I Once Visited Third Base

by Norman Horowitz

Barry Switzer was a famous football coach. A Chicago Tribune article once opened with a quote from Switzer: “Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”

To me, this fits Mitt Romney perfectly.

I write this out of a sense of frustration in that Romney comes from “the landed gentry” and cannot “pull off” his portrayal of being an “everyman.”

I was not raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, as Mitt was.

I was raised in the Bronx.

I did not attend Stanford for a year, as Mitt did.

I was not in France for 2 1/2 years as a Mormon missionary.

I entered the United States Air Force during the Korean War.

I did not earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Brigham Young University or a joint JD and MBA from Harvard University in 1975 as a Baker Scholar.

I attended the RCA Institute studying electronics and worked at a minimum wage job to be able to support myself.

I did not enter the management consulting business, which led Mitt to a position at Bain & Company.

I got a clerical job at Screen Gems International.

I did not serve as CEO of the company.

Maybe that’s why I do not oppose mandatory carbon caps known as “cap and trade”…

And why I do not favor increased domestic oil drilling…

And why I do not support a managed bankruptcy of the American automobile industry…

And why I do not favor getting tougher with China on trade issues…

And why I get annoyed when Romney says:

The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family.

The dignity of work? Really? How would he know?

I Apologize

by Norman Horowitz

Growing up in the Bronx in the thirties and forties as the second son of a middle-class Jewish family, I was shielded from many realities of the world by my caring parents. They were up to their elbows in rules. They instilled in me the dangers of dating or (God forbid!) marrying Christian women.

I was in a relationship with a very pretty, very nice, and extremely smart Jewish girl from the time I was thirteen until I was eighteen. The girl went off to college and, sadly for me, ended our relationship.

I quickly came across a very pretty, worldly, older woman — my first Shiksa. She was so very different from other women I had known until that time.

But then the Korean War became part of my life, and this relationship ended.

There I was in the United States Air Force and surrounded by total non-Jewish stuff: people, places, and things.

After basic training, I was stationed at Scott Air Force Base just outside of St. Louis and in school six days a week. On Sunday, my friends and I went to St. Louis to the YMHA and a Jewish brunch where I met and asked out a very pretty Jewish woman who had moved to St. Louis from Lubbock, Texas, a few months before.

The following Saturday night, I arrived at her home for our date and was warmly greeted by her mother. We sat in her living room awaiting her daughter’s arrival from upstairs. The mother interrogated me in a manner worthy of the FBI.

Being, if anything, more of a smart ass at the time than I am today, I stood up after about ten minutes of questioning and said something like, “I am leaving to give you time to figure out what to tell your daughter as to why I left. Many of your questions were acceptable, but asking about my family’s financial situation and what I planned for my life was a bit much in front of a first date.”

I went on to tell her that it was my father’s position that, if you wanted to know about what a woman would be like after awhile, spend time with her mother, and I had just unhappily done that.

Out the door I went, vowing to give up Jewish women forever.

I spent the next four years dating non-Jewish women from the towns surrounding my base. These women were different in many ways. I annoy most Jewish women when I explain that of course they were different: They were not raised by Jewish mothers.

I ended up marrying and, after 28 years together, divorcing a Jewish woman.

Following my divorce, I met and fell in love with a wonderful Shiksa: Carol, the daughter of a Fundamentalist Church of Christ Minister.

This is an apology to Carol. For all of these years, I have told her that the word Shiksa was not a pejorative.

I have been wrong for all these years. I apologize.

Over these years, I also learned that my father was right.

What he didn’t tell me, however, was that neurotic women only get more neurotic with the passage of time and that intense sexual attraction diminishes with the passing of time as well. As a neurotic man who has become more neurotic over time, I should know.

I wonder what ever happened to the Jewish woman in St. Louis.

An Open Letter to Major Ron Pierce (Ret.)

This is a response to the email from Major Pierce, shown at the bottom of this post.

Dear Major Pierce:

My name is Norman Horowitz. I am 79 years old and will be 80 in July of this year.

I served in the United States Air Force from January of ’52 until November of ’55.

I was a radio maintenance student for almost a year, followed by a teaching assignment for three years.

My life was never in jeopardy. Following basic training, I spent a few months less than four years at Scott AFB in Belleville, Illinois.

I would be happier, Major Pierce, if the Democrats spent some time and treasure looking into the reasons we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first instance.

Also, Major Pierce, I would be interested in knowing why it took President Obama so long to announce “one of the largest increases in funding for veterans’ health care in decades, so they can return to the care they need.”

Lastly, Major Pierce, I’d like to ask that you suggest to America and the Democrats that it is incumbent upon them to resist going to war when asked to do so for questionable reasons by a Republican President.

A/1C Norman Horowitz
AF 12394420