"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

New York Minute


My Dad died on this day 7 years ago. I just learned that today is also National Hot Pastrami Day.


Categories:  Memoir  New York Minute  NYC  The Old Man

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1 Ben   ~  Jan 14, 2014 2:01 pm

Okay, so that is so incredible. And now I have to share the best story about our Dad.

In my early twenties, my Dad and I rekindled our relationship like a lot of father and sons do I'm sure. I took to going to lunch with him, because our schedules were both flexible.

So we're at the Second Avenue deli and we've got the cole slaw and pickles and cream soda already. I'm loving being with my dad, at the old restaurant. It's smiles and stories all around.

My dad has just ordered a whole pastrami sandwich with a guilty shrug - Benny ya gotta live a little! and I'm ordering now... when Dad takes a huge bite of cole slaw and pickle and gulp of soda and starts coughing. Not fatal chocking, but pretty serious. He puts his hand on the waiters arm, like - don't go anywhere I might need the Hiemlick. So I'm starting to get a little nervous cause I might be twenty but when I'm around my dad he still calls the shots. I'm looking at him, red faced and then to the waiter who's looking at me then at my dad, even more red faced... and this moment goes on for an eternity until my Dad reaches for another gulp of soda. Mangages to get his breath and his voice scratches out... "Waiter. The pastrami - make it fatty."

RIP Pop. We miss you!

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 14, 2014 2:22 pm

That is just so good. This, of course, after he'd had by pass surgery.

3 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 14, 2014 3:48 pm

Hot pastrami on rye is good living, man. Here's raising a Dr. Brown's in your Pop's memory!

4 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 14, 2014 4:07 pm

3) Here here!

5 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 14, 2014 4:51 pm

Great story. I raise a Cel-Ray to you, Mr. B

6 Gabe   ~  Jan 14, 2014 6:21 pm

No one made fattier pot roast than Don Belth.

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