Ruby The Knishman

Dedication To Ruby The Knishman (1/3/17 - 10/9/87)
Tidbits of the Ruby family Biography of Ruby Ruby Before the Knishes Ruby Dedication In Film Musical Dedication to Ruby, by Love And Knishes Ruby, around 1974, Paerdegat 4th. ST. (courtesy of Robert Kranes) SEND RUBY STORIES to: karch139@optonline.net *******NEW: TO CONTACT RUBY'S SON JERRY, EMAIL: jxome@hotmail.com ( Photograph is courtesy of ALLEN HURWITZ(allen_hurwitz@hotmail.com) Ruby was a knishman who I remember in Bayview Projects, Canarsie, in the early-mid sixties.Everyone remembered his most famous quote, spoken with a BOOMING voice:

"GET YOUR HOT POTATO KNISHES, I WANT TO SEND MY WIFE TO FLORIDA!
My other recollections of Ruby as a kid not yet 10 years old are: - Ruby was always in the best of spirits (I do not recall EVER seeing such a serious face as in the picture). - We often did not have the 12 cents for the knish. Ruby would still let us

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hang out by his wagon. He would give us free salt as a substitute. He let many run a tab with him. He never turned anyone away. I never forgot this attitude of his, and is the reason I spend time dedicating a web page to him. - The tin cup of salt (in the picture) looked about 100 years old. It also looked like a bullet had dented it at some point. - The knish wagon was also legendary. It looked older than the tin cup of salt. - The knishes were unbelievable in taste. Never been another like it, and I've had everything from Shatzkins to Mrs. Stahl's, to Whitey's of Brighton Beach. There are reports that the superb taste was due to the ashes that fell on them when Ruby smoked his cigarettes,creating a unique seasoning. - Years later, my dad and I ran into Ruby somewhere in Brooklyn. My dad flat-out asked him, "Ruby, did you EVER send your wife to Florida?"Ruby laughed, and said, still in that booming voice: "Yeah, but she made me go with her"....

Other People's Ruby Stories
- I AM LOOKING FOR MORE RUBY STORIES OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU HAVE. IT WILL BE INCLUDED HERE. PLEASE EMAIL:karch139@optonline.net - "I'm ashamed to say that my parents RAN A TAB with Ruby; they had an account with the guy".Hey, had I known one could run a tab, I wouldn't have had to settle for the free salt when I didn't have 12 cents. - People have since informed me that Ruby's business was not limited to Bayview Projects, Canarsie. I have been told that Ruby sold his knishes around Winthrop JHS, and Tilden High School also. This destroyed my image of a man dedicated to my beloved Bayview Projects, but, heck, business is business. - "Many years later, I met up with Ruby in Woodburne, New York. Knowing Ruby, I knew he would be up to his old tricks. He owned and operated a knish store in town and passed himself off as Orthodox. Anything to make a buck. There is no doubt about it, Ruby is a legend and he touched everyone's life back in Bayview". - Several people have told me that one of Ruby's selling pitches was the following: "GET YOUR HOT KNISHES FOR TEN CENTS, that's T--I--N, TEN!" -There is an unconfirmed story that Ruby used to send his FATHER out selling knishes. I forget the story, something like Ruby wheeling his dad out the back of a truck, with his own knish wagon... - It was related to me that if you asked Ruby how many knishes he had left, he would say "ELEVENTEEN". -A conversation with Ruby: "Hey Ruby What kind of Knishes do you have?" "I have Kasha or Potato." "I'll take potato."
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"Sorry, all I have is Kasha!" - "In 1962 he once saved Stuart Lippman's life outside of PS 272.....Freddie Googe....a local tough guy from school wanted to kick Lippman's butt.....Ruby intervened and offered Freddie a free knish if he would leave Lippman alone...it worked....the legend and lore of Ruby lives on..." - "Ruby sold knishes at JHS 68, I know I bought some. He later expanded, in the summer he sold ices. He also graduated to a real truck about in 1969 or so. He had his wife hawking these knishes over the truck loudspeaker." - "Ruby used to arm wrestle Richie from Julenes for a free knish if he won. Richie would always put Ruby down and get a free potato knish. The best hot potato or kasha knish in America." - "We lived in Canarsie from '61 through '77. In the later years, Ruby sold his wares out of a disgustingly filthy light blue van. The piece of wood that he used (probably for 20 years) for spreading mustard on the knishes still may be the most disgusting thing I've ever seen in my life. He'd usually be near the school (P.S.276) right after lunch. Then, around suppertime, he'd drive around the streets, and announce his arrival over a bullhorn. He'd always say something like, 'RUBY, THE KNISH MAN IS HERE. WE HAVE HOT KNISHES AND ICE COLD DRINKS'. (Or as we liked to say, ice cold knishes and hot drinks.) And he'd keep repeating it as he drove to the middle of the block, parked the van, and waited for his customers. Sometimes, he'd say something before 'RUBY, THE KNISH MAN IS HERE', which leads me to my all-time favorite Ruby quote, which is this: 'THE MAIN DINING ROOM IS NOW OPEN'. The guy was a Canarsie legend." - " I too have been blessed with Ruby's famous knishes. I remember my fathers eyes lighting up when we heard Ruby's voice over the bull horn. They had thin oil drenched pastry outside with the brown blended potatoes inside. The bags that he put them in would be saturated with enough oil to cook a meal within 10 seconds. Sometimes we would have to catch up to him on the next block. No problem, because it would allow me a chance to gobble down an extra one before I brought the rest home. Do you remember how great they smelled? Oh baby unbelievable ! Anyway, rumor is that he mixed the potatoes in his bath tub. I hope he didn't use his feet to mash them. Oh, who cares anyway they tasted great. " - "Ruby will forever be King but a nod to his lovely wife, Sarah, and helper-daughter Dara must be given. I was such a loyal customer that in the fourth grade, it was determined that I had severe stomache aches from the amount of knishes (with mustard and cooked orange onions) I ate, and I was forbidden by our family doctor from eating anymore. I'd have taken four bleeding ulcers rather than give up my knishes from Ruby." - "I remember that Ruby also sold knishes on Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn in the summer. He would carry a heavy metal container slung across his chest and one shoulder by a leather strap. His cry would be "Get your hot potato knishes and cold drinks (Sunny Boy Orange) . I recall his dangling cigarette, no shirt and beat up Converse without socks as he walked along with his heavy load. The best; wish I could have one now!" - "At PS276 in Canarsie, we used to help Ruby sell his knishes for 25 cents!! Does everyone remember how dirty Ruby's hands were, and his wife Sarah!! How about the time that Ruby got beat up in a fight with the one eyed pretzel guy!! POOR RUBY, lost some teeth in that fight and never got them back..........to this day I think I probably ate one of those teeth in one of my knishes!!" - "Ah yes, everyone remembers Ruby the Knish man, but no one has mentioned his mouth... When I first got to Canarsie from East New York in 1955 272 was still being constructed. Then in second grade we started classes there and out of the dust and dirt of "the lots" appeared the mystical Ruby. He not only sold those great
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knishes, but when it was just us guys we would egg him on and he'd swear like a pirate. He'd tell us nasty, shocking things that made us feel like we were being given a sneak peek into the world of the adults. It was usually sexual or scatological, but it always made us laugh. I think I heard some of my first "dirty words" from Ruby. In 1963 as a brand new teenager I was working in a bungalow colony near Liberty, New York in the Catskills, and one Saturday I hear Ruby's voice booming over the loudspeaker system from a colony up the road, "Ruby's here with Mom's Knishes". It seemed he was omni-present in our lives. When I first found the Canarsie Web Page the greatest icon of Canarsie seemed to be Ruby, but no one mentioned that mouth of his... Here's to ya Ruby, ya dirty old bastard!!! HA!" - "I remember Ruby selling Knishes by Tilden High School in the early seventies.He would pat his wife's rear and say "Some can... and some cannot" just about every day.His knishes were great but were super hot, the potatoes were almost liquefied." - "I grew up on East 103rd St and Ave K...Ruby used to deliver his father every day during the school year at that corner by P.S.279. More reliable than the mail, no matter the weather, Ruby would drop off his old man! At the time I was about 9 or 10 years old some jerk attacked him. He even smashed his bottle of ketchup!" - "Hurry up theres only a few more............hundred left" - "I went to Winthrop and Tilden and do have fond memories of Ruby selling those great tasting knishes out of that pushcart/wagon of his. Did love the kasha, also loved the potato, oh boy what sweet memories. My favorite Ruby story is when I came home to Canarsie on leave from the Army, I was in uniform and went into a candy store/lunch place on ave L and about E.82nd street, a place called Joys? Anyhow here was Ruby, drinking coffee, talking, just plain hanging out with da-guys...and then he came up to me wanted to shake my hand. It was because I was a Army guy and he seemed to like that, or could be he just liked uniforms. When I saw him it clicked who he was, the guy that I bought all those knishes from, the guy I gave up White Castle for. At that very moment I remembered his hands because they had made a big time impression on me when I was a kid, and also at that moment I questioned my wisdom in buying those knishes from those hands. Then at the same time, my mind was really humming, the thought of those knishes entered my mind, the taste, the smell, his hands..how great they were, salt, no mustard.. all for a dime.. I had a quite a time talking to Ruby, one of more interesting men I've ever met." - "I lived right across the street from PS 276 so I have seen the metamorposis of Ruby. From cart to van and to indelible etching that one thought into all of our heads. Where the heck do those knishes come from? I probably waited about three years until I asked him. Ruby was in front of Bildersee with his wife and the van. 'You want to know where they come from....I buy potatoes once a week, peel them and put them in the bathtub. Then my wife takes off her shoes and mashes them so that we can fry them in the kitchen.....and that's how we make the knishes.' I looked down at his wife's feet as she wiggled her dirty feet through a pair of flip flops. That was the last time I ate Ruby's knishes....... until the next week." -EARLY RUBY:"Before Canarsie, Ruby could be found at the upper end of Rockaway Parkway, on Rutland Road, in front of Henry's Toy Store, every school day at 12. I used to buy potato knishes, taken from his battered metal hotbox, there when I went to PS189, in '48-55. He was still there in early '56 when I sometimes cut out from Winthrop JHS. I moved about then, so I have no idea how long he continued to sell there. Ruby's were definitely the best knishes I've ever had; the standard (VERY rarely attained) to which I hold all others, even after almost forty years away. " - " WOW!!!! ruby got his own page I grew up in queens but every summer ruby would find his way upstate to
