry C.
Murphy
and a group of businessmen in an 1878 contest; the winning
name evoked the resort of Brighton,
England
. The centerpiece of the resort was the large Hotel Brighton (or
Brighton Beach Hotel), placed on the beach at what is now the foot of Coney Island Avenue and accessed by the
Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railway, later known as the BMT Brighton
Line
, which opened on July 2, 1878. The village was annexed into the 31st Ward of the City of
Brooklyn
in 1894.

There’s not much that meets the eye as one travels down Brighton Beach Avenue. A good deal of
their shopping lies shadowed by the “El” tracks that looms like some giant iron
beast overhead. On this bright day prisms of light checkered the road and the
sidewalks as strollers and shoppers weaved their way in and out the various
shops that line both sides of the street. Finally when one escapes the eerie
light patterns of the “El” the rest of Brighton Beach
opens up, and one can see the beach on the right along with the expensive high
rises and the better stores and restaurants on the left.  This area is famous for Russian, Ukrainian
and other eastern European cuisine and delicacies. Maybe we should have
stopped, but time was of the essence and we didn’t see any places to park
anyway. So our quick spin through the beach front area was over, and I headed
back towards where we started via Coney
Island Avenue which parallels Ocean Parkway. Unlike Ocean Parkway which is purely
residential, Coney Island Avenue
is all commercial. My purpose was to reach Beverley Road, where I was born at number
707, which connects both Coney
Island Avenue and Ocean Parkway, and it is where my parents
lived from 1936 to just after VJ Day, when we moved to Mount Vernon. The apartment building is still
in good shape for an edifice that is at least 70 years old. It doesn’t look
much different from the old black and white pictures my parents took in those
World War II days. There’s little nostalgia for me with that building. I know I
lived there as a pre-toddler, but I know nothing about it from my parents. They
never talked about 707 Beverley Road even though they lived there close to ten
years I believe.

We then headed across Ocean
Parkway to Church Avenue and wound our way over to 13th Avenue
and Borough Park. This neighborhood is home to one
of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities outside
of Israel.
With an estimated population of as many as 250,000 Jews (though estimates vary
drastically and this number is bound to increase in the coming years), which
includes many Hasidic and Hareidi
Jews, Borough Park has one of the largest concentrations of Jews in the United
States and is among the most Orthodox neighborhoods in the world. And
considering the average number of children in Hasidic
and Hareidi
families is close to seven, Borough
Park is experiencing
phenomenal growth.

Its heart lies between 12th and 18th Avenues and 40th and 55th Streets. Boro Park
has grown and expanded so much that the residents define the borders as 8th Avenue to 22nd Avenue and 36th Street to 68th Street. I used
to travel there every once in a while to see a few of my customers when I was
in the textile business. Dana wanted to stop and get a bottle of water, so we
parked on 13th Avenue,
the heart of their shopping area. One can get all sorts of food in that area,
as there are restaurants, and specialty shops sprinkled up and down from 38th Street
to 49th Street.
One can also find an incredible variety of Jewish religious items from Seder
plates to tallit to kepos. I wanted to stop in at D’Rose, a linen store on the
corner of 47th Street,
and see the Rosenblums who I have known for many years. I was able to park in
their driveway, hop out and visit with Mrs. Rosenblum, who was there with a few
of her sons. Unfortunately her husband was in the hospital and their oldest son
was not there. C’est sera! Dana, who was wearing shorts, decided discreetly to
wait in the car. The hello and goodbye lasted five minutes and it was back into
the car as we headed to 12th
Avenue which heads back to Ocean Parkway. We didn’t stop at Linda’s
old home which was located on 50th near 16th Avenue, but I had seen it
many times before. The trip home was a lark. Traffic was very light and before
long we had re-entered Manhattan
and at 2:30 PM we flew up the FDR
Drive in record time. I even decided to take the
Major Deegan north instead of the Bruckner Expressway, and before long we were
back in Westchester. Yes it was an enjoyable
time. It was our first real trip together where it was just the two of us!
Where has all the time gone?     

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Advocates 8-13-08

 

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio
1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

August 13, 2008

All archived Shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

Wednesday, August 13,
2008, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM, or you can
listen to the program’s live streaming at www.wvox.com.  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to
reach us on the radio.  Our guest today
is the renowned physician Dr. Harry S. Goldsmith, who is the author of the medical/mystery,
“A Conspiracy of Silence, the Health and Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Harry S.
Goldsmith, M.D., is a renowned practicing surgeon who has invented many
innovative surgical procedures, including those that help victims of spinal
cord injuries and Alzheimer's.

