A beginning to the end of intolerance

FRANK , the Dominican-turned-New Yorker doorman of our high-rise apartment building, stepped from the lobby onto the sidewalk, put two fingers to his teeth, and let loose a whistle that pierced the morning air like an arrow shot. Out of nowhere appeared three or four of his compatriots, street toughs all.

My wife stood by, bewildered. Moments earlier she'd unloaded her troubles on Frank. (I was at work and unreachable.) She had a four-year-old and a two-year-old in tow, and was five months pregnant with our third child. Her plans for a crosstown journey had screeched to a halt when the car wouldn't start. The prospect of gathering up the children for that trip via bus, subway, and on foot was just too much. As the men approached, Frank chatted with them in Spanish. They turned to our car, flipped up the hood, and had the engine purring smoothly in minutes. My wife urged a generous tip on them, but they wouldn't accept a dime.

This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
January 14, 2002

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.