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our bungalow colony Reitzens.....his knishes were by far the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh I'd do anything for one. " - " I lived in the Bayview Projects from 1957 to 1965. I can remember eating those flat pieces of cardboard, Ruby sold as knishes. Do you remember him saying "I have to buy my wife a bungalow"? I too received a handful of salt when I didn't have a dime. " - " Ruby used to sell knishes in upstate ny during the summers. He had an old Dodge? in which the oven was in the trunk. He drove to all the bungalow colonies (i went to reitzens) and would sell his potato and kasha kinishes. My cousins and I always talk about what we would do today for one of those knishes and a mission cream soda. " - " About eight years ago, a former boss of mine was reminscing about his schoolyard days in Canarsie in the early 1960s. He mentioned how another kid tried to steal his lunch money and would have succeeded if not for the intervention of Ruby the knishman. My boss was surprised when I told him I knew Ruby. 'He said he defended me because he didn't want to see my lunch money spent elsewhere'. Ruby's daughter Dara was the maid of honor at our wedding eighteen years ago owing to the fact that she's my wife's best friend. As such, I had many occasions to meet Ruby, his wife, and his family... but never at his place of business since I was a Mill Basin boy, but rather at his home. There I found beneath his rough-hewn exterior a warm heart. He was a very loving man who cared greatly for his family. " - " Growing up in Canarsie in the sixties, Ruby was everywhere. Some days I managed to do a doubleheader meal of his knishes. Ruby would alway be outside of JHS 211 at the end of the school day and we always would make our first purchase then. After his 211 stop he would mosey over to PS 279 which was a few blocks down on Ave K. After this he would walk up East 103 St back to the Bayview housing project. I lived on 103St between N and Seaview and I would wait downstairs at about 4:30 and nail him for one more predinner knish. Those were the greatest knishes ever!! " - " I moved from canarsie in '85, but returned to visit a few times a year. On one visit I found out that Ruby had retired from traveling to different locations and opened up a take-out knish store on 7th ave in bklyn. it was called Mothers Knishes. When I walked in and saw Ruby behind the counter it was a 60's flashback. The first thing i said to Ruby was "hey Ruby, how's your wife?" His immediate and predictable response was naturally "which one?" He never missed a beat!...Thanks for listening to me ramble on about one of the few people that will put a smile on many people's faces when spoken about. " - See an excellent story about Ruby in the Catskills at:http://www.brown.edu/Research/Catskills_Institute/bungalow8.html -"Here is another Ruby story. I went to Elementary school PS 165 in Brownsville Brooklyn from 1957 to 1963. I believe the old man we called Pop was Ruby's father, was the Knishman that hung out by my school. On the corner of Hopkinson Ave and Lott St. was a small store where Ruby and his Dad Pop kept their old beat up Knish wagons. On the store window it said Mom's Knishes. Moms Knishes was also on the two wagons. When I moved to Canarsie in 1963 I had the pleasure of getting those wonderful Knishes again from his son Ruby. Years later in the Mid 60's the old man Pop was seen in Canarsie wandering around selling Knishes in the Seaview section, but never by any of the schools. Ruby had the monopoly on them. I now live in Southern California and I can't even get the square Knishes (Gabila) over here. All I have left is the fond memory of Ruby's Knishes, but don't we all." -" I lived in Canarsie from 1960-1988 and Ruby was definitely a legend. I do remember an old man selling Ruby's knishes by Canarsie High School. This was Ruby's father. I also remember seeing Ruby in the Catskills
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during the summertime, selling knishes and telling off- color jokes in Yiddish. But my favorite memory of Ruby is when he asked us if our mother was home and if the answer was no he would then ask us to go into our house and bring him a bottle of whiskey. If we turned to do this he would grab us and say "Just kidding, kid!" And to echo everyone else - Ruby's knishes were the best! " -" Hi--I can't tell you what memories this brings back. In addition to knowing Ruby from standing in front of Canarsie High School in the 60's I know Ruby from Sadownicks Bungalow Colony in Monticello. I can still hear Shirley Sadownick over the microphone say 'attention, attention everybody---Ruby, the Knishman is in the driwwway...I said Ruby the Knishman is here in the driwwway...' great times!! " -" 1978, 5th grade at 276 schoolyard. Brian Moskowitz and Brian Foley had a fight. Foley was pissed, walked over to the beat up blue van and exclaimed "Hey, Ruby! Give me a rock!". With a gruff look, Ruby handed Foley a knish. Foley proceeded to reform the knish into a round potato projectile and hurled it at Moskowitz, giving him a huge, black eye. Ah, memories. " -" Ruby came to our Bungalow colony B&K every summer. I still remember him shouting over his PA. " Ruby the knish man is here,Ruby the knish man is here with hot potato and kasha knishes' He would put them in brown bags and pour on the salt. I still smell them today. " -"My first exposure to Ruby (and his delicious knishes) was in the mid-sixties when I went to a bungalow colony in Liberty every summer. "Ruby the Knish.....Man is here. Hot ones for now, cold ones for suppertime." You know the routine. The people in my bungalow colony were largely Orthodox Jews (I was "Conservative"), so Ruby was smart enough to don a yarmulke before he drove into the place, and made sure to never come on Saturdays. My folks would buy me a knish once or twice a week. But by the mid-seventies, I was old enough (around 12) to make my own financial decisions. I bought a 50-cent knish from Ruby (usually potato) every single damned day--except Saturday-- for two or three summers. "You want some zaltz (salt) with that?" his wife would ask, trying to play up the Yiddish angle. I used to think Ruby and his wife and kids were some mountain family that made their knishes in some shack in the woods. So I was shocked one day (''74 or ''75) to see that famous blue van sitting on a street in Canarsie, with Ruby selling not just knishes, but hot dogs, gum, and assorted after-school crap. I thought Ruby just hybernated during the winter! I was living in Mill Basin, but attended a yeshiva in Canarsie. And one day, the Rabbi's wife came in to every class and told us not to buy anything from that guy in the blue van, saying that none of his stuff is kosher. (Even though the knishes were technically kosher, they were being made in the same oven as the "treyfe" hot dogs, thus, under strict dietary laws, rendering my beloved knishes unkosher, too.) None of the kids in my yeshiva were observant, so we just rolled our eyes as she spoke. But during the summer, I was faced with a dilemma. Do I have a moral obligation to tell the Orthodox people at my bungalow colony in Liberty that Ruby's oven is unkosher? Or do I stand by, and watch them unwittingly break their vow to God as they devour a kasha-orpotato? I was only 11 or 12, but I was able to think it through: If I tell these people that Ruby's oven isn't kosher and they stop buying from him, then Ruby will stop coming and I'll have to go an entire summer without a knish. The choice was clear. I'll have to answer to God someday, I figured, but for now, "Yes, I'll have some zaltz with that." (The following story, by the author's admission, has been slightly embellished... That is the stuff that legends are made of!) -" I grew up in Bayview Projects believing - because of Ruby - that knish wagons were as common as pizzarias and ice cream trucks. It was only after a few years attending high school in Flatbush that I realized just how unique he was.Ruby used to be a frequent weekend visitor to the caterers at the Seaview Jewish Center, where I worked from 1969 to 1973. He was well liked by everyone and therefore allowed to fill gallon containers with the unconsumed champagne punch from Sunday afternoon affairs. Ruby never failed to remind
