STEVE INSKEEP, host:
On this Friday, like every Friday, we continue StoryCorps, an oral history project in which Americans across the country tell each other about their own lives. Today we're going to meet Don "Moses" Lerman. He's a fierce competitor, although he is not exactly an athlete; he's a competitive eater.
Mr. DON "MOSES" LERMAN: Everybody got something in their life that they're good at. This is what I do good--I eat. I was always a bigger eater than most people in my family and about five years ago there was an ad in the paper for a matzo ball contest. I went down to the contest. I broke a record; I ate 10 matzo balls, half-pounders the size of baseballs, in 2 minutes, 50 seconds. No one ever ate more than 10. And I went on to the finals and I won. And Mayor Giuliani gave me the trophy, and the announcer said, `Let's hear it for Don Lerman and Rudy Giuliani.' And we were both shaking hands like the president and the vice president-elect. That was the first trophy, the matzo ball trophy, ever in my life.
I always wanted to be famous. I always wanted to be president or a big lawyer or a doctor or something, and it just never happened. I had a couple of day-old bread stores; that was my business. I worked 80 hours a week, seven days a week. I just thought, you know, the parade would pass me by until the eating. My father never lived to see me famous and he always thought I was a loser, you know, but I wish he was alive to see that I'm a somebody.
INSKEEP: Don Lerman talked about his life in a StoryCorps soundbooth in New York. To find out when a mobile StoryCorps booth is coming to your town, visit npr.org. StoryCorps interviews are shared with the Library of Congress and with MORNING EDITION.
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