November 5, 2017
By Arthur H. Gunther III
NYC — A parent has the right to “kvell,” even if you are not of the Jewish faith. I am not, but having been raised in a community of so many delightful descendants of Abraham, I picked up a few words and phrases that come in handy since they are so expressive.
I use “kvell” today because when you have a 46-year-old son who achieves a 2:41 finish in the New York City Marathon, coming in 131st of many thousands of males, you have to say something that underscores the moment.
Yet my son Arthur 4th would prefer silence since he is humble, even if his daily training — he has run almost every day since eighth grade — his persistence and his dedication make him a remarkable runner.
Arthur trains while juggling a job as a school teacher, husband, co-parent of two energetic kids, and without complaint. He loves running, just as Bob Hudson, his high school coach, instilled in him. And continues to do. (In fact, Coach drove Arthur to the city to begin the race procedure at 4:30 a.m.)
Every entrant in the marathon is a winner. Just enduring a 26.2-mile run through all the boroughs is a feat beyond the normal challenge. Yes, some are the top finishers. Some suffer more than others. But we must kvell for every one, especially in a time of deliberate national divide.
The marathon is a league of nations, a race of many peoples. Emotion expressed by participants and those cheering them on Sunday made America shine. We can all kvell for that.
The writer is a retired newspaperman. firstname.lastname@example.org