"Hello, Rabbis in Riverside? Geveld!"

"Hi, my name is Chaim, and this is Mendy"

"And I am Shmuel," he replied with a smile.

As we continued to chat, he told us that he was so happy to see Jews in the desert. He said he remembers back in 1969 when he moved from Los Angles to Riverside to get away from the noise and traffic of the big city.

He said there was a lot of anti-Semitism, but it has calmed down some thanks to him and some of his friends. "One of them made such a fuss about getting into the country club that they finally let him in. Now many Jews go there; in fact, I was invited to play mahjong there last Tuesday night."

He told us about his service in the Navy on the DE580. It was the smallest boat in the Navy. They would locate and shoot German submarines. There were exactly ten religious Jewish sailors on the boat who would pray together three times a day but Shmuel wouldn't join, saying that it wasn't his thing.

One day, Schneider was sick and couldn't make the Minyan so Shmuel's bunkmate, a Jewish boy named Silverberg, asked him to come and be the tenth man. He agreed. "That's my Mitzvah, and nobody can take that away. I may not be religious but that was my Minyan."

We continued talking into the afternoon. He had so much to share and never had such an interested audience as us.