Lester, or Pop Pop, as he was known to the grandkids, was the silent type,
except when it came to certain things. “Get a haircut!” he might say
gruffly, to a son or grandson whose curly locks looked less than neat. “Clean
up your room!” he’d direct any group of children whose toys were scattered
all over the floor. “Sit up straight!” was his maxim at the dinner table. But,
“I love my Lottie,” was his best saying of all, for he was a pushover for
his beautiful and sociable mate, who made friends as easily as rain falls
from the sky.
He loved her cooking and became insulted if you came to dinner and brought
something to add to the table. What could be better than Bubbe Lottie’s
food! Nothing, as far as he was concerned. He always liked to help her
in the kitchen. Of course, sometimes his idea of helping was not the
same as hers. Anything that was flippable, like hamburgers, blintzes,
pancakes or even an omelet would bring out the enforcer in him.
“Lester,” you would hear Lottie say, “stop pressing on those
hamburgers (or whatever the food was.) “If you don’t stop, I’m going
to hide my spatula where you can’t find it!”
He considered it his duty, after urging a friend or relative to eat, to
tell them, “You ought to loose some weight.” He sometimes followed that up
with, “You ought to go to shul more.” He never could understand why
anyone might take offense at his pronouncements…after all they were in your
He loved to dance and so did Bubbe Lottie. They were always the first
ones out on the dance floor at a wedding or a bar mitzvah. Of course,
as far as he was concerned, that affair was a total failure if there were
no little hot dogs in blankets among the hors d’oeuvres.
A sweet man, he was putty in the hands of an unhappy granddaughter, only
wanting to make things right for her. He was proud of his family, even
those who stepped outside of his world of work, family and synagogue, though
he might shake his head over some of their choices. His values and standards
were high and his influence shows to this day in his children and grandchildren. But,
best of all was “I love my Lottie!” for she was the center of his world and
at her table, he was the king.