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B Ball

September 15, 2011

Being present at Bruce's Memorial was sad and beautiful.  Barry's eulogy was inspiring.  HIs story about the FSU basketball team and how Bruce schooled them brought back a story of my own.  Being a lot younger then I used to ask Bruce to go play and trash talk him  that I would kick his butt on the court.  I persisted and persisted until one day he had enough. We drove over to the court and proceeded to have a game of one on one if you can call it that.  it was 11 to nothing by the time it was all over.  I could not even get a shot off from the outside!  You would think he would gloat and talk trash the way I had trash talked to him.  But not Bruce, he put his arm around me, looked me in the eyes and asked me " Had enough Bud?"  I commented yes and he never said another word about it.  So many memories in 11 years working together I just wish I had pictures to post.  Bruce, you are well Loved!

Eulogy - September 6, 2011

September 9, 2011

Dawne, Carly, Cara, Phyllis, Lenny, Judy… Today I am honored and privileged to be able to share some thoughts on Bruce, an amazing person, a person focused on family, friendship and a commitment to living a positive life. He was a husband, a father, a son, a Brother, a friend, a colleague, a dog lover, a Taxi driver, and of course, a Golfer. Bruce, we will miss you…

I think we were all truly blessed to have had Bruce in our lives. He was a remarkable person, with a super-human capacity to go above and beyond; I witnessed that he always went the extra mile. He never flinched in his desire to help those around him. He was a generous person; not just with money, but with his love and his time.

Mike, a fellow neighbor and friend, said, “You know, Bruce was my sunshine.” He was a source of inspiration; about how to be, how to act, and how to give selflessly to others. I could always count on Bruce. So I say, Bruce, you will be missed…

Debbie, my wife, shared with me another example of Bruce’s caring and generosity.  She reminded me that when the two of them were volunteers at Fox Trail Elementary they served as Ice Cream Mom and Dad. When finished with their lunch, students were given the opportunity to buy ice cream. Nothing in particular special about that. But on the Wednesday’s that Bruce worked, the cafeteria staff would tell Debbie, “there is too much money in the box.” The fact we knew that Bruce always added extra money to the box so that he could give Ice Cream to any child that wanted ice cream but did not have the money to buy it.  Even those that can back for seconds… He didn’t know how to say no… So I say, Bruce, you will be missed…

Bruce’s influence did not stop there. Whether riding the Hulk at universal, going down a slide at rapids Water Park or doing homework with friends, Bruce was the cheerleader; he always encouraged his girls and their friends to be the best they could; be but above all, he wanted them to have fun. To live the best life they could now… So I say, Bruce, you will be missed…

Now, you can look around this room and see many faces, some you know and many others you don’t know, but for certain, if you know Bruce, you know he considered all of us members of his family. Whether a childhood friend, a coworker, a teacher, or a neighbor, we were all part of Bruce’s extended family. He felt at home with us and we at peace with him… He showed us just how precious life is! So I say, Bruce, you will be missed…

Over the past last 11 years, I watched Bruce touch many lives and must say HE HELPED CREATE MEANINGFUL AND MEMORABLE TIMES FOR ME. We often talked about family. Especially Dawne, while MOM ever so dear, his soul mate, Dawne, gave him the strength to be who he was today. So I say, Bruce, you will be missed…

I had many firsts with Bruce. He and I would play cards late on Friday nights and discuss our bucket lists. He took me to Joe’s Stone Crab for my first time, my First NBA game was with Bruce, my first NBA final, My first trip to Fisher Island, My first Steely Dan concert, My first walk on Broadway, my first trip to the Beacon theatre, of course to see Donald Fagan sing Deacon Blues, My first trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas, (of course this was with another Hamlet family, the Roberts), My first trip to Europe; to Berlin to see Rohan and the Berlin Thunder (Robert Lucas was our tour guide and Bruce loved it), and your first game on the field at Marlin’s Stadium. Bruce and Dawne hosted the Hamlet’s first happy hour and dinner party, and let me not forget, my first shot of Tequca (I remember how awful it tasted like medicine and encouraged him to consider Patron). Bruce gave me the best gift of all, the gift of fond memories. So I say, Bruce, you will be missed…

Bruce, we want you to know we miss you and from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for sharing time with us.   So I say, Bruce,

I have no good-byes for you; but wherever I am, you’ll always be in my heart.


Eulogy - September 6, 2011

September 9, 2011

The other day, Bruce punched me in the stomach and took my basketball. It was 1964. I went home crying and told my mother. She called Phyllis, and we went to their house so I could get my ball back. That was 47 years ago.

How do you eulogize your brother?

