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The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

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My Reverie

By Zalkind Hurwitz

The Magpie, Spring 1941, v. 25, n. 2, p. 9.

They ask me why I don't study . . . my mother and father, that is. I keep thinking of last summer. I was a piano player last summer . . . in the mountains . . . in the "Borscht Belt."

I think of the jam sessions we had; of the girls from the "cochalain" who would come up at night to dance; of the sessions around the juke-box in the village drug store. We used to hike there—two and a half miles—after we had finished the evening.

I think of the trips back at 2:30 a.m. I remember waking and seeing the misty mornings and the deep grass outside the casino window. I still hear Nat with the dinner bell, ringing it to get us up.

I remember the boys jumping up whenever a new head would arrive at our hotel.

I laugh at the jamming we did during the dinner hour . . . stuff like "In the Mood" or "Pennsylvania 6-5000."

I laugh at the way Jack—he was our trumpet player—would get us our lifts on the road... dashing out and waving his shirt at the drivers.

I laugh at the Saturday night skits we would put on. They were good, too . . . the women in the audience would scream with laughter.

And I remember Thelma. She came from Brooklyn, and she was a very nice looking girl. I liked her. You don't see her kind in the Bronx. I remember Skippy, too. She came from Brooklyn, also. It's funny . . . we only got Brooklynites up there in Woodbourne—never a Bronxite.

Oh yes, I was the big shot up there. I remember the girls coming up during Intermissions and looking through my library.

"Don't mess up the music," I would say.

"Oh, no, we won't." Oh yeah, sure enough.

"Oh, can you play 'Stardust,' or 'My Prayer,' or 'Jumpin' at the Woodside'?"

And then I'd play for them, and I'd hear their sighs, and I'd feel so good.

Often we would go to the "Skyhouse"—that was a neighboring hotel. They had a solid trumpet-player there. Sometimes I'd sit in with them on piano. It sure was good playing next to a trumpeter like Dave. They had a pretty good bass-fiddle, too. He once played on WOR.

This summer it's going to be the seashore . . . in Jersey.

Twelve more weeks . . . Cripes! What a long term!

The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

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