Today would’ve been my paternal grandfather, Isaac’s, 100th birthday. Alas, he had the nerve to leave this world 16 years ago, a week shy of his birthday. Still, a birthday is a birthday, and in true Poppop style, he would’ve not only wanted a celebration, he would’ve asked for one, much like he did 30 years ago (as memorialized in the photo above). And of course he wouldn’t have to ask, because anyone who knew Poppop knew that he wanted to celebrate everything. Every day was an occasion for hoopla. Some days, though, needed a bit more fanfare, and there was no way anyone could deny this insanely vibrant and colorful man all the festivity he deserved.
There was always some question as to his birth year, though. If you asked Poppop, it varied from 1908 to 1910, although most of the time he would say 1909, especially in 1979 when he really had a hankering for a milestone celebration, complete with hats, balloons, and his beautiful wife of 45 years (at the time), Clara, my Bubby, on his lap. My mother said that the next year he would probably conveniently realize that he had miscalculated the previous year and that he was thus entitled to another 70th birthday.
So, I’m not 100% sure today is his 100th birthday. But even if it’s not — even if he would only have been 99 today or if he would have been 101 — in honor of his wonderful love of celebration, I raise my glass and tearfully rejoice.
Happy birthday, my dear sweet Poppop! I love you like crazy!

Hasn’t she written about Poppop before? Why, yes. Yes, she has.