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101 years ago today my father entered this world as the firstborn to Jenny and Abe Moss. Over the next few years, he would become the big brother to Asher and Leiba. My father and his siblings had a remarkable relationship despite the variation in age as well choices for different lifestyles. As adults these three siblings and their spouses spent not only family time together with mother Jenny and father Abe, they double dated and vacationed together too.
I cannot imagine my father as a newborn or even a little boy as few pictures exist, however, if he was half the person as a child as he matured he must have been a remarkable individual.
Dad was born on June 8, 1917, and named Jay Moss. He was given the name Harmon years later when he suffered from Scarlet Fever. It is a tradition in Jewish Lore if a young person becomes ill and their life may be threatened they are prayed for in the name of their mother or given a second name of a deceased relative that lived a long life. The concept behind this was to confuse the “Angel of Death” therefore allowing your child renewed health. This is how my father obtained the name Harmon which became his calling card.
My father had many calling cards, and if you read the tribute my older brother Gary wrote you will note that our father wore many hats in his 87 years of life.(1)
I too have many fond memories of dad using his writing skills to pen unique words meant for the recipient to one of their favorite songs for a very special occasion. My father’s dream was to be a published songwriter, poet, and many of words, hence: Words by Harmon. (Occasionally as a child or even an adult, there were some sparing words between myself and my dad, but despite the sparks that may have flown and the stings, there was always a bear hug and one of his big sloppy kisses to reduce any fiery storm, living behind a few ashes.) What I remember most about my pop’s words were they were never delivered to cause pain, but increase the love he had for you (me).
J Harmon Moss had many friends, and even to this day if you mention his name in the Detroit, Michigan area, there are still people who remember my father even 14 years since he passed on to the highway in the sky. As his youngest child, and only daughter, I kevel when others mention the special person this man was. The love of his life, my mom, was treated like an angel. Despite the “bickering,” they loved each other beyond word, even Words by Harmon. My parents had a unique relationship, they bickered and kissed, held hands, and bickered some more. (It sounds like the relationship I have with my husband Richard, a real loving friendship plus much more.)
I could sit here and write many more accolades to this man who suffered throughout his life with angina pain and many other chronic issues including spinal stenosis that caused him so much pain his smile turned upside down, however, he would hide it the best he could. However, when I saw him enter a room if he was not smiling, I took it personally and assumed it was my fault. As a young child I would run from the room and hide, it took me until my late teens to understand I did not have that much power over my dad’s emotions. The only power I had was to be loved for me and love him in return.
Pop’s died on my 20th wedding anniversary. February 3, 2004, will always be etched into my brain as the day my father was finally at peace without pain. I know if he had a choice and could have continued to fight for life he would have, but years of chronic heart ills were just too much for him to continue. Since that day I have remained connected to his spirit and the love he instilled in me. I will continue to celebrate his life and wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
(1) Tomorrow is June 8th, my dad’s birthday. In the years since his passing I take pause and remember less and less other than on special days. Jun 8 is one of those days. There are a small set of photos below that cement specific moments but what about all those other times? There were times during every day that dad spent reclining in his generic Lazy Boy. I think about dad a lot these days when I’m kicking back in my recliner. I have a lot of food issues. Whenever I find myself giving in to that sugary treat in the evening I can hear dad giving himself permission to enjoy his ‘mychel’. I love and cherish the alone time I spent with dad, working as his ‘hopper’ on his milk truck. He taught me to enjoy potatoes with my breakfast eggs; we chanted morning prayers whiling delivering milk, butted, and cottage cheese. •There’s a current advertisement on the radio for Gettl Air Conditioning. The speaker reflects about a time growing up when he accompanied his dad (an air conditioning repairman). He held a flashlight for his dad while he worked. I recall going along with my dad when he repaired Juke-Boxes; going along when dad delivered candy from his candy-truck route; spraying the power-hoses and chiseling away the excess mortar when dad was a Brick Cleaner on newly built homes. •When I was opening my Pre-School in 1968, dad shared his woodworking skills by helping build play furniture and shelving used throughout the school. We built most of it in my garage on Kipling in Oak Park, MI with table saws and tools from Sears. • Then there were our golf outings. In addition to learning about driving and putting I learned valued skills in club throwing and cussing. •Dad was one of the bravest men I’ve known. He underwent his first open-heart bypass surgery when the procedure was in its infancy.
What a guy!
I do not know all the rules of NBA basketball, however, as a hometown fan I remember when there is an unbalance I the system and when games are ‘rigged.” Golden State may have some exceptional players on their team; this is the first sign that all teams do not have the same advantage. Golden State brings in more money (winners or not because they are in a money market.) I am not here crying over spilled milk, but I want to make a statement when teams do not play fair, and the officials compromise their calls to favor one side over another, why should anyone play the game?
We have seen the unbalance in teams with the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and the Chicago Bulls. Occasionally another team comes close to beating them or succeeds.
As a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, my hometown team, I see the struggles our players have from the top down. Although I may be bias our team not only plays together, they work together on the court to follow the rules. We do not have hot shots trying to gain personal glory; the players work together for the win. LeBron leads by example as a gentleman and a mentor to his teammates (and the fans.)
