Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The story of Sy and Sel

Today I had the honor of serving Sy Berkovitz oatmeal. Sy is 87 going on 67 and eats oatmeal every morning. His daily vegan breakfast dish consists of oatmeal cooked with rice milk topped with a sliced, ripe banana. Before serving, he adds one tablespoon of flax meal and one tablespoon of cooked Quinoa to the bottom of the bowl. No sugar necessary- yum. I can't wait to try this.

Sy polished off a cup of bloop's simple oatmeal with apples, bananas and raisins. He said it was good, but he prefers his oatmeal with less "stuff" in it.

We got to talking while he ate his oatmeal. His story is truly beautiful so I thought I would share. Sy is visiting Portland, celebrating his 65th wedding anniversary with his wife Sel. They have celebrated their wedding anniversary in Portland every year for the last 11 years traveling from the Sonoma Valley.

Sy and Sel love jazz and you can find them at the best table in Jimmy Mack's every year during their anniversary week. Sy casually mentions that his wife enjoys visiting Powell's bookstore as she worked for a writer for many years. When asked who she worked for, he replied, without the slightest hint of pomp, "Oh, just this writer, Maya Angelou." Inbetween bites and other banter he discloses that Dr. Angelou's book, "Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' merry Like Christmas, is dedicated to his wife Sel.

An hour later, after I left for my day job, Matt called me with Sel on the phone. Sy was back at bloop with his wife. With dignified grace, she sat and chatted with Matt giving him business tips for good portion of the morning.

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