Any documentary featuring notable Jews from Brooklyn inevitably presents a tender recollection of Erasmus Hall High School at Flatbush and Church. After hearing that a youthful Barbara Streisand once bearhugged textbooks just a few blocks outside of the PLG green zone I had to do a bit of cursory research on the gothic mammoth.
The breadth and volume of famed sportsmen, scientists and singers who graduated as Dutchmen and Dutchwomen is astounding. Flatbushed presents a beginner’s guide to what could be the most remarkable high school alumni list in history.
Babs – A Google search reveals that she’s a national treasure – although I can’t name any of her songs.
Al Davis – The founding father of stylish American thuggery and late patriarch of the Oakland Raiduh football franchise. The turtleneck/leather/thinning pompadour/sinister glasses combo is impeccable. I plan to adopt this exact style after 55.
Neil Diamond – I really don’t know much about Neil Diamond other than the fact that he radiates some sort of mystical Jewish allure that drives women batty.
Bobby Fischer – Chess pimp, genius, freedom hater.
Bob Arum – Supernaturally crafty and influential boxing promoter who handled a lot of Ali’s tussles. Can you pick him out of this picture?
Clive Davis – One of the most potent men in the annals of pop music, Clive founded Arista Records and discovered Whitney Houston. Clive has also looked 62 for the last twenty years and his annual Grammy party is consistently off the hook, sources said. Also, he has the dope name of Clive that few men can carry with this sort of self-assurance.
Eli Wallach – Legendary old school actor who repped the “Ugly” in Leone’s “The Good The Bad and the Ugly.” A Polish Jew from Flatbush played a dusty thugged out Mexican in a Western. That’s range.
Mae West – An actress so old I’m not sure she actually existed, Wiki describes her as being “known for her bawdy double entendres.” Modern translation – trailblazing ratchet.
Michael Rapaport – One of the original New York hip hop Jews who I will take far more seriously now that I know he went to Erasmus Hall. His documentary on A Tribe Called Quest was a gem.
Donny Most – Scene stealer Ralph Malph on Happy Days
Jerry Reinsdorf – Owner of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox. The pictured environment courtesy of Michael Jeffrey Jordan.
Eventually, all the Jews and assorted goyim piled into their Buicks and bounced to Long Island thanks to Bobby Moses. This demographic shift resulted in Erasmus going from mostly white to straight up black. Guess what? The flossy alumni list elongated still further.
Earl Graves – The Clyde Frazieresque founder of Black Enterprise magazine. He’s rocked this authoritative bald/beard combo for decades and it only seems to get more substantive and meaningful with time.
Stephanie Mills – Fetching eighties soul siren.
Special Ed – This MC of yore solidified eternal respect for gifting us with “I Got it Made,” the timeless 1989 rap classic with a video that was filmed in front of Erasmus, inside Prospect Park and around Grand Army Plaza. Ed was actually still in high school when he made the song that compelled vigorous head-bobbing from Canarsie to Compton. Was that 1989? It seems like only yesterday that I was anchoring a synchronized running man line.