I never knew my parents. I don’t know my birthday. And Jake Tiger is just some name I got over the years.

I mean there’s a birth certificate with my birthday and name on it. But that piece of paper came years later.

My first few years was spent in an orphanage. At least that’s what I was told. STory is I was left with piece of paper pinned to my shirt. All it said was “Jake.” And there was a little stuffed animal shoved into the bassinet. See if you can figure which animal it was.

I eventually moved around every year or so to different foster homes. Probably, if I had been born a few years earlier, I would have wound up out west via an Orphan Train. Working on a farm might have been nice. Instead, I roamed the streets of the lower east side with the other outcasts.

It wasn’t all bad living in the land of immigrants. People were generally nice. Taught me about half-a-dozen languages or so. What you’d expect: Italian, Yiddish, Mandarin, Polish, Russian. I speak a little English, too.

I don’t think I have any brothers or sisters. But who knows. Maybe one day, there’ll be some way to check my blood or something for a match. That would be nice finding a blood relative. Be even nicer to find out what happened to my parents.

I was real good at stickball. In a different world, maybe I’d be another Joe Dimaggio or Jackie Robinson.

Boxing is what I drifted to when I got little older. That’s the sport for us poor schnooks. Get a few bucks for getting your brain bashed in. Was pretty good at it until that one night when I walked away from it. Still too painful to think about.

I’m not complaining. It isn’t all bad. I usually got a roof over my head. And sometimes, I even have a few bucks in my pocket.