By Harvey Tobkes

Morris Zipper is one is one of my favorite beach characters and a real inspiration. I made his acquaintance recently on my daily walks at the beach. Morris proudly showed me his driver’s license which verified he will be 97 years old in February, born Feruary 15th, 1922, Yes! He owns a new Toyota and drives very well, day or night. He is very garrulous and many people are drawn to him; he talks a blue streak on any topic, from his stock portfolio, the Middle East, politics, philosophy whatever, and he loves people.

I generally give him a friendly wave as I briskly walk by him, because if you stop to say hello, you’re a dead duck. One day, as I passed Morris, I realized he was reading a newspaper and he wasn’t wearing eyeglasses. I did an about face and when I got in front of him, I was even more surprised because Morris was reading the stock quotations in the The Wall Street Journal. I wanted to make him feel my admiration, so I told him that I was amazed that he did not need glasses. He speaks 7 languages but he and I converse in Yiddish because there is little chance for me to practice the language with anyone else.


1. I don’t need glasses I have eyes like a cat.

Ich darf nicht glezzer ich hub oygin vie a katz)

2. I have all my own teeth.

(Ich hub alle mein eyginer tzener)

3. I have all my hair.

(Ich hub alle mein eyginer hor)

4. My hearing is perfect. If a mouse comes in the room and he pisses on a piece of cotton, I hear what he is doing.

(Ich ken alles horren ganz gut und wenn a maus kommt arein in a zimmer und er pisht oft cotton, ich kenn em horren vos er tut)

5. I have my own new car, a Toyota and I can drive both daytime and nighttime.

(Ich hub mein eyginer nayer car, a Toyota, und ich kenn treiben bei tag o bei nacht)

It was a bit rude and crude of me but I couldn’t help asking him, “Morris, if a pretty girl walks by in a Bikini what happens with your schmeckle”

Without missing a beat Morris replied, “Vell mit der schmeckle, venn ich shpiel mit em a bissel, ehr geht aroof.”

(Well, with my pecker, if I play with him a little he goes up)

Parking MeterThe aging process was certainly retarded by the genes nature gave this old guy and I was astonished at what I heard but I had to tell him that time was expiring on the parking meter and I had to go. As I walked away, a thought popped into my head…Old Morris Zipper didn’t have much time remaining on his own meter, but what the hell, we’re all on a ticking meter.

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