This photo was taken in St. Giles Hospital in Brooklyn, my home for nine months following the polio epidemic of the summer of 1949. Do you recognize my Santa Claus? His career was just beginning then, so he wasn't yet famous. Eventually he would become such a beloved figure there's now a park, a school, and a bridge named after him. Those wanting to play the guessing game should stop reading here.
Freddie and I especially enjoyed "riffing" on jokes, usually the same old jokes. The nurses couldn't understand why we laughed at the same jokes every day; this only added to our pleasure in running our routines into the ground. For example, Freddie would insist that his uncle was some kind of famous piano player, and I'd say something like, "Yeah, right, and my uncle is Harry Houdini." It was part of our daily shtick. Freddy: "My uncle's a piano player." Me: "Getoutahere!" (For the uninitiated, "getoutahere" is Brooklynese for: "I'm sorry, dear friend, but I doubt the veracity of your statement, as it lacks the corroborative detail needed to give verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.")