Sunday, January 14, 2007

Letters About Ed Galing

Mr. Holder,

As my uncle Ed will tell you, we reserve a special word in Yiddish for people like you: “Mensch” (true gentleman, honorable, caring, and ethical).

My uncle just sent me a note that you had personally developed a web blog ( for his poetry works.

I viewed it and commend you for your work…and for your support of the morale and artistic ability of this DEAR man of 89 years (almost 90).

Ed was married to the (deceased) sister (Esther) of my mother (Zelda – aged 85).

As I child, I grew up seeing the ‘pain’ in my uncles eyes that he did not pursue a career much like yours…journalism, poetry and the rest.

He surely had the ‘urge’, but not he opportunity…as many in his post-war era – just happy that they could, at least, make a living for their family.

I remember his often saying “I would have…could have…AND….. SHOULD have….(pursued my dreams)”

Those were words of inspiration to me (though he never knew it) because I said to myself (seeing his pain…even though I was a child) that I would never let myself be in a position to say those words.

So, at the age of 55 (always wanting to be a singer), I began to take voice lessons from professional singers/coaches (mostly operatic).

The results can be seen/heard on my website:

I KNOW that G-d meant for me to sing professionally because how can you explain that I would have had the opportunity to be the opening act for a rock-and-roll group that I saw “live” in 1956. Who would expect to do that at the age of almost 62. I had the PRIVILEGE on April 15, 2006 to be the opening act in Las Vegas (Rampart Casino) for The Comets (formerly “Bill Haley and The Comets” – who sang, Shake Rattle and Roll; Rock Around the Clock). The members of that ORIGINAL group ranged from 72 - 82 years (with only one substitution, on guitar, aged 62). Talk about NOSTALGIA!!

I am singing at hotels, restaurants (doing dinner shows) and am beginning to expand out --- just a matter of more marketing…and plan for this to be my ‘retirement job’ when I decide to finally give up my consulting practice.

The point of my message isn’t really meant to be about me, but about my uncle --- whose poetry, HOPEFULLY, touches the hearts of his readers… and perhaps inspires them AS HE DID TO ME.

Keep up the GREAT work you do. Though there are many who may not tell you, I am SURE they are thinking it.

Stan Simkins

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sample Poems from "The Tower of Babel"


strange voices
not from biblical days...

these are the days
of incessant
voices on television
all day long

telling you that
nothing is good

i get up
at four or five
in the morning
just to listen
to these babblers

with smiling
handsome men and

telling us the
news of the day

and each day
how many died
the accidents on
the highway

the warmongers
planning the
final Valhalla

followed by the
or lady

it was better
in the old

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Small Press Review: Buying A Suit On Essex Street

Review of Ed Galing's " Buying A Suit on Essex Steet" in The Small Press Review Nov-Dec. 2006

Ed Galing, 88 is a historian of New York's Lower East Side in the days of pushcarts and of tenements packed with poor Jews and other immigrants-- Emma Lazarus: " tired and poor...wretched refuse" and Mike Gold's "Jews without money." According to Galing, his family, fit those categories, living on welfare and stifled in a "small iron cage" of an apartment.

Galing writes about his poverty-thwarted childhood in a clear style, short lines, and brief stanzas, aptly set in Arial bold by Dave Roskos, the proprietor of Inquity Press. The cover bears a photo of Galing in fedora and black-double-breasted overcoat about 50 years ago, and the back cover shows old Ed in an open sports shirt. In both photos he is smiling, broadly on the front cover, world-wisely on the back. He's a survivor: at his most bitter he writes: "fuck humanity," at his most hopeful, he says: "god bless."

Today his Essex Street Neighborhood is being gentrified, with large apartment towers rising amid the dwindling number of tenements. The clothier where he bought the suit of the title is long gone, like most of the other small buisnesses that served his family and later drew bargain hunters to the Lower East Side. All that remains are the memories and words of Ed Galing in the many small press venues that have published him.

George Held.