If I Were a Rich Man


Most of us are familiar with Chaim Topol’s performance as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. This is the famous tune, “If I Were a Rich Man” where Tevye daydreams about the personal comforts he would enjoy if wealthy. Most of us have had similar thoughts, even if we weren’t singing and dancing in a barn.

I’ll admit to having the frequent fancy in my mind, but don’t fully find it analogous to myself. You see, Tevye wanted money for personal possessions. He wanted the house and the servants and all the accouterments of the well-to-do. I can’t say I’m that type of person. I enjoy the finer things in life like most people do, however the frequency and volume of which is different. If I had vast amounts of money, I’d only buy sturdy, well-made goods. I’m not a flashy guy. The car I would drive would be a practical, commonplace sedan. My clothes would be well made but plain. I wouldn’t be the type of person to have a suit of armor collection or private art galleries. 

The real daydream would be what I would I do with the money.  To me, that’s a distinction that can be made. For example, my first stop would be downtown Hooterville to buy it. Yes, the whole downtown. That takes serious money, and a lot of power. People are not easily swayed from property, and thinking it would require anything less than a battalion of representatives is sheer foolishness.

Once purchased, I’d raze the irreparable. There are plenty of building so deeply neglected, they’re a danger to the community. There has been such turmoil with this due to nostalgic residents. They don’t want to see their memories destroyed, much like a hoarder will cry if you pitch a mottled towel in the trash. I have no qualms in being that “villain” as I have a vision of the replacements.

I like truth in materials: brick is brick, wood is wood, etc. I also think the architecture of the Industrial revolution is quite comely and would go on several trips here and abroad to capture the essence of this time period. They would all come with modern conveniences, of course, but the soul of the designs would be left untouched. I don’t mind modern architecture; I simply think it doesn’t fit the area well. What’s needed is a smaller, more comfortable, and more familiar feel to the town.

The infrastructure would have an overhaul and I’d throw in wonderful little curve balls, like roundabouts. What’s life without a little viewing pleasure? By viewing pleasure, I mean watching flustered motorists trying to figure out what “yield” means. They only know “stop” and “go” around here. There is one last thing I would do, but won’t go into detail. If any of this came to life, I’d want it to be a real special surprise. It’s a good surprise, too.

As with most daydreams, this is all fantasy. Many people laugh when I make mention of the reconstruction and say it’s impossible. They’re obviously more comfortable living in decay and memories.

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5 thoughts on “If I Were a Rich Man

  1. kerbey says:

    Pitch that mottled towel! Remember, the word is the door to the deed. Or “a job begun is a job half done.” So start sketching your roundabouts. Perhaps you could fit in a park with a patch of quicksand, in which to shove hoarders. I would contribute to that fund.

  2. I try not to imagine having a great deal of money. In the intermittent periods of my life when I have had more than enough money I’ve done nothing worthwhile whatsoever. I need to be in dire straits to bring out the best in me.

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