We do not need to play ‘dirty ball,’ and each team in the NBA should be created and trusted equally. Yes the NBA system is a business geared to make money, but when we are teaching our children it’s OK to be bullied on, and off the court this is unacceptable. It is also unacceptable for the officials to close their eyes when the opposing team, no one I perfect, especially the Golden State Warriors.
I still BELIEVE LAND!
My Darling Mother DVasha, My Dad J Harmon, Me, Joel aka Joelie and my Zayde
Fifty years ago (based on the Hebrew calendar) an exceptional man by the name of Louis “Label” Freedman passed away. I knew this man by the name, Zayde. My memories are filled with some extraordinary photos that I can see in the back of my mind. I remember spending the day with my Baube and Zayde at their small apartment in the city of Detroit (before they moved to the Blackstone Manor in the burbs.) If I remember correctly their apartment was on the second floor. When you walked in the door to their unit if you went to the right, it took you to their bedroom, and if you turned to the left, it went into the living room and off the living room was a tiny kitchen.
On the days I spent at their house (while they babysat me) my Zayde and I would take a walk down the street. At the end of the road, there was a little store that sold pretzel logs, and he would buy me one, and I would pretend to smoke it as he puffed away on his cigar (that he also purchased at the store.) Next door was a tailor shop, and since my Zayde was a tailor by trade, we would stop in, and the owner of the shop and my Zayde would converse in Yiddish. On our way back to the apartment he would stop and buy his Yiddish paper, and upon our return, he would sit in his chair and read the paper and fall asleep.
Usually, when I got back to the apartment, I was a tired little girl, and I would often curl up on their “horse haired” couch, and despite the scratchiness of the fabric, I would fall asleep.
Those were the very early days but not too long after that when I turned nine, my Baube died, and Zayde came to live with us for awhile. He would dress up every day like the Beau Brummel of his time, with a white shirt, bow tie and a suit every day. He would ask my brother Joel each day, “kenen ir redn eydish” Can you speak Yiddish? And of course, Joelie always said “abis,” a little!
Since we lived a hectic lifestyle even back in the early 60’s, our home after a while was not suited for “Label’s” needs and he moved to the Home for the Jewish Aged. How different senior citizens home have come over the years, I remember it being scary to visit him there and yet every Saturday my mother and I would join one or both of her sisters to visit Zayde. We often would find him sitting on a chair outside of his room or occasionally in the courtyard trying to court a lovely lonely resident. At 2 pm on Saturday’s, they offered tea and cookies to the residents and their guests in the dining room. We would sit there and sip tea not from cups but glasses, what a memory!
My memory is still very clear, and I want my sons, nieces, and nephews to know how things have changed but what hasn’t is despite my fear of going to the home I went because I loved my Zayde!
When Zayde died in June 1968, we had only been back in Michigan a very short time, just months. June was to be an important month with my graduation from high school, my dad’s birthday, my parent’s anniversary and my brother Joel’s return from Europe. However, life and death, and the celebrations were placed on hold to honor this man who came from Russia and traveled to a foreign country, the United States, to create a life for himself and his bride and daughter. Upon establishing himself, he returned to his village in Russia only to witness the destruction. It took him time to relocate his wife who presented him with his second daughter. Unknown to him when he came to America the first time, my Baube was with child.
Once again, they came across the Atlantic via steerage passage and found their way back to Detroit. My Zayde was a survivor, and today I am one too.
God Bless you, Zayde-Louis-Label Freedman!
My Zayde, Passover (circa 1960)
Welcome, Vista Springs. Today begins a new live record podcasting session with Vista Springs. Twice a month on Tuesday (typically the first and third week of each month), newclevelandradio.net will host Susan Krupitzer and her team to discuss assisting living, a lifestyle.
You may have noticed a theme in many of our programs here at newclevelandradio.net. We are providing you with a variety of program choices. Our shows are designed to deliver opportunities that may enhance your life. Today’s new live podcast will share information that you may not have considered or yet acknowledged. However, we all need to be prepared for tomorrow. So let’s begin…
As a producer for many of the shows on newclevelandradio.net, I have the luxury of learning first hand from many of our hosts. Today I want to give a very special shout out to Candace Pollock from “The Intentionality Gurus.” Candace states she is a guru (and you can be too) if you open your body, mind, and soul and begin to think and perform intentionally. You can find the guru in you! The dictionary defines guru as “a spiritual teacher, especially one who imparts initiation.” The initiation in the case of personal coaching is to “begin the action of something.” We all want to be at our best, but we often get stuck in who we are at the moment and assume we cannot change, or if we change it may not result in success.
Candace is a certified life coach, and her mission is to guide you (me) to holistically grow our wisdom. There is not a level of intelligence that we reach that identifies our apex; our brains are capable of continuous learning and change if we accept the challenge to achieve what we may want but believe (those limiting thoughts) we cannot reach.
My father’s favorite poem (or at least one he recited to my brothers and me repeatedly through the years), was “It Couldn’t be Done.” This poem teaches you; It Can be Done!
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
Join us live every other Friday at 1 pm EST on newclevelandradio.net or check out the podcasts at https://newclevelandradio.net/the-intentionality-gurus-with-candace-pollock/