Saturday, September 30, 2006

See what you can do with this guy

Here's a challenge for the literary gang based on a few facts about a fellow. By reading the following bullets you know as much about him as I do. See what you can come up with.

  • He was born in 1895.
  • His name was Barney.
  • He had a metal plate in his head from an accident that occurred during WWI when he was sitting on a box of landmines enjoying a cigar.
  • He did go to college, although I don't know where.
  • He liked the theatre (plays, not the musical spectacles of today).
  • He was a sports writer for the Brooklyn Eagle before that newspaper declared bankruptcy during the Great Depression.
  • He read Shakespeare.
  • He spoke fluent Yiddish, although only one person who knew him ever heard him use it.
  • He liked Wild Turkey.
  • He had an artist friend who painted this portrait in 1941 ( ).
  • He and his friend hung out in a bar on Canal Street that was frequented by artists.
  • According to people who knew him it was not uncommon for his hands to be bandaged from brawling.
  • He was a lefty and a member of the Workman's Circle (
  • After some years of little or no employment during the Depression he finally got a job as a parole officer on the Lower East Side in the days when the POs actually visited the parolees instead of the other way around.
  • Professionally he carried a gun.
  • His nose was flat from being kicked while inspecting a horse at Aqueduct.
  • It was not unheard of for him to blow the rent at the track.
  • In the early sixties he and his wife visited Israel. He insisted on leaving after only three days because he was offended by what he perceived to the enforced second class status of the Palestinians.
  • Among his effects were obituary clippings about people that had died fighting the Fascists in Spain.
  • He died in 1965.
  • I don’t know where he’s buried.


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