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us that he used the stuff - to put it euphonisticly - to get his wife in the mood. He was handy with the knife (he claimed that he had worked in a slaughter house) and often helped out the kitchen staff while he barked out profanities and jokes. Suddenly, Ruby stopped showing up. Not long after that we were all saddened by the rumor that our friend had died. Since no one had seen him for some time, we came to accept this as fact as references to the man came to be made in the past tense...Oh this knife ain't cuttin' nothin', If only Ruby were around. Now there was a guy who could sharpen a knife. Or...Now that Rudy's gone, whadda ya want me to do with all this f...ing champagne punch? One afternoon I had some down time and was just staring outside when I saw Ruby coming up the stairs from the back lot to the kitchen. I ran inside and announced what I had seen, only to be told that this was impossible because Ruby, as everyone knew, had salted his last knish quite some time ago. Then what could explain this hulking, ragged vision that now stood at the entrance to our kitchen? Everyone stopped working. The dish washer dropped a dish. The chef's ladel disappeared in the beef barley soup. A large onion rolled down the length of the now frozen kitchen, past the gray skinned visitor and out the door. I could be wrong, but, I kind of remember even the radio suddenly going mute as seven or eight of us gazed silently at the ghost of Ruby.After a few seconds the owner, Jack entered the kitchen from the banquet room in his mohair tuxedo. Immediately sensing something unnatural he approached the subject of all our attention, looked him up and down, and (being the type who feared neither the dead nor the living) said, "Hey Ruby, I thought you was dead." Ruby, now as confused as the rest of us, tugged his head back and blurted, " Nah, I ain't dead...I was in Florida..." Then the knish man looked around for a second, looked back at Jack, and finished his sentence, "...ya bastard." " -" What great memories! The first time I had one of these jewels was when my father took me to a Tilden football game in the early 60's. I was more excited about the knish than the game. And to my astonishment that same call of "Get your hot knishes, only a few hundred left", would follow me to Woodbourne, N.Y. and Lansman's bungalow colony where my family spent its summer vacations. The potato's would ooze thru the sides and burn the top of your mouth but it was well worth it. Many years later, in the early 90's, I too took my own family to the country and I discovered this wonderful knish palace in Hurleyville called Izzy's knish nosh. Izzy told me that the recipe for Ruby's knishes were passed on to him. I don't know how true the story is, but I tell you, they tasted just as good. Aside for the fact that they now cost $1.50. Didn't matter, was worth twice that! " -" i used to see him every lunchtime at winthrop jhs. Once a kid said 'Ruby I'll buy a knish if you tell me a joke'. Ruby bellowed back 'whose joke are you? Your mother's or your father's?' Another kid asked him for a big knish, he said they are all the same shit, all the same size all, the same shit size. Great memories. Ruby even signed my JHS graduation book. He signed at the very last spot in the very back of the book: LET EVERYONE WHO LIKES YOU MORE SIGN AFTER ME,RUBY. The thing legends are made of, I still remember and have signed many kids books the same way. " " We lived in Bayview from 1956 - 1981. I remember Ruby and his cart passing our window when he would holler out "Hot Knishes". At that point, my mother would call down '2 kasha and 1 potato' and throw down a quarter wrapped in a napkin (the price was 10 cents each or 3 for a quarter) and Ruby would throw up the knishes in a paper bag to our 2nd floor window. He even sprinkled some salt on them and told my mother that he's only doing this for us. This was harder in the summer with the large screens on the windows and I remember more than once opening a screen and have it get loose and fall to the grass below. If that happened, Ruby would not throw up the knishes, but give me the bag when I came downstairs to retrieve the screen. We all loved those knishes. After we moved from Bayview, I remember buying knishes at a store he had with his wife (the sign read "Mom's Knishes") on 16th Avenue and 43rd Street in Boro Park and in the summer in Woodboune also a small store. " -" Like every other 40 something from Canarsie Ruby has been indeliably etched in my memories. "Ruby the
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Knish Man is here" is still resounding in my ears. Anyway here is my anecdote- A friend of mine on E85 and M was trying desperately to change a flat tire-Unfortunately the nuts on the tire bolts seemed to have been welded on, none of us, even working together could get them to budge. Well that blue Ruby van was passing by and Ruby got out of the van to help us. Geez he made it look easy. He simply twisted the tire iron and off came the bolts-I think he could have been a pro wrestler The man had hands of steel - and apparently a heart of gold. " -" Every day after school, Ruby would be outside P.S. 272 in Canarsie, selling knishes. He would yell out, "Get your knishes here, only 10 cents, t-i-n!" I don't know how many kids at the school grew up thinking the the number ten is spelled t-i-n (maybe they should check the standardized tests), but I can still hear this mantra in my head. Once, we ran into him at a rest stop on the N.Y. State Thruway. I can't tell you how excited we were to meet such a familiar face in this faraway place. Somehow I never pictured that he had a life outside of hawking knishes outside the elementary school. Come to think of it, I don't remember any other vendors outside of school, such as ice cream trucks, only a knishman. How Jewish! I don't remember Ruby coming around to our building in Bayview (#2). Maybe he made a special trip for Herbie's family, because they didn't have the opportunity to buy knishes outside school like the rest of us. I do remember the vendors that came every evening, with very loud music in those pre-air conditioning days. There was Mr. Softee, whose song I still remember, and a truck that sold Chinese food, which played music that must have been their conception of what Chinese music sounds like. I never tasted the food. I haven't thought about Bayview in a long time. It's over 34 years since we moved out of there. Thanks for the memory. " -" I knew Ruby at Winthrop JHS which I attended 9/59-6/62. I feel very guilty to say that I once broke Ruby's windshield wiper-I guess stirred up by my fellow 12 year olds into a frenzy. Ruby, bless his heart, chalked it up to the cost of doing business. Ruby: a true saint " -" I was very disappointed when I found out a few years ago that Ruby didn't just belong to the Meyer Levin J.H.S. - Tilden H.S. area but after reading your update I came to realize that Ruby got around all over Brooklyn and he did indeed belong to everyone. I enjoyed reading everyone else's stories and reminiscing about Ruby and those absolutely delicious, greasy knishes. The thing I remember the most about Ruby is the teachers chasing us away from the fence that surrounded the outdoor play area at Meyer Levin. We were supposed to be getting our recess time in but all we wanted was to buy a knish and have Ruby pass it through the chain link fence, a feat that proved to be quite difficult. Somehow it seemed like we won the battle if we were able to sneak a knish through the fence without one of the teachers catching us. Then the challenge of being able to eat it without a million of your dearest, closest friends asking for a bite. Now that I think of it, how clean could that fence have been since it's flecking particles of rust had to have made it onto the knish? No matter, it still was the best knish around. " -" My memories of Ruby the knishman, wasn't of the man himself but his brown van that used to visit my bungalow colony in the catskills. I can't recall if he came everyday or one day a week. But I can still hear the loud speaker, "Mom's kosher knishes, potatoe - kasha knishes". My friends and I would run and get a hot round knish with lots of mustard and salt. It is a great memory. " -" Love your page and remember Ruby well. Tilden Grad 1970.Why has no one mentioned Jules , Ruby's old man helper who also pushed the cart? I can remember him as far back as 1956 on my dirt road - East 55 between Glenwood and H. He also sold at Tilden when Ruby wasn't around. No doubt, he was an employee of the Knish for many years. " -"EARLY RUBY:When I saw the stories about Ruby's knishes, I realized that he was the guy that we use to
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call "The Knishman". I used to buy knishes on Rutland Road, about 20 feet west of Rockaway Parkway in the early 1950's during lunch break from PS189. The knishes were a rich deep brown colored and oval in shape. They were the best and I have spent my whole life looking for their equal to no avail. I remember that I always used to pay $.06 for a knish. One day the Knishman said they were now $.07 and when I asked him why, he said that was inflation. To this day, when I hear about the Fed and interest rates and inflation, I think of the rising price of knishes. " -" I remember Ruby back in the early 60's. My Mom was a school crossing guard@ 272 and I used to hang out with Ruby when the weather was nice and wait for my Mom to finish crossing everyone and we'd go home together. While I waited, he used to let me go through his pennies (I had a collection in those days) and swap for any I didn't have. I remember the famous calls " TEN! T - I - N!! ", "I want to send my wife to Florida" & of course "I have potato & kasha" and more times than not you would ask for potato & he'd only have kasha. I also remember how much he use to hate Fridays because every Friday a stationwagon would pull up right by his cart and toss hundreds of 5" by 12" colored placards in the air advertising the shows at the Canarsie theater Saturday morning. All the kids would run around trying to grab as many different colored cards as they could because the next morning, the theater would have one color posted in the ticket window and if you had that color, you got in for free. What a lot of people may not know is besides the schools that he sold his knishes at Mon-Fri, he also sold knishes at Fortunoffs in East New York on the weekends. " -" I remember him on the coldest days of the winter with his apron tied around the outside of his coat. The knish wagon mounted in the trunk of his old black car. His hands were truly weather beaten. He was out in all kinds of weather. He used to stop at my fathers luncheonette on Rockaway Parkway and Ave N accross from the Bamboo Lounge...He was a nice man. " -" I knew ruby when he sold knishes for 5 cents at winthrop j.h. and on Belmont Ave. Ruby used to come and see me in the summers at my parent's hotel upstate. I remember