He is a
graduate of Dartmouth
College, and the Boston
University School of Medicine. In his fifty years of practice he has been the
recipient of numerous fellowships, served in the United States Army in Korea as a
Captain, and is a member of many organizations and societies. He is the author
of 225 scholarly medical papers on subjects that vary from cancer to arterial
implantation.

Dr.
Goldsmith is also a devoted medical history buff and in “A Conspiracy of
Silence” takes the reader inside that critical moment in time when
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was running for an unprecedented fourth
term during World War II. Although there were rumors about his declining health
and telling photos of him at Yalta,
his true medical condition was kept secret. His Vice-president, Henry Wallace,
was popular with the people and a longtime personal friend, but behind the
scenes, Democratic insiders, largely unknown to the general public were
conspiring to drop him from the ticket. Their heavy-handed manipulation of the
1944 convention ultimately led to the nomination of Harry Truman in his stead.
One wonders if they ever realized how their own actions forever changed the
face of America.

Goldsmith's interest in FDR's medical records began in 1963. Years later, he
started looking for them and found at every twist and turn they had been
destroyed or lost. By 1984 he himself was embroiled in a drawn out court battle
for a medical document denied to its legal owner. Even with the backing of FDR's
son, James, the original document was never released. What was the motivation
of all these people, by what right did they take it upon themselves to keep or
destroy historical papers even decades after FDR's death?

Meanwhile, the
mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current
“public policy “issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation
legally and traditionally follow. Over the years, the “public policy” of the United States
has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public
education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time
great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public
policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation,
state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the
“draft.”

The Program is
sponsored by the Green Briar Adult Home, in Millbrook, Dutchess County, NY.
One can find my essays on FDR and other subjects at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com
and one can also see and hear all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com.  Next week we will be discussing “Enhancing
Intelligence; Expanding Understanding,” with Robert J. Flower, Ph.D., the
author of “Your Exceptional Mind.”

 
Richard J. Garfunkel


 

 

 

 

 

 

The Advocates- With Robert Schlesinger 8-6-08

 

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

August 6, 2008

All archived Shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM, or you can listen to the program’s live streaming at www.wvox.com.  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio.  Our show is about the book, White Ghost Writers: Presidents and their Speechwriters, with the distinguished author and journalist Robert Schlesinger.

 

Mr. Robert Schlesinger, a U.S.News and World Report deputy editor, oversees all opinion editorial content.  Spearheading the opinion section of www.usnews.com, Schlesinger solicits op-eds from writers and bloggers nationwide. Schlesinger came to U.S.News & World Report as a freelancer and blogger for a variety of publications, including Salon.com, Economist.com, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times Magazine. His work has also appeared in The Washington Monthly, the Weekly Standard, People, Campaigns & Elections, Washington DC Style, DC Magazine, the Washington Examiner, the Boston Globe Magazine, George, and the AARP Bulletin

 

Prior to joining U.S. News, Schlesinger covered national security and public policy issues for the Boston Globe’s Washington bureau. He previously served as chief congressional correspondent at Voter.com, political editor at The Hill newspaper, and researched advisers to presidential candidates at the Center for Public Integrity, co-writing “Under the Influence,” a 1996 report on presidential campaign advisers.  He is also co-founder and co-contributor of the blog, RobertEmmet, which covers topics from national security to entertainment and culture. He teaches political journalism at the Boston University Washington Journalism Center. He lives with his wife in Alexandria, Virginia. A New York City native, he graduated from Middlebury College in 1994.

 

Our show will attempt to explore these questions:

 

·        How important are speechwriters to a president?

·        Who was the first presidential speechwriter

·        Who were the best writers among the presidents?

·        What was it like being the son of Arthur Schlesinger Jr as a father?

·        What made FDR’s team of writers special?

 

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy “issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow. Over the years, the “public policy” of the United States has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation, state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the “draft.”

 

The Program is sponsored by the Green Briar Adult Home, in Millbrook, Dutchess County, NY. One can find my essays on FDR and other subjects at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com and one can also see and hear all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com.  Next week we will be discussing FDR’s health with Dr. HS Goldsmith, author of the book, Conspiracy of Silence, The Sickness and death of FDR.

 

Richard J. Garfunkel

http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com

rjg727@optonline.net