SAM SINGER AND THE IMPROMPTU BIRTHDAY PARTY
In New York City in the 50’s, snow didn’t cause the schools to close unless it was so deep that the teachers couldn’t make it out. We’re talking maybe three feet of snow at one time. Otherwise, the kids lived close enough to walk to their neighborhood school and did so regardless of a small amount of snow.
One year, a hurricane was blowing hard on the first day of school. Marcia still ventured out in the wind and rain and bravely made it the six blocks to P.S. 89 only to be told that school was finally cancelled. The school required that a parent come to escort their children home, so more walking in the wind and rain along with a parent. How ridiculous! Everyone was soaked by the time they arrived at home.
Marcia’s birthday was February 7 and it was often cold and snowy on that day or close to it. As a matter of fact, there was a blizzard the day she was born. Sam had taken Martha to the hospital in Manhattan from their home in Queens, but she wasn’t quite ready yet to give birth. The doctors told Sam he should just go on home and come back when it was time. Due to the inclement weather, he declined and stayed. It turned out that had he left, he likely would not have been able to drive back as the blizzard began in full force stopping most traffic. So snow was not a stranger to New York in February.
Marcia had a close friend in elementary school, Marcia Prager, who not only shared the same name but was, coincidentally, born on February 8. Most years they had to coordinate when they would have a party since they shared the same friends. It wouldn’t make sense to have one on the same day and they usually had them on a Saturday.
One year, Marcia’s birthday was on a weekday and it snowed enough that the schools shut their doors. Marcia was so disappointed that she would not be able to see her friends on her special day and became mopey. She decided that she didn’t want to sit at home so she went over to the Store. The snow wasn’t bad enough to keep a kid home!
She was hanging out when suddenly three of her best friends showed up at the Store! She was ecstatic to see them. Apparently they had gone to her apartment only to find she wasn’t there and no doubt Martha told them where she was and they trotted over.
Sam told them to take a table which was special in itself because Marcia generally would not use up a table, but would sit at a stool at the counter. He then offered all of them their choice of whatever ice cream concoction they wanted! It didn’t matter that it was freezing cold outside. They all feasted on the best ice cream around and had a good time. Marcia was so happy at this unexpected party and appreciated her dad making it an occasion!
This was just one example of how Sam Singer showed his love. He never told his kids he loved them in words, but his actions said it loud and clear. He was always there for them when it counted. He also never complimented his children directly, but bragged about them to others and eventually it got back and so they knew how he really felt. They never doubted Sam’s love and only hoped that he knew how much they loved him also.