HomeOpinionColumnsLaughing Matters – Jerry’s Memoir Is On The Market! Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:00 amColumnsFeaturedLaughing MattersNewsLaughing Matters – Jerry’s Memoir Is On The Market!Jack Neworth10 months agojerry rosenblumLaughing MattersEleven years after he started, Jerry finished just had his memoir published. Courtesy image. Before I clarify how I became the “co-writer,” the far more remarkable event is that Jerry Rosenblum, who moved here in 1963 and who’ll turn 99 in January, just had his first book published, An Angel On My Shoulder. (Ever busy Jerry’s already only half-joking talking about a sequel, An Angel on My Other Shoulder.)Spanning from 1922 to 2020, Angel contains 98 fast-paced and uniquely varied chapters, one for each year of his life. Born and raised in Brooklyn, imagine that Jerry remembers the excitement of Lindbergh’s 1927 landing in Paris and feeling comforted by FDR’s first fireside chat in 1933.Jerry’s book is often touching, funny and filled with colorful characters. Many are famous, like Muhammad Ali who wound up the world’s most recognized person and some infamous like mobster union official Alan Dorfman, who wound up with a bullet in his head. (Ouch!) Jerry knew them both.Exceptionally congenial, Jerry is blessed with an infectious sense of humor and a unique ability to have a front row seat at many historic events and met a number who made that history. (I refer to Jerry as the “thinking man’s Forrest Gump.”)However, Jerry also writes about the extremely difficult times in his life, such as his father’s passing when Jerry was 12 and his having “to be the man of the house” to help support his family. As is tragically happening currently, he and his family were evicted during the Great Depression and Jerry recalls sadness and helplessness as his family’s furniture was piled on the sidewalk. And he remembers in vivid detail the dangers of his Navy service at Pearl Harbor during WWII.Typical Jerry, he feels overcoming these challenges made him stronger and have contributed to his longevity and wonderful life. The fact is, Jerry’s the most positive, upbeat person I’ve ever known. (Hopefully you might meet him as I’ll spell out later.)In a painstaking labor of love, for the past year Jerry and I thoroughly rewrote a manuscript he first began in 2008. Almost daily over the phone, we talked over needed changes at 7 am and 11 pm. (And to lighten our load, Jerry would invariably slip in a few classic borscht belt jokes.)On occasion, Jerry wondered if his positive nature was rubbing off on me. I joked, “For that I’m going to need blood transfusions.” The truth is I was extremely fortunate in our Tuesdays with Morrie “lessons about life” relationship. To think, I was almost too busy to meet Jerry back in 2009.A regular reader of my column, Jerry got my number from a mutual friend. He had just finished his manuscript and wondered if I would read it. He was 87 and hadn’t written anything before, so, I’m embarrassed to say, I was thinking of a polite way to pass.Just then Jerry mentioned he had spent 50 successful years as a salesman and store manager in the men’s clothing business. My late father, whom I still miss dearly, owned a men’s shop for 30 years so I couldn’t say no.Jerry persuaded me to read his manuscript. Imagine having to break the news to an 87-year-old his life story needed a spine to connect the vignettes, tension where appropriate and humor always. Jerry took my advice like the mensch he is and kept re-writing. (Confirming “writing is rewriting.”)I stayed in close touch and wrote columns about Jerry’s age-defying exploits of winning amateur senior singing contests, taking luxury cruise ships around the world and being the sole guest on two podcasts when he was a mere 96. Finally, Jerry got a commitment from a publishing company for his book and asked if I’d help. The day we finally finished the rewrite, Jerry commented, “What I wrote was the cloth which you turned into a fine suit.The “fine suit” goes back in time and chapter by chapter works it’s way to the present. But before we flashback to 1922 and Jerry’s birth, Chapter 1 is entitled “AOC And Me!” It details Jerry’s friendship with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Jerry wrote her two campaign songs, and when she lovingly thanked him on Instagram it got 1 million views in a day.)The chapter includes their warm visit at a Bernie rally in Venice this past December and wonderful photos of the two of them together. (Meanwhile, Jerry’s on Instagram himself with 21,000 followers!)Readers often ask if Jerry is still sharp. Besides being a voracious reader current on everything, he has 50 songs, many from Broadway musicals, he knows by heart any of which he’ll sing at a drop of a hat. (Actually, you don’t even need the hat.)Trust me, knowing Jerry is inspiring. As AOC said, “He spreads joy and acts of kindness.”An Angel On My Shoulder is at http://bookstore.dorrancepublishing.com/ and click on “search,” or (800) 788-7654. It’s also available at Amazon. To buy his book and meet Jerry in person, call (310) 451-5383 as he offers social distance curbside service. 