Courier Life’s

Stan talks Oprah, and the Trackchair

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Stupidity or racism? Even if you were there, you couldn’t know the motive of the salesperson that gave Oprah a hard time over a handbag.

I know the feeling of being ignored. Many years ago, my son and I drove up into the Pocono mountains for the purpose of finding the perfect piece of land on which I wanted to build a vacation home. I was not dressed as a businessman. I wore jeans, a sweatshirt, and sneakers and no doubt didn’t look like a serious buyer.

We made a stop at the office of a land developer, walked in, and waited about 15 minutes while six salesmen were busy chewing the fat. They saw us standing there and continued to ignore us. Just as I started to leave, the pretty 20-something secretary, who I did recognize, looked at me and asked, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”

“You should.” I answered. “I’ve been filling your family’s prescriptions since you were a teenager.”

That’s when she shouted, “Hey fellows. This man owns the biggest pharmacy in Queens. Why are you ignoring him?”

Within seconds I was under attack. Six salesmen who had snubbed me because of my casual appearance were now ready to buy me lunch, drinks, anything just to keep me there. I walked out and did buy at the next real estate office a mile up the road.

Do you wonder if appearances really count?

Well, sometimes it does.

• • •

An Action Trackchair is an all-terrain motorized wheel chair built for and used by the extremely disabled. As of today there is a need for Trackchairs for seriously wounded veterans, those who lost limbs and cannot get around without the chair. How many are needed? Perhaps thousands. A few weeks ago I mentioned that the viewers of Bill O’Reilly’s television show donated $7 million towards the purchase of the very necessary motor carriage.

That amount is now $9 million and growing, of course. Clearly, Mr. O’Reilly and his charitable followers are very noble and compassionate.

It makes me proud knowing that there are Americans who really care, but it still is a very small portion of the amount necessary. Isn’t this something that our generous Federal Government should be doing, our representatives in Washington borrow money and give it away to countries that don’t like us anyway.

It would be very helpful if, for one year, we declared a moratorium on all gifts to those ungrateful nations and used those mega-billions of dollars to resolve our own needs. In attempting to solve America’s own problems it would be wonderful if we first looked at those in the military who have served us and whose lives have been changed forever.

I am asking you for a small favor. Please make a copy of this column and forward it by e-mail or snail mail to any of your representatives in the District of Columbia. Your wounded warriors will thank you.

Read Stan Gershbein's column every Monday on
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Reader Feedback

Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Stan, I certainly agree with your actions at that real estate office in the Poconos and I am a little surprised at Oprah's reaction to that salesperson too. There can be a number of reasons why that woman did not show her that particular item which can include racism but it could also include an inexperience salesperson, having a bad day or just plain being stupid. The unfortunate thing is that Oprah did not let that incident slide instead she stomped her feet like a spoiled child and created an international incident that resulted in an apology from that government and surely had that sales woman fired. Something that surely fueled her sense of entitlement. Everybody and I mean everybody experiences some sort of prejudice regardless of race, religion, nationality, weight and age. Oh, also include baldness. I just thought she was better than that.
Sept. 2, 2013, 4:16 pm
Bluestocking from Mill Basin says:
Stan, I wish you could shout out your words about a moratorium loud and clear. Stop "...all gifts to ungrateful nations..." We keep handing out money and gifts, yet countries keep turning their backs to us.
Charity begins at home. Let's take care of the millions of American people who don't have jobs, money to pay their mortgages or fix up their homes after disasters, money for medical bills--oh, the list is endless.
I would also include 'ungrateful illegal immigrants." They're a big burden on our failing economy too, I do believe. Give jobs to returning soldiers, not to illegal immigrants!
Sept. 6, 2013, 7:43 pm
The King from from Kingsborough CC says:
I agree with Bluestocking from Mill Basin. Congress should vote for 2 things - 1)A one year moratorium on all foreign aid and 2)A one year moratorium on Obama family vacations. That would put billions of bucks back into our coffers.
Sept. 7, 2013, 8:12 am
The King from Kingsborough CC says:
I was just watching the news and learned that NASA sent a rocket to the moon yesterday. I am very much in favor of space projects but only when we have the money. What's that??? Another billion dollars???
Sept. 7, 2013, 9:56 am
Bluestocking from Mill Basin says:
To the King from Kingsborough:
Aaha, so NASA sent a rocket to the moon, you say. Maybe the Obamas are on that rocket, headed for another vacation..a looong one. Oy, we should be so lucky.
Hey, Barry, don't forget your golf clubs! And Michelle, bring along some of the school lunches that students refuse to eat because they're so unappetizing!
Sept. 7, 2013, 10:59 am
Stan Gershbein from Courier Life says:
To The King ....Another BILLION? Try 38 BILLION. According to the latest edition of the L.A.Times and several other newspapers the total cost of this rocket to the moon could exceed 38 BILLION taxpayer dollars.
Sept. 7, 2013, 3:54 pm
Karyn Mullin from Bensonhurst says:
Let's not forget Janice Joplin - who couldn't get any attention at a boutique because of her looks and could have bought the store and the property it was on! Anyway, that sort of rejection was only expected from "the establishment" ....
Sept. 10, 2013, 1:49 pm

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