written by Barry Levinson
Sam: I came to America in 1914--by way of Philadelphia. That's where I got off the boat. And then I came to Baltimore. It was the most beautiful place you ever seen in your life. There were lights everywhere! What lights they had! It was a celebration of lights! I thought they were for me, Sam, who was in America. Sam was in America! I know what holiday it was, but there were lights. And I walked under them. The sky exploded, people cheered, there were fireworks! What welcome it was, what a welcome!
I didn't know where my brothers were. I had an address on a letter, but when I went thre, they'd moved. But I found a man who knew the name Krichinsky. He was a little man with big shoes. I'll never forget him! He had such big shoes! They were brand new beautiful shoes! He told me this was how he made his living! He would break in shoes for the wealthy. Stuff them with newspaper and walk in them. I said, 'what a country is this, what a country.' Wealthy didn't even have to break in their own shoes. Ahh. So this man with the shoes took me down one street after another. We walked and walked and the skies would light up and explode in a celebration!
And then we came to Avalon. And the man with the shoes yelled 'Krichinsky! Krichinsky!' And my four brothers looked down and saw me! Sam!
(The flashback ends here and we find ourself looking at a much older Sam, the storyteller, sitting in a chair, smoking a cigar)
And that's when I came to America, it was the Fourth of July. Boy, did they use to celebrate! Big celebrations! And they'd close the streets and would celebrate through the night!
(hums to the children he's telling the story to, chuckling to himself)
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