Monday, December 26, 2016
3 NY Yankee Baseball Caps
I had taken my kid and his two friends to a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium several years ago one sunny afternoon. After the game, on the way out of the stadium, we passed Bronx vendors selling overpriced baseball caps. I wasn’t going to shell out $28 per Yankee-logo cap.
We climbed the stairs of the nearby subway station and got into the train. Just as I entered, I noticed two fellows hurrying up the remaining steps to make it before the subway doors shut. I held the door open for them.
One of the two saw the kids sitting next to me. Right away he came over and gave each kid a brand new NY Yankees baseball cap! He was holding 4 of them under his arm and now he was left with one. His friend smiled approvingly.
Now I happen to have a long beard, sport a Chabad fedora and wear my tzitzis out, definitely looking of Jewish persuasion. And the boys were wearing their kippahs.
Seeing an opportunity to inject some Judaism, I got up and walked over to the other one. “Are you Jewish?”, I asked. My impression is these young men had no head covering.
“Not only am I Jewish”, said he, “I’m Orthodox”! That took wind out of my expected conversation.
“Where do you daven”, I asked. He mentioned a Lower East Side location, also mentioning the synagogue he davened at. I asked him what it is he does and he said he runs a newspaper, the NY Observer.
At home, out of sheer curiosity, I looked up that journal I never heard of, did a little research and discovered I had met Jared Kushner and his good friend, the one who handed the kids the baseball hats. His friend was the journal’s editor-in-chief, at the time retiring from his job to seek another challenge. I think he lived in Westchester. His name was Peter Kaplan. I never did get to speak to him. The few words I spoke were with the young Kushner.
They impressed me as two successful, smart fellows who were naturally kind. They got off in lower Manhattan; We kept going to Brooklyn.
This story happened years before Trump became a household word. I knew practically nothing of him back then.
I relay this story now only because I like Trump and, as you see, I also regard favorably his son-in-law.