In case you wanted to know…
1. My Grandfather (“Handsome Bill Sobule) was a barker and shill for his friend, Jack Dempsey, at the Sells-Floto circus. “Handsome Bill” also knew Legs Diamond and palled around with assorted shady Jewish mobsters.
(My grandfather is the guy tween the woman and the guy holding the hat. Dempsey (The Manassa Mauler) is the one with the big hands.)
2. My dad studied French and pre-med. His job in WW2 was to translate for the American doctors checking and treating for STD (VD in the day) at all the whore houses in Paris. He looked upon those days fondly. I am not quite sure why he came home with a Purple Heart. He later became a veterinarian and neutered Sonny Liston’s dog – back to boxing
3. My great-great grandfather was the Tailor to the Tzar. However, I have heard several people say that their great-great-grandparents were the Tailor to the Tzar.
4. My Uncle Arnold was a nuclear physicist with The Manhattan Project. In 1944, at the Philadelphia Navy Yards, he was critically injured in an accident that supposedly was the very first nuclear blast. According to Wikipedia, “his mother (my grandmother) came to visit him by train from Denver, carrying with her a jar of chicken soup on the three-day trip, which she fed him upon her arrival at the hospital, which Kramish would credit for his unexpected recovery.” After the war, the family suspected he became an international double spy.
5. Uncle Arnold believed that Ginger Roger’s mother might have been my actual biological great-great grandmother after an affair she had with my great-great grandfather – the one from my mom’s side, not the Tailor to the Tzar.
6. I am somehow related to Billy Goldberg – the only Jewish WWE world wresting champ! And, I am also somehow distantly related, I’ve been told, to the Handlers who founded Mattel Toys. Mrs. Handler created the doll named after her daughter, Barbie. So, that means…I am related to Barbie.
7. My mother won a big singing and tap-dancing competition in Denver when she was a child. She won a ventriloquist doll. My Uncle Arnold put a lit cigarette in the doll’s mouth and burned its head. She is still pissed.