13 April 2018

Published April 11, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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Week 2 of our road trip. Expect delays. 

Please be considerate of the over 70 weekly participants and keep your stories to 100 words. Thank you. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

YING’S THING

David Kaminsky pressed his nose against the soot-covered window of the Brooklyn tenement. Then, bowing his head, he studied his bar mitzvah reading. “This Saturday, I’ll be a man.”

“You’ll always be my baby. Someday, you’ll sing. You’ll dance. Now drink your milk.”

______

“She was so proud of me that day,” he told his wife as he stirred peapods and chicken in a mammoth wok. Light limned his red hair and his mother’s wedding band on his pinkie.

“She would be proud of you this day, too,” said Sylvia Kaye. “There’s no better chef in the universe than my Danny.”

*Ying’s Thing was the name Danny Kaye gave his Chinese kitchen. Who nu? 😉

 

This multi-talented performer was one of the mainstays of my childhood. I confess that I borrowed his given name for a character in my third novel AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. 

DANIEL KAMINSKY
Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

To know more about Mr. Kaye, Click Here

 And Here

132 comments on “13 April 2018

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I love this. Who nu indeed that as well as singing, acting, comedy, this Jewish boy opened a Chinese Restaurant? Only you would find this out and share it!

    Enjoy the rest of your road trip!

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  • A wonderful singer. I hear a piece by him every now and then on WOBO FM 88.7, our local Public Radio station. Didn’t know much about him as a man. Loved your story. Now, off to create some mayhem of my own…. BTW, today is the Anniversary of when I wrote my first story for this group back in the near beginnings… I was at blogspot at the time, and you got me hooked over here to wordpress… ah, good mems indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  • This is such a lovely, domestic scene in the kitchen – coupled with him as a child, his head filled with excitement for his bar mitzvah. I had no idea he was Jewish or that he was a great cook – such gems you share with us, Rochelle. Isn’t amazing how many famous Americans of past eras were from Eastern Europe and felt the need (or were persuaded) to change their names in order to make it. Kind of sad, too though, having to disguise your cultural heritage to make yourself more acceptable to the public. Things have changed, thankfully.
    Thanks for the reminder of the talented Mr Kaye – Hans Christian Andersen, Walter Mitty, White Christmas, I remember him in them all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lynn,

      Hollywood was so different back in the day, wasn’t it? So many names changed such as Eugene Orowitz, also known as Michael Landon and Bernie Schwartz who later became well known as Tony Curtis. Kirk Douglas started life as Issur Danielovitch. (Wonder if he would’ve achieved the same level of celebrity.)
      I think I knew that Danny Kaye was Jewish. At any rate, he was one of my childhood heroes. 😀 Thank you as always for your lovely comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • And it’s happened more recently too – would Ramon Estevez have achieved the same fame back in the 1960s if he hadn’t changed his name to Martin Sheen? Thank goodness people can be themselves now. Always a pleasure 🙂

        Like

  • I grew up with Danny Kaye too. Though, I confess I never knew he owned a Chinese restaurant. The man was hilarious. I loved his movies. I can still remember his messing up, “This pistle with pestle has the brew that is true…” I laughed so hard, I had difficulty breathing. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  • Clever story, Rochelle, working in the cooking angle. Danny Kaye was an original, I never knew he liked to cook and to that extent. Funny thing, in the 70’s, in Sacramento, I took cooking classes as a way to meet women, Chinese and Italian also, so that cracked me up. I took quite a few Chinese classes and for one was a young man by the name of Martin Yan. That was some class.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ted,

      The cooking aspect really interested me because my dad, also a NY Jew from Brooklyn, was also a professional cook. He introduced me to Chinese food at an early age and I’ve always loved it. One of my jobs as a young married was at a local Chinese restaurant. So? Do you do much cooking these days? And…thank you. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Katarzyna (the E.T.) W(T)F,

    I would have never guessed he was into cooking Chinese food.

    I suspect you’ll have quite a collection of Do-Not-Remove tags by the time you return from your road trip. Crossing state lines with them makes it a Federal offense. Just sayin’ . . .

    Detective Lowry

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Detective Lowry,

      I put all those tags in my invisible box. But you didn’t get that from me. You’ll never find them.

      On the planet Juniper we love us some Danny Kaye. We phone his movies home. Thanks for flying by.

      Nanu Nanu,

      Katarzyna (the E.T.) W(T)F

      Liked by 1 person

  • So telling were the those times when stars last names changes.Nothing to ethnic.. i.e. Dean Martin.. Simple era but much wasn’t talked about. Maybe we have too much information now…I seem to remember him along side Bing:)

    Liked by 2 people

  • You are so clever, Rochelle…how he made me laugh !!!…
    “The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon! The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true! “.. the chalice at the palace…and so on …truly a court jester…

    Liked by 2 people

  • Such an immensely, phenomenally, talented man, such an inspiration for talented men and women who dare to dream, despite their life situations. Such a wonderful tribute! Thank you, Rochelle for sharing Kaye’s story, and for sharing the link so I could learn more. I admire how you bring past to life with your writing.
    Love and a happy 2nd week of the road trip ,
    Moon

    Liked by 2 people

  • Hi Rochelle,
    Great reminder of a great man. He made me laugh too throughout my childhood and beyond and some of his lines, such as the one Valerie quoted, still stay with me today. And some of his characters like Walter Mitty were just wonderful. I didn’t know that he cooked however – you always have some wonderful little known morsels about the people you highlight.
    Have a wonderful road trip. Cheers Irene

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Nice trip down memory lane. Really enjoyed listening to the tribute. Duets like that are so tender and memorable – and it’s a shame that it’s such a dead venue. I think of “Baby, It’s cold outside” – one of my favorites.Thanks for the links. Nice reading and remembering Kaye’s history. He gives off such a warm and caring aura. Loving man.

    Randy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Randy,

      I hadn’t really thought about duets, but I do remember a few on my parents’ 45’s. Doris Day and Donald O’Connor come to mind. Loved “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” I miss Danny Kaye. Thank you for joining me on Memory Lane.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • The most interesting things we learn about celebrities are often the things that make them more ‘normal.’ This serves as a good reminder that there is a lot more to the real person than meets the eye. This was lovely 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Dahlia,

      Talk about late replying to a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my little Danny Kaye piece. I adored him as a child. He was so funny, I don’t remember realizing what a handsome man he was until later in life. (Had a great vacation in April, too. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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