We’re Not WHAT???

This is dedicated to my late uncle Oscar Moss who told me this story himself.  He had a rather bizarre sense of humor.  He was married to my dad’s sister (my Aunt Virginia) and is related to Rochelle.  So, that’s why she goes by Cuzzin’ Shelley when she signs her name on her posted comments to me.

I like to refer to myself when we’re together as “Not.”  For example, “Hello.  This is my cousin Rochelle.  She’s Jewish, I’m Not.”

But, I’m pretty proud of this little lady because she writes novels like PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME and FROM SILT AND ASHES.  So, buy one.  Buy both.  Buy the third one in the works when it gets done called, AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN.  They’re great!


Would I lie to you?

Anyway, she’s the Queen of FF Central and J. Hardy Carroll sent us the pic for today.



Oscar Moss had success in life, his own business, honesty as the day is long, many friends in the Chamber of Commerce (the only, as he put it, “Jew In Goyland.”).

At a Chamber meeting, Charlie Lavator asked him to open the luncheon with a Jewish prayer.  Oscar agreed.   “I’ll do one in English.”

Charlie announced Oscar at the dais.  All bowed their heads.  Oscar began.

“Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the World, who bringeth to us bread from the earth …”  He looked around, shook his head.  “ … and forgive this ugly bunch for not being Jewish!”


Here’s the real dude right here.  Taken from Rochelle’s photo album. He had shortened his  last name.

Oscar Moskowitz.jpg



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73 Responses to We’re Not WHAT???

  1. Dear Cuzzin Not,

    I’ll give this one five out of five bagels and throw in a shmear besides. I love it that you included the photo. I don’t know that I’ve ever met him but I’m glad he reached through the ether and connected us. Thanks for the book plugs.


    Cuzzin Shelley

  2. wmqcolby says:

    Hahahaha! Cuzzin’ Not, huh? OK. Anyway …
    Yes. I’m also very grateful for the photo. I need to contact Gini and see when we all can get together. She’s retired now.

  3. Sandra says:

    Hah! You’re a born entertainer Kent. I love a guy with a sense of humour. 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Awww, thank-you.

      He was pretty funny whenever he would come over to the house. Best jokes, we’d laugh a lot. He was a great guy.

      Missed you last week. In fact, a LOT of you were missing in action. Glad to see you, period. 😉

  4. Love the humor… I hope it brought down the right type of laughter… 🙂

  5. The Voice says:

    Oy Vey! (That’s my best Jewish line. I know. I’m an idiot.) Funny story. I suspect I would have liked your uncle Oscar. Nice sense of humor.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Oh yeah. He was a great guy, good businessman. Learned the printing trade in the army during World War II. Transferred those skills into a three-store business.

  6. Oh dear,
    I love this story, very funny.
    🙂 nice to e-meet a relative of Rochelle.

  7. michael1148humphris says:

    Well done Oscar and well done you.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thank-you, Michael. He would have loved seeing all this computerized technology. When desktop printing came to being, he was like a kid with a new toy. He was the first in Kansas City to own a Polaroid camera.

  8. A good sense of humour, and nicely written.

  9. elmowrites says:

    He clearly felt settled and among friends. Great vignette and so nice to read your intro too.

  10. helenmidgley says:

    Sounds like a great character 🙂

  11. wmqcolby says:

    He WAS a character. My aunt passed away years before he did and he just adored her. He called my dad once and said he was still working (he was in his eighties by this time) saying it gave him something to look forward to.

  12. ceayr says:

    Great little tale, very funny.

  13. d3athlily says:

    Haha loved it! I felt like I was at the prayer as well! Uncle Oscar seems like my favourite uncle. Hilarious and always quick on his feet. 😂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Oh, believe me, he was. In fact, Rochelle’s cousin, Andy Meyers, was kind of like that, too. I met Andy before I met Rochelle. Andy was a lot like him in some ways.
      Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the kind words. 🙂

  14. draliman says:

    Ha! I’m wondering if there was a huge laugh or a shocked silence 🙂

  15. Had a mouthful of tea when I read this and almost burst out with it. Had to laugh with my mouth full of tea!
    Literally laughed to pieces!
    Your writing is always fun to read!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Best review EVER when someone laughs unexpectedly and it’s major spewage on every computer screen. Thank-you! Both Rochelle and I love those moments when the laughter hits hard. Oh, if only Oscar were here to see this he’d love it, too. Such a great guy. Not perfect, of course, but a great guy.

  16. Lynn Love says:

    What a brilliant character – was he really like that? He must have been amazing to spend time with. A great anecdote and a lovely tale.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Oh yes. He really was. That event actually happened. I only made up the “Jews In Goyland” (although I doubt he would have used that phrase) and Charlie Lavator (the first and middle name of my grandpa, my mom’s dad) so the story would have some continuity.

      True story: I brought up that “incident” to him back in 1990. He said, “Ohhh, I thought the Lord was going to strike us ALL.” He told all kinds of funny jokes. He’s missed.

