Monday, October 31, 2011


Marash Girl's best friend was born on Halloween, so lets fete the birthday girl with this somewhat ghoulish story (probably from the Depression) that her dad Peter used to tell.  

"I used to work for Pambook Jack who had a shoe repair shop.  Every day, a woman walked by the shop, and every day she walked by, she was hitting her son over the head with a loaf of bread.  But there was one day that the woman walked by, and she was hitting her son over the head with a loaf of cake.  I couldn't understand why, when every day she would walk by hitting her son over the head with a loaf of bread, she would now be hitting him over the head with a loaf of cake.  So I walked outside the shop and said to the lady, 'Lady.  Every day I see you walking by this shop, hitting your son over the head with a loaf of bread, but today, you're hitting him over the head with a loaf of cake.  Why is that?'  The lady chirped back, 'Today is his birthday.'"


  1. Pambook Jack was a special man. he was heavy set, short, brilliant,had a peasant's wit and stamina, wedded to an elevated spirit that grieved for the loss of life he witnessed while surviving the war against humanity, against Armenians (upwards of 4 out 5 people destroyed), perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire (1915-1918). he was a sad man who wore the mask of the wit, and whose best friend, a tall, spare man, was a barber, an intellectual, a man of letters, who hated to leave off from reading one of his books to cut the hair of a walk-in customer who had the impertinence to interrupt his reading. he wore a long coat that touched the ground, and both could be seen walking together in downtown newtonville after business hours, or on a Sunday,one short, the other tall, both with fedoras they had worn for decades. they shuffled. Pambook Jack could not read books, but he could read people. his wit provided khosrove, his friend, with the wit,comic relief, necessary to sustain life for khosrove's saturnine persona. in our adolescence, Pambook Jack was the only man who had a belly; it was not a huge belly, but one large enough to inspire tales among us of how it got there. the favorite explanation was, 'he had swallowed a watermelon seed'.
    he was always good natured about it. he was a dear uncle.
    the only other story that i recall about being hit for any reason by a parent, is the story dad told about the time he was spanked by his mother for stealing grapes during the armenian genocide. dad told that story many a time because it carried with it the gene of what separated the faithful from the unfaithful. dad saw it as a testament to his mother's faith and love of God. Grandma Yepros did not want them to live by their wits, but by the grace of God. She was proven right.

    Lastly, this is Marash Girl's birthday, and I, peterson, was her birthday present (born on the 21st) on her fifth birthday. it was indeed a hallowed eve when you, Bethel, (Hebrew for House of God and named for the place (Bet El)where Jacob fell asleep and saw the ladder to God) were born.
    Happoo Booday Bethelboo
    Boo to you.

  2. Happy Birthday and best wishes, Bethel!!

    Marko Pasha