"You should kiss the ground you walk on if you were born in this country— take it from an old man who once had to wear the Star of David on his shirt. There’s a safety to living in such a diverse place. It’s much more difficult to brainwash a population that is composed of so many different nationalities and so many different viewpoints."
"The army stationed me down South when I was younger, and I couldn’t even use the same bathroom as white people. But things have changed so much. The younger generation isn’t nearly as racist. I’ve been sitting here for fifty years. So much has changed. This neighborhood used to be all black. A white person couldn’t even walk down this street. All the races kept to themselves. Now you’ve got Indians talking to Pakistanis, blacks talking to whites, everybody is here and learning from each other’s cultures. I’ve been sitting here for 50 years. Things are getting better."
I tried to give him a tip, but he waved me off. “I’m just blessing people with my music,” he said. Afterwards another confused man walked up, searched for a bucket, then just ended up laying his dollar on top of the closed case.
"What was the saddest moment of your life?" “When my father died.” “What happened?” “He committed suicide when I was nineteen.” “Did he leave a note?” “No. But he was a contractor, and his business was going under, so he was facing bankruptcy. I honestly think that he thought we’d be better off if he wasn’t around.” “What was the greatest day you ever spent with your father?” “Well, he was my soccer coach. I’ll always remember driving to practice in his Fiat, with all the soccer balls in the back seat, singing along to Tom Petty… what was that song?” “Freefalling?” “Freefalling.”
"Old people say they love their children, but they send their children to war. Old people never fight in wars. But they always start them. If they really loved their children, old people would find a way to resolve their problems.”
Yesterday, I was walking through Washington Square Park when I noticed a small boy and his mother selling cowboy supplies. “We’re saving up for a horse,” they told me.
The boy’s name was Rumi. After speaking with Rumi’s mother, I learned that Rumi has loved horses his entire life. He has horse themed shirts, toys, and backpacks. All those things are great. But Rumi’s biggest dream is to own a horse. “You can get one for $1000!” he told me. After a full afternoon of selling cowboy supplies, he’d raised $1. He seemed a little downtrodden by the afternoon’s results, but committed to his ultimate goal.
That night, I jumped on the phone with a couple of horse experts— not Rumi’s parents— who have special expertise regarding kids who want horses. These horse experts— not Rumi’s parents— told me that having a horse is super expensive. It’s just about impossible for normal parents, especially ones who live in a small NYC apartment, and who aren’t wealthy, to provide a horse for their child. Sometimes this can be quite heartbreaking.
So I thought of a plan. Let’s send Rumi on a Wild West Adventure! With the size of the HONY audience, it’d be quite a simple thing to do. I spent all last night making phone calls, and threw in $300 to get us started. Please consider tossing a few coins in the [cowboy] hat: