Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fathers Day Edition: Danny's Pop

Danny Kaye's ever-proud father (left), Jacob Kaminsky, with his famous son and Sarah Weiner, matron of Danny's old stomping Catskills grounds, the White Roe Resort, reunite in the 1950s at the Plymouth Hotel in Miami Beach, Fl.

Danny’s father, Jacob Kaminsky, was the performer’s earliest benefactor and continued to provide room and board for the struggling performer into his mid-20s. Kaye’s brothers would complain to their father that Danny was lazy and should get a real job, but “Pop” continued to support Danny’s dream, if even he didn’t fully understand it, regularly slipping hard-earned $5 bills under his youngest son’s pillow (and pretending to himself that he was sending Danny through medical school).

So, as Danny’s biggest, longest-standing fan, it gave Pop special delight when his son’s star took off in the early 1940s. In January 1946, Danny paid for Pop to spend the coldest winter weeks in Florida. Mr. Kaminsky was set to fly from New York to Miami. But at the airport, the other passengers noted the gloomy weather and said they hoped they wouldn’t get airsick. “I’m Danny Kaye’s father,” Jacob announced proudly. “Does anyone think I’ll get airsick?”

When he arrived in Florida, his son called him up to see if he wanted to make the return trip by train. “Train?” Jacob shouted into the phone. “What’s that?”

Danny was happy to learn that Pop had met up with his friend Jack Benny’s father down in Miami. Mr. Kaminsky and Mr. Kubelesky became good friends during that winter, spending most of their time swapping stories about their successful sons.

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