Danny as a toddler
At age 16, showing off his tennis swing
Evidently, this anti-Semitism had hap-
pened before. The Purple boys knew
exactly where to go, in another part of
town, in back of a bar. The boys caught
this one guy. They put a gun in his mouth,
and he turned even whiter than he was.
The gun goes "click" ... but nothing hap-
They then warned the guy that the next
time he and his friends came around 12th
Street, there was going to be a bullet in
the gun. And the guy ran.
So we went back to the Cream and
started eating banana cream pie. I asked
what would they have done if there hap-
pened to be a bullet in the gun? They said
there never was. It was just a scare tactic.
How did you get into
I had written a column
as a teenager for the Center
News at the old Jewish
Center on Hazelwood. I
went to High School of
Commerce in Detroit, where
I learned typing. After that,
I went to Detroit Institute
of Technology for a year to
find out a few things about
journalism. Then, I worked as
a reporter with the Lansing
State Journal and, later, the
At the News, my editor said,
"Danny, whatever you learned
in college, forget it. This is the
new school for you." He was
right. It was like night and
In 1942, I was 23 years
old and working at the News
midnight to eight in the
morning. My beat was Downtown Detroit.
Phil Slomovitz called me and said he was
starting a new Jewish paper and would
I like to be his associate editor? I didn't
know Phil at the time, but he had prob-
ably heard of me from someone.
I didn't accept the job as associate edi-
tor because, at first, I didn't want to leave
my other job. I said I'd help out. I wrote a
column called the Jewish Youth's Listening
Post. The Jewish News took off with the
first issue. Soon, I left the Detroit News
when Phil offered me a terrific deal. I did
all kinds of writing, sold advertising and
helped out in many other ways.
During World War II, I used to do
a lot of work with the boys in service.
They would send me letters, and I would
send letters to a lot of them. One of
Dapper Danny looking cool on a hot day
to israPI s •
Performing at a USO show
In 1943, with JN reader Ruthe Shapiro
them, Bobby Shan, dropped a bomb on
Germany that said, "From Danny Raskin
to Hitler." We put the picture in the paper.
I also worked with the USO. I sang and
danced. And I helped sell a lot of War
Bonds and got a citation from the War
I wrote something about it in the paper.
Phil said, "How about writing a restaurant
column? So, in addition to my Listening
Post column, I began writing The Best of
Everything, about restaurants. In 1986,
they were incorporated into one column.
People ask me about my writing style
... you know, using ellipses ... I thought
it up on my own ... And I've been doing
that for 70 years!
How did you start writing about
After the Jewish News moved from
its original Downtown location at the
Penobscot Building to the David Stott
Building nearby, I had lunch on Griswold
Street at a place called Seros. They used
to give me a loaf of bread with brisket of
beef. I like to dunk, and, man, was it deli-
I hear you briefly were in the
In the '50s, a fellow came to town
named Carlos Valadez. His girlfriend was
Virginia Hill, Bugsy Siegel's old girlfriend.
0-pal on page 64
Having fun at a Tiger game at Briggs Stadium
June 14 2012