I’m madder than I was some 40-odd years ago when I had not yet found my calling and began venting in a newspaper column with no oversight and little editing over the fact that guys like my friend Sid don’t get the attention they so deserve.
Look, you all know that the Ol’Screecher used to let things boil up inside until he had an ulcer the size of a cantaloupe, but those days are long over (and I only flare up on Thursdays when it has been a full 144 hours since I last saw my name in print).
So now I get the chance to make things write by writing these words that you read today, telling you about when things are wrong, and cheering on the people who deserve a pat on the back just as much as yours truly.
Take, for instance, BWECC!’s Man of the Year, Sid Schatzman, an angel of a man who does things the right way, whether you like it or not.
Here’s a list of the things I think are great about this fine gentleman:
1) First thing that I envy about Sid is his speed. He’s akin to a whirling dervish in Harway Terrace, where we both live, and are equally active in the adjacent communities. If he’s not visiting his 101-year-old mom in a nearby nursing home, he’s babysitting for his five grandchildren, food shopping for seniors in our co-op, or taking our sick and elderly for medical care and appointments. Paraphrasing Oscar Hammerstein, “He’s just a nice guy who can’t say no, when you ask him for a favor or help.”
2) Now I can go on and on about this unheralded Angel, but now’s the point in the column where I stop writing and transcribe Sid’s bio verbatim:
“I was born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on May 11, 1942. My father Sam was a lithographer and my mother Esther was a housewife. They always instilled in my brother Irwin and me the importance of education.
“I attended PS 198, JHS 210, and Boys High School. I was in the honors program in JHS 210 and Boys High School. I attended City College of CUNY, where I received a BS degree. Once I became a teacher, in September 1966, I got my first masters degree in guidance and counseling, from Long Island University, and a second masters degree in administration and supervision from Brooklyn College.
“I married my late beautiful wife Rochelle on Dec. 22, 1968. We had two wonderful sons, Craig and Lance. I have five grandchildren.
“I began my teaching career in September, 1966. I was assigned to PS 184, in district 23 in Brownsville, where I remained for 34 years before retiring in July 2000. I was very proud of the transformation of my school into one of the premiere elementary schools in my district. In the school, I was both a teacher and administration assistant. In my capacity as test coordinator for 23 years I was able to develop many new innovation techniques, and my school was No. 1 in reading and math, in the district, for most of the years. I also did the programming for the school. In addition, I initiated a ‘Career Day’ at the school, which enabled the children to see individuals from different job areas — doctors, lawyers, policemen, firemen, etc. I ran the fifth grade graduation each year, and I was named ‘Teacher of The Year’ on several occasions.
“I served diligently on the board of directors of Harway Terrace. I was in charge of security and I kept the cooperative safe and secure. I also helped many people who had a variety of problems in the cooperative and the community.
“I am currently involved in politics as I’ve been for 30 years. I belong to the United Progressive Democratic Club. I am on the executive board of that organization as vice president of political action. It is very gratifying for me to see many individuals from the community get help with their problems at the office of Assemblymen William Colton [Carmine’s note: That’s my boss!]
“Everyone knows me as ‘Sid the Weatherman.’ Meteorology was always my hobby and love. Throughout the years I developed methods of predicting the weather with very good accuracy. I want to thank the Bensonhurst West End Community Council for this tremendous honor.”
Sid will be feted a the El Caribe on Thursday, April 11. If you need reservations, contact me at Diegovega@aol.com
And I want to thank this community angel for everything he’s done for our buildings, neighbors, and neighborhoods as well as the countless neighbors he’s helped. In Jewish he would be considered a real mensch, in Italian he would be considered a Godfather to all. To me he is the epitome of what a true friend is, and I’m proud to call Sid my friend!
Screech at you next week!Read Carmine's screech every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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