If I had to describe Bruce in one word, it would be “Generous.” Generous of heart, generous of spirit, generous of self. When we were kids, there was a candy store on 41st Street, “Stan’s.” We would go there after school on the way to Hebrew school and buy chips and candy. And whatever we bought, we shared. That was Bruce, and that established the foundation for his life. If he had it, so did you.

I grew up in Bruce’s house, and he in mine. Phyllis was my second mom. We were always together. Bruce was the most popular boy in school. And I had the honor of being his best friend. What that meant was that I got to talk to all the girls. Not because they wanted to talk to me - because they wanted to talk to Bruce.

In 3rd grade, a kid moved to our neighborhood, and came to our elementary school, Joel Ehrenberg. He didn’t have any friends, he was quiet and kept to himself at first. And those of you who knew Joel will understand when I say, He wasn’t the most athletic guy you ever met. Pretty much the complete opposite of Bruce. One day Bruce came up to me with Joel and told me “This is Joel. He’s our friend.” And he was, from that moment until the day we went to NY to say goodbye to him. I know you guys are together now, probably at the betting window. So now it’s you and me Milty.

Every day we got sent to the Rabbi’s office for misbehaving. I know it’s shocking to some of you to believe that Bruce and I were troublemakers, wise guys. Our punishment was usually having to say Shema. I knew it by heart when I was 8 years old. I say it with my kids every night before bed. Now you know how I learned it…

For those of you who don’t know, Bruce was a jock. He was the captain of the Beach High basketball team, and was the 12th leading scorer in Dade County our senior year. Joel, Michael and I used to travel to all the away games. We’d sit in the stands and when Bruce would run by with the team on the way to the court for warmups, he’d moon us… When we went to FSU, we lived in the same dorm as the FSU basketball team. He would play in pickup games with them and school them. They begged him to tryout for the team, but he refused. Bruce played for love of the game.

Over the past few days I’ve seen so many old friends and met so many new ones - and I’ve been introduced as Bruce’s best friend. And I am very proud of that distinction. But the truth is that I can’t lay claim to that label. Because his best friend has always been Dawne.

Summer 1976. Freshman orientation. I met Dawne and Ronnie. I introduced Bruce and Dawne that fall. Flash forward several years, and I was on an Air Florida flight to somewhere. There was a gorgeous flight attendant taking drink orders. She asked me what I wanted and I said something that I can’t repeat here, and when she looked up and saw me exclaimed, “Barry! How’s Bruce? Here‘s my number, tell him to call me.” I got off the plane, called him and - he was done.

We are all Bruce’s best friends - because that’s how he made everyone feel. Eric, Ronnie, Sam, Scott, Joe - I know I’m forgetting some of you but you’re all here and you all know exactly what I’m talking about.

But at the end of the day, Bruce was about family. His girls are his life. Carly, Cara - your father loves you so much. He reveled in your accomplishments. And he will always be by your side - not just during the milestones yet to come, but every moment of every day. He lives on through you.

Lenny, Judy - your kid brother was a handful. There’s a lot of water under that bridge, but that water is deep. These past few months he has been so happy back at work, throwing himself into it with the dedication and determination. And he loved it - not just the work, but the camaraderie, the friendships, the family…

Phyllis, what can I say? He loved you so much, even while he was driving you crazy.

We all have our own memories of Bruce. How he touched our lives. How he could never say no. Behind that seemingly gruff exterior, which was about a mm thin, was a tender, caring heart.

I was walking away from my father’s grave at his funeral, and Bruce held me up. I was walking down the aisle at my wedding, and Bruce was there. Through joy and sadness. He was always there. And now he’ll always be there, everywhere I turn. Because now he’s more accessible than ever. We all have another angel on our side, watching over us. Protecting us.

2 years ago this weekend we went to Chicago to see Steely Dan. Two nights in a row. We walked that whole city, smoked cigars, ate great food, and just had a great time being with each other. It was always effortless for us - just being together was enough. I’ll never listen to Steely Dan without thinking of you. I promise that we’re going to road trip it on the next tour, and it will be one hell of a party. And there will always be a seat for you right in between us.

It’s difficult, if not impossible to understand why Bruce has left us. Our sages tell us that a person is born into this world with a mission in life. We may not know what that mission is, but when we fulfill it, our journey is complete, and we ascend to the next level. I believe that Bruce had many missions, and fulfilled them all perfectly.

So while we mourn his passing, now we need to celebrate Bruce’s life. That’s what he wants us to do.

Binyamin David, may your neshamah have an aliyah. May you be a good beseecher on behalf of us all. My you ride on wings of angels as your soul ascend to the highest levels. I will miss you forever. I love you.

Bruce punched me in the stomach the other day. Only this time, he didn’t take my basketball…


September 6, 2011

Just another special moment... Bruce, Cara & anna...

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