Monday, April 16th, 2012

Lou Goldstein, 1921-2012

"Mr. Goldstein, the son of a tailor, was born on Sept. 8, 1921, in a small town outside Warsaw. The family immigrated when he was 5 and settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. He was a basketball standout at Eastern District High School in Brooklyn and Long Island University. When the Catskill hotels started basketball tournaments to entertain guests, Grossinger’s recruited him. And when he proved adept at other forms of entertainment, the hotel signed him up as its tummler."
Original hipster Lou Goldstein died at the age of 90 on April 2 of complications of Parkinson's Disease. The longtime Grossinger's resort tummler is acknowledged as the greatest Simon Says player of all time. "Tummler" is a Yiddish word meaning "someone who stirs up tumult or excitement." So, like Pharoahe Monch.

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Josh Lieberman (#209,476)

You should read this 1965 piece by Mordecai Richler for Holiday magazine.

Goldstein is only a small part of it, but the entire thing is great. Here's an excerpt:

Lou Goldstein, Director of Daytime Social Activities, was running his famous game of Simon Says on the terrace. There were at least a hundred eager players and twice as many hecklers. “Simon says, put up your hands. Simon says, bend forward from the waist. The waist, lady. You got one? Oi. That’s bending? What’s your name?”

“Mn Mn,” through buttoned lips.

“All right. Simon says, what’s your name?”


“Now that’s a good Jewish name. The names they have these days: Desiree, Drexel. Where are you from?”



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