Dear Mick

Attached is a photograph of “Smokey” Davidson (an Oklahoman who owns 5 or 6 thoroughbreds) on the right, and me, at the Western (wrongly called the “Wailing”) Wall in Jerusalem. You may well ask what I was doing in that place with an owner of horses who was wearing a Summerhill Stud cap. A little patience and all will be revealed.

Our grandson, Jonah, and two of his classmates elected to have their Bar Mitzvahs in Jerusalem. A tour was arranged for their families (including grandparents) and Brenda and I were the only grandparents who were still married to each other. All the others had remarried or taken new “partners”. Smokey was there as a step-grandfather – not Jewish. He and I found we had an interest in thoroughbreds and breeding in common.

At any rate I went on one of our tours wearing my Summerhill cap as protection against the very strong midsummer Israeli sun and when I approached the Wall I suggested Smokey wear my cap which was much less disreputable than the cardboard Yarmulkes (skull caps) which were on sale there. It’s obligatory to have your head covered at the Wall if you don’t want to be lynched by the ultra-religious. I had a proper Yarmulke in my pocket, which I was wearing when my son-in-law took the photo.

And that’s how a Summerhill cap was worn by a Christian American visitor to the Wall.


Alan Magid