Ventura County Star, Thousand Oaks seniors rekindle a forgotten friendship

December 30, 2016

Call it kismet ? with a twist.

Harold Bernstein and Sy Berger attended the same grade school in Brooklyn more than seven decades ago. They went their separate ways, lived separate lives and ran into each other again in 2012 at a senior living facility in Thousand Oaks, where they continue to share meals together and banter back and forth.

?What are the odds of this?? said Annette Broersma, event coordinator and community relations director at The Reserve in Thousand Oaks. ?We have long said here at The Reserve, there?s a strange sort of kismet that happens ? that people have reunited here. It?s just strange. It?s kismet.?

But in this case, it’s a strange kismet indeed, because neither Bernstein nor Berger has the slightest recollection of the other in their youth.

It was only because a fellow resident told Berger that Bernstein was also from Brooklyn that the two began talking and learning about their shared background.

?I searched through my memory but nothing came back. ‘Do I really remember this guy?’? said Bernstein, 89.

?I thought, ‘Did we really know each other?'” said Berger, 88. “Were we friends? I couldn’t picture him, and he couldn’t picture me.?

So the two started searching for evidence that they had indeed been friends.

And they found it.

First, they dug up a black-and-white photograph taken of their eighth-grade graduating class from PS179, a public school in Brooklyn. In the class photo, there they are, two students standing between them.

Then Berger found his autograph book from 1941, in which fellow students and teachers wrote their sentiments at the end of the school year. In the book, Bernstein had written, in cursive: “To Seymour … Roses are red, Violets are blue, Best wishes for success, from me to you. Your bro-grad-u-ate Harold Bernstein.”

Read more here