Touched by an Angel by Jeffrey Himmelstein - March 11, 2011

Not that long ago a large group of people gathered at my home to celebrate a milestone  birthday for my mother-in-law, Sylvia Pollak Perlman. Guests, mostly former Middle Villagers, were asked to bring mementos or stories about Sylvia.

After several of her nieces and nephews spoke, a distant relative by marriage, was the last to go and his story was perhaps the most riveting. He was about eight years old back in 1944 and was playing in a game of ,”Hide and Go Seek.” As he ran to hide he crossed into the street only to be knocked down by a car that Bummy Ackerman was driving.

He was loaded into Bummy’s car and with a few relatives along they quickly drove to Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, where he was drifting in and out of consciousness. When the boy was stabilized, the first thing he noticed was a nurse with a nice smile and the face of an angel. She knew who he was and assured him that he would be OK and promised to look after him.

A few days later the angel of a nurse brought him a book to read. It would be the first actual book that he had ever gotten and it was a copy of Daniel DeFoe’s, “Robinson Crusoe”. He enjoyed the book so much that he reread it again and again until he was discharged from the hospital.

Of course the angel of a nurse was Sylvia Pollak Perlman and the young boy grew up to  become one of the most well read men I have ever met. Herbie Teicher, after 66 years, finally thanked Syvia for turning him into a life long lover of books.


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