Sarah and Lou Weber have been a great big part of my life. From berry-picking to gardening, they were hands-on. My mother shared mouth-watering recipes with Sarah and lots of time discussing their plants. Being such a great baker and cook, my mother was not want for recipes, however, she enjoyed sharing several with Sarah. I particularly remember her being excited to try, and on several occasions successfully make, Sarah’s recipe for brisket with red wine, which her dear friend, also a kosher culinary queen, was happy to share.
My father and Lou spent countless hours fixing things, from radios to lamps, and toying with items in my father’s cellar, which was brimming with tools and gadgets. In later years, the two men spent time together traveling back to the Catskills, and driving around the winding mountain roads to scout out property my father so desperately wanted to buy. They would stay at the local Willowemac Motel, making sure to visit the Prentice and Tuttle families on Tuttle Hill Road, in Livingston Manor. Those families lived next to where they all originally met, at or near the bungalows, probably shortly after I was born.
I get warm and fuzzy feelings thinking about Sarah and Lou. They taught me a lot about love. Just watching them “operate” was a delight. Sarah, a lover of life, nature…and Lou…definitely Lou, never complained, even when we saw them at the worst of times health-wise for her. These days when we visit with Lou in his Brooklyn apartment, he epitomizes the saying “There’s no friend like an old friend.”
Soft-spoken and mild-mannered, Lou, a retired high school shop teacher, loves to reminisce about the Catskills and all the fun we had over the years. We talk about dear Sarah who died too young, much too young, and all the good times we had. Lou still chuckles when I mention that I can never forget wading in the cold Willowemac River waters with them, Lou outfitted with a bar of soap and unabashedly scrubbing under his arms.
With Sarah and Lou, there was no selfish self-indulgence, just a sense of what can we do with you to entertain and have a good time. We didn’t go to fancy places with an admission fee, instead, we spent our time together in nature and our hands were our tools.
When we went through old photographs at Lou’s house recently, it was a blast to find my grammar school pictures among his collection. Talk about “‘Family’ Friends...” They say you can pick your friends and my parents did a good job of picking these friends of a lifetime.