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Moshe Rabbeinu and His Walking Stick

The year was 1996. I was 64 years old and I decided it was time to "hang up my spurs" and retire from the world of advertising sales. What to do next? I offered to drive my wife, Lenore, and my cousin Sarah, from our home in Pomona, New York, westward towards Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We turned south to Gettysburg, and kept on going through the state of Virginia to Asheville, North Carolina; then turned west across the Smoky Mountains to Gatlinburg, Tennesee and on into the beautiful surrounding mountain area. We stayed at a quaint country inn near Mt. Leconte, the highest point for miles around.

The following day we went back through Gatlinburg, across the Smokys and the Appalachian trail to Asheville, N.C. Now the real fun began. We toured the beautiful, very large Vanderbilt Mansion, estate and gardens. Asheville was our home base for the next few days. From there we drove to Hendersonville, North Carolina to visit with our friends Rita and Tony Peranio. They retired there from Upper Nyack, N.Y. The next few days we all hiked the countryside and took lots of photos.

Time to head home. We stopped in Natural Bridge, Virginia, a state park. It was there that I found an interesting and large branch lying on the ground. So I asked a nearby Forest Ranger if I could take it. He said I could have anything lying on the ground. The land was originally owned by Thomas Jefferson and surveyed by a young George Washington. His initials are carved on one side of the stone bridge. From there we drove through Native American territory to Amherst County Park and a garlic festival. Then to Charlottesville, Virginia and on to Chevy Chase, Maryland to visit with my cousins Jack and Marian Hahn. Jack had a woodworking shop in his house and he convinced me to make a walking stick out of the piece of wood I had picked up a few days earlier. Back in Pomona, NY I cut it down to size, sanded it, stained it, shellaced it and put a proper rubber tip on the bottom.

Now that piece of wood sits in our apartment in Raanana. Only now it`s adorned with little souvenir shields from places we or my children have visited. When I go walking with it, people stare and often they call me Moshe Rabbeinu. I don't mean to be sacrilegious but I do get a kick out of it. I am constantly on the look-out for another branch because sooner or later my present stick will be full up and it will be time to start working on another one. 



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Friday, 12 July 2024

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