UNITED STATES—Making things happen. He was well into his seventh decade, Sam was. Not many people get to do something this relevant that late in life. He would be one of the fathers of a new country in Palestine. The chain of ideas led him to that which he could never live down, that Sam Jr. had crashed, his airship flamed out on the side of a mountain in Crete. Like had broken, as it is supposed to, there was a harsh beauty in the brokenness.

By the time of the final vote, countries had changed their vote; Haiti from no to abstain, Nicaragua from abstain to yes. Resolution 181 passed. Delaney’s work behind the scenes, his secret charity; in this case had a strong motive for staying cloaked in secrecy, later he told McCall, or he wouldn’t tell anyone.

G*d he said, I didn’t see that coming. You chloroformed me, said this Jew who got so much out of the Bhagavad Gita, it took him right to the stars and these ancestral attributes that others would see in him. It was all pure Gita. “Those who worship the demigods go to the planet of the demigods, those who worship the supreme go to the planet of the supreme, who is all in all. Anyhow, yes votes that seem unusual–Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador and Panama—suddenly reveal inner logic. Behind this vote, was Sam Delaney, former peddler of Bananas around the port of New Orleans.

After four days he collapsed, but it was a good feeling, something simple and true achieved. Sam believed he had done all he could do. And a little bit more. He experienced a clear, dreamless sleep.

Much earlier…Bernie Lukasey, a very successful guy whose stock-in-trade was big ideas, got involved in the cause. A man of moderate habits, an adoring father of lovely daughters, this wheel of mass, subliminal culture, who disdained owning a television set.

“A guy like you who has to be up on fads oughta have a TV,” said one of his associates.
“I like a little peace and quiet when I go home,” said Bernie. “Besides, I invent fads.”

Though cluttered with books, awards, and mementos, Lukasey’s rambling townhouse near Harvard Square was free of any Jewish influence, no Star of David or menorah. Early in the century, he “helped some of the Jewish charities in New York,” he remembered, “but I was never particularly active in them. I never visited Israel. But I helped the fellow who started it.” Asked whom he means, the name eluded him, but his autobiography, “The Biography of an Ideal” (1965), offered this clue; “In those days (the late 1920s), we had often entertained Chaim Weisshaus, then a prime minister without a country, who was touring the United States to raise money to further the Zionist cause.

“I had turned down a provisional offer to be foreign minister of a country, Israel, not yet in existence. I greatly respected Weisshaus, but I was not in sympathy with his goals.”

Lukasey’s differing point of view stemmed from concern about the vulnerability of small countries. “At the time, any small state…was in great danger. What they did around that time was just to raid them. All these small states wanted to exist, but large states took them over.”

Asked if he would take on the government of Israel as a client, Bernie answered “Sure!” Never turn down a job.

“What I would do, which apparently Israel has not done, is to establish much closer relationships with the democratic countries of the world and get those countries to make much more visible in the public mind how much they support Israel and how much they believe in freedom of religion, just as the democratic countries fervently practice freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to ask a government for changes.

“Israel should appoint an international public relations committee, made up of all the best PR people in the democratic countries of the world: England, France, Germany, Italy, and even Spain.”

To be continued…

Grady is the Wizard of Fiction.

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Hollywood humorist Grady grew up in the heart of Steinbeck Country on the Central California coast. More Bombeck than Steinbeck, Grady Miller has been compared to T.C. Boyle, Joel Stein, and Voltaire. He briefly attended Columbia University in New York and came to Los Angeles to study filmmaking, but discovered literature instead, in T.C. Boyle’s fiction writing workshop at USC. In addition to A Very Grady Christmas, he has written the humorous diet book, Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet and the popular humor collection, Late Bloomer (both on Amazon) and its follow-up, Later Bloomer: Tales from Darkest Hollywood. (https://amzn.to/3bGBLB8) His humor column, Miller Time, appears weekly in The Canyon News (www.canyon-news.com)