Levenson’s Market was my first experience with dress codes even though they did not apply to stock clerks. Pop and Harry wore white aprons, white shirts, and ties every day. Pop wore bow ties and he is the only man I ever knew who could tie one. Simple as it looks, I never mastered the bow tie. I have tried but I was born with two left thumbs.
I am so awed by anyone who can tie a bow tie that I would have voted for Paul Simon in 1988 had he secured the Dems nomination for Prez.
Pop worked 50-hour weeks in his store and, somehow, had energy left over. Every two or three years he re-painted the house. In the summer he had a vegetable garden. I wonder if the idea was left over from the Victory Gardens that many people had during WWII. No 20-foot plot for Pop, he had six or eight rows of vegetables that ran the entire width of the lot the house sat on. There were corn and beans, squash and watermelon, peppers and cucumbers, and, of course, tomatoes. When harvest time arrived, he picked a couple of bushels of fruit and vegetables every day. During those weeks if you drove by while Pop was working in the garden, he flagged you down, filled a shopping bag of his bounty, and pressed it on you.
Pop worked harder every day of his life than any day I worked. I don’t care to analyze that because I am afraid of what I’ll find.
Something else I surmise about my parents. They must have been optimists beyond fault. They were married late in October of 1929, right after the stock market crashed.