Actually, to be more accurate, Sammy was really pissed off at me. I had been traveling and had missed a date that I had promised to play the piano for residents at Menorah Manor. I know, I'm not proud of myself. They even published it in the entertainment guide right under Israeli dances with Dr. Levine and Bingo Madness.
When I visited him last week, he didn't even look at me.
"So where have YOU been?"
"Dad, I'm sorry ..."
"I almost died the other day and you weren't here."
"You mean, during Dr. Levine's Israeli dances?"
"I am so sorry that I missed the piano date ..."
"The what? Oh, I 'm not talking about that. I had a bad stomach ache just last night and you weren't here."
Turns out, Sammy had a bad night but not nearly fatal. He's been juggling "nearly fatal" for the past few years. At 93, only 10% of his heart is working. The nurse practitioner that treats him told me that she brings medical students over to examine him from time to time ... a medical marvel ... the man who feels no pain and worries about a stomach ache instead of worrying about his organs shutting down.
My mom passed away in 2009. Up until then, Esther and Sam were a couple for more than 60 years. They were hardly the Ozzie and Harriet of New Orleans. More like Ozzy and Sharon Osbourn (Esther was Ozzy).
But that's a story for another day.