in 1969 when my brother Eddie was killed in a car crash. Ruby gave me a bag of knishes to take home. Ruby was a great man and I'm happy people remember him. God bless him wherever he is - joel karp. " -" It was great seeing the photo of Ruby. I can remember him selling his knishes in the snow during lunch period at Winthrop JHS around 1961. He was a great guy,if you were a little short,he would let you slide till next time. If i'm not mistaken he was always saying 'Help send my kid's to college'. " -" Ruby Oshinsky was a friend of mine, as was his whole family. He stayed at our bungalow colony for many years - Charlow's Hotel Irvington. Each summer we would eagerly await the arrival of Ruby and family, the famous Knishwagon, and of course, those incomparable little delectables. Ruby was one of the sweetest, most honest and giving, hardest working guys I have ever known. His corny humor was beloved by all - almost as much as his knishes. I don't know about Florida, but he certainly found the way to send his wife to the "Mountains" by selling "Mom's Knishes" all over the Catskills each summer. So the word and the legend spread. Fact is, as long as you are saying how unique and delicious the knishes were or how honest and caring Ruby was, you are telling the truth, which is much smaller than the real larger than life man. God bless you and keep you, Ruby. But instead of manna from heaven, please ask him to rain down some knishes.....potato, please! " -" HI, JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW RUBY CAME TO MY BUNGALOW COLONY , JULENE'S IN FERNDALE N.Y. EVERY SUMMER. HE WOULD GET ON THE COLONY P.A. SYSTEM AND ANNOUNCE' GET YOUR DIETETIC KNISHES FROM THE KNISH MAN. I'D PAY A HUNDRED TO GET ONE NOW KNISHLESS IN L.A. "

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-" One day we were playing basketball in the park by the Bayview Houses. This was probably in the late 1960s. As Ruby was passing through the park, a player taking a jump shot had it blocked. "Too flat," Ruby said. "You've got to shoot with a high arc," he instructed as he demonstrated, taking his hands off the knish wagon. After that he was known to a select few as COACH KNISH. " -" Tilden 70 graduate. About a year after marrying maureen, her dad flew up from Florida to visit with us. During dinner a familiar sound came down our street. Booming from a bull horn came that wonderful sound of "Ruby the Knisheman is here. Get them while they're hot." My father-in-law said to us, "That isn't the real Ruby, is it?" I told him that it was Ruby but he now rides in a van with his knishes. He went outside and all of a sudden Ruby yells out, "Hey Jerry. What are you doing here?" Apparently Ruby used to sit outside the original Fortunoffs, by Livonia Avenue, and my father-in-law knew him well. Another Brooklyn reunion took place that day. It was great. " -" Ruby sold knishes off his truck at our bungalow colony (Julene's) in the Catskills. They were the best- and yes, I remember that salt shaker too! " -" HEY... i CANT BELEIVE I RAN INTO THIS SITE.... AS A LARK, I WAS SEARCHING THE WEB FOR MOM'S KNISHES.... YOU SEE THE STORY STARTED WITH THIS LITTLE BENT OVER MAN NAMED MOM, WHO ROLLED HIS WAGON THRU GLENWWOD HOUSES... YELLING FRESH KNISHES.... I REMEMBER THE OLD TIN CUP AND THE WONDERFUL PANCAKE TYPE KNISH WITH THAT BURNT ONION FLAVOR,,, ANYWAY MOM DISSAPPEARED AND I FOUND RUBY AT TILDEN HIGH... HEAVEN AGAIN IN ONE LIFE-TIME... THE RUMOR WAS THAT RUBY WAS MOM'S SON WHO TOOK OVER THE BIZ.... WELL RUBY DISSAPEARED BUT I FOUND HIM YEARS LATER SELLING THE KNOSHES FROM A HOLE IN THE WALL IN BENSONHURST CALLED MOMS.. WELL HEAVEN TWICE IN A LIFETIME... BUT THE STORY AGAIN DISAPPEARED... HELP... IS THERE ANY LEADS TO SOME ONE WHO STILL SELLS THE PRODUCT... PLEASE LET ME KNOW AT LORDGELSTAR@MSN.COM " -" I remember Ruby from Winthrop JHS (60'-63'). The only "slogan" I remember him saying when hawking his knishes was, 'Knishes, homogenized, pastuerized and circumcised'. " -" hi my name was abbe treatman. i lived in canarsie all of my childhood. i am 46 years old now. i lived in the bayview projects untill i was 10, then moved to 103 st. between seaview and ave n. then i went to jhs211. then canarsie high. all those years, i couldnt wait to get my daily knish with the thick salt. mmm. i remember walking home from canarsie high school, and buying a knish right before dinner. i was never hungry for my moms supper. al roker, the newsman on t.v., mentioned ruby the knishman, outside of bayview. i wrote to him, and he wrote me back saying he also lived in bayview for a while and loved the knishes. those are my memories of ruby and his delicious knishes. " -" Long before “customer satisfaction” and “delighting the customer” became the ubiquitous terms that we’re now all too familiar with, Ruby was on the forefront of doing whatever it took to meet and even exceed his customer's needs.Long before demographics and the like, Ruby had an innate ability to recognize all of his customers and appear at their moment of need (for a daily Ruby’s Knish). I’ll never forget (back around 1960) how Ruby was banned from my grade school—but undeterred by this, Ruby drove by my school (PS 189 in Brooklyn) in his now famous station wagon which he had turned into a mobile knishery.First we made eye contact and then Ruby stepped out of his station wagon with a knish and managed to pass it through a hole in the chain link fence, while I slid my 12 cent payment to him. Ruby, undaunted by the school authorities, managed to make a small boy happy on what would have been just another cold and gray day in Brooklyn. His relentless quest to meet and exceed the demands of his customers has forever placed him in my long-term
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memory as a true rebel, as well as a hero to the people of the streets, school yards, and yes, the bungalow colonies of the Catskills. " -" I was born in 1956 in the Bayview Projects. I remember Ruby on those cold winter days.The smell of his knishs were like heaven. Three days a week going to Hebrew school at the Seaview Jewish Center, classes wouldn't start until everyone got their hot knishes and 'holy talks' with Ruby-Doobie (as we called him affectionately). It was no sweat if we didn't have the 15 cents, he would gladly extened us credit until the next day. Shooting forward from the mid-60's to the early 70's one of my final rememberances of RubyDoobie was in the back of the Seaview Park were I was on my mini-bike and 2 Puerto Ricans jumped out of the weeds and blocked my path and were ready to slice my throught and steal my bike. Out of the cool autumn breeze a gunshot sounded .....wouldn't you know it Ruby-Doobie saved my bike and maybe my life with his 38 special he kept hidden in his cart !!!! This is the G-d's honest truth and I've been telling this story to my kids for the last 20yrs. God Bless Ruby....Wherever he may be...not only the best Knishes I ever ate but one of the best friends you could ever have. " -" My parents owned Nan Acres in South Fallsburg until 1978-Ruby came around regularly and since we were the owners, we got FREE knishes. That old blue van was rotted, and by today's health standards the kitchen was dirty, but he and his wife came around and sold those creamy, smooth FATTENING knishes as quick as they could make them. It's a universal language-JUST SAY RUBY'S AND EVERYONE SMILES " -" Glad to see so many from Julenes and the catskills remember Ruby too. He was a part of our summers. Isn't it amazing how Ruby and his family have had such a deep and positive effect on so many. With Knishes. One can make a difference to so many. G-d bless you Ruby. "Ruby The Knish Man Is Now On The Premises". " -" How many of us didn't have the T-I-N cents for a knish but we would put out our hands and get a free handful of kosher salt from the shaker. We would all walk away licking the palms of our hands. " -" It was in the Catskills...Schwartz's Clinton house...when I first hear over the PA "the knish man is here, the knish man is here, hot potato & kasha knishes"...the best part of the day at the bungalow colony for me...."I have to send my wife to Florida, buy a knish"...I will never forget him...after the summer I would search for him in Brooklyn (heard he was there) but never found him. I was a little kid (8 yrs old or so, my range was not that far.)...couldn't wait for summers & knishes... 2 years ago I wandered into yonah schimmel knishes in the lower east side...felt like I was home again - with a good knish - 40 years later...so I wound up doing their website...would have loved to do one for ruby..."the knish man is here, the knish man is here..." I just went up to hurleyville last weekend, to search for the bungalow colony we stayed in. I found it in complete ruin. but snake rock and the pond was still their, so I "hunted" for frogs and salamanders, just like old times...I saw the old speaker on a telephone pole and heard in the distance "the knish man is here, the knish man is here..." Dane (40 years later) " -"I also remember Ruby selling Knish's outside of PS 276 Schoolyard at lunchtime. I remember the tin cup with salt, I don't think anyone will ever know what was in those Knish's, but boy were they ever unforgettable. Just like Canarsie- He was a real legend. " -" My name is Steve. I first encountered Ruby when I was seven or eight years old (I,m now 53) outside of PS 191 on Park Place in Bklyn.. I havent seen any mention of PS 191, why? Every day he was there bellowing " get your hot knishes. T I N, 10 cents. My wife wants to go to Florida. Get your knishes 10 cents T I N ". And every day I looked forward to one of those delicious knishes. I remember him from that early an age with great affection. both for the knishes and for him. I just sensed that he was very special. My family moved to East
