GOODBYE UNCLE LENNIE


LENNIE_0004 He wasn’t our uncle; he wasn’t even related except by choice. For over 65 years he was our “big brother”, wise advisor, lawyer and well-loved friend. The only photos I could find among the many taken during the years of our friendship, had someone’s arm around him, so I’m including this one. He was “Uncle” Lennie to many people for his wisdom and good humor, especially to us and our family.

He loved kids, and as his grandchildren began arriving, he took them all for a day of fun every Saturday. When our own grandchildren arrived, my husband’s first remark was to say he wanted to be the same kind of grandfather as Lennie. I think he has been.

For thirty years he gave his own all-male birthday party at Scott’s, a prominent Oakland restaurant, to which over 100 guests came, entertained and were entertained with jokes and hi-jinks. He was fond of saying that women were also invited as long as they would jump out of the birthday cake naked! To my knowledge that never happened. He always arrived at the party in a limo wearing a tophat and his red clown nose and a big bow tie.

Lennie was a joke-teller supreme. He told jokes to his grandkids, to the postman, the waiters, and to anyone who would listen. The coming of the internet with its joke-sharing gave him constant new material. His penchant for crazy hats and a red clown nose added to the fun. At one memorable party he brought the mascot mule for the Oakland A’s and at another, the cast of the musical “Chicago” came to liven things up. Red clown noses were passed out at his funeral which he would have approved.

He was a CPA, and at the age of 44 he went to Law School and became an attorney as well. Besides that, he became Probate Referee for the County of Alameda for many years. His loyalty to the University of California was legendary, and he loved the Cal football team, win or lose.

He was a good athlete, including tennis and raquetball, and loved golfing, was a member and also the president of the prestigious Sequoya Country Club. Upon his death, the flag was lowered to half-mast in respect to a man loved not only by fellow members, but by the bar and wait staff as well.

Most of all, he was our dear friend, and we will miss him. He always used to say, “Just because they don’t call you, you call them. The phone works both ways. Remember, you’re a long time dead.” Lennie Gross, your 94 years went all too soon.

MINNIE AND MICKEY GOT MARRIED


Minnie and Mickey got married and joy reigned supreme in the magical kingdom! After 27 years of singlehood, raising two fine children and carving out a very successful business career, our youngest daughter Cori, (aka Minnie) was married in a beautiful countryclub setting to Jim, (aka Mickey), surrounded by both families, and over 100 nearest and dearest.
As a first date, she invited him to a Halloween party, where they won first prize dressed as Minnie and Mickey mouse, whiskers, ears and all. If a new date can withstand that introduction, he must be a keeper!
Cori has a sense of fun which she imparts to everyone she meets. Instead of one “best” friend, everyone she meets feels as if they are her best friend. She is always there for everyone in sickness and in sharing happiness.
In Jim , she found a partner who has the same spirit of fun, and with whom she can share her love of travel, skiing, biking, hiking, kayaking, and golf., as well as just sitting by the fire and watching old movies.
It was a fairy tale occasion on a perfect evening in the Northwest, and made even more special as one of her oldest friends officiated in the ceremony, incorporating the words of an ancient Native American blessing into the ceremony. Her sister from Southern California, was the matron of honor, and Jim’s best friend, whom he has known since elementary school, was his best man.

Cori and Jim have a special affinity for Hawaii, and friends sent orchid and maile leis which helped decorate the cake table. Hawaiian music played softly during the ceremony.
After dinner and a great coconut cake, everyone (including Dr. Advice and I) danced up a storm.

I have never felt a such a palpable sense of joy as was being sent forth around a room as it was for Minnie and Mickey’s wedding!
May the blending of these two families bring happiness, more joy, peace and contentment and fun for the rest of their lives. AHO

Cori and Jim with her children


Dr. Advice, Cori and Me