‘Once in a While’

I’m relaxing in my black leather chair, with my feet on my desk, intently listening to my favorite harmonic player, Lois Gilbert.

She’s playing a rendition of a jazz classic entitled, “Once in a While.”

It’s a 1937 tune written by Michael Edwards with lyrics by Bob Green.

Since it’s a bit before my time; I don’t think I’ve ever heard this tune.

But Lois plays it beautifully.

And my ears kvell.

I google the lyrics and learn the song’s universal message.

Lover wants girlfriend back but she has moved onto another man.

Lover prays that “once in a while” she thinks about him.

For if she does, there’s a glimmer of a chance, an ember of hope, that she’ll return to him.

Yeah, I’ve been there and so have you.

But now, those four words—once in a while—twist and twirl around my brain, like a Kansas tornado. before crash on my blogging house.

The dust settles.

And I think, “Once in a while, I’d like to write less about anti-Semitism.”

Is that possible?

I doubt it.

I know that I’m obsessed.

Yes, even my friends and family tell me so.

But just because I’m obsessed and a bit paranoid doesn’t mean that almost every day, when I read the news in TOI or the Jerusalem Post, that the bigots or the neo-Nazis or the racists haven’t found a way to worm themselves into headlines and into my head.

And just because I’m a bit paranoid doesn’t mean I live in the land of fear.

Yes, Holocaust deniers make me nervous.

Yes, haters are often murders.

And yes, every day these crazies act nuttier and nuttier.

And yes, I must call them out for their repugnant behavior.

And yes, I know there’s a chance that my words may lead to consequences or have repercussions.

But I will not live in the land of fear.

So you ask me,  “Why is this happening?”

I want to blame the plethora of anti-Semitism found in the social media.

But I know that years ago, Hitler sold his propaganda with movies, books, newspapers and radio.

I know that when the naive read or see or listen to enough of this anti-Semitic crap, it eventually sinks into their small minds and they fall prey to the message.

I know that many of these brainwashed find invitations in their emails to join racist clubs or meetings or rallies.

And I know some of them join, attend and rally.

And I know they’re everywhere.

Scan my blogs and you’ll see the haters have found entry in every profession, from cops, to soldiers, to librarians, to school teachers and their students.

Scan my blogs and you’ll read about their terror attacks across our nation on synagogues, churches, schools, police stations, daycare centers, nursing homes, and even cemeteries.

And I know that Shirley Jackson is right when she calls these idiots, “gullible, rude, frequently illiterate and horribly afraid of being laughed at.”

So you ask, “Who empowered these reptiles to stick their slimy necks out of their shells.”

You know.

I don’t have to tell you.

But as your slightly obsessive, slightly paranoid blogger,

“Prepare for some rough times ahead.”

So do any of you take me seriously?

I doubt it.

Will any of you take any form of action?

I doubt it.

But maybe a few of you do and that’s enough for me.

Yes, you’re my glimmer of a chance, my ember of hope because “once in a while” you even say, “Thanks.”

And that’s enough for me.

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 was a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal. He has recently taken on the post of president of the South Florida Writers Association.
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