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Opinion

The large turnout at the memorial service at Landmark for Sam Bogen testifies to how many Port lives he touched.

I once had occasion to speak to a longtime neighbor of Sam. The man, who also happened to be his rabbi, remarked that Sam was singular. How so? I asked. Well, he explained, for years he would run into Sam in the street and they often would have a discussion regarding the topic of the day. Sam would never be the first to volunteer his position on any issue. But with a twinkle in his eye, he would wait for the rabbi to make his views known and then invariably make a very cogent argument for the opposing viewpoint. It took him awhile to realize, he pointed out, that this was just Sam's way of being playful and engaging.

I was privileged to have known Sam through civic interests we shared. He was most intelligent, articulate and community-minded. He was especially informative when he drew upon his professional engineering background.

But what resonated most for me was how spry, humorous and upbeat he remained into his 90th year. He was still portaging canoes at 88 on white water canoeing trips and still mowing his own lawn until he was persuaded to sell his home on Reid Avenue and move into a condo when his first wife Ruth became ill a couple of years ago. And at that condo overlooking Manhasset Bay, I learned, he was the unofficial engineer eagerly consulted by management whenever there was a structural problem.

Sam loved Port Washington and brightened the lives of many of us.

Barry M. Siegel


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