The movie house was dark. A beautiful blonde actress smiled at me from the screen in the small Duluth, Minn., theater.
"She's Jewish," my grandma Goldie whispered as we watched "Knickerbocker Holiday."
That was my introduction to Shelley Winters, a "Jewish movie star." The very concept was inconceivable to my 7-year-old mind. Not only was she Jewish, but she kept it no secret. That was very rare in the anti-Semitic years following World War II.
"Do you need a ride home?" he asked me. Those were the last words he spoke to me. I can still feel the grip of his handshake, and his voice still rattles around in my head.