The Jewish Name Game

Ace feature writer Lenore Skenazy kindly quoted me in an article in the new issue of the Forward titled, “When a Name Screams ‘I’m Jewish!‘” I finally made it into the fabled Forward, which has printed my acerbic letters on stories before, but this is the first time I cracked its editorial pages. Skenazy writes,

But then there are those who wouldn’t give up the identifying moniker for anything. “I enjoy having a Jewish last name because it much better identifies me as a Jew than does my first name,” said Van Wallach, a proposal writer at an accounting firm. His dad was crazy about racecars, so he was named for a British car from the 1950s, the Vanwall. (His brother Cooper was also named for a car.) “If I was a girl,” Wallach added, “I would have been Jaguar.”

The part of the article that amused me the most were the quotes from one woman (I won’t say which) whom I had met on Jdate in the mid-80s. We haven’t had any contact in years, but if I can dig up her email address I’ll drop her a line and say, “Hey, we’ll always be connected through Lenore’s Jewish-names article in the Forward. Small world, isn’t it?”

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/181152/when-a-name-screams-im-jewish/?p=all#ixzz2aOclvETC

The Bobby Pickles Podcast

Podcaster extraordinaire and t-shirt design maven Robert Piccirillo, a/k/a Bobby Pickles, interviewed me on the steps of the New York Public Library recently for his podcast program. This marked the first interview I’ve done in a public setting and it went well. Bobby had the questions, the technology and the knack for connecting that makes for a fun give-and-take.  Give it a listen — it’s one of the best (and unlike my last interviewers, some radio shock jocks, no Holocaust jokes!).

Who the heck is Bobby Pickles? I’ll let him explain:

Robert Piccirillo, better known by his nom de plum, Bobby Pickles, is a professional podcaster/tee shirt peddler. Pickles began his rise to prominence in 2013 when he appeared on the TLC reality series “America’s Worst Tattoos”. Bobby is Co-Founder and CEO of FAT ENZO, a brand of satirical graphic tee shirts depicting people of history, literature and pop culture, which he peddles at Union Square in New York City. He is the host of The Bobby Pickles Podcast, which can be downloaded for free on iTunes. And he has a BA in English from the University of Florida.

So give my interview a listen, check out his other programs, and if you want to be really fashion forward, buy some of his t-shirts. Support Staten Island entrepreneurship.