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Flatbush where I attended Winthrop and once again I was privilaged to partake of Ruby's knishes which were still exactly the same in appearance and flavor. I remember how lucky I felt to be treated to Ruby again.. " -" Well, after I got out of Winthrop my next stop was Tilden and that's right, Ruby again. I could'nt believe my luck. I thought it had something to do with me but now after reading all these stories I realize that Ruby had probably spread his blessing to hundreds if not thousands of other fortunate souls. And the knishes were still GREAT. During my high school and college years my family would rent a bungalow in Woodridge at Max's Bungalow Colony. Every so often old Max would get on the loud speaker from a place they called "the concession" and announce in the accent many of you I'm sure can relate to " the knish man is here". There he was...Ruby with the knish cart on the back of the truck.One memory that I recalled from my very early days at PS 191 wasa of a song Ruby used to sing to us all the time. "Take it off take it off Mrs. Murphy, it only weighs a quarter of a pound.. It's got hair like a turkey, and it wiggles when you rub it up and down".. I don't remember if there were any more lyrics but if there were I would love to hear (read) them. This site is unfnreal.Till later.......... " -" Hi my name is Donny, I was born on Pacific St. in Brownsville.Every Sunday after attending Church at Our Lady Of Loreto, I would RUN to the corner of Pacific St. And Eastern Pkwy to buy Ruby's Knishes. They were only 20 cents at the time. That was in 1966. I remember Ruby as being very nice to all of us kids. I would buy 5 at a time and before I got home I think I ate 2 of them. They were the BEST Knishes ever. One Sunday morning I ran to buy some Knishes and Ruby wasn't there. I must have sat there for hours. I never saw Ruby again and the corner of Pacific St. and Eastern Pkwy was never the same.Everybody was wondering what happened to The Knishes Man. It was a very sad day on a cold Sunday morning in 1966. But the memory lives on. " -" Yes that man did get around. He shlepped a box of hot knishes on the sand at Manhattan Beach...................He flogged them from the cart outside Tilden ............................ He sold them from a truck around the Catskills, coming to Schneider's Bungalow Colony outside Monticello............ THE MAN WAS AN ICON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! " -" My name is Lenny Fox, lived in Canarsie from 1960-1980. With all your Ruby reminiscing, I'm amazed no one mentioned the true secret flavoring ingredient to the delicious knishes. Ruby would routinely use the same knife he cut the knish in half with (if you wanted salt or mustard applied) to clean the dirt from inder his fingernails. And he never cleaned that knife! " -" Back five or so years ago, I wrote a reminiscence of my childhood in Brooklyn and posted it on a "Brooklyn" website. One of the memories I shared was eating fabulous "Mom's" knishes. This was from a tin pushcart in front of P.S. 183 on Riverdale between Herzl and Strauss in Brownsville from '53 - '56. I remember the retailer being an older man, so it must have been Pops, Rudy's father. Little did I know that this operation was to become a minor legend and bring so much joy to so many people in Brooklyn, on the beaches and in the mountains as well. Fantastic! My personal memory is the incredible warmth (and probably a little heartburn as well) those great pancake knishes brought to a shivering eleven year old crossing guard on a blustery winter day. - Michael Warren " -" I remember Ruby and his great knishes. I'm also a chef and spent years trying to reproduce Ruby's Knishes and I finally did. It's a variation of a Russian Peirogie, that's very popular in Russian Communities and sold for years and years in Russia in train stations, to workers, students. It's made with yeast risen dough and Ruby must have had it rising all over his house (I just imagine Ruby made them at home to save money {to take his wife to Fla,}, rather than him having a separate kitchen to make them. Since he sold so many and not only in Canarsie, though I dont know how, (he was always in Canarsie!), he must have had buckets of dough rising, I
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imagine him using garbage containers, (unused!) to rise all that dough in. I remember Rudy talked dirty, he would tell the kids, the boys that he bought his wife a negligie and he'd talk about her boobies, and how she'd slap him off of him. Just weird stuff I didnt quite get yet at that point. When I didn't have money he often gave me and sometimes a friend a free knish, usaully broken ones, but who cared, I remember the salt tin and everyone putting there palm out to get some then we'd all stand around licking the salt and feeling so incredably lucky. I lived in Canarsie from 1956-1972., and Ruby the Knishman's knishes were one of the things I missed most. I started working as a chef and spent years experimenting, finally I worked briefly in a kosher pizzaria and they sold "MOMs" Kinishes, they looked like Ruby's, oh my god!!!, they WERE Ruby's! How great it was after 9 years to have one again. Then I restarted my experiments. The day I got it was a great day. I had to make a big batch to get the dough recipe right. I made two dozen if not more, I ate several. I froze some and it worked great so I was able to make and freeze a supply. When I was pregnant it was what I craved, besides Brooklyn Blackout cake (aced that one too!)I ate 5 kinishes once when pregnant within an hour and 1/2 and I was so ill. They;'re as close to Ruby's as you can get....without Ruby. The kind of potatoes you use is very important too. God Bless Ruby and the legend he left behind, feeding all the kids, and people of Brooklyn with his wonderful knishes and his warm and one of a kind personality and humor, he fed you body and soul. I seriously wish someone would make a movie about this man, his life. How incredible that could be. I smell Oscar , with onions!-Deborah Olin " - " I grew up in the Bayview projects and went to PS 272. Then in 1969 my parents played an evil trick on the family and moved us to Stony Brook, L.I. A whole new country for us. Ruby is forever part of the fabric of my upbringing. A quick story about one of the best butt kicking’s I ever got from my father… My father grew up in East New York/Brownsville and apparently knew Ruby from there. He saw me after school one day by Ruby’s cart and recognized Ruby from the old days. He introduced me to Ruby as his son and as proud and boastful as my father could be, said to Ruby “this is my son. Whatever he wants, just give it to him and I’ll settle up with you at the end of the week or when I see you”. Ruby knew my father and thought it would be ok. One week Ruby saw my father, flagged him down and told him that he owed him like Ten dollars. Ten dollars in those days, especially for a family from the projects was a lot of money. So my father asked me how it was possible for me to run up a tab like that. So I told him that I had treated my whole class to knishes……often. I can still feel my father’s foot kicking me all the way back to the apartment. They were the best knishes on the planet. Thanks for bringing back all the memories. Rickey Richman " - " Hi my name is Eloise, I grew up in Bayview projects from 1954 till 1976, Ruby was at every school at the end of the day always, the best part of eating one of his knishes was when he sliced them horizontally and put mustard in the middle. I still eat my knish that way. Ruby is now a legend in our time. " - "I can't believe that I stumbled across your site. I haven't had a knish from Ruby since 1965, when I was 9. But, I was just talking about him last week! I was telling my kids about the types of vendors who'd come to our camp. The donut truck with hot jelly donuts. The ride truck and The Knishman. I remember when he'd pull off to the roadside at Lansman's bungalow colony, make his "wife wants to go to Florida" announcements and serve what I still remember as the best potato & kasha knishes. It's amazing the effect that this site has had on so many people judging from the responses. Thanks. Best...Ben Kae " - " As a kid, we had the option of either getting money for the ice cream truck, or Knishes. We alternating according to the mood, but some days, we managed to swindle both with a big PLEASE to mom! I always remembered that Truck, more than any other. He had that megaphone, and drove through the
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neighborhood (I lived in Georgetown in Brooklyn), and sometimes he even had his dirty wife, and once in a while, his dirty son with him. The truck was light blue, all dented, and filthy. Today, we never would have gone near something that looked like that. When he came down the block, you would hear..."KNISH TIME...PARTY TIME" We have hot potato knishes, kasha, frankfurters, cold soda here... And all of the kids would go flying. His Knishes were better than Shatzkin's. My friends also got to see him in the Bungalow Colonies upstate. It is amazing how this one guy, got around...Kind of like "Slim Sterling" who made the circuit in camps, and bungalows, with his corny square dancing. RUBY WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED! " - " I remember Ruby and those Knishes from the summers I spent upstate NY. My parents had a place outside of Woodburne and every time we drove into town we made sure to stop into Mom's Knish shop to get knishes. At the end of the summer we would buy as many as my mother could fit inside a coller to take home and freze. They never lasted too long though....that was many years ago. When the store was closed (and missing, tore down) it was like a big part of my childhood went with it. I sure do miss those knishes though. " - " Hi, I lived in Cansrsie from 1962 through the mid 1980's. Ruby did sell knishes on the corner of East 82nd Street and Avenue K. This was the corner in between Bildersee JHS and PS 276. As a matter of fact, Ruby lived in our half of Canarsie. We went to school with his daughter Dara. " - " The last time I saw Ruby was very late 60's or early 70's . I saw him in a candy store that was at the corner of Nostrand Ave and Kings Highway (now a CVS), he was talking out loud that we should send knishes to "RED CHINA". " - " I remember Ruby driving around in the Catskills going to all the bungalow colonies. I lived at Sadownicks on Old Liberty Road. There would be an announcement that said "Ruby the Knish man is in the Driveway!". My dad loved the kasha knishes. I would always eat the potatoe. When I got the bag back to the house it was stained with grease, but what did I care when I was 12 years old! I STILL remember the taste and have NOT found a better tasting knish. I will NEVER, ever forget those days. I truly cherish the memories. " - " Sometime around 1962 when I attended P.S. 183 in Brownsville I remember vividly having those delicious knishes from "Pops" for lunch. My parents would not allow me to eat lunch at the school cafeteria so they would give me money to go up the block where there was a "luncheonette" or to the delicatessen next to the Ambassador Theatre on Saratoga and Livonia Ave. Pops was always on my way to either of these places right up the block, but never in front of the school. Most likely no street vendors were allowed. They were the best knishes I ever had in my life. If I remember correctly the knishes he sold had more of an oval shape to them. Those knishes were always nice and hot and I use to just cover it with salt. I always had more than one. On many occasions I would just "hang-out" with him during lunch and we would talk about many things. I believe the knishes were either 10 cents or 15 cents...for some reason a dime sounds right. I am assuming this was the father of Ruby because the name "Pop" just rings a bell. I don't recall Ruby. Pop was much older, probably late 40's to early 50's...hard to say, since I was only around 9 years old. " - " Ruby's was by far the best ever!!! I remember Ruby from B&K Bungalow Colony and also Schwartz's, O'Conner's, and Kappys on Lt. Brenda Highway.. "

