Swimming off the Rockaways the other day we were almost run down by one of those catamarans that are as numerous on the city beaches as ants at a picnic.
We gargled a few mouthfuls of Arverne water and finally yelled at the lifeguard who was manipulating the oars to cut the clowning. Immediately the tall, thin guard jumped from his perch and with several powerful strokes was at our side.
Once again we asked what the idea was when we recognized the swimmer as Harold Kramer, former intercollegiate high scorer, star of the last International Maccabiad, and recipient of a couple of digs and cracks via this column.
"Now," he shouted, "I’ve been waiting for this chance ever since you started those shenanigans!"
"Just a minute," we managed to sputter, "You’ve got the wrong guy. I’m in the distance race to Boston. I never saw you before in my life and I’m glad I didn’t."
"So, you’re a wise bird as well. Get this straight, you’re drowning and it’s my sworn duty to save you." With these words, he succeeded in getting an unbreakable strangle hold on us.
We led with a right to his nose but a kick in the stomach tamed us at once. Quite submissively we were then towed to the catamaran and deposited on the runner in a very undignified manner.
When we had recovered sufficiently our formidable opponent said to us, "Excuse me, you’re Weiner of the Bulletin. I thought you were from the Bronx Home News."
Of course, this mistake made us fast friends for life and Kramer, the son of City College, very condescendingly said, "Forget it, fellow, I would have done as much for anybody."
As he rowed he kept up an incessant line of chatter. "Why don’t you cover the second Maecabiad that will be held next April in Palestine? You’ll get plenty of material for stories and you’ll have a grand time. I’ll never forget the trip across in 1932. We met Jewish athletes from every country in the world. The next international Jewish meet will be ever greater from the point of view of contestants and scope. The American team is sending over a contingent of twenty-five representatives for the track and field, the swimming, boxing, wrestling and tennis events. Last time there were only thirteen of us. Notwithstanding, we took first place in the track and field events and second in international scoring."
We managed to get a few words in edgewise. "How did you place in the competition two years ago?"
"I won the 400-meter free style event and one or two others and placed second in several more. Then our relay team took first place. It was a grand time and I’d like to go again next year." Sure winner for Maccabi Games and likely prospect for 1936 Olympics.
We recalled that we had seen Kramer practicing for his events in the St. George pool some time ago and remembered that his time for the 400-meter free style event was excellent.
We doubt very much if there is another Jewish swimmer in the United States today to equal Kramer’s record for this event. In our estimation he is a certain winner at the next Maccabiad and a very likely prospect for this distance at the 1936 Olympic games.
However, Kramer suddenly dropped his cars and said, "Come to think of it, you certainly look like that fellow on the Bronx Home News. I’m not taking any chances." With these words, he kicked us off the catamaran and muttering to himself, leisurely rowed away.
THE BOXING CONTEST
Although the contest to decide "Who is the greatest Jewish prizefighter of all time?" is only two days old, many letters already have been received in this office.
Don’t forget, folks, the contest closes two weeks from today. Letters of not more than 100 words giving your opinion as to who is the greatest Jewish prizefighter of all time, together with the column heading, "Slants on Sports," must be received in this office before July 31.
Eight prizes will be awarded to the winners.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.