Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Len

I learned this past weekend that my old neighbour, Len, passed away a while ago. I was stunned, because we hadn't seen him for a few years. The last time we saw him was for a Chinese New Year's dinner together with some other neighbours, and he looked fine - healthy and cheerful.

Apparently, living in a retirement home took its toll on his health. He became more withdrawn, which definitely was not what I remember him as. Sad news.

Len was a curmudgeon, an old-time Jew who lived by himself quietly. We didn't talk much, but when we did, he always had some kind of advice to dispense. Quirky, old, Jewish advice. I remember him having this big suitcase full of pens that he used to pull out whenever he saw me. "Take one, take a few!" he always used to say. When the weather was nice, he'd pull up a chair on the driveway, and read. We'd always know because he had a beautiful whistling voice, and loved to whistle old Broadway tunes.

It's been a few years since he moved out, and his old house has already seen two tenants. It doesn't seem that long, and it's hard to believe Len is gone. Rest well, old man.

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