The Entertainer


It’s taken forty-some years (almost fifty!) to find it and now I have.

My grandfather, my Zayde Louie, was unlike anybody you’ve ever known or heard about (except maybe Rodney Dangerfield – something I never noticed until every friend who met him for the first time at my wedding said that he reminded them of RD – he wore yellow pants and a yellow shirt and lace up oxfords to our rehearsal dinner so maybe it was that).

He was a crack-up. A pied piper who drew people to him without having to work at it. Mom says when she was young, boys came to take her out and never wanted to leave for their date because they wanted to hang out with him (poor Mom.) He was the funny man. The fun man. Always had a great story at the ready. He was a grown-up but not really. He let my eight year old self stay up late and interact with his friends while they played poker and drank whiskey and talked trash. Sometimes instead of lunch, we ate bowls full of Cool Whip with him. He called all of my girl friends Beverly. Not sure why we found that so funny but we did.

And no matter what you said, he could name and sing a song that related to it.

I loved my Zayde, loved being with him, but always knew that I wasn’t the one who inherited the funny genes. I can write a story with a little sass but I’m not the one that everyone at the party gathers round. People like me but don’t expect me to keep them entertained. My brother, though, has Zayde’s comedic timing. Maybe that’s why he writes sitcoms and I write novels.

What I realized the other day was that I may not be the funny one in the family, but I did inherit something from my Zayde. And it makes me very happy.

I write blog posts, reread them, and then come up with a title. Almost every time, the first title I come up with is a line from a song. I don’t always use that title because it’s not always the best one, but for me, I read something and think of a song. Actually, all day long, when I see, hear, smell, taste, feel something, what rises to the surface of my mind? Song lyrics. Yes. Just like my Zayde.

So here’s one for Zayde. No lyrics here but a song that rose to the surface as I reread this post and thought about a man I wish my children had known because my stories will never allow them to feel that amazing way it felt to be around him.



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8 thoughts on “The Entertainer

    1. One of a kind. And I agree. But I’ll take any kind of funny if I can get it. Laughter is definitely one of the things that keeps me from falling in the hole.

  1. Bowls of cool whip and Beverly! What a hoot! While it sounds like he was an awesome grandfather, I gotta say that reading about him makes me think that sometimes real life creates characters that are far more interesting than anything you find in books.
    Thanks for the post…

  2. What a warm and wonderful grandfather to have! We should all be so lucky. They are a treasure when you find them, bigger than life–I’m sure all your girlfriends loved him as well as the boys–who wouldn’t? Thanks for his story.

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