A very special Carmine: The Screecher says goodbye to his physician

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Look, folks, I have to go off script this week because I got some sad news that makes me the opposite of mad: my good friend and doctor since I was just a little screecher, Carl Strauss, died on Aug. 8, and I’m really sad about it.

Now I don’t need to tell you that I dubbed Dr. Strauss the Marcus Welby of Bensonhurst four generations ago (not decades, generations!), because he was the most caring, nurturing, polymath who was more than just a doctor — he was our family.

He delivered god knows how many babies in the neighborhood. He knew more about our heritage, history, and religion more than we did. He could speak on any subject and never let you get a word in edgewise. He talked, and talked and talked, until you forgot what you went to him for. He made house calls, you could call him at his office or home at any time of the day or night, weekday or weekend and he would come and cure you!

The ol’Screecher recalls my first office on the corner of 25th Avenue and 85th Street that Dr. Strauss shared with a dentist. It was always crowded with his patients, and his massive desk was forever cluttered with papers, files, fountain pens, and models of hearts, lungs, skeletons, and his collection of pipes in their rack. And there was always this lingering smell of pipe tobacco and cologne.

Most important was the framed photos of his family which he was always so proud of — his beloved wife Shirley, to whom he was married for 47 years, and his two beautiful children.

For 50 years, he was my only doctor, and he wasn’t just any general practitioner — he was a specialist in his own way. He was the surgeon who performed circumcisions (including my own, in my 40s!), a psychiatrist, a psychologist, counselor, rabbi, priest, and minister all at the same time. When he retired some years ago, I panicked! Who’s going to take care of me. Who’s going to keep me alive! Fact is, there will never be anyone like Dr. Strauss and, actually, there never was!

More than 120 friends and family came to his 90th birthday party, which was akin to an Academy Awards celebration with song, dance, and video montage. A letter dating back to 1981 was reproduced from Bensonhurst families read, “There are some things in this world that should always remain: The Yanks in the Stadium, the Parachute Jump in Coney Island, Carnegie Hall and you Dr. Strauss, taking care of us people in Brooklyn.”

To his devoted wife Shirley and the kids and grandkids, the Santa Maria, Vento, and Zazzali families, thank you and god for allowing Dr. Strauss to become such an important part of our lives. Godspeed on your heavenly call.

I’m sure that no one in Heaven will ever get sick again.

Screech at you next week!

Read Carmine's screech every Sunday on E-mail him at
Updated 10:14 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

sonny from staten island says:
Omg sad news indeed But he will always be in our hearts. Doc Strauss was the real Marcus welbyMD
We would come back to Brooklyn to see him if we were sick or not. He was truly loved by his patients
And an era of happy days is gone with him.
Aug. 25, 2013, 4:01 am
barbara from staten island says:
Dr Strauss is not dead he just moved his shingle to the Pearly Gates
Aug. 25, 2013, 4:09 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Someone has to say it.

#1: The good Doctor must have been a miracle worker if he could keep a human calzone like "Carmie" alive for this amount of time.

#2: This column still sucks. The person who writes it, sucks. The person who thought it was a good idea to publish in the first place, sucks. And anyone who is too stupid to miss that fact indeed also, sucks. It doesn't matter who has died, this thing still, (wait for it) sucks.

#3: This guy was voluntarily circumcised after the age of 40. Forget about the fact that it's genital mutilation or that some boys will never reach the age of 4 (let alone 40) with their actual bodies intact.... This is a guy who got a piece of his penis sliced off at the age of 40-something. Sounds like a mid-life crisis where some dude goes out and gets a big car and a piercing or tattoo.

This awfulness needs to end now.
Aug. 25, 2013, 3:18 pm
pat d from bay ridge says:

I guess if all of us suck then you suck too. Why do you read Carmine's posts if they disturb you so much? Is it just to get the attention from responders like myself? You are in dire need of attention.
Aug. 26, 2013, 10:16 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Wow... look at this! Guidos on parade! When does the one from Staten Island get here? What, did you run out of bottle-blonds to punch in the mouth and now you all have to come here and ...actually, I'm not really sure what you're doing. Everything I said is still true. Does it just hurt your feelings or something?