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- " This isn't so much a story as it is a sensation. There are times when I'm walking around minding my own business and occasionally, flash back to the smell of Ruby's knishes. It is nostalgia gone haywire. It is not the longing of the Tilden football game; it is a yearning for Ruby's damn knishes. The unique sweet aroma (with salt of course) of a soft Ruby's knish that I have never been able to locate anywhere else. " - " My little paradise was Pesekow's Bungalow Colony in Loch Sheldrake, during those very special years (at least for me) 1954-1960. Ruby started coming around during one of the latter years in a dark green Willystype vehicle. He would drive right down into the colony calling out "Hey! Knishes!" People would come running. He did a good business. But the Pesekows were interested in getting in on the action, and they insisted he pay them a fee to continue to sell on their property. Ruby wouldn't hear of it. Consequently, they ordered him off the property. But Ruby wasn't a man to be easily defeated. The next time he came around, he parked on the side of the road (Route 52), right in front of Pesekow's, but on public property, and yelled out, louder than ever, "HEY! KNISHES!!!" He could easily be heard all over the colony, out on the lake, probably even under water. From that point on, he sold his knishes from the road. No problem. " - " I recall Ruby's father at P.S.156, on Sutter Ave., between Grafton and Legion. I went there from ' 55-' 61. I remember the old man and 5 cent knishes.Greasy and salty, from the tin salt can. Then, I remember Ruby at JHS 252, Arthur S. Somers, on Lenox Rd. and E. 94th St. His son Jerry also went to Somers if I recall, and Ruby and his wife were always there, selling knishes outside the schoolyard, on E. 94th St. He also had a little daughter too. Remarkable that he could've been at all these different locations. As if it were yesterday, I can picture those weathered hands, of the father, and of Ruby. To the little six year old at 156, this was the ultimate treat, at a wonderful time in my life. A few blocks from 156, on Strauss St., in 1959, the great Brownsville movie, "The Last Angry Man" was being filmed, with Paul Muni and David Wayne. Ruby probably sold them knishes also. " - " First of all, great reading about Ruby. My Ruby the knishman sold on Alabama Ave. corner of Blake Ave. in the 1940's and 50's. My memory is that he used to wipe his nose on his sleeve. He looked very old then. The same knishes were sold at a bagel store in Canarsie on Flatlands Ave. around the E. 80's. (note: probably was Ruby's father) " - " Thank you for the memory resurgence! Loved the Knishman's knishes at Woodcrest Villa...and Manhattan Beach....Flat, roundish, soft skin, creamy inside, and grains of salt from a banged up tin can was the finishing touch...15 cents went along way. Thanks for the memories.... " - " I remember Ruby from Winthrop JHS,Wingate H.S., and Dor-Mick bungalow colony in Kiamesha Lake, NY(near the bowling alley). Winthrop, 1963-1966 then Wingate H.S. till '69. I too would love love love the opportunity to taste just one more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! " - " I stayed with my folks at Pancrest Lodge in the Catskills and sure enough, there was Ruby the Knishman peddling his goodies. What a nostalgic memory. What I wouldn't do for one of those knishes today. I currently live in Las Vegas, Nevada where most people don't know what a knish is. " - " As a kid at PS 203 which was on Ave N between E 51st and 52nd Streets in Brooklyn, back in the late 50's and early 60's, it was such a joy to see Ruby by the school. He was a scary looking guy who was nice. My fellow students and I would actually be stupid enough to holler at him that he was selling "hot snots." Yes that was what we had the nerve to call his most delicious knishes. His mantra at Manhattan Beach was a robust, "hot knishes cold drinks." This expression has been painted on my brain from hearing it repeated so much from even way back then. When I was little my mom would drag me along to Fortunoffs on Livonia Avenue on Sundays and I remember one time when I left the store with her, Ruby was outside with his cart selling. It
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Ruby The Knishman

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was that same feeling kids get when they see their teachers outside of school. There was one place that sold knishes that were really identical to Ruby's and tasted pretty much the same and that was a knish store-factory on the corner past Nathan's in Coney Island. That store also sold a Knish Kosher Hotdog and if you loved Ruby's knishes, the Knishdog would be heavenly. The reason we called them "hot snots" was when Ruby was selling by the school it was usually in very cold weather and his nose would drip from the cold so we assumed that when he got one for someone, there might have been some contact. Also, it is quite a coincidence that Ruby's two places that he lived followed the movements of Irving's Kosher Knishes. Irving was a small quite and a very gentle man. Irving's first store was on Rutland Road just a few blocks from Ruby's home on Kings Highway and my Bubby and Zaida's home off Rutland and E 51st Street and my dad's Supermarket on Sutter Ave and when the neighborhood changed Irving relocated his store to Flatlands, a few blocks from Ruby's next home. Irving's Knishes rivaled Ruby's even though they were a completely different style. And When Irving moved his store, almost across the street from where they would later build Southshore High School on Flatlands Ave, he started making the best Kosher Pizza anywhere! The Pizza, made him a major survivor. When I went to eat there in the summers when I was off from college and working as a lifeguard on Rockaway Beach, Irving would proudly tell me about his son who was working on his Ph.D. in Nuclear Science. " - " hi,,my name is jeff and for yrs ruby visited my bungalow colony Woodland in woodbourne,hello folks this is ruby the knishman,i have hot potato and kasha knishes,lets go folks my wife wants to go to Israel, this was in the summer of the 70s,i can still see him with the salt shaker, the knishes in town,jeff pollack..........ewingtvfan@aol.com " - " It's been three years since I found your site dedicated to Ruby the Knishman - I have been searching forever to try and find a knish that comes close to the taste that is etched in my brain from my childhood of the best knish I have ever had, I don't think my search will ever be fulfilled. My first experience of Ruby's knishes was at my first Bungalow colony in the Catskills called Tara Acres, The Chow Chow cup also came by but it was always Ruby's knishes that made me run to his green broken down totting van whenever he came by. My parents sent me to a day camp called Crescent Lake and of course Ruby was there at lunchtime selling his knishes. After a few years we moved to a new bungalow colony called Kudman's and of course Ruby followed us there as well. How I wish that Ruby would find me now and I again could taste those great knishes one more time... Chuck K" - " I did a Google search for "pushcart knish recipe" and was amazed to find a picture of the very person who's knish recipe I wanted. I lived on Remsen Ave., down the block and across the street from Winthrop JHS, from 1945-1958. I went to school there and of course I bought knishes from Ruby's pushcart. As I recall, the price went from 7 to 12 cents during my years there. I have often thought about those lovely, heavy, greasy potato knishes, and, of course, have not found any like them. " - " "When I first met ruby @ Dor MIcks bungalows in Kiamesha Lake, I was taken aback at how cynical & funny he was, besides his dirty hands & nails.The next day when he came I approached his truck with paper & pen in hand.He asked what i was doing with pen & paper, taking notes? No i said, taking down your license plate in case someone dies from your Knishes.We were best of friends after that. rest his soul......... " - " I grew up in Brownsville on Sackman & ENY Ave. Every Sunday after mass at Our Lady of Loreto in the mid 1960’s I would look up the block toward Eastern Pkwy to see if the Knish man was there. I would run up the block for the best Knishes ever. I remember that beat up cart with all that smoke around it, you could feel the heat, and that salt shaker old and banged up. I’m 47 know and I will always remember my old block in Brownsville. The Knish Man was one of my favorite characters from that neighborhood. We had many. "
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Ruby The Knishman

