July 3, 2008
The heart and the drive
(Page 3 - Previous Page)One can certainly question who had the first car, but there is no doubt that Hatschek owned a Benz Velo, and that alone was a pretty remarkable occurrence at that time for anyone -- but certainly for a Jewish citizen of Hungary (although who knows, he may have been dismissed by some as just another of the "nouveau riche" Jewish merchants corrupting Hungary with new ideas).
For me, I look at the picture of Hatschek Bela sitting in his Benz, his calm authority, his debonair charm, his comfort in being modern, his style, and imagine all that as part of my DNA.
Then, as if by magic, it happens again: I start to smile.
Tom Teicholz is a film producer in Los Angeles. Everywhere else, he's an author and journalist who has written for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Interview and The Forward. His column appears every other week.