Captain Ahab had his Moby Dick. Henry Jones Sr had his Cup of the Carpenter. We had our Jewish Eskimo.
Oh, we've joked about it for years. Jewish Eskimo! Ha. Ha. Ha! As if we'll ever find one.
Well, we did.
(Quick aside: we realize that "Eskimo" might not be the politically correct term... but we just love the word. It's one of our favorite words in the English language. Eskimo. We love it so much we have to underline it. Eskimo. There.)
Now, the trouble is not to find a Jewish Eskimo (for we're sure if we delve into Alaska's birth records, we'll find someone in no time), but a Jewish Eskimo that is worthy of a profile. Someone with some notoriety.
But before we get to John Baker, we need to start with Clara Rotman, a shopkeeper in the town of Kotzebue, north of the Arctic circle. Clara's father, William Shakespeare Levy (what a name!) was Jewish. Her mother was an Eskimo. Rotman lived her life as a practicing Jew.
But seriously, no one is profiling shopkeepers, even if they are Jewish Eskimos. But one of Rotman's grandchildren (aha!), John Baker, although not Jewish himself, certainly qualifies for our "Barely a Jew" verdict. And who is John Baker, you ask?
Only one of the most acclaimed mushers in the world. A constant threat to win the Iditarod, he's finished third twice, before winning the whole thing in 2011. (And here we were having trouble picking someone in our annual Iditarod pool!)
So here you have it, our (ethnically, partly) Jewish Eskimo. Take THAT, Captain Ahab!