We returned from San Diego this afternoon where we celebrated the 85th birthday of Sy Brenner and the 58th anniversary of his marriage to Resa. What a weekend, that was full of surprises for Sy.
The least of Sy's achievements is that he is my father-in-law. More important is that he is husband to Resa; father to Donna, Ron and Mo; Zaidi (grandfather) to Bill, Alicia, Seth, Megan, Sara and Dylan; great-grandfather to Jolee and Shayna.
Most of his adult life, Sy was a salesman, carrying several lines of children's clothing and selling to stores throughout the Southwest. When I met him in the early '70s, he wasn't on the road any more but was located in downtown Los Angeles at the Mart. When I married Donna in 1981, he welcomed me into the family as if I had always been a member (which isn't too far from the truth. . . but that is for another time).
In the last 15+ years, Sy's life has been dominated by use of his experience as a POW in World War II as a means to personalize history to young people in classrooms in both the LA and San Diego areas, helping educate military trainees on the prisoner experience, and the writing of a book on his life as a POW which eventually will be published and shared with all who might care.
For me, Sy has been as much a friend as a father-in-law, after all he is only 15½ years my senior. What Sy has meant to his grandchildren was reflected in "Instant Zaidi" which was written by my son Bill (aka on the net as BillyBlog) [Maybe Bill will post it on his blog.]
Below, I add some pictures from the party last night at Jamacha Junction in the San Diego/El Cajon area.
Grandchildren (from left) Alicia, Sara, Megan, Seth & Dylan
From left: Marilyn and Nephew Alan Simon, Resa, Sy and Rev. Bill Mahaedy
The whole party