Mort Laitner
Mort Laitner

A Jazzy Delight “I Have A Little Dreidel” —A Tale of Friendship

This past Hanukkah, I observed my yarmulke-wearing grandson, Carson, spinning the dreidel.

I told Carson, “Hanukkah is about family, friendships and freedom.

And that friendships are like dreidels.”

Carson scratched his head in wonder.

“Grandpa, what do you mean?”

“Well, you never know how long a friendship will last or how long a dreidel will spin.

Some friendships last; some don’t.

Some friendships, like dreidels, pass the test of time.

Those are the ones that had the time to dry.

So they were ready for some rough play.”

Well readers, today I’m going to tell you a friendship story that has passed that test of time.

A story that started over five years ago with the production of a movie called, “The Stairs.”

And one of the actors in that film was a handsome, young man named, Drew Thather.

Lois Gilbert was Drew’s Mom.

I say “was” because while “The Stairs” was being edited Drew passed away.

Needless to say, “The Stairs” was dedicated to Drew.

Needless to say, I sent Lois a copy of the film and other mementos from film festivals.

Emails flew back and forth between us.

And slowly a friendship developed.

We both loved “American Splendor” by Harvey Pekar.

Lois knew Harvey and she even sent me a comic book Harvey did about her.

And then one day, Lois picked up a harmonica.

Yes, a mouth organ.

And yes, Lois practiced.

And with each passing day, her repertoire improved.

Soon, Lois’ tunes arrived in my email.

I listened, sent back my praise and bought Lois’ CDs.

Soon, Lois and her significant other, Tony LaVorgna, an accomplished saxophonist and pianist (view his uploads on YouTube) started performing duets.

Well, as this Hanukkah approached I wanted Carson to hear a jazzy version of his favorite Hanukkah tune, so I asked my new friends, Lois and Tony, “How about composing a jazzy version of “I Have A Little Dreidel” so I can share it with my grandson and my readers.

And lo and behold they complied.

Hope you enjoy my friends, Lois and Tony’s version of “I Have A Little Dreidel” as much as Carson and I did.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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