Sunday, November 21, 2010

Standing Up To The Man

To really enjoy the better things in life, you must have experienced the things they are better than.

Oskar Holmolka
One day I was having a bite to eat at my local restaurant in New York City. I was by myself. A family of four came in and took a table. After they had ordered, one of the men started talking about New York in very uncomplimentary terms. They were obviously tourists from some place out west.

The man started railing about the city: the crowds, the dirt, the noise, the subway system, the cab drivers, and the food. He began to suggest that New York should be dumped by the rest of the country and fend for itself if it couldn't "clean up it's act."

Then he made jokes about it like who wants to live in a place where you never see the sun because the buildings are in the way. He made some remarks about dirty immigrants.

I was getting very annoyed but I wasn't going to say anything. However, there was a man dressed in work clothes sitting at the counter having his supper. He had his back to them and when he heard the remark about immigrants he turned around pointed his finger at the scoffer and said, in a foreign accent which sounded Eastern European, "You. You don't know what you're talking about."

He went on to say that he was from Europe, that he lived in places where he and other people couldn't work or find a place to live because they didn't have the right papers, or the right name, or the right language. Or they didn't belong to the right political party.

He said he fought in the war for the Hungarian army and when he got out he joined the French army. He said he had seen cities all over Europe, Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Paris. Genoa, Rome. He said "This is the greatest city in the world." He said here he can work and be free. He went on to say that he hoped the man would go home soon and not come back. Then he returned to his meal. There was no further discussion about New York City.

Oskar Homolka was an Austrian actor with a long and varied career in Austria, Germany, London and the United States, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in "I Remember Mama."

He and his wife fled Germany when the Nazi's came to power.

Homolka could have been that man in the restaurant who stood up for New York. He certainly experienced things that his life was better than.

DB - The Vagabond


You are to finish the following sentence by filling in the blank spaces with whatever words you choose.

Once I had ___________ and I _____________ but ________which was too bad, but _____________ any way, and _________________ at last.

The best sentence wins a prize. The decision of the brain challenged judge is final.

Good Luck


Valerie said...

Bravo to the gentleman who stood up to the complainer. Some people are not happy no matter where they are or what they see. I am so grateful that I am not waking up in a mud hut somewhere with no food. I have never heard of Oskar Holmolka. I am going to Google him. Thanks, Dana. Good day to you, my friend. xox

mrs. miss alaineus said...

so true.


pacifica62 said...

Why does it sometimes take a complete stranger to make us appreciate more what we have. I work with a few immigrants here who have gone through hell in their home countries. We really do not understand what war or ethnic cleansing is until we hear some of the horror stories and how they change a person's life forever. I really like this quote and find it to be so true. We are so complacent about our life and freedoms here and it takes someone who has had these taken away from him/her to make us value what we have.

Ally Lifewithally said...

I do admire the gentelman who defended NY ~ that was very brave of him ~ Ally x

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I think it is time we all stopped being complacent and start speaking up for what we believe. We have let the squeaky wheels have the pulpit for to long.

Beth said...

I love it! Jeez, it seems that the Ugly American tourist is ugly even in his own country. ::sigh::