Retired real estate investor Benjamin P. Feldman picked up an old change purse at a flea market and was intrigued by the name stamped on it: Compliments of Sol Goldberg’s Cafe. So he began to investigate.
Feldman told the New York Times’ Joseph Berger: “I needed to know this guy,” Mr. Feldman said. “I sensed a very sad story and wanted to know what happened to this poor guy.” The New York Times has the story.
Here’s Feldman’s account in his blog, New York Wanderer:
Browsing among the vast piles of bric-a-brac in a Chelsea flea market right before Hannukah, a tiny leather change purse caught my eye. Sifting through piles of dust-covered junk, golden lettering on the item’s battered side gleamed at me like a nugget in dirt.. The Yiddish version of the old saw sprang into my head, my grandfather’s shmaltz-coated voice ringing in my ears: Fun a khazerishe ek, makht men nisht keyn shtraymel” “From the tail-end of a pig, one doesn’t make a Hasidic man’s fur-banded holiday headpiece.”
Feldman not only tells the story of Sol Goldberg and his offspring, he also shows how he conducted the research. He’s my kind of fellow!