Mollie and Nat


I suppose it’s Old Photo Day here at

The two people here are my late grandparents, Mollie and Nat Pearlman. They were Brooklyn natives who, like most New York Jews, felt compelled to flock to Ft. Lauderdale in their 60s and hone in on the myriad early-bird dinners.

That’s one of the things I remember most about Grandma and Grandpa—the Ft. Lauderdale early-birds. We’d show up at the restaurant around 4 … 4:30, latest. For, like $7.50, we’d all get a starter salad, steak or chicken or fish (my grandpa only ate fish), a side vegetable and then pudding, ice cream or Jell-O for desert. I don’t think at age 10, I knew anything to be odd about the early-bird, though come 8 o’clock I’d be starving and gnawing at any crumb to be found.

My grandparents were good people. Quirky. Though she’s been dead for five or six years, I can still hear Grandma calling out, “Nat!!! Nat!!!” when she was irked by Grandpa. And though he’s been gone for about 15 years, I close my eyes and hear Grandpa slurping the milk out of his cereal bowl. Also, in his final years he’d always end our phone conversations by saying, “Now don’t forget to wear your rubbers.” I never found the joke particularly funny, but Grandpa did. That was good enough for me.

Toward the end of her life, my grandmother lived in an assisted living facility. It was a nice place, but sad. Her life seemed to revolve around meals and mindless acitivities and the occasinal trip to the mall. Whenever I’d go to Southern Florida for spring training or a Marlins story, I’d surprise her with a knock on the door. She’d see my face and her jaw would drop—a priceless moment for both of us. The day she died, I cried uncontrollably.

Again, I’m babbling. No one here has any reason to care about Mollie and Nat. But, for some reason, it feels good seeing their photo on my blog.

Keeps them alive.

5 thoughts on “Mollie and Nat”

  1. Jeff,
    Of course we care! We all have/had a Mollie and Nat in our lives. Grandparents are fun and special people! This story is priceless for many of us!

  2. One of the better posts.
    I thought about my grandpa last week.
    It would have been a milestone birthday – 120.
    He died about 23 years ago.
    I still think about both of them too.
    We should think about the good people that formed us.

  3. Jeff, I was very close with my grandfather and lived with my grandparents for a time during high school.

    Each night I’d go out he’d say, “it looks like it’s going to rain, better wear your rubbers.”

    That and his yellow tractor are some things I’ll never forget about him.

  4. Great post, Jeff. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s nearly 30 years since I lost my paternal grandfather. But, just like you with your grandfather, I can look at his picture and hear his voice. I hope I never get to the point where I can’t remember his voice or his laugh. Thanks for giving me the impetus for some great memories.

  5. Good stuff Jeff. I lost my grandmother this summer. One of the hardest, but most rewarding things I’ve ever done was to speak at her funeral. This post brought back lots of memories of watching ball games with my grandparents, visiting them in Florida, them honking the car horn at my baseball games when I would do something good during the game, etc… thanks Jeff!

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