In Memory

Robert Bernstein VIEW PROFILE

go to bottom 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page

01/04/24 05:35 PM #6    

Bruce Ackerman

I am so sorry to hear about Bobby's passing. I had several classes with him and he was always a lot of fun. One instance stands out. During 11th grade we sat next to each other in Spanish class. Our teacher was Mrs. Turick and she had been out on medical leave. We had several substitutes, some good, some not so good and some totally naive, hapless, clueless individuals. And one woman substitue  checked all of the boxes. Putting her in a room full of 16 year old boys was not the best thing for her. On that one day she was being razzled pretty intensly and Bobby was the tormentor-in-chief. I sat next to him  and laughed with everyone else but never said a word. Suddenly, she became very angry and lambested the class. Then she turned towards the chief agitator- Bobby, and started to walk towards him. I thought that she was going to send him to Gregory's office, have his parents come in, expel and send him to an OB school. . She got right up to him and then took 2 steps to the left and planted her face in mine and proceeded to rip me a new a--hole. I looked over at Bobby and he was literally frozen, his jaw dropped. When she turned around to go back to her desk he  lost it completely and was laughing so hysterically i thought he may have a convulsion.

He was a really good guy. Thanks Bobby for this great memory and rest in peace old friend. 


01/04/24 06:06 PM #7    

Richard Schwartz

I sure appreciated reading Bob's friends give him the praise and admiration he so well deserved. It made me realize how important his rosey-cheeked smile with his beaming personality to back it up was to so many of us...and in a lasting way. Good life Bobbie. My favorite memory of Booby was after we had graduated. At this point, he was going all around the city filling his gaming machines at all these mom-and-pop corner stores- Philly's lifeblood. I had moved to California and contacted Bobby to get together when I came back to visit. He was working and invited me to accompany him on his route. It was an important day in my life. He knew all these store owners of all nationalities and in so many locations I had never been in. I had wanted to tag along with him both to spend time together and see his life and neighborhoods I was never in, corners I had never walked, and corner stores I had never dreamed of. My Grandfather had a corner store in North Philly which we visited on Sundays. As a young kid I was almost overwhelmed with excitement knowing I would get to take home a comic book and some candy and see the cans stacked up in pyramids. So going around with Bobbie had deep roots for me. He explained why and how he did things. But it was his sincere and joyful (truly enjoying himself) interactions in these stores that really stuck with me. People from the neighborhood walked in and talked, kids skipped in all excited. Bobbie explained the meanings that different levels of toys left in the machines in different stores and I think even how he chose the prizes and how his experience helped him know his customers' preferences. Bobbie was just doing his thing like only he could do. He even explained to me how he would procure his stock of prizes for the machines and little details of the store owners or neighborhoods. I felt like I was a witness to something I could not hope to describe, but it was Bobbie through and through and it gave me this magical feel and experience of Philadelphia in its magnificent fullness...all led by the rosey-cheeked wonder. What a tour leader. I think now, after reading all these memories and tributes, that Bobby was much more of a tour leader of his wonderful soul than I had realized. Rest well Boobie. We will remember you always in the meantime. 




01/04/24 10:05 PM #8    

Steven Selbst

Such sad news.  Bobby lived around the corner from us growing up, and we shared many good times even years before Central.  I just looked at an old photo of him and I was reminded of his innocent grin!  Like my brother Rich, Bobby also took me to my first Eagles game and that day I became a life-long fan.  I also had some unforgetable evenings at Connie Mack Stadium with B, his father Ralph, and our group of excited kids.  It was a treat to run into him at Phillies games years later.  As others have noted, Bobby always had that smile, a sarcastic comment or joke, and often a humorous story about his favorite math teacher, Mr Kravitz. 

 Bobby was so genuine, calm and unassuming.  Rick Cohen reminded me of our video of B, when he was given a 3 inch trophy and 'inducted into the Churchlot Hall of Fame'.  You can read his lips while he joked, "This is the happiest moment of my life".  In the program of our 25 year Leeds Junior High reunion, Bobby even listed that moment as one of his life highlights (along with his family and career!).  His humor was unique. 

I loved the guy.  He was a gem. 

01/05/24 02:09 PM #9    

Ronald Brooks

I was so sorry to have to send the news to the class of Bobby's death.  Unfortunately I have had to send too many of these, but when a friend of mine who knew Bobby told me the news, I knew sending this one would have more of an effect on me.  Bobby was in my home room for several years and I have many great memories of him. One that epitomizes Bobby was when our home room was in the basement, so the distance from the window to the pavement outside was almost a the level of the window sill.  For some reason he decided it would be fun to put the teachers desk outside so that when he came in, his desk wouldn't be there.  We got it half way out before the teacher came in and the teacher (can't remember who it was), thought it was so insane they just said put it back and nobody got in trouble.  The other one that comes to mind was when I went to a Grateful Dead concert at the Spectrum with Bobby and Jeffrey Kauffman and he yelled from the second level for 10 minutes straight for a spacey song they rarely played (Alligator) and I thought when is he going to quiet down, they will never play that song, when lo and behold they played it. I guess they heard him and knew he wouldn't stop until they played it.  I'll always remember his as a good person and a fun person to be around.  It is nice that so many others have such great memories of him.

01/05/24 09:28 PM #10    

David Laderman

It was exremely sad to see this. I am not someone that posts on social media but I felt compelled to do so here. I did not grow up with Bobby ("B" most of the time) but did get to know him at Central. Yes, I can remember alot of crazy times in Mr. Kravits' class. We went to Penn State together and became really close during those years. We remained extremely close for many years after college and celebrated births, weddings and many parties. Used to love going to his house in Lafayette Hill for many events. 

