I’ve known Sid and Helaine literally my whole life.

There are many things I will miss about Sid. For one thing, his sense of humor. By the time I was 7 I had a very good idea how funny my father was. It wasn’t long afterwards that I realized there was a good reason he and Sid were such good friends. Sid was hilarious. And like my dad, he enjoyed making others laugh, and I loved being part of his audience.

Sid was also a good listener. You could tell him any story and he’d find a way see what was interesting about it and make a relevant comment or two. One time my dad told Sid about a recent run-in at the movies he and my mom had experienced with a young couple and their unruly . . . child. As funny at the story was, Sid’s reaction was even funnier. He really knew how and when to say the exact perfect thing to put a capstone on an already great conversation.

Sid wasn’t condescending. Even when I was 6, I never felt like I was being talked down to by a “grown up”. I always felt like I was talking to a friend. A friend who always showed a real interest in me.

When I graduated from high school I was more interested in having Sid and Helaine there and other family friends like them than I was the friends in my own age group. Of course they were invited to and gladly attended my graduation party. I still have and use the graduation present they gave me.

I’m very grateful that the last time I saw Sid in person, almost 20 years ago before moving away, I gave him a big hug so he knew how important he was to me.

Grant Schinto

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