Harry Sabol

The story of Harry Sabol, as told by his son Allen

Harry was born in Russia and came to the United States in 1904 after escaping from the Czar’s army. A tailor by trade, Harry set up shop in St. Louis at 321 North Jefferson Ave. with a sign, “Who Does Your Tailoring? Try Harry Sable.”

He even established his own baseball team. According to his son, Allen, the team never won a game so Harry finally disbanded them. Later, he set up shop in Granite City, IL. He ran that shop for 21 more years and closed it in 1962, at the mere age of 84.

During World War II, Harry began selling United States savings bonds. He sold bonds on the streets, in drug stores and any place he could find people to buy them. He was easy to spot in the crowd. He would wear a red, white and blue spangle cloak and a stovepipe hat! But he ran into a little problem. One day the FBI appeared at his house. They wanted to know how he sold the bonds. Harry said he would like to sell them some. But they told him they didn’t have the money since the government took a bond a month from their paychecks. After selling more than $1.5 milllion of War Bonds, he was awarded a medal in 1943 by Earl Shackelford of the St. Louis U.S. Savings Bond office. Later in 1972, after Harry had lost the medal, it was presented to him again in a special ceremony by J. Owen Zurhellen, Jr., U.S. Mission official. Mr. Zurhellen remarked that the United States Government and people owed a debt of gratitude to Mr. Sabol for his wartime activities. He truly was a super-salesman for Uncle Sam!

At the age of 92, most men would have felt entitled to take it easy and curtail some of their activities. But Harry chose a new life in Israel and continued to renew things he liked most: tailoring, the Torah and the Talmud. In Israel, Harry chose to provide tailoring services to residents of the Chassidic village of Kiryat Bobov on the beaches of Mediterranean, just south of Tel Aviv. In exchange, he would ask that each mending job require the customer to study a set amount of pages of the Talmud in his honor. A large tailoring job required a larger number of pages and each job required being paid for in this type of currency. Most of the customers were students at the famed Bobov Yeshiva and Rabbinical seminary where young scholars are engrossed daily in the Torah and Talmud study. He was quite strict in collecting his bills!

Harry Sabol died six months before his 100th birthday.

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One Response

  1. Great story, I have never heard this tale until now. Shows what great things one person with a true passion can do. Rest in piece Mr. Sabol. Your a great American.

    Darrel Comer
    http://www.comerwebs.com/blog

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