It was about 60 years ago, and I was hitching from Brooklyn to Monticello in search of a summer job at one of the hotels.
Although I was only 17 years old, I was tall and looked older and considered myself a man of the world. Looking back, it was actually a case of juvenile ignorance and bravado… Anyway, I ended up at the Red Apple Rest. (“Stop at the Red Apple,” September 12.)
Since I had spent all my money on breakfast at a diner that morning, I merely sat on one of the benches and watched people coming and going with their food. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Want something to eat?” a man said, and before I could say anything, he handed me two dollars. I remember to this day sitting there in total surprise, looking at the money he had stuffed into my hand.
“Gay essen” – go eat, he said, and walked away. When I went to the counter to buy a hot dog I asked who that man was, and I was told, “that’s the owner.”
You know, I’ll be 75 in November, and I still remember that man, who was kind to me that day.