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The PGA Tour may still be three weeks away from resuming tournament play, but the sport will take another star-studded step toward returning to competition this weekend. Last week’s TaylorMade Driving Relief match featuring Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff marked the first live televised golf since the Tour entered a competitive hiatus in March in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This weekend it’ll be another four-man outing with the Champions for Charity match, albeit with only two Tour members. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will go head to head at Medalist Golf Club in Florida, 18 months after their initial duel in Las Vegas. But this time they’ll be joined by a pair of NFL quarterbacks past and present, with Peyton Manning joining Woods and Tom Brady pairing with Mickelson. Like last week’s match at Seminole Golf Club, charity will be a key component to Sunday’s competition. More than $10 million is expected to be donated to coronavirus relief. And just as golf fans saw when McIlroy and Johnson teamed to defeat Fowler and Wolff in a skins match that extended to a 19th hole, a unique format will once again be on display. The match at Medalist will be split into two nines, with the front featuring best-ball competition and the back nine utilizing modified-alternate-shot format. Manning and Brady may be elite on the football field, but they’ll need some help to keep pace with Woods and Mickelson in a best-ball format. As a result, both quarterbacks will be given shots on three front-nine holes: one par-3, one par-4 and one par-5. But the modified alternate shot over the final nine holes won’t provide any such cushion for Manning, who plays to a 6.4 handicap index, or Brady with an 8.1 index. All four players will tee off on each hole, with Manning and Brady playing from a forward tee, and teammates will alternate after choosing the better drive. Manning on ‘Tiger,’ ‘Phil’ code names for offense While the quarterbacks will look to provide a few highlights with their clubs instead of their arms, much of the interest will focus on their two decorated partners. Most Tour players have been out of action for nearly three months, but Woods’ hiatus extends a month longer. The reigning Masters champ hasn’t played since finishing last among those who made the cut at the Genesis Invitational on Feb. 16, clearly plagued by injury issues that led him to skip three subsequent events, including The Players. As a Medalist member, Woods will have home-course advantage and revenge on his mind after Mickelson edged him in their 2018 match in Vegas. But there are still questions to be answered by his southpaw counterpart, as Mickelson is now less than a month away from turning 50. Mickelson was hit or miss during 2020 before coronavirus halted play, mixing missed cuts with a pair of T-3 finishes. But he’s been staying busy recently in California, playing regular practice rounds with area pros like Xander Schauffele and Charley Hoffman. As for the team arrangements, the dividing lines were rather apparent. Woods and Manning have played together often over the years, teaming in five pro-ams including each of the last two years at the Memorial. Manning once shared that when he was leading the Indianapolis Colts, the team’s no-huddle offense included a snap-count call where “Tiger” meant hiking the ball on 1 and “Phil” meant hiking the ball on 2. “We’d say it a lot. ‘Tiger, Tiger,’ ‘Phil, Phil,’” Manning said. “Tiger was on 1, and Phil was on 2. Tiger always liked that. He could hear it. I think he liked the fact that Phil was on 2 a lot as well.” Their partnership means Mickelson will be joined by Brady, who recently moved to Florida after signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s a duo that continues to successfully battle Father Time, with Brady about to enter his 21st NFL season and Mickelson still hitting bombs past players half his age. As with last week’s televised showcase, there’s sure to be some rust on display as players look to return to competitive form – and it likely won’t be limited to the play of the quarterbacks. But another chance to promote the game with a significant charitable aspect will be embraced by fans across the country, and it signals another important element of progress as the Tour inches closer toward a return to full-fledged competition after an unexpected hiatus.