In September of 1963, I ran away from home in Topeka, Kansas to New York City.
I wanted to study flute with Julius Baker – one of the greatest flute players who ever walked the planet. I got into Julliard, where he taught and my parents freaked out – I was way too young to live without adult supervision in New York, and besides I had a free ride piccolo scholarship to nearby University of Kansas.
But I wouldn’t let go of the idea.
I made a plan.
So I saved up a bunch of money from giving flute lessons to little kids and from a horrid summer job at the Hallmark Card factory in Topeka. When I had enough to live for six months, I hopped a Trailways bus, to the Big Apple.
On a sunny September morning, I arrived and caught a cab at Port Authority to the residence for young women that Mr. Baker’s wife recommended – it was around the corner from their coop on West End Avenue.
But something struck me.
The streets were empty. New York looked nothing like all of the movies shot there that I’d been watching for months, with the streets filled with more human beings per square inch that I could imagine. So I asked the cabbie where all the people were.
Cabbie: “It’s a holiday, honey.”
Teenage me: “Huh?”
Cabbie: “It’s New Years.”
0K, I’m thinking, that was a really, really long bus ride!
Teenage me: “But New Years is over three months from now!”
Cabbie: “Ah! It’s the Jewish New Year! Called Rosh Hashanah!”
Oh, Toto! We’re not in Kansas any more!
So today, is Rosh Hashanah. Every year on this Jewish New Year, I think back to that cab ride that began a very different kind of New Year and new life.
Oh! And my parents eventually got over it!
Yes, I know. This has nothing whatsoever to do with real estate. But remembering that day gives me a bit of the warm fuzzies!
September 17, 2018