I'll say it again: This awful crap is a million times worse than Smartmom and we are just being punished by the editors for saying so.
Aug. 26, 2013, 10:44 am
Vito from Sheepshead Bay says:
Empty barrels make the most noise ! Too many smegma calzones and no meatballs screwed up your testosterone levels ! You sound like a b-tch boy! Your mama should have lightened up on the Italian sauseeeege when she was carrying you BOS! Oh she lika the guido "sawseeege! Mangia !
Aug. 26, 2013, 11:16 am
Vito from Sheepshead Bay says:
Jim, so your real name is really Maryo. Were your Parents first cousins because you sound like an inbred mamaluke ? Pissed of because you couldn't wear a G-TEE without looking like 10lbs of sawseege in a 5lbs sawseege skin !
Aug. 26, 2013, 5:14 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Hi Vito. John Wasserman. I just wanted to point out that in your last comment, I believe the word you were looking for was actually "off" (and not "of"). As the classy character that you obviously seem to be, I just thought you should know that. You're welcome, and good day to you sir.
Aug. 26, 2013, 5:22 pm
MTO from Bay Ridge says:
Hey, Vito, aren't you glad that Lord Fauntleroy from Wiiiinnndddsooor Terrace thinks you are a classy character? Ha ! Cheerio, My Good Man!
Aug. 26, 2013, 5:42 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Pardon me, but I'm just as God made me. Also, that is clearly NOT how "Windsor" is spelled. Thank you for reading.
Aug. 26, 2013, 5:53 pm
MTO from Bay Ridge says:
John, is that an attempt at some profound theological thesis to justify your obsessive compulsive disorder? You were also given free will,so,I believe that you choose to be a jerk of ! Oh,No another spelling error! OK,calm down,don't get upset my good man! Remember, keep a stiff upper lisp! I mean lip!
Aug. 26, 2013, 6:21 pm
Vito from Sheepshead Bay says:
MTO, stop! My belly is killing me from laughing.Jim and John, what can you say?
Aug. 26, 2013, 6:29 pm
MTO from Bay Ridge says:
Vito,you are the epitome of a man of class and distinction! The true embodiment of a NYC gentleman! As wasserman would say "by golly chap,I do believe you get it ! Hip Hip Cheerio! I say, old boy, can you make a Windsor Knot with that G-TEE ? Jolly Good Show!
Aug. 26, 2013, 6:42 pm
ciccio from bensonhurst says:
vito and a mto you a good boys for stickin up for a carmine.these jon and a jim are foggin icewholes fromma whoa the hell nose.deese are a too stronzo zoccola whoa notnoa a cazzo froma baccala.cobble and windsor hey vaffanculo .
Aug. 26, 2013, 7:24 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Well this went in a different direction rather quickly. Wohn Josserman and the guy who actually uses the word mamaluke not withstanding, ...actually I got nothing. You people scream at each other for all I care.
Aug. 26, 2013, 10 pm
pat d from bay ridge says:
Jim,you sure started it,but looks like you couldn't finish.Better luck next time !
Aug. 27, 2013, 7:39 am
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Pardon me, but a jerk of what? A jerk of all trades, such as yourself? Am I to understand that you are to believe that I am a homosexual man from England? I'm likely to report your racist homophobia, but fortunately for you, I'm going to rise above it. Here's hoping that you have a nice day. Thanks for reading.
John Wasserman
ps. Carmine sucks. Leave Jim alone.
Aug. 27, 2013, 11 am
MTO from Bay Ridge says:
"Carmine sucks. Leave Jim alone". Hmm? Now, I am neither a racist nor a homophobe, ,so, how dare you make such disparaging libelous accusations based on my posts? Look in the mirror Chap and you will see that you have some issues that you need to address!YOU are the one that made the judgement that an UPPER-CLASS English accent should somehow be construed to have homosexual overtones.As the great Bard said "doth protest too much" and i could care less about your sexual orientation or race ! Please forgive the spelling, but you are a jerk off! Oh! I say, but I did spell it right! HIP! HIP! CHEERIO! PS. Say hello to Jim when you look in the mirror!
Aug. 27, 2013, 6:46 pm
Vito from Sheepshead Bay says:
Hey, MTO ,this Guido on parade says "JOLLY GOOD SHOW"!
Aug. 27, 2013, 6:59 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Pardon me, but when I look into the mirror, there is only one man I see (assuming there is nobody else in the room). His name? Well, his name is John Wasserman.
Aug. 28, 2013, 2:28 pm

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