Saturday, October 20, 2007

Is That Santa Claus? Is It Merlin? No, It's The Monkey Man!



From time to time I run into Lenny at one place or another around town. This is at Jimmie's Place. Whenever I see him these days with his white beard and long white hair I always picture him in a black cloak dressed up as Merlin, conjuring up potions and casting spells.

I still remember him as a grade school kid, the younger brother of my best friend Irwin, back in high school. I haven't seen Irwin in at least thirty years. He moved away. Lenny is still living in the same house he lived in back in 1956 when I first met him.

He has a few pet monkeys that are trained to tip their little hats and beg coins which they then take out of the hat and put in their jacket pocket. Lenny dresses as a nineteenth century organ grinder, cranking his hand organ. He does childrens' parties and local festivals, and the kids love him. We keep talking about introducing his real monkeys to my toy monkeys for a photo session, but it hasn't happened yet.

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