I am good friends with an old business partner of Bobby and his name is Larry Steinberg. For those of you from Overbrook Park you might remember him as "Jax". I told him about this and he was very surprised. I sent him some of the memories posted here and he loved them. He asked me if he could post something. I told him that he should prepare something and send to me and I will post. I did review it just in case and I LOVED it. Please see below. Hope you like it as much as I did. 

I was bob’s partner in the vending biz for over 20 years, and good friends before that.
Many memories…a few I’ll share.  We started in business with sticker machines that, if they did $100 a month we considered them good spots.  A few years later the crane fad started, and all of a sudden we had machines doing $300 a DAY!   Bob would come in in the morning wearing his bulky blue down vest, short arms hanging wide, cheeks ablaze, pull out a pen and start figuring out how soon we were going to be millionaires. ( “If we have 100 machines and they each do…” )  We had a company Christmas dinner for thousands of dollars that year, dopes to be sure, but had fun talking about how stupid we were for years.
…I remember when we played his boys in tackle football. He was so intense our whole team hated him and wanted to know how I could be his partner. I have no memory of who won, but I know he was ready to brawl.
…The four baseball seats behind home plate, so close you could see the spin on the ball.…The occasional free front row Sixers tix that he came across, so close that Manute Bol’s knee came up to my nose….
…His wedding, when about 8 of us surrounded Bill Conlin and peppered him with questions. (the wrong ones, evidently)
…Listening to Howard Stern in the morning at work during his first year on the radio, delaying hitting the road until Bob would blurt out, “wanna go to lunch?”  And then ordering six appetizers to share….
…Legendary parties, some of which I’m pretty sure actually happened….
Like most business partnerships, ours eventually soured.  We lost contact for many years. But Bob showed up at my father’s funeral, and I’ll never forget that. We talked a little about old times, old friends and growing families.  It was a little strange, and I think we each sensed that it wouldn’t lead to any real friendship renewal, but I also think we each left feeling better about each other, and ourselves.

01/06/24 02:41 PM #11    

Joel Polis

I was sad to hear of Bobby's passing. I have a very vivid memory of Bob from Jr High. I was in the schoolyard at recess at Leeds and somehow a basketball landed in my hands. I remember wanting to throw a free shot but a kid I didn't know came up to me and demanded the ball. When I didn't give it back to him immediattely he hauled off with a round house right and punched me in the side of my face. I was flabbergasted. No one had ever hit me before and for no reason. Before I could do anything, Bobby came running over, got between me and my assailant and started pushing him and screaming threats into his face. He promptly ran away and Bob turned to me to see if I was alright. I was stunned, not hurt. But in that instant, Bobby became a superhero to me. I was eternally grateful and still am for his loyalty, caring, and aggressive protectiveness. We've only communicated a few times since High School, but here I am singing his praises almost 60 years later. God bless you Bob. You remain dear in my heart and memory.

01/07/24 09:37 AM #12    

Randall Vicks

Central High...Penn State...and the next 50 years.  I really got to know Bobby in the early 80's.  My wife and I used to visit with him and Maureen up in Lafayette Hill.  There were times when I would even bring my dog with me to hang up with "Sam".  Bob introduced us to Moms Bake At Home Pizza, which was a staple of ours for many years.  Bob had a sharp wit and could be brutally honest and that's one of the things I appreciated most.  I often returned the favor.  I think that all the sentiments expressed here let me know the power of this connection we all share.  I would always call Bob on his birthday and the last time I did I could hear something different in his voice.  But his kindness and genuine spirit were still there.  I hope that he knew that he was special to me...I think he did.


01/08/24 03:37 PM #13    

Jay Schwartz

I am so sorry to hear about Bob’s passing. I remember that Bobby was the last person I had a physical altercation with. It happened one morning right before school started. Bob and I were probably discussing sports when for some unknown reason I started a fight between us. We walked into the bathroom together with a bunch of onlookers. As we squared off, I could see the fear in Bob’s eyes. Bob throws a punch or more like a shove, I am on the ground looking up at Bob’s triumphant face. The bell rang and we instantly left for class,  relieved that the fight did not have to continue. There was no harm and I apologized to Bob for starting a fight. I never fought anyone else again. Bob never let me forget about that one-punch knockdown.

We remained friends throughout college. I think I spent almost every weekend at Bob and Jeffery Kauffman’s apartment. My girlfriend even threw me a surprise birthday party there. I think everyone was too stoned to yell Happy Birthday, but she assured me it was my party. I will miss his humor, his smile, and those round rosy cheeks.

01/09/24 10:35 AM #14    

Larry Ricci

B was certainly one of a kind.  Can't remember when we met at Central.  Churchlot and Penn State after that.  Roommates for a year.  So many memories from those days.  Two of my favories from Southgate were the "Bong-a-thon" and more memorable was the night Penn State hosted a roller derby in the Rec Hall.  At halftime Bobby goes up to some of the players, starts a conversation and invites them over after the game.  I imagine Bobby offered some incentives.  A few hours later we had an impromtu roller derby party going on with so many guests, most of whom I didn't know.  

B could make things like that happen.  He clould always bring a smile and had an ear for you.  Miss him. 

01/10/24 12:37 PM #15    

Corey Hoffman

B- Your unique personality and character has brought us all so many memories, from the LOT, Central, and State..

If there is a heaven, I am hoping you and Josh are lighting up a fatty together and laughing all the way home.


go to top 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page


Click here to see Robert's last Profile entry.