Jeff Pearlman

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11-1

The chain

Back in 1984, when I was 12, my mom took me to Aljan’s Jewelers on Route 6 in Mahopac to buy me a chain.

At the time, many kids were wearing gold snake chains—they were, obviously, gold, and thick, and sorta short. I really wanted one, but Mom wisely insisted that was a bad idea. Instead, we spoke with Mrs. Wittel, Aljan’s owner, and looked through a handful of varieties. I ultimately picked a silver chain with a small silver Jewish star dangling off the end. The star was filled with the blue coloring from stained glass. It was quite lovely.

Mom, again, was wise. She insisted I buy a ridiculously long chain, so that—down the road—it’d still fit. I did, and for years I wore this ridiculously looooong chain that hung down to my waist. Still, that never bothered me. The chain symbolized much to me: My mom, my dad, my brother, my religion.

Fast forward 29 years, and the chain remains. The blue has long vanished, and the star now hangs only halfway down. But I never take it off; never would think of taking it off.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

  • Tina D

    Pretty cool chain! I had a gold chain myself when I was a kid, but my mom passed it along to my cousin. I don’t think it has as much meaning as yours.

  • BG

    Jeff–Great piece, as usual, but a Ditka t-shirt? Please explain. I would have bet on a Celine Dione concert t-shirt before a Ditka one.

  • John

    This is the type of personal anecdote that keeps me coming back to your site. For whatever reason, I really enjoy these little slices of your life.

    But nothing will ever top the story of how you and your wife started calling each other Earl. Pure gold, that was.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life