Written Words

The following poems were written by and for Hy and recited at the memorial:

Dad’s 54th Anniversary Poem to Mom

It’s still hard to believe we’ve been married for 54 years
It all started with a passionate kiss and 24 beers

Others might have doubted this marriage would last
Our future was more important than lamenting the past

From latkes on a hot plate to the song “You Belong to Me” wherever its sung
The years do add up, for me you will always be forever young

My wife, my lover, it’s you I’m adoring
A pleasure to see you first thing in the morning

Each day is a new adventure, not knowing how it will unfold
It may not always go smoothly, the truth to be told

We both get over it, and don’t let it smolder
We know how to deal with it -- we’re both getting older


From Joel

I’m writing you this poem, Dad, for you’re my inspiration
For giving me the gift of rhyme and snappy conversation

In order to prepare a speech, I figured that I oughta
Write a rhyme that’s just in time in tribute to “The Faddah.”

Your wit and charm helped get us through even the hardest days
Although your family is quite familiar with all of your cliches

For instance, when you’d leave the john with scents harmful to noses
We’d hear you declare to anyone near: “What’d you expect, roses?”

Growing up you taught us manners, as soon as we were able
And if we didn’t, you’d launch right in with “Elbows off the table!”

I clean my plate at every meal, of that you can be sure
You’re the one who said to us, “Finish that, and you’ll get more.”

Your corny jokes and stories covered lots of different ranges
Your motto was, “Jokes stay the same, it’s the audience that changes.”

Some might say you had a flair for being melodramatic
But if we ask your wife I think she’d say you were “dogmatic”

When fatherhood duties came around, our family always knew it
When no one else would volunteer, you’d eventually say, “I’ll do it, I’ll do it.”

As a young man you probably thought I was a real pain in the ass
But you accepted me with all my faults by saying, “This too shall pass.”

You became a condo board member, a move that was quite tactical
At meetings you could often be heard, declaring, “We’re not being practical!”

As years went by, your health declined, and under medications
A new cliche’ arose from this: “I know my limitations.”

You touched our lives with laughter, jokes, and cliches that were clever,
Although you’re gone, you’re not forgotten, you’ll be with us forever.

From Bob

He’d introduce himself as Hyman, that’s with an “a”
Dad was a funny guy and as we gather here today
I’d like to honor his life, it’s the right time to show it
He was my father, and like me, an amateur poet

It started in Philly with two immigrant parents
They spoke little English, a strong accent was apparent
Dad was one of 3, at home they spoke Yiddish
It’s a dialect of German, as Cockney is to British

Dad’s home life was tense, they were kind of poor,
A little blue truck; the only toy they could afford
He decided to leave Philly when he was not quite grown
The Army offered a chance to live on his own

His language skills helped when he spotted a young lady
Eleonore, a German, for her he was crazy
Their backgrounds so different, their love was forbidden
He ignored the naysayers, the guy he was smitten

They married and returned to the family in Philly
Mom tried to charm them, their reception was chilly
“How could you, Hyman, marry a non-Jew AND a German
Why didn’t you find a Finklestein or Berman?”

The scrutiny was harsh, they dissected her past
They whispered to each other, “It’s not going to last”
Despite the harsh welcome, their marriage endured
It thrived and it blossomed, the future assured

The 3 kids were raised, with traits of both, more or less
From Dad we got humor, from Mom open-mindedness
What we saw most of all, is that marriage takes work
But the rewards are great, if one accepts the other’s quirks

A marriage as durable is so hard to find
To find one that’s also loving, nearly one of a kind
So after 56 years, their bond is still there
Dad has gone somewhere else, but they still are a pair

From Mark

What a son looks to learn from his father
To become a wise man, not a fool
If the father is Hy, and the boys are us brothers
The advice is 'be good and play it cool.'