Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The day begins with work, busy store and trying to get a move on all our fall projects. Dad calls me at noon, I’m at the bank, he’s going to walk to my car, I need to take him to physical therapy. He’s waiting for me in the passenger seat of my car and I drive him over to his appointment, he doesn’t look that good, he’s complaining about his ibs, if he’s down, it’s always his stomach.

Back to the store, Jackie meets me to walk the dogs, she’s on the phone with the car guy, andrew’s car is not doing that great, his flat tire is unfixable and his car is burning oil. Our friend Josh pulls up, he gets a cup of coffee and the three of us take the dogs for a walk. At the turning back point the phone rings, it’s Dad, time to pick him up. He tells me he has low blood pressure. I tell him I’ll be there in 15 minutes and I will talk to his physical therapist. We get back to the store and there are people looking for me. I say hello as quickly as possible and then I’m off to get Dad. When I get there, he looks half asleep in the chair. I tell him he can go to the car and I will talk to Dan, his physical therapist. Dan tells me the bottom line is that Stan is probably dehydrated. Bad stomach, not eating, not drinking, tired, dizzy, dehydrated. And so I think to myself, I haven’t spent much or any time with him since Friday which means he hasn’t had a square meal since Thursday night, he doesn’t drink enough, he’s not eating. So I get to the car and tell Dad, your dehydrated. You need to drink some Gatorade especially if your stomach isn’t good, you need electrolytes, you need to eat. If you don’t have energy try eating. I tell him, Jackie’s the one who’s more worried about you then me. And so we get back to the store and he gets a Gatorade, Jackie gets him some lunch and we all sit down. Dad is looking better right away. That’s when my cell phone rings, it’s Harold following up on the cemetery questions. After getting off the phone with Harold Dad comes alive as I talk to him about the relatives. Harold sends me an excel sheet of who’s buried at the cemetery and then when I start asking Dad questions I start getting the full list with stories about them all and so I write Harold the following e-mail:

O.K. So now I have more information on who is hanging out at Mt Aratat and who isn't...

Supposedly there are 2 deeds, a Robin Deed and a Roogow Deed and Dad says they are in his filing cabinet probably filed under funerals in his apartment in Bayside. Or they are on top of the filing cabinet in a metal box. Or they’re in the safety deposit box.

He also says he has a pinky ring for me, a black sapphire ring in his safety deposit box in Bayside and he has a gold watch that mom gave him for their engagement that's for Louis.

“How about Harold and Ben?” I ask him

He replies, “just money.”

“Are you planning on going somewhere?”I ask him

He smiles.

“Are you going soon? In a week or two? or in a couple of years? after Howie's Bar Mitzvah? “

He's still smiling. "I don't know," he says. "I hope HE doesn't play any tricks on me."

"yes, HE's played a lot of tricks on you in your lifetime."

"I hope I die in my sleep."

O.K. enough conversational stuff, actually I'm sure there will be more - Stan's in a talkative mood now that he's feeling better, after a Gatorade and a decent lunch... He had low blood pressure at physical therapy today and I'm realizing I haven't been paying enough attention to him since I was away this weekend, he probably hasn't had a square meal since Friday.

Let's see if I can do this in a way that makes sense...

Celia Robin and Jacob Robin had 4 kids

Grandma Celia made a terrific apple pie

Benjamin Robin, Henry Robin (buried in Kentucky) Elizabeth Frank (cremated) and Josephine Cantor who is buried there. She had no children, miscarriages, but no children. She was married to Sam Cantor who was a rehearsal pianist. He claimed that he was a composer and his music was stolen. "He was a mental case. That's what he was. They lived on 57th street on the east side. Sam Cantor claimed that he was robbed by Tin Pan Alley. What a character he was. He was a nut. He smoked these big cigars. We would go to Elizabeth's on a Sunday. You could look out her back window and see Ebbets Field. Elizabeth would buy Hoffmans soda - it was a class soda, she would make candy. Elizabeth was good natured to her siblings.

That was a crazy thing we found her naked in her bathroom, the ambulance took her to the hospital, she was there for a week and died. She stopped functioning, she stopped eating. That's what old people do...

Celia Robin is buried there. Jacob Robin was an inventor and a philanderer. He was buried in a potter's field. (Our grandpa) Benjamin Robin refused to bury him as he took a walk on the family. Elizabeth never forgave him for that.

"Josephine Cantor was a happy woman, always fluttering around. She used to go "ahhhh ooooh" She was a seamstress for one of these fashion designers. She was a talented girl. She was flittery"

Henry Robin is buried in Kentucky - we have Robin cousins in Paris, Kentucky, Harry and Gerry are Dad's first cousins, Gerry died... Henry Robin was gassed in World War 1. He was an ambulance driver. Dad met him only once or twice as a kid. He got sick and died young.

Henry’s wife was Louise Cohen, her family had a jewelry store…

Abraham Roogow and Rose Roogow had 5 kids Anna Roogow (Grandma Robin) was the oldest, then Louis, Ernest, Irving and Sol - all buried there except Sol, Sol was buried in Florida with his wife Rose.

Ernie was moved to make room for his wife, Bell and the she ended up being buried somewhere else so Ernie is buried all alone in that other plot.

Esther Flex is buried there - she was one of Rose Roogow's sisters

A man named Morris Hermanoff is buried there - he was from Detroit - his boys were always grateful to the Roogow boys for burying him there. He was a brother-in-law to Rose Roogow. He was married to one of Rose's sisters.

Rose Roogow had 4 sisters, Anna, Esther (Stera) Hashka and Minscha

We also need to make sure there is a grave for our cousin Fred Robin, hopefully next to Uncle Eddy.

So there you have a Robin/Roogow history lesson....



Stan continues, “I’m lucky. I have 4 sons and they are all terrific. It’s amazing what goes through your mind. The brain is an unbelievable organ. But how can you doubt that there is some kind of a power. Just take the human body and how complex it is. It’s amazing!”

And how lucky am I…. to have my Dad here, my 3 sons, and everything else that surrounds me, my business, my wife, so many many things going on all at the same time… and so many people that I love and care about literally all over the world!

I just sent an e-mail to a friend of Stan’s saying we hope to see him at Simcha Torah services on Friday. and then Dad says,

“This reminds me of a story. The rabbi was standing outside the synagogue on Yom Kippur. A pretty young girl walks by and the Rabbi gave a long look at her and this guy standing next to him says, Rabbi, what are you doing, you can’t look at her like that it’s a “shunda”, it’s a shame.

Yes, the Rabbi replied, you’re right. In my mind it’s Yom Kippur but in my “hazen” it’s Simcha Torah

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