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Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Betrayal’

Blogfinger interviews Igor and Aaron at the OG Bake shoppe. 7/18/19 Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor

Igor Timkovsky is a Jewish immigrant from Russia. He believes his family was part of the great Diaspora of the Jewish people  (as was my family) which brought them to western Europe, probably Italy, perhaps 2,500 years ago.  Their lives were difficult through the Middle Ages. They experienced the Inquisition, forced conversions, Crusaders, black death, ghetto life, invasions, poverty, and religious suppression.

The Diaspora Jews were forced eastward in the 15th to 16th centuries, and Igor’s family settled  in the country of Belarus, east of Poland.

When Hitler invaded Russia, many peoples scattered, especially the Jews.  Igor’s family escaped into the Ural Mountains for safety from the Nazis.  There were some places that the Wehrmacht failed to reach.  During WWII many of his male relatives were lost in the war as soldiers, and  other  relatives were swept up by the Holocaust.

After the war, small numbers survived, and some then migrated to Israel or the US.  Igor was born in Belarus in 1962.

In 1992, thanks to a family reunion program for immigrants sponsored by two US Senators, Igor, his wife, daughter and parents escaped Communism and emigrated to NYC, Washington Heights, where they live now.

He had been an engineer in Russia, but here he got a masters degree and became a social worker.  His son Aaron was born in 2006 and will be entering public high school.  He is a bright young man, personable, bilingual, and with a strong and obvious attachment to his Dad.

Igor discovered Ocean Grove a few years ago and “fell in love” with this “amazing town.”  To see the Grove  through the eyes of an immigrant is very special. He enjoys walking on the boardwalk at night. He loves the “friendly, polite, and cultured people.”    He says that Ocean Grove feels “safe and comfortable” for his family.  Aaron, age 13, told me during our interview at the OG Bake Shoppe that he” loves” the way that they get here so easily:  bus, train and the walk over. They are currently vacationing, staying in a hotel near the beach.

But during a  July, 2017, afternoon, something happened to cement their feelings for the Grove.  Igor and Aaron were swimming in the ocean.  They were seemingly fine, but “suddenly” they were apart and had drifted farther out than they thought.  Igor quickly discovered that he could not touch bottom and he managed to join up with Aaron.  It seems they were caught in a rip tide. They had one boogie board to share.

Before they had a chance to panic, two OG lifeguards were at their side. One said to Igor, “Would you like to join me  on a trip to the shore?”  The other one gave Aaron a forceful shove with his board, and he quickly found himself on the shore.

Igor was overwhelmed with gratitude for the way the OG guards saved him and his son.  He wrote letters of profound appreciation to the life guards at bench 3 and 4–OG  Beach Patrol  and he even wrote a book of poems (2018)  dedicated to those guards, expressing  how he feels about what happened and about his love of this town. Even now, two years later, he cannot stop talking about it.

Igor is a Blogfinger fan, so he contacted me about his book Ocean Betrayal.

His book has 24 pages and 8 original and charming poems, punctuated by drawings and photographs. It is especially remarkable because English is Igor’s second language. We will post one of his poems soon.

If anyone is interested in contacting Igor about his book, just email Blogfinger and we will forward it.

 

ART GARFUNKEL  “A Heart in New York.”

 

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