My granny Sally, who had a pillow-like soul (except for when she was playing gin rummy and this badass alter-ego would jump out and stomp the competition) used to warn my siblings and me to wash our hands after touching money. We’d crack up thinking it was just an old (Jewish) wives’ tale that somehow involved sticking dollars down one’s pants.
But last weekend I noticed something stamped on a 10.00 bill. Intrigued, I went to the .org address and discovered it was a website for some Aryan Nation group trying to drum up like-minded
After I finished worrying that my site visit might have somehow been recorded by a master-race web-master, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the marketing technique.
I don’t know if it’s legal or not — but how slick is hand-to-hand cross-country advertising that sends people to their computers for a little interactive promotional activity?
But back to Granny Sally.
Her family escaped the pogroms in Eastern Europe by way of Argentina, which was where she was born. They were trying to get to Ellis Island. I’m a little fuzzy on the geography-slash-details but the lore includes them getting on the wrong boat because they were looking for the one that was destined for the country that began and ended in an ‘A’.
Hello Buenos Aires.
They eventually made it to Minneapolis where she fell in love with my grandfather, Sam Bellman — who went on to become the first Jewish legislator to represent the city in the Minnesota state house. A socialist-slash-democrat he and Granny Sally raised a civil rights lawyer and a feminist — a whole family dedicated to lifting up others.
Bringing me back to the Aryan group. Pass the Sharpie. And the hand-sanitizer. Granny Sally was right.