Waiting for Cohn

By Mort Zachter

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The forecast for December 26, 1947, from the United States Weather Bureau: NEW YORK CITY AND VICINITY – Cloudy today with occasional snow ending this afternoon, followed by partial clearing, highest temperature near forty.

The city that never sleeps slept. At 3:20 A.M., snow flurries provided a preview of coming attractions but no one noticed. The snowfall officially began at 5:25 A.M. At 7, when Uncle Joe removed the copper-colored Yale padlocks and pushed the front gate open, two inches of snow covered the sidewalk in front of the store. The snow muted the usual screeching of the rusty metal gate. It was a powdery snow, the kind that was easy to push off your sidewalk provided there was not much accumulation. Based on the forecast, Uncle Joe figured he would shovel in the afternoon when it stopped snowing. Inside, he coerced the store’s good-for-nothing heater into action, removed his coffee from a paper bag, took the lid off, and watched the steam rise.

The forecast for December 26, 1947, from the United States Weather Bureau: NEW YORK CITY AND VICINITY – Cloudy today with occasional snow ending this afternoon, followed by partial clearing, highest temperature near forty.

The city that never sleeps slept. At 3:20 A.M., snow flurries provided a preview of coming attractions but no one noticed. The snowfall officially began at 5:25 A.M. At 7, when Uncle Joe removed the copper-colored Yale padlocks and pushed the front gate open, two inches of snow covered the sidewalk in front of the store. The snow muted the usual screeching of the rusty metal gate. It was a powdery snow, the kind that was easy to push off your sidewalk provided there was not much accumulation. Based on the forecast, Uncle Joe figured he would shovel in the afternoon when it stopped snowing. Inside, he coerced the store’s good-for-nothing heater into action, removed his coffee from a paper bag, took the lid off, and watched the steam rise.