F 1 D 0 -- 02 07 07 at 13 00

Bagels.

I was given a half dozen bagels yesterday
or the day before. Ann bought them, hoping
for a fresh bagel treat, only to find when
she started into them that they really upset
her stomach, and so I got the rest of them.

They were from the Great Canadian Bagel
Factory. They are a franchise, where the
operators pay a great deal to learn how
to make a bagel, and how to run a breakfast
restaurant. But since most of these folks,
and those who work inside, don't really 
have a clue what a bagel should taste like,
they don't usually get it right.

Interestingly, I thought they did okay this
time around.

I had a bagel yesterday, and should have
written into f1d0 right then. I had such
a strong daylight dream, I wish I had a
moment.

I was entirely awash with the feeling I got
from my first bagel. Oh, I can hear you laughing,
but this was very serious for me.

And interestingly, it isn't the first round
bagel shaped thing I recalled, but the first
true wonderful bagel experience.

I wish I could recall whether I was four, six,
eight or ten years old. But I can remember the
day of the week. It was a Sunday. It was in the
morning.

Dad took me to one of the Linitzer Breakfast Meetings.
These happened every week, or every month. He went every
never, but figured he'd bring me along, just to see what
it was like. We didn't talk about it really. Mom just
asked if I wanted to go out and have breakfast with my
father. "Sure." Well, I had better rush and get dressed.
My younger brothers didn't get invited to come with me.
I cannot remember whether there were one or two of them
at the time.

This just in. I was eight or less. We were living in
downtown Toronto, on Beaconsfield Avenue, near Queen
Street. We moved to North York during the year I was
in grade three, so it must have been before then.

Dad was wearing a powder green suit jacket, 
in a so-called modern styling. It was fine 
with his beige pants.  Everyone else was wearing
a suit too. I cannot recall if I was dressed in
a suit or not.

As we went in, there was a wooden box with skull
caps. We were to take one and wear it. Those who
did this all of the time had their own, perhaps
knitted one. Others knew enough to bring some kind
of hair clip, which kept it from flying loose.

I remember there were a lot of uncles there. I remember
Uncle Louis, the one who recently lost my Auntie Lily.
I remember Uncle Julie. I remember Uncle Carl.

Lily is my father's sister, and so Louis Kozlov
is my uncle by marriage.

Julius is my father's brother, born exactly a year
after him. Or was it a year before?

Carl Kellen is married to Celia, my mother's sister.

As I try to bring this into a journal, it only now
occurs to me that there were no women at this event.

I think we arrived shortly after 1000am, which was
just a bit late. The talking was already going on.

Someone I don't know personally was presiding. He
was saying a lot of things which I found really boring,
and this went on for an eternity.

"...And we want to extend our condolences to Brother
and Sister Borovoy. Daniel had an accident at work,
and is still in a coma. He is in the intensive care
at Mount Sinai hospital. The family requests that
we keep our cards and greetings for after Daniel
is back at home again. We wish them all the best.

"Also at Mount Sinai is Judith Silver, doing fine
after delivering Saul Moshe Silver, a big nine
pounds, two ounces. The bris is tomorrow evening
at Brother Silver's home.  Feel free to
bring something eat. You don't keep glatt kosher,
do you, Jack?" "We eat everything!" "Good. So
come out, bring something to share, and help
Saul Silver know he is part of a big loving family.

"We are happy and sad for Jack and Esther Cohen.
Their son Daniel has moved with his fiancee to
live in a kibbutz in Israel, and has plans to 
work in the Israeli Army, if they take him.

"If you are downtown, drop in on Sherry Bloom. She
is still on her back, and I hear she's bored. Go
over and say hello. Brother Bloom tells me another
two weeks, maybe a month more. Sometimes the best
charity is your time.

"Last year, at this time, we raised 1,413 dollars
for the United Jewish Appeal. We are looking for
volunteers to sell tickets, and to help out at the
raffle. Join with us and help us raise money. It
is a lot of fun, and a great way to meet others.
..."

These announcements were the purpose of this meeting,
and they felt like they went on forever.

But eventually, it was over, and I was invited 
into another room, where there were boxes. They 
were about the same size as the ones from a 
donut place, but filled with bagels.

But I'd never had them just like this before, that
I could recall. They were hot to the touch. Not very
hot, mind you. 

The butter seemed special too. It was not soft,
like ours at home, but was cold, and yet, still
manageable.  

An uncle said, "Here, let me give you a hand
with that." And he cut my bagel in half, and
cut a thin slice of butter, like a thin slice
of cheese. "Is that too much?" he asked.

It was fine. It was perfect, actually. 

But there was more. That happened to be the
first time I had experienced smoked salmon 
with cream cheese. But it wasn't as etherial
as the perfect bagels, as I'd finished the 
poppy seed bagel with a slice of butter before
I considered anything further.

There was a lot of selection in the cream cheese
department. Someone made little signs. "No Salt."
"10%" "2%" "skim".  I could not tell the difference
between the 10% and the 2%. I found the skim tasted
fine, but was crumbly and would not stick to the bagel.

I didn't like the No Salt one at all. Someone
must have heard my comment. "If the doctor says
you have to give up salt, you don't have to give
up bagels and cream cheese." He pointed to his chest,
and tapped his heart with his finger. I think this 
was my uncle Jack Silverman.

All of these, and more thoughts and feelings washed
over me having a Great Canadian Bagel, with 'everything'
(poppy, sesame, burnt garlic) and butter. The hairs on
my arms stood up, I felt so close. 

I remembered the smell of the breath of the
family members at that event. I didn't spend
much time with my dad, actually, but managed
circulating and meeting with everyone else.
Many of them have passed away. 

My dad never again went to one of them.
So neither did I. That was too bad, as I 
really enjoyed that meeting, all in all. 

That's all I know.