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- " Take me back to the best days of my life! My grandparents owned and operated a bungalow colony in Monticello, New York (Marigold Acres) and often times Ruby The Knish Man would come around in his truck selling kasha and potato knishes - with or without salt. He would pull onto the property and make an announcement using his bullhorn..."RUBY THE KNISHMAN IS HERE" I would run into the main house and turn on the PA system and make the same announcement to the folks in the bungalow colony.....often rewarded with my choice of a potato or a kasha knish sprinkled with salt. On occaision he would even stop in and enjoy a glass of wine with Goldie and Ted. His knishes definitely set the standard for me and made many warm and yummy memories. " - " I grew up in Brooklyn right on the Brownsville East Flatbush border. I went to PS183, and JHS 252. I distinctly remember buying knishes from Ruby at the lunch break in the school yard at JHS 252. (located on Lennox Road near Kings Hgwy) I immediately recognized his picture from the web site. This was during the time period of Sept 63 – June 64. I remember the knish wagon being dropped off from a van. I also remember that while attending PS183 (57-63) we bought Knishes at lunch time on Riverdale Avenue near Saratoga Avenue .Ruby was not selling them, but maybe it was his father. This brings back great memories. I live in northern California , and the only knishes we get are Cohen’s in the frozen food section. " - " Ruby and his wife along with the old station wagon parked on the street outside PS 219 and Somer JHS 252 in the 1960's was routine of our lunch periods. He always stayed on the outside of the fence where there was a hole to pass the purchases. " - " For years I've told people about the Knishman that waited for us after school in front of PS 244. This was back somewhere between 1954-59. There was a pretzel cart across the street but the smell of the knishes always pulled me to the steaming cart on a cold day. I have a feeling it was Ruby's dad in front of our school, but my memories are vague - but strong. I'm just glad to see a picture of the cart and remember bit of my childhood in Brooklyn. " - " I happened to have one of my nostalgic moments and came across your website dedicated to Ruby. How can I forget Ruby? My parents had a bungalow at Sadownicks from 1966 - 1974. After that, we were at Town and Country for a few years. I used to go to camp at Cresent Lake which was about 6 or 7 miles away down Old Liberty Road. While at camp, Ruby was there every day hawking his goods. I always liked the potato, but my parents LOVED the kasha. I would have at least one or two a week when I was up there in the summer. I definitely remember the tin cup used to spritz the salt into the bag! By the time I walked home from his truck, the bag was nearly saturated in grease. Heck... I was a young kid, who was thinking at the time? I have never, ever found a knish as good as Ruby's. Ahh... if I could only relive those days again. Truly the best days of my life were up in the mountains in the summer as a teen. Okay.. back to reality.. I have to get back to work. Thanks for listening to me ramble. " - " my name is scott, went to ps203 from63-69,ps78,sshs grad in 76 .the scent of rubys knishes always cut the cold winters air and soothed your soul especially after a rough day at school.From the pier to the brook to the mountains he was there maybe there is a Ruby clone somewhere. Thanks for the arromatic tasty memories. " - " my name is scott, went to ps203 from63-69,ps78,sshs grad in 76.The scent of rubys knishes always cut the cold winters air and soothed your soul especially after a rough day at school.From the pier to the brook to the mountains he was there maybe there is a Ruby clone somewhere. Thanks for the arromatic tasty memories. " - " I remember Ruby in the 1950's by 219 school yard. He used to stay on 94th st. between clarkson and kings
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Ruby The Knishman

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hwy. next to the schoolyard. Before Ruby there wad a little old man we called Pops. He was the original. Before Ruby . Ruby came after Pops. Pops had the same type wagon salt shaker and the same type knishes as Ruby . Pops was the original.You are right they were the best knishes ever. They used to open up the wagon draw and you would see all the knishes in rows,I believe there were 2 drawers. They used to wrap they knishes in white paper and you would push it up through the paper as you ate it. Do you know if they have those knishes anywhere today? From what I remember they were about 12 cents. Those were the days, Pops and Rubys Knishes and the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. You rember Ruby in the 1960s I knew him in the early to mid 50's. " - " I can't believe that I found this site!! Ruby played an important part in our life as we enjoyed scoffing down his great knishes. I went to JHS 211 and when I had money, bought one of his fabulous knishes after school. I can still remember Ruby cutting the knish in the middle, mustard placed in the middle and of course, salt sprinkled on top from that beat-up old can. He was a legend and his good name will always be remembered. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. " - " "Ruby." Now there's a man's name we no longer hear. Allen Hurwitz's photo is beautifully reminiscent of the quintessential "Brooklyn guy"--rough around the edges, given to bad language, but on the inside . . . a good guy. I thought he looked familiar but could not "place" the face--until some writers mentioned he used to sell knishes outside of Arthur S. Somers, 252, which my sister and I attended in the early '60s while living in Brownsville. Yes, now I remember the omnipresent Ruby. Interesting, that Ruby bore a strong resemblance to my dad--a wizened face and tough bulldog demeanor that comes largely from years of working on the streets (and, no doubt, from the wartime experiences that surface in your later years). The strongest and most fearsome of eight Strauss brothers, my father was also named "Ruby" ("Spike" in the W.W.II Army). Known and respected all along the New York docks and Washington Market, "Ruby" was nobody to ever mess with, probably the same wide berth once given young Ruby by those who knew he was one tough Yid. Could they have been kindred spirits? Did their paths ever cross? I wonder. My dad was all over the boroughs, having been a truck driver before and after World War II. He spent the latter part of his life up in Woodbourne, New York. And, like Ruby, my dad was a deadly fighter of raw power, and often sparred with seasoned boxers in the lower east side gyms; but fights with anti-Semitic Irish wise guys always came down to the old man not saying a word, but laying them out cold with one or two, bare-fisted shots. Something Ruby the Knish Man could and would likely have done in his younger days, wouldn't you agree? I read where Ruby wanted to get into boxing in his early years. Perhaps back then, he knew of my distant relative who was in the fight game: Joe Louis's manager, Mike Jacobs-Strauss. Ah, well. . . . Your wonderful site is evocative, as you can see. It's a door into our New York childhoods through which we can meet our families and friends again, alive in our collective memories and hearts. There'll never be another Ruby like the Rubys we have known. " - " I grew up in Canarsie. I was born in 1954. Ruby used to sell knishes outside the Fortunoff's in Brooklyn, which I was told, was located under the "EL" on either Sutter or Pitkin Avenues. I have fond memories of seeing Ruby at the Bayview houses where I grew up. He also had a protege, whose name I think was Ira. Ruby would give him the knishe wagon and I would usually see him in the late afternoon outside of the Seaview Jewish Center when Hebrew School was in session. I always remembered Ruby saying, "I want to send my wife to the Cun Tree", (my apologies), not to Florida. Names of witnesses can be provided upon request. Lastly, whenever I have fondly gazed at the picture of Ruby and his wagon over the years, I always shake my head when I look at that old jar of mustard that sat there through sunshine, rain, sleet and snow. Thanks for the forum, R.D. "
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Ruby The Knishman

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- " In any event, I couldn't believe that Ruby the Knishman has been immortalized over the world wide web. Per your request, here is my recollection: I grew up in Bayview Houses, and attended Hebrew School at Seaview Jewish Center. Every afternoon, after Hebrew School ended, we could count on being met by one man out in front of the synagogue: Ruby! Even before we walked out the door, we could hear him shouting, "Hot Ka-Nis-shes!". There was nothing like them- square, hot, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. He used to sell them to us (I think for 15 cents), and let us know we could have all the salt we wanted "for free." The salt came in a tin shaker can...I think it was a relic from World War I, but it worked. He was a funny, friendly man. We all kibbutzed with him, and looking back, I can't help but think he must have liked us kids....it would be hard to put on an act like that. " - " I grew up in Brooklyn, but knew Ruby from when I was a boy spending summers at the "Princeton House" bungalow colony in the little orthodox hamlet of Harris, NY. He would come driving up the steep hill in his big old black 50's Dodge or DeSoto sedan--his wife (or mother?) sitting silently in the passenger seat. He would turn on his PA system--a white plastic voice-amplifying horn atop the DeSoto--and call out in a booming voice: "HOT knishes RUBY's knishes--c'mon folks, come and get 'em--I have to send my wife to Florida). There were potato and kasha knishes in a large silver metal multi-drawer hot box (with hot coals or some other kind of heating mechanism inside it) perched precariously halfway into the trunk of the black DeSoto. He had a coarse salt salt-shaker on a long metal chain affixed somewhere to the rig. I'd run like Godspeed from the pool across the mowed lawn, my feet flying like they've never flied since, a quarter clutched in my hand, as we lined up for a Ruby's knish. They were round, and looked more like a piroshki than a square deli knish. Ruby's arrival was the highlight of our day (although "Frenchie the ice