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Wednesday, October 11, 2023

This is not exactly J.D Salinger stuff, but I have take a break from watching what is going on in Israel. I needed to think about something more than the atrocities occurring both in Israel and Washington.

Barbara and I moved to Florida in 1965 after I graduated from Northwestern Law School. We had no money. I earned $440 a month. Each of our parents sent $1000 a month. Our rent was $150 a month. We had one baby, and one car.

Somehow we found Joe Sonken’s Restaurant. It was located in Hollywood where GG’s is now. Joe was a real character. There were rumors he was Al Capone’s driver. He seemed to know everyone everywhere.

Every underworld character from Meyer Lansky on down ate in the back room off the kitchen. The waiters were Manny and George. To be able to sit in that room was a real coup, but that is where we sat.

Special dishes were made for us. They had the best chicken vesuvio in the world, but all the food was great. They also made a great salad named the Julio Salad for Julie the maitre d. He had an assistant Heinz. Sal Feola strolled the restaurant playing a great guitar and singing

Joe had a little office with a gumball machine. As our family grew, they always went back to see Joe and I went back to pay my respects. I cannot tell you why but Joe took me and my family under his wing. He got me tickets for no charge, set me up a Caesar’s Palace and got me comped and a credit line of $5000 filling in no forms. He picked up the phone called Eddie Dickerman and said “give the kid the money”. That was it.

If we wanted to go someplace, he set up the hotel. He even knew the number room we should have. It was like we were the favored family of the Godfather. Joe was often in legal hot water. He had Joe Varon as his lawyer. Joe was the absolute best but Sonken did ask me to sit in the courtroom and assess how things were going. I have no idea what Joe Sonken saw in me and my family, but for a decade or more, he paved the way for us to eat and travel as well as people thousands of times better off financially. We were young nobodies trying to get ahead.

This went on for a decade or more. Sonkens used to be open for lunch. I would have my Christmas office party there. We had between 6 and 8 people. Often David would come down. I had a house charge and never used a credit card

One year, I called Julie to make the lunch reservation and I requested a Julio salad be on the table when we arrived. He asked me do I want a special salad with shrimp and I agreed. Then he asked “what about stone crabs" and I said “fine”.

Shortly after we sat down, Joe came over and whispered in my ear “kid, the salad is costing you three grand”. The $3000 was on the check I signed which I did without a whimper.

When I got home, Barbara asked me about lunch. I said it was more expensive than I expected, but the lesson came through loud and clear. Joe was telling me I had grown up. He took care of me and my family when we had nothing, and now it was time to pay back the marker.

Over the many years since this happened, I have often thought about Joe Sonken and his code of living. He made a big difference in my life and taught me many valuable lessons.


I am debating who is more of an imbecile. Trump, who says if he were President, the Hamas would not have attacked Israel, or anyone who blames Biden for the attack. Folks, this is notoriety science. The Hamas are pure terrorists, no more, no less. Their mission is to kill as many Jews as they can. This attack was estimated to be two years in the planning. There is not a single person on this earth who can be blamed for the attack.

There are people who live to place blame. It is a total waste of time. Yes, there seems to be a lapse in intelligence. One can disagree on policy issues, but these savage attacks by Hamas are no one’s fault.

Also, I have noted that a disproportionate number of those blaming Biden refuse to discuss the issue. It is easy to say “they do not want to be confused by the facts”, It is more than that. At some level, these otherwise bright people know they cannot justify their untenable position, and no one wants to be made to look like a fool.

As Golda Meir said “you cannot negotiate peace with someone who has come to kill you”..


Trump now says he wants Marjorie Taylor Greene to be Speaker. I am speechless.


George Santos is in more trouble. He should be thrown out of Congress.


The Twins got blown away by the Astros.

At 6 to 0, I turned off the Ranger game to take a shower. So far, the Orioles have been humiliated. Final score was 7 to 1 so a clean sweep for Rangers.


See you tomorrow. At least that is my plan.


Go Ukraine

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