“Luye, come drink yur milich.” That was the familiar sound one could hear when Louie Feingood was outside playing or in someone else’s apartment. Louie was about 7 or 8 years old when I was four. He was someone to look up to. He had straight hair mostly uncombed that lay across his eyes. To relieve monocular vision, he would sometimes shake his head and reveal a second eye.
He was a quick moving apparition who only slowed down to explain some thing to you. He as especially kind to me. He would invite me into his home, to a special room to look at his massive collection of comic books. You must remember that this was in 1942 and comic books were not that old. Superman was created in 1938 by two Jewish kids and the DC Empire had just begun.
Since I was three going on 4, Louie took it upon himself to read me some of the books- Batman, Green Lantern, Captain Marvel and such. I was fascinated by the pictures and the wonderful action scenes.The works BAM, KABOOM, WHACK were emblazoned upon my small brain. Within a few short months I was able to read a number of the word clouds. By the time I lost contact with Louie, I was able to read most comics from cover to cover. I am not sure that Louie ever knew that he taught me to read.
I remember rainy days when we would sit in Louie’s room and devour the comic books, page by page. When I came to a word I did not know, I would turn to Louie and he would look away from his own book and tell me what it was. I always remembered the word, as long as he said it out loud.
As I said, I lost contact with Louie when I moved to my Grandmother’s apartment in Manhattan, at Clinton and Grand. The love of comics resurrected itself a few years ago, when I encountered a collection of 5000 Classic Comics Illustrated. I had not many a book report using those early versions of cliff notes. When I brought them home, my wife Carol must have thought I was crazy. What is a 70 year old man going to do with 5000 comic books. I had no answer. I did sell 5000 of them on Ebay and still treasure the rest of them in my office.
You never really lose those things that meant so much to you in your early life. If you miss them, see if they are around somewhere. It’s good for the continuity of your life.


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