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Bud Grossmann’s
Words of the Week
for the Week of
January 19, 2020
Previously unpublished anecdote.
© 2020 by Bud Grossmann
All Rights Reserved.

Son of a Cantor (1967)
  Son of a Cantor (1967)
© 1967 by Bud Grossmann


My reminiscing, in last week’s WoW about a professor who amused some high schoolers in class, brought to my mind another story that I heard and enjoyed in that glorious place and time, at the little Lutheran college in Oakland, California, in the late 1960’s.

At the start of my sophomore year, a professor and his wife hosted a Get-Acquainted-With-the-New-Faculty party. At that gathering, my classmate Bill West told me he had been exchanging biographical chitchat with a just-arrived professor of biblical Greek. The professor asked what Bill’s dad did for a living. Bill told him that his father was employed in an aircraft factory in Los Angeles. Then Bill added, “Oh, but there’s another thing Dad does; he’s a tenor in a quartet of cantors. They sing in Hebrew in services in synagogues. And an interesting thing is, the whole quartet, they’re all Gentiles!”

“Ah!” said the professor, delighted. “What do they call themselves, The Four Skins?”

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