Friday, December 26, 2008

From a member of the AK generation:
It has taken me a long time to think of what to write in honor of Sam's 40th. We knew Elisabeth for many years before meeting Sam: she was a pal of Ed's, Howard coached her in Little League and I even more or less taught her a tiny bit of oboe. But Sam? He was a name without a face. By the time we actually met him -- well, I don't recall the occasion, but he was pretty grown up. My reaction was, who is this strong-jawed and extraordinarily handsome guy? OMG, it's Sam! Wowee! and thoughts of that nature. The best part was that is was -- and is -- a lovely guy as well. All the Guttmen wish him all good things on this auspicious occasion.

Jackie, Howard, Edward and Marc

Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy belated


happy belated! it has been a pleasure to work with, and get to know you. i wish you the best with everything that has yet to come.

best, mike


Unlike others who have come to worship at your alter during this milestone event, I have not known you for longer than I can remember. Rather, I come to praise Caesar, not to bury him. While others may wish to depict you as a long haired, beard laden, non-corporate California beatnik who was always cuter than anyone ever would have expected and yet still has not realized his full potential, not me. No, not me. I don’t care what any of them think. You’re still okay in my book.

Yes, despite all the characteristics you have not only demonstrated, but lived with Biblical adherence since we first met in college, I truly believe that potential still exists.

My recollection of days of yore smolders with Chinese food, music room conversations, travels in Moscow (“Young man you should be wearing a hat.”) and beer at dives that even make “Cheers” look classy. Abounded by such respect for your dates that- classifying one as “the pinnacle of mediocrity”- we knew you were headed in a special direction. Away from New Jersey.

So lets talk about your future, one to be dictated by your honesty (“You know, you’re really boring me right now.”), wisdom (“When a team is known as ‘lovable losers’, the operative word is not ‘lovable’.”) and observations. (“I’ve been told its all about ‘the core’.”) What accomplishments do you have planned? And if the Giants ever make it back to the World Series will you get tickets for your kids?

We are all optimists. Good luck.

Oh yes, and the Happiest of Birthdays old chum.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bon anniversaire
Nos voeux les plus sinceres-
Bonnes Fetes
Tanti Auguri
and all that jazz from sparkly -and cold- Paris!

Notable Quotables

Early 70’s
Sam (into a tape recorder): Oh I love you machine, you’re the best machine in the world. One side you record, and the other side you sing.

Upon a big parental fight:
Liz: Wow, they’re really yelling. Do you think they’ll get divorced?
Sam: I don’t know but I hope they don’t become unmarried.

One Thanksgiving at Aunt Dorothy’s in Valley Stream, New York…
Sam (sobbing to adults): Liz and Danny and Teddy are all jumping on Aunt Dorothy’s bed and they won’t let me because they say I’m going to tell…. Like I’m really going to tell!

Early 80's, to his older sister:
Sam: I am SO.... MUCH.... MORE..... MATURE.... than YOU....

With a deflated balloon in his hand and a dazed look on his face:
Sam: I'm on Venus!

The weekend of his college graduation, again with a dazed look on his face:
Sam: Hammer!

Upon coming home from college and discovering butter instead of margarine in the fridge:
Sam: I can't believe it's not I Can't Believe it's not Butter!

On a Bicycle trip after getting wet in the rain:
Sam: We'll never recover!

After using the word "kafkaesque" and then being reminded he'd never read any Kafka
Sam: Yeah, but I can still throw around "kafkaesque" with the best of them.

To my little brother Shmegeggie, Shmendrik, Sammy or as he used to spell it: MAS. I've known you for as long as I can remember, and your presence has permeated so far into my brain that it's hard to take a step back and try to think what you're like or how I even feel about you. I just know that sometimes when Noah looks particularly like you I'm really tempted to seize him in a fit of exultant love, melancholy for times past, and a latent desire to cause some bodily injury via squashing.

With love,


The day has come...

...for people, young and old, to say what they really want to say to you. In fact, it's been captured on video.

But it's not what you think.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Miyagi have hope for you

It has been suggested elsewhere on this blog that Sam and Chachi are one and the same person. I must now retract my earlier statement, as it has been brought to my attention that the photographic "evidence" has clearly -- not to mention shockingly -- been doctored. It is ridiculous to suggest that Sam ever took Joanie Cunningham to the Teaneck High senior prom.

However, I hereby stand by my new claim: