Friday, March 26, 2010

A very Random Story/ Angels in NYC

The randomness of this story was either caused by old age (My life flashing before my eyes), serious procrastination (because I should be packing boxes for our move in a few days) or because of the randomness of the internet. Today I was doing the usual time wasting on the internet. I decided to google The One of a Kind Craft Show in Toronto because I sometimes play with the idea of doing that show. Their site led me to their blog and one more click led me to their facebook fan page. This is where I saw a comment from a woman named Devorah Miller. Well, Devorah Miller was someone that was a dance student with me way way back in Toronto when I was probably around 15. If I have the numbers mixed up just know it was a long time ago and child birth and motherhood sucked most of my brain cells out of my head.
One look at her name and this memory came flooding my mind. When I was all of 20, I hopped a flight to NYC to become a dancer. I'm sorry mom and dad, at 42 I would never dream of doing anything so foolish and I hope Dusty never leaves home. So, I didn't have a place to live or even know where I was planning to study. I didn't bother with a student visa. I just figured it would all work out. The fact that it did all work out I accredit to many of the angels who crossed my path in NYC. The first one that I met was named Uncle Izzie. Because I went to NYC on a tourist visa I did not have a social security number. Although technically you are not supposed to need one to open a bank account in the states, just try it and you will see that it's close to impossible. It was the beginning of September and the lines at all the banks were out the door. I tried two banks only to be turned down after standing in each line for over an hour. I got to Chase Manhattan and stood in that line with the fear of the same outcome. I was dressed in a guatamalan sort of poncho and a bunch of macrame bracelets. I learned to ditch this sort of outfit 6 months later after having a cigarette put out in my hair, but that's another story. There was a sweet old man behind me with a yiddish accent. He looked at my bracelets and made a not that funny joke about how many watches I had. I laughed anyways because I knew it would mean a lot to him if I did. He asked me what I was doing in NYC and I told him how I was a dancer and I had just moved from Toronto. He became so excited and said, (please apply strong yiddish accent) "Torrronnnttoooo, OY, do you you know my Devorah Miller?" Well, as it turned out I did know his Devorah Miller. I don't know if it was his grand daughter or grand niece, but he clearly loved her. "Oh you Shayna Maydele, I'm Uncle Izzie, if you need anything you just let me know." "Well," I said "If you could get me a bank account that would be great." I explained my predicament and he said no problem he knew everyone at this bank. Sure enough he did. When it was my turn he came over to the desk. The teller smiled at him and said, "Hello, Izzie, What can I do for You?" He said, "You make sure this nice young girl gets a bank account. When we got to the the question of social security number she just skipped right over it.
This story really has nothing to do with nothing, but it's amazing how all these memories stay with you and one random click of the mouse can bring it all back.


Devorah Miller said...

Oh my god Anna, that's crazy! I remember Uncle Izzy telling me that story (his version was exactly the same, minus the clothing references) and I always wondered who it was that he helped that day in the bank 20 years ago. He was a devout New Yorker and it seemed to me that everywhere he went people knew him. He loved telling that story because of the amazing coincidence of randomly making that connection. Uncle Izzy died about 12 years ago and we named our oldest daughter after him.

By the way, if you ever do decide to do the One of a Kind Show please give me a call, I've been doing it for 5 years and would be happy to help you out.

Best, Devorah


What a wonderful story - I shall go to bed and ponder on the Angels thet cross our path!

Vicky x

Earthula said...

Angels... Thank you ANNA! it is such a great collection of events!

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

...what a cool story which goes to show that all things happen for a reason...xoxo, mickey

Anonymous said...

Hi from Suzanne Miller, Devorah's Mom. I remember the story too, and puzzling over who it could be, because Izzie didn't remember your name.

He was my real uncle, my mother's baby brother, and he never had kids, but he adopted people everywhere he went. His real name was Yizak Epstein, but called himself "Uncle Izzie, first name, Uncle, last name, Izzie". It's even engraved on his tombstone, and I know he would like that.

He was a short man, with a gravely voice who loved people and loved doing things for them. We loved to stay with him; he always took everyone to the 2nd Ave Deli for chicken soup.

He would love that we all connected over this story too. Happy hat making, and dancing-creativity blooms in all directions (I'm a tango dancer), from Suzanne in Toronto,