Monday, October 3, 2011

RIP Arnold Wenig

Sad news as we hear of Arnold's passing. KV's "greatest generation" dwindles down to a precious few. from Sarah this past weekend:
I'm sorry to send word of my father's passing this morning. He had an easy time, which he surely deserved. Arnold Wenig was a very good friend to have. Without question he befriended many in whom he saw were at a loss for a good friend; he invested a great deal in people who were long shots. It was me and him for the past eight years or so and we fought the good fight side by side. I am sorry for some of the times that I didn't take his advise, and very grateful for the advice about life that I did take. He told me two things that are very important for a daughter to hear. He said, "Sarah, never forget! You live in the big house.” and he told me, "Just remember, if you are going through a very bad time that things change. They always change at some point for the better. So never, ever give up." These movies made him cry: Pride of the Yankees, Captain Courageous and Boys Town. He was a pretty good dancer, too. While my father was with me in Boston we would get on the bus and go downtown, to the neighborhood stores, to see President Obama when he came to town and a Boston Pops concert on the Boston Common. He really liked Boston. However, just to let everybody know he was a NYer, upon learning of the Red Sox/Yankee rivalry when he got here - he switched teams from the Mets to the Yankees and used that to chat people up when he was out and about. He thought Boston fans were totally nuts. Never saw anything like it. They even had Red Sox caps printed in Hebrew at the Judaica stores in Brookline. After Whitey Bulger was arrested, he switched the script. I often took him down to Castle Island in South Boston. Whitey went there (Southie's version of the Brighton Beach Boardwalk) for the walking and to have conversations that couldn't be listened in on by the State Police - he had the FBI in his pocket, they weren't the problem. People you run into on Castle Island might very likely have known somebody whacked by Whitey or a kid that he got started on drugs. Nevertheless, my father would wheel himself over to somebody at Sullivan's snack stand and start the conversation with, "Tell me d'ya really think Whitey can get a fair trial here?" Most caught on because Southie people are a lot like people from the Lower East Side and Williamsburg in Brooklyn where my father grew up. When my Dad was lucky, the person my father had engaged would adjust their Red Sox caps and with a twinkle in their Irish blue eyes, reply, "Fair Enough." When things didn't go as my father planned, I'd roll my eyes and mouth the word 'Demented' and get Dad out of the line of fire, leaving the humorless son of a gun behind as fast as I could.


KD COBRA said...

A life well-lived, rest in peace and my condolences to you and your family.
Donald Singletary, Smith Projects

babitsm said...

Arnold Wenig -- wonderful father, lively compassionate man -- you and he were able to spend memorable, fun and loving times together. Hearing about them in your writing is heartwarming. Please accept my condolences.
Marty B