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funny. We'd go away on vacations together in the wintertime up in the mountains, to places. Sam would always enliven everything by telling stories. His wife Esther was his greatest audience there. But anyway, so one year I'm at Arrowhead Lodge, and it may be '39, '40, I can't remember the year, and the band makes a very small amount of money, but you're given the right to have an affair for the band where you can charge the guests money, and that money will add to your income. Well, it's a tradition that you must have outside talent, because you can't do the same thing and charge for it. So this is done by all bands around in the resorts. So they tried to arrange to get outside talent from other resorts. That summer, my brothers were not playing. My parents had a place in the mountains there, a place where we'd go for the summer. Sammy rented a place right nearby to be near them. Henry and I were in the band. Henry may not be in, but I think he is. I'm not certain of it. So I go to Sam and I say, “Sam, I want you to come. We're going to advertise you as coming from the Hotel Glass in Fallsburg. It's so far away, nobody will know. You come and you tell stories.”

He says, “Absolutely not! I don't do it in front of strangers. I just talk to small groups of people.”

Finally, he agreed. He comes and he gets up and he starts talking, and he just kills everybody. The owner is there, and after it's over, he invites the band, everybody comes into the kitchen for cookies and milk and that kind of thing. And I could see that the owner Begun -- the brother -- I forget his first name, but the brother of Isidore Begun, the head of the Communist Party in the Bronx. He's not a political person, but his family is. Well, anyway, he approaches Sam and he says, “How would you like to come back next year on the staff?”

He says, “Yeah? With my wife?”

He says, “Yes, your wife can come, too.”

And Sam says to him, “You know, I play the violin. I can play dinner music, too.” So he came back. That was his first job.


As a comedian.


As a storyteller, yes, a comedian. We would bring up in the summertime Irwin Corey, Josh White was around at that time, a lot of people. “Leadbelly,” I think, came. All kinds of people were coming that we would bring up to perform. In one year, this was before the war, about '39, I am there and we have a social director who gets fired and I am now the social director doing his routines, and doing

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