When Uncle Len Rosenthal came into the world he broke the mold. He was/is the ultimate ‘good guy.’ As everyone seems to note, he never had a bad word to say about anyone, and, if he did he kept it to himself. And, I found Len to have a lot of GOOD, interesting words about people and various topics on which he was able to expound. Whether it involved his hobbies such as bridge, books, music and tennis/sports (to name but a few) or politics and world events, it was always interesting to hear his thoughts and share views with him.
I found Uncle Len to be one of the easiest people to be around. There was no ‘PC’ with him and he was open to all comers with differing viewpoints, and, as noted, the word ‘negative’ didn’t seem to exist in his dictionary. In a fast changing world, Uncle Len was right up on the latest developments but, as a person, he never seemed to change with his ‘old school’ values when it came to respect, manners and the way he treated people.
Uncle Len was fun to be around. I can still picture the original Rosenthal home near Piedmont/Oakland, going back to the 1960s and then one or two other homes before they moved into their current El Atillo ‘dream home’ where they’ve reveled some thirty years. I enjoyed our visits to see Aunt Pearl and Uncle Len there, as did Mindy and as the Kaufman family, before. Uncle Len and I had several common interests including music and sports. We would talk about the latest Neil Diamond or Roy Orbison album, how the Giants and A’s would do as well as more serious issues; and once we even attended a Neil Diamond concert together . Uncle Len went out of his way to ask how we were doing and would often ask about my music and inquire about ‘my’ backyard wild turkeys, with a laugh .
We spent many memorable times with Uncle Len and Aunt Pearl, too many to mention here. When it became too difficult for them to venture far, it was just nice to have lunch with them at their friendly local deli or in their welcoming Los Gatos home. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Uncle Len the last planned visit on MLK Day when he had an unexpected doctor visit. What else? Uncle Len certainly had to endure too many such visits in the last months, perhaps, but they resulted in more days we got to spend with him, and, like the trooper he was, Len courageously accepted the frequent medical visits and associated tests and nuisances. Uncle Len and Aunt Pearl are amazing testaments to what taking good care of oneself can do if longevity means anything. I think it does – even if one , at times, feels like calling it quits. Len was able to spend his last days as he always had, in the comfort of his home rather than some assisted living/ nursing facility.
In the end, Len got back at least some of the good karma he gave the world including being there to witness the arrival of three great-grandchildren during his 94 well-lived years.
Yes, I/we will miss Uncle Len very much. There’s nobody to replace somebody like him. The world will be less well off without him but I will always be grateful for the many times I DID get to spend in his company and call him my Uncle. He will live on in our hearts and minds