  17. rgayer55 says:

    Dear Kent,
    I surprised Cuzzin’ Shelley doesn’t refer to you as Cuzzin’ Knot (as in knot-head). What an enjoyable tale. There were some real characters in my family tree as well. I think that’s because most of them, at one time or another, had fallen from the tree and landed on their head.

  18. wmqcolby says:

    Hmmm. And this is a surprise to me???? Oh well … like Rochelle says, “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.” And here we always thought you grew up under a rock. 😀

    “Cuzzin Knot,” huh? Has possibilities. When you consider my full first name, Kenton, spelled backwards is Notnek, yeah. Possibilities.

    Funny story: I was at Mom and Dad’s house recently when Mom told me about when she met my aunt Virginia for the first time. Dad said, “OK, I’m going to introduce you to my sister and my brother in-law. He’s Jewish, but, you’d think SHE’S the one who is.” Lots of Type A in the family.

  19. Clearly, you and cousin Shelley share a sense of humor and an interest in history! I can imagine this went over with a good laugh… or a not. 😉 Fun story, Kent!

  20. gahlearner says:

    Notnek– I laughed about the story and admired your writing and your uncle, but the comments had me cough and sputter some more. What a great character and a lovely, funny tale. BTW, I thought you or Rochelle had mentioned being cousins before… but maybe that was in the comments somewhere… maybe even in my own blog…

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahahahaha! Notnek. Thanks! It’s been a sort of “goal” I guess to make the comments fun and encourage communication. Also it is something to do when the stories didn’t work that week.
      We probably mentioned being cousins all over the place but not very often, if at all.

      • gahlearner says:

        Reading the comments, in this challenge, is half the fun. 🙂

      • wmqcolby says:

        Well, sure. I mean, that’s what you want! It’s all about not only writing stories but talking, conversation, enjoying interaction with the others. This is definitely encouraged. That’s why this blog has been so attractive to people. Also, it helps get NEW FOLLOWERS for you and me and everybody who participates. There’s a reason why this particular blog gets written about on WordPress’ top blogsites — and this is it. Enjoy! 🙂

      • gahlearner says:

        You forgot the educational aspect. I’ve learned so much about writing since I’ve joined the FF, just through reading and comparing how great writers tackle the same prompt. I think I’m not the only one. It really is a great place. Thanks for helping. 🙂

      • wmqcolby says:

        You bet! Anytime.

  21. ansumani says:

    ha ha. I’m ‘not’ too..not the ‘knot’ like Russell says. Sounds like a you had a wonderful uncle in your life. Well written too. Enjoyed this!

  22. Great story! Sounds like a real fun guy. I’ve never heard of “King of the World” used in the prayer, it’s usually “King of the Universe.” But then again in the Reform Tradition we say “Sovereign of the Universe” to avoid making any celestial judgments about gender. Soon it will probably become “LGBT of the Universe” to make sure everyone is covered.

    • wmqcolby says:

      You’d have liked him, Perry. He knew “King of the World” before it became “Universe.”
      As for that last comment, I’m running as fast as I can before the lightning strikes. Shalom, shalom!

  23. jellico84 says:

    Oh, how humorous. I can imagine what it would be like to be in the room and hear this prayer… sorry, can’t hold back the giggles…

  24. wmqcolby says:

    Let those giggles be RELEASED! It’s fine! Enjoy! 🙂

  25. Nan Mykel says:

    What fun. I love it when family gets into the act. I’m surprised more don’t.

  26. Alice Audrey says:

    LOL I hope they didn’t mind the insult.

  27. plaridel says:

    of course, he was only joking. great punchline. 🙂

  28. Amy Reese says:

    Now I see the connection! Did you guys talk before the blogs or see each other? How great you can connect the family ties out here with a story. I love the photo of Oscar. He sounds like quite a character.

  29. wmqcolby says:

    Oh, we see each other all the time. Rochelle got me into writing since we co-write a play together 11 years ago. We met some years ago and we just clicked. I became the little brother she never had (they got a dog instead). Yeah, Oscar was quite a character. I was hoping you’d be by to read soon! 🙂

  30. mjlstories says:

    Great fun! And loved the old photo.

    • wmqcolby says:

      I love that old photo, too. Rochelle’s aunt and uncle Edith and Bill Meyers took that photo on their wedding anniversary, 1932. Oscar was looking pretty young then! 😉

  31. Another great story from you Kent. I enjoyed reading it and got a laugh.

  32. Funny story, Kent. Your Uncle Oscar had a great sense of humor. He was also a handsome man ,going by the picture. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

  33. wmqcolby says:

    Well, thank-you very much, Suzanne! He did have a great sense of humor, even though it was pretty out there at times. He would so much as, say, joke about the St. Louis arch and a guy who thought it was a McDonald’s. Something like that. Too funny.

  34. rosemawrites says:

    Love the humour and the wit! 😀

  35. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Rose! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

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