cream man" was a close second). He always, always mentioned his need and desire to send his wife (or mother?) off to Florida. I remember his tall, chimp like appearance and his swarthy, heavily pock-marked face." I can't believe I found this website! Six years ago I adopted the email pseudonym "hotknishes," and I've been trying to explain it to my friends and acquaintences ever since. Thank you, thank you, for honoring Ruby's memory in this way. " - " i remember ruby very well he sold me knishes at ps 219 and later at winthrop jhs through the fence we were locked in the schoolyard for lunch i think i saw him later at tilden h.s. at 219 he had an old man we called pop with a cart of knishes that ruby delivered in a pale bluish green van those were great days " - " Just checked out the Ruby dedication page and wanted to add something that nobody mentioned. It was just one of the phrases Ruby used for a while when hawking his knishes. Back in the sixties there was a popular dietary supplement beverage called Metrecal. Ruby would yell " Hot Knishes…Metrecal Get your Metrecal Knishes!" Anyone else remember this? " - " My son Howie born 9/8/58 remembers Ruby and his cart walking down the block on East 82 Street, Canarsie shouting Ruby the Knish man. Howie says there never was a better knish anywhere. The kids on the block would wait for him every day. Later on they waited at Bildersee JHS. and then South Shore High on Flatlans Ave. My husband and I were born in Brownsville and would cross the bridge to go to the Supreme Movie, on Livonia Ave, East New York. Ruby was always around and we were able to buy Knishes for 5 cents. On certain Jewish holidays Ruby would sell arbos (chick peas in a bag). I remember those long tongs he handled the knishes with. Anyone know where we can purchase those wonderful knishes today? My family and I would love to know. " - " My name is Sheldon, I lived in Canarsie and went to Winthrop JHS and Ruby would be there every day at lunch time shouting 'COME BUY MY KNISHES HAVE TO SEND MY WIFE TO THE COUNTRY'. Then years later in Canarsie he would come on the block I lived and sell his knishes in that same broken down cart that I remember when I went to Winthrop JHS. I found this website by accident and I was so excited I called
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Ruby The Knishman

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my best friend in Fla. and read it to him. I can still taste the knishes. They are a part of my youth and I will never forget them or Ruby the Knishman. " - " Like so many others Ruby has touched my life, and my family's life. Back in the 50's and 60's I went to Effromson's bungalow colony in Lochsheldrake NY. My memories from that period in my life were always of Effromson's, and of course Ruby and his cry, Get Your Hot Knishes! I would run, not walk to get my favorite potato knish with salt and a Coke. My mother would love when he came because she knew the side dish for dinner was a knish. I was just talking with my cousin and reminising about those Knishes. While talking to her I was on the computer and found this site dedicated to Ruby. How appropriate that a man who touched so many lives should be honored. I would love to see a movie about him and his family. Also if Deborah Olin reads this please share the recipe if you would. I know you worked hard on figuring it out, but not all of us are chefs and have the time or resources to do so. If not, then perhaps you can market it and sell them over the internet. I for one would be a loyal customer. " - " what i remember about ruby the knish man was that turquoise van in front of ps 276 in 1973 or so the thing i remember about the knishes was they were home made oval shaped with a soft shell once in a while he would have those factory made square ones and that was a disappointment the funny thing i remember is that he used to clean under his nails with the mustard knife but when youre a kid it didnt seem like a big deal. " - " I CAN REMEMBER LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY.MY FAMILY AND I WERE IN THE CATSKILLS AND THE HOTEL WE WERE GOING TO STAY AT DIDNT EVEN LOOK LIKE THE PICS THEY SENT US SO WE LEFT AND STARTED LOOKING FOR SOMEWHERE ELSE TO STAY. WELL WE FIND THIS LITTLE HOTEL\MOTEL\BED&BKFST,AND THE PEOPLE WHO RUN IT SEEM TO BE REALLY NICE.WELL THE NEXT MORNING WE WAKE UP AND THERE HE IS. RUBY THE KNISH MAN STAYING RIGHT NEXT DOOR. MY DAD ALMOST FELL OVER THAT THAT VAN COULD MAKE THE TRIP UP THERE. BUT MAN HE HAD THE GOODS WHEN IT CAME TO THE FOOD. HE ALWAYS GAVE ME CREDIT WHEN I WAS BROKE BUT TOLD ME NOT TO TELL ANYBODY. AND HIS FAV JOKE: DO YA LIKE FLOWERS\PUT YOUR 2LIPS AROUND THIS ." - " Oh My God!!!! I grew up with Ruby's Dad as my knish man. I grew up on 103rd between K & L and to this day Ruby's knishes are the THEE best knishes of all time. He would be there no matter the weather, with his silver cart, schlepping up and down the streets peddling those greasy, fried, square and unbelievable tasting cholesterol-ridden carb-overloaded potatoes. Passing PS 279 and PS 211...Always in a good mood & something to say!!! He knew how to handle the kids and shame on those who beat him up & stole his knishes!!! Every single time my brothers and I eat a knish or see it on a menu.... The "Knish-Man" always comes up. His knishes are the template by which we judge all knishes.... they are always compared to, but never equal to Ruby's!!!!! I think back to my years in Canarsie and the Knish-man & his cart are definitely a staple of my childhood (one of the good ones!!!!) Who-da thunk. " - " Hi, my name is Marty Albinder. I lived in the same building as ruby, at 9507 kings highway. I knew his wife and child. He was as you said a gem of a guy. Those flat knishes he sold were great. One of his spots was Arthur Somers jhs also known as ps 252. He had a few more people working for him selling knishes. He would get up and leave the apt very early to cook those marvelous knishes . You brought tears to my eyes with your story. He lookes poor but wasn't. He did need dental work though lol. " - " I was very young then and living in the projects with my sisters and folks. We didn’t have a lot but when we got a little extra the treat we wanted was a knish from Ruby. I so remember the wonderful greasy aroma and the taste…unbelievable. I lived in Canarsie from 1955 until 1970 and went to PS 242 and John Wilson 211. My dad drove a truck for the NY Daily News. He would sneak us on the truck to make his last stops and
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Ruby The Knishman

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we would go and see Ruby. I have never eaten anther knish since then. I would ruin the fond memories of the old days. - Michelle Lundgren " - " My name is Myles and grew up in East Flatbush. In those days, it seems, our universe was our neighborhood, circumscribed by certain major streets to the north, south, east, and west. Within those confines we knew almost every nook and cranny and all the strange and wonderful characters therein. Ruby the Knish man went from neoghborhood to neighborhood and I remember him. I went to Winthrop Junior High School (P.S. 232) from 1964 - 1967 and it seems like another century and it was! I remember cold days and Ruby was stationed in his usual plays just outside the schoolyard on E- 53rd Street, selling his knishes. He would open that metal cart and the steam would rush out in a burst, he would take his large gnarled hand and pull out a hot steaming knish. The contrast between the hot knish and the cold day somehow left an impression on me. Some have described his knish as "square." Perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me, but I remember them as round and not square. I remeber them as being very moist. I guess the steam in the cart kept them that way. Man they were great knishes. In my mind it is the Ruby Knish that is the standard that no other knish could match up to. I wonder if this was just a childhood memory or if his knishes were really that good. Having read the remembrances of others I believe they were the best damned knishes in the history of the universe and even if they are not that is what I will always choose to believe. Ruby remains alive in all of our memories. As we get older some of these memories fade and we wonder if these people really existed, at least to the extent we remember them. After reading what everybody remembered about Ruby -- DAMN RIGHT THESE MEMORIES EXIST!!!! " - " What a superb photo by Robert Krane ( Ruby 1974 ). I'm sitting here in February, 2007, just staring at it, contemplating Ruby--something, of course, we distracted, excitable kids of the ’50s never did. In his earthy way, Ruby graced us with his presence. Only now do we have a sense of that. Here was an unassuming, ordinary guy, who, we discover in our later years, has had an extraordinary impact on us. I find there is more to Ruby than memories of his great knishes of our New York childhoods. He still evokes in us the subtle, private memories of our family generations and personal experiences that are as richly textured as Ruby’s wonderful, aged face, now forever looking out at us across time. " - " I grew up on Sackman & Dean Streets in Our Lady of Loreto Church. Every Sunday my father would give me a dollar to go buy 10 knishes from the Knish man. ( I now think it was Ruby's pop because he was a much older man.) The line for the knishes would stretch from the church to Eastern Parkway & Pacific Street. At 10:00am every Sunday, after attending the 9:00 mass that line seemed never ending. I have searched for Mom's knishes and if anyone knows where you can get any, I'd love to know. Thanks, Carol Vignola " - " PICTURE IT-WOODLAND BUNGALOW COLONY, WOODBOURNE , NY. MY CHILDHOOD, 1960'S THRU 1970'S WE HAD TWO SONS OF "PROMINENT" COLONY RESIDENTS, GLEN AND FREDDY, GET IN A SERIOUS CAR ACCIDENT. THE DAY THEY CAME BACK FROM THE HOSPITAL THEY WERE GREETED WITH CHEERS AND GIFTS. THAT DAY RUBY WAS THERE AND SO WAS JOE THE FRUITMAN. RUBY GAVE UP 2 KNISHES AS A GIFT AND ONE OF THE DAD'S SAID," HEY RUBY YOU CHEAP BASTARD, JOE GAVE A BEAUTIFUL FRUIT BASKET AND ONLY 2 LOUSY KNISHES FROM YOU? RUBY SAID," JOE ALREADY HAS A HOUSE IN FLA."-SUZI THIER " Home Page

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