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From the Gold Coast of Africa to…

Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2008.


Kumasi, Gold Coast, West Africa, in the late 19th century.

It’s 1943 on the Gold Coast of Africa. An American merchant marine ship is docked for three weeks. One of the young marines, Victor Teich, decides that he would prefer the company of the local Africans to that of his mates, so he goes wandering. He enjoys a glorious day with the villagers eating and drinking in their ancient culture. He had been warned, however, about getting caught out after dark. The locals were not particularly fond of the often disrespectful and abusive Americans.

Unfortunately, evening closed in as Victor was making his way back to the ship. Passing a group of people, he noticed that one man started to follow him. Our young merchant marine became a little uneasy, so he started to walk faster, but the man in pursuit started walking even faster and then began jogging. At this point Victor started jogging, but the man caught up with him, ran around in front of him, faced him and said, “Have you ever been to Brooklyn?”

Victor Teich, who is 92 years old, shared this and many other fascinating stories with his son, David while visiting the Lower Manhattan StoryBooth in Foley Square. Having made a career change at age 76, he is now a successful documentary filmmaker.

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