Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Saying goodbye to Mr. Stern

Mr. Stern was a great guy.
Great might be an overused word, but in this case it cannot be emphasized enough.
Mr. Stern was the husband of Shirley and the dad of Sherry, Jeff and Ric.
We all grew up together, and the Welcome Mat at the Stern house was always out. That, despite plenty of reasons to yank it back inside.

We played Wiffle ball constantly in the Stern’s backyard. That meant well-worn basepaths in Mr. Stern’s impeccable grass and occasionally, emphatic footsteps through his beloved garden. It meant dents in the white aluminum siding that adorned the house, and Mr. Stern never said a word of admonishment.

We’d blast music from downstairs, and our play list did not include Como, Sinatra or Bennett.  We leaned toward Humble Pie. We listened to Vanilla Fudge. We liked Alice Cooper, The Stooges and the J. Geils Band. None of the above had a lead singer named Pavarotti.  Mr. Stern never complained.

Nobody in our neighborhood was rich, either.  Garages were full of Fords and Chevys, not Ferraris and Cadillacs. Grocery budgets were often etched in stone.
Yet when we were teenagers, we would descend on the Stern kitchen like locusts shaking off a Weight Watchers regiment. There wasn’t a hot dog we could not inhale or a Twinkie we did not cherish. A full refrigerator was our Playboy magazine. We lusted with both heart and stomach.  We’d eat a week’s worth of groceries in an hour and a half. Mr. Stern just smiled.
That’s how his son, Jeff, found him the other morning. A half-smile on his face. Mr. Stern died in his sleep. A great guy is gone. A truly great guy.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home