Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Family

“Going Out of Business” Haggadah

In the spring of 1961, my parents lost their clothing store. It was not a tragedy. It was the final breath of a pain-wracked patient, the welcome demise of Cotlers’ Men’s & Boys’ Wear. After 15 years of stress and challenge, the crushing uncertainty—will today’s receipts cover the checks written yesterday?—that often caused my father […]

Eggman — Part 5…Mergers & Acquisitions

egg route fortunes When I left for college in 1961, I bequeathed the egg route, then at 160 dozen per week, to my younger brother Doug. He was almost 12. But when I came home for winter break, the route had declined to 100 dozen. It was too much for him to handle…not to mention […]

Eggman — Part 4…Dog and Egg Sandwich

After many months of deliveries, most neighbors became accustomed to seeing the Cotler brothers on bicycles, towing their Radio Flyer egg wagon. A few unimaginative churls thought it insanely humorous to yell, “Hey, Eggman! Gimme two dozen!” every time we rode by, but the unpredictable wagon-chasing dog was our bête noir. The worst crack-up (pun […]

Eggman — Part 3…Outhouse National Bank

With its motto “We Sit Securely on Our Assets,” the Outhouse National Bank strove to offer the finest service to its only depositor, my 10-year-old brother Doug. It was open 24/7 for deposits, almost all of which were imprest as a result of the superior judgment of the 15-year-old employer of said brother. It was […]

Eggman — Part 2…Expanding the Business

Three weeks after beginning my egg route, my weekly delivery had increased to nearly 150 dozen. It only took two after-schools to deliver the eggs, and I was netting over $30 each week, more than $4.25/hour. With the minimum wage at $1.55/hour, I, only 15, had found the chicken that laid the Golden Egg. Of […]

I Really Was the Eggman — Part 1

“Hello. My name is Steve Cotler. Each week I go out to a ranch in the country and pick up fresh eggs and deliver them in this area at a price within a penny or two of store prices. Of course, these eggs are much fresher than store eggs because I pick them up and […]

Mephitis Mephitis

mephitis mephitis: North American striped skunk The odor of skunk is very different up close than it is far away. A wee bit-o-skunk is sharp and somewhat lemony…stinky, definitely apprehendable, but not outrageously offensive. Full-skunk, however, clouding thickly outward from the furry hotness of a thoroughly swacked pet dog, is an altogether different experience. It […]

A Singular Eating Experience

Several years ago my brothers (Lanny and Doug) and I were on Long Island where Doug, a well-known performer of modern Jewish music, had a concert scheduled. The show was set for 7:30 p.m., with a sound check an hour earlier, but it was just 4:45 and Doug was hungry. Because a full stomach does […]

The Vanishing Point

My mother died ten years ago this week, and I am brought to think of the vanishing point, that not-so-distant past beyond which none of us can know the fathers and mothers who brought us here. My parents were flesh to me, as were both grandmothers. I never knew either grandfather, but they are romance […]

Ellis Island Vignette

Freedom-and-a-New-Life So here’s how the story goes, as told to me by my Uncle Max (long-deceased). Somewhere in the late 1890s (I could be off by ten years), a man by the name of Tudrus Zlutchin (another branch of the family claims that the surname was Dudek) landed at Ellis Island from Russia with his […]