Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Fifth Candle

What you see above is called "The Hupper" in my family. It's an Americanized version of the word 'chupper (pronounced with a 'ch as in חבר, I know of no English equivalent. The word is derived from the Afrikaans word "gap" which means to grab). My dad found one of these many years ago, no one seems to remember where, it always seemed to be around. It enchanted him. The hand (the original hand was green) would come out slowly and reach for the coil placed in the slot, and then snap back with a pop. No matter how many times he showed off "The Hupper", his unmitigated joy never lessened. I remember (I must have been less than 10 years old) on Jewish Holidays when the house on Mill Park Road was crawling with people, Dad proudly bringing out "The Hupper" to collect coins from the red-faced men crowded around the bar.

Once the grandchildren came along, "The Hupper" was brought out of retirement. I think there was a new version (Hupper 2.0) by now, I seem to think the hand had changed color from the original green to a pale yellow as seen above. I have this image of my Dad beaming with glee as my kids had their pennies grabbed while sitting on their knees around the dining room table in the apartment on North Braeswood. He really loved the snap of the coin being snatched and got as much joy from the millionth coin as from the first.

Today is the fifth candle of Hanukah, and its my dad's Yartzite (memorial day). While his huge influence on who we are is felt daily, it's the little things that make us smile.


blacksisterio said...

Quite vaklempt!!!

oliviao said...

We have it - let's introduce it to the next generation in Dec! What a legacy he left - not only the serious stuff - but the fun in life too!