Story and photo by Murray Schneider
There’s not much Glen Park Hardware’s Hal Tauber can’t turn his hands to or assist his legends of loyal customers in putting to rights. But who’d have thought Glen Park’s hardware store owner could fashion an industrial-strength Hanukkah menorah.
Studying the sturdy Festival of Lights nine-branched candelabrum taking center stage in his Chenery Street window, passers-by couldn’t be faulted if they believed the eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates Jewish resistance to 2nd Century BCE Hellenization and the subsequent rededication of Jerusalem’s Second Temple could last for eighty days.
“It’s made with galvanized pipe,” explained Tauber, standing in front of his window and explaining its technology to a customer who’d just purchased a flashlight and a sink stopper.
“It made with plumbing fittings — elbows, flanges and reducers,” Tauber said, while his wife Susan helped stacked-up customers at the counter only a few feet from where Tauber stood.
The menorah wasn’t quite camouflaged by a window display featuring a hand saw, a gardening lopper, a hand drill and countless other hardware sundries.
Tauber stood before the storefront in a leather coat and khakis. The customer dressed in a flannel shirt over a black sweatshirt.
“You wouldn’t sell Hanukkah candles by chance,” he asked.
“Actually,” said Tauber, “we do.”
Tauber walked into his store and returned with a box of candles. The customer removed one and studied it, particularly the thickness of its waxy base.
“The ones I’m running out of” he said, “don’t fit my menorah. After a while they list, sort of like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.”
The customer fingered the candle and smiled.
The sun was setting and the fifth night of Hanukkah was approaching.
“I’ll take them,”