January 3, 2019
Chicken Man Follow up #3
Dear Mr Pinkwater
You stated: “Sounds familiar and about right to me, although I never thought the Nettelhorst elementary school was mostly Jewish…I remember being fascinated by the Christian traditions I encountered there.”
At first it took awhile for me to know that there were people with other religions. If you look at your class photos, as I have, that is were I got the 80% Jewish students. The CBOE mandated a classroom Xmas observation & celebration with songs. Most of the students would just set there silently, I guess thats were Silent Night came from. But not the Jewish holidays, never mentioned. On Jewish holidays, there were very few in the class rooms, most of the teachers were substitutes.
It's possible you did not cross Broadway at the light, supervised by a Patrol Boy, but used the pedestrian underpass, which was a secret deception and led not to the Nettelhorst in our usual world, but to the Nettelhorst in Hebrew World, identical in every detail except the inhabitants are primarily Jewish. In my classes we sang Christmas songs, ate Christmas cookies, and received Christmas cards, Jew and Gentile. I think we also may have had an electric menorah. I don't recall us doing a lot of Hanukkah, but it's a paltry holiday anyway. I have a photo of my first grade class, (I think it's posted somewhere on this site), and I can't tell which kids are Jewish. I do know that one kid who looks absolutely Irish...isn't.