Uncle Louie

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While I was studying electronics at Boys' Vocational School, I built a crystal radio Set. It was made from an empty round oatmeal box, wrapped with special wire and slide bars which were moved back and forth for tuning purposes. The crystal was used to pick up the different radio stations. I also used a pair of attached head phones made by Brandeis Corporation, which was considered the best at that time.

Listening to the radio was a treat. All you had to do was stretch out on the bed, place your ear phones over your head, and tune in your favorite program. However, as soon as my Uncle Louie learned of the joys the crystal set, he wanted to use it, and my private bedroom was not very private at all. When he wanted to listen to the crystal set, I had to respect his request and give it up to him. After all, he was my uncle and his word was law, no questions asked.

Uncle Louie had his demands, but he was also very good to me. He owned the tailor shop on Central Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets, where he did a good business cleaning and pressing clothes. 

He had also been an expert tailor in Italy and Argentina, where he made and altered men's and women's suits. He made me a couple of suits with extra trousers, did all my cleaning and pressing free of charge. All I had to do was help him with some banking errands, or balance his check book, or perhaps write a letter for him.

Every two weeks I would drive him to Nutley, where he owned a rental house. I would drive my car. Jule and I were married then, and many times she would come along for the ride. But she would not sit in the front passenger seat: that was reserved for Uncle Louie. Not just then, but at all times. That's what we would call listening to and respecting your elders. It gives you some idea of what was expected of us growing up during that generation.

Today, respect is totally different. It's changed to suit the modern times. Personally I think that respect in today's world has gone with the wind. Perhaps I am old fashioned, but if I had the choice, I would choose the old fashioned way to today's fashion. But that does not mean that I would deter progress if it would make life more beneficial to future generations. I believe in progress. If everyone was a "yes" person and never challenged authority, progress would be years behind where it is today. We must change and adjust to the best of our ability.