The finest man I’ve known
I am writing today about a person in my life whom was one of the finest people I have ever known. I am writing about Mose Levenstein.
We had two in town, then one was Store Mose and the other was Junkyard Mose. I knew both, but I am writing about Junkyard Mose.
My father bought property from Mose in the early 1940s. I was 10 to 12 years old at the time; it may have been sooner than that. My father and Mose were good friends. One of my first memories of Mose was me picking up pieces of scrap metal and taking them to the junkyard and selling them to Mose.
He would say, “Ralph, you are selling me back my own junk,” but he would always give me a quarter for it. That was the start of a great memory. As I got older, I drove a truck for my father starting at 15 because of the war, he couldn’t get drivers. But I am straying away from my story.
He lived on East Washington and Mose was on East Main. Mose would take his daughter to school and anytime he would see me walking to school, he would pick me up and take me to school or home.
My father and I would get into disagreements and I know he would tell Mose and Mose would have me come over and he would talk to me. He was a kind man, a gentle man, consistent. To me, Mose was a godfather.
The people who worked for Mose and some who came in who made little insulting remarks, and Mose would just smile. I know they respected him; they were his family. They drank a little too much on weekends. We bail them out of jail, but they were my people. I grew up with them: the Hersley brothers and I can’t leave out the Robbins.