The Charlotte Jewish news. (Charlotte, N.C.) 19??-current, June 01, 2014, Image 5
The Charlotte Jewish News - June-July 2014 - Page 5 Communitv News Harry Golden Honored, Remembered by Those Who Knew Him Best By Amy Krakovitz Probably best known for his tongue-in-cheek “Vertical Integra tion Plan” and his best-selling book of essays, Only in America, Harry Golden was one of Char lotte’s treasures in the 20th cen tury. Publisher of the first local Jewish newspaper, The Carolina Israelite, Golden was active in both Temple Israel and Temple Beth El, as well as in his Elizabeth neighborhood and in the local scene. Many residents no longer re member him or are familiar with his legacy. But a few local histo rians and archivists are attempting to remedy that. On May 4, a plaque was erected at the comer of Hawthorne and 7th Sts., just a block midway between the two homes he occu pied while living in Charlotte: the first on Elizabeth Ave. is now a parking garage; the last home he lived in, a block in the other direction, is now owned by May Cheung and Shawn Gaddy and their fam ily. Both were in attendance at the unveiling of the plaque. Tom Hanchett of the Levine Museum of the New South emceed the afternoon’s events and introduced the lu minaries and VIPs that were present. Mike Hill of the NC Office of Archives and History ex plained that the agency re quires a wait of 25 years after an individual’s death before a plaque can be requested, clarify ing for the crowd what took so long in getting the plaque to Harry Golden erected. The afternoon of the unveiling ceremony was a textbook Char lotte spring afternoon with a warm sympy sun and a light tickling breeze. The attendees left the cor ner of Hawthorne and 7th to walk the block and a half to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, with its sculpted gardens and blooming azaleas, for a few words from sup porters, friends, and acquaintances of Golden’s. For those not familiar with Golden, his works are archived at both UNCC and in the public li brary Carolina Room. Robin Brabham, the archivist at UNCC, told the audience that Harry was A good size crowd came out on that perfect spring afternoon to see the plaque unveiled. Photo courtesy of Robert Klein. known for using “humor and satire to point out people’s incon sistencies.” One famous example is the “Vertical Integration Plan.” Harry noticed that when people HAERY GOLDEN I $02-10 81 Ijournot^. hurnorlsi. d f cSviJ rights advocate. He Ipubhahed. The C^tohjia Israelite, He one block N.E. The plaque at the corner of Hawthorne and Streets. stood on line, in the grocery store, at the bank, and specifically at Tanner’s where they would pur chase an orange drink and red skinned peanuts while waiting for the bus, that no one seemed to mind if anyone was black or white or anything else. It seemed, though, that folks got upset when blacks and whites sat down to gether, like at a lunch counter. Harry proposed that all places simply take their chairs out and voila! Instant integration. The other archivist, Tom Cole, is from the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The remainder of Harry’s papers are archived in the Car olina Room of the downtown branch of the library. Also from PLCMC was Sam Shapiro, better known to most of THE RIZZO LAW FIRM, PLLC Scotl^. us the “film guy” from the library. He spoke of his father’s relation ship with Golden and the years that Golden went to the movies at the Charlottetown Theater where Sam worked as a teenager. Shapiro is currently work ing on a program for the library about Leo Frank, the man who was lynched outside of Atlanta in 1915 for a murder he did not commit. This was also a pet subject of Golden’s, as demonstrated in his book A Little Girl is Dead. Shapiro is planning on his program opening at the li brary in September and there will be more infor mation in future issues of The Charlotte Jewish News. Described as “Harry Golden’s oldest living friend,” Walter Klein, a well known archivist and writer in our Charlotte Jewish commu nity, spoke briefly about a new bi ography about Harry Golden that will be published later this year. Other luminaries from Char lotte’s media were in attendance. Jack Claiborne, retired editorial page writer from The Charlotte Observer, told of how much the community appreciated Harry. So much so that after a fire at his house on Elizabeth Ave., the chief of police sent a squad to help him replenish his Carolina Israelite mailing list. Claiborne also re called that Harry taught Shake speare at one of the many UNCC satellite schools set up for return ing GIs in the late 1940s. Bill Walker, former anchor from WSOC-TV, said that Harry could make you “laugh while thinking and think while laugh ing,” much the same as Jon Stew art does for us today. If you don’t know Harry Golden now, perhaps it’s time that you became familiar with Char lotte’s most original thinker. He left a strong impression on every one who knew him. More than 20 of his books are available at the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library, in cluding Only in America and A Little Girl is Dead. ^ The Rizzo Family FOCUSING ON CIVIL LITIGATION ESTATE PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION REAL ESTATE AND CRIMINAL LAW BALLANTYNE ONE 15720 JOHN J. DELANEY DR., SUITE 300 CHARLOTTE, NC 28277 704.401.5280 P • 704.314.4258 F SRIZZO@SRlZZOLAWCOM SRIZZOLAWCOM ^ecersxom TLc Diamond Specialists Cantor Elias Roochvarg of Temple Israel and Walter Klein, described as "Harry Golden s oldest living friend. ” Photo courtesy of Robert Klein.