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Remembering Dad August 2016
Joseph Lenzenhuber September 10,1926  -  August 12, 2013
1950 Wedding Picture 1943 Bethlehem Central Yearbook
   
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Lenzenhuber (May 1950)     Wedding Album
Children MaryAnn, Louie & Suzy in back of 118 Grove Ave n the mid 60s
Joe bought the property ay 45 Harrison Ave in Elsmere NY with $250 he had saved from his paper route. Latter he had a house built on it for under $10,000. He was a Boy Scout and an Alter Boy both through St Thomas the Apostle, the Delmar catholic church. He worked at the Delmar Bakery at the 4 corners (New Yorkers can't count their are actually 5 corners). Latter his sugar ration from his short stint in the Navy enabled his father Ludwig to start the Ace Pastry Shop on New Scotland Ave in Albany where Joe worked for years with the rest of his family. In the early 60's he bought Walter Wheeler's Bakery on Ontario St which he worked for about a year. He then went to Phil's Pastry shop on the corner of Central and Northern Blvd. where he worked until retirement. After retiring at 62 he did a start up of a bakery at a local super market then ended up vacuuming rugs at Filines at Cross Gate Mall. After having metal valves inserted in his heart in January of 1993 while in Florida he retired from his part time job at age 66 and lived another 20 years with the metal valves.
Elsmere New York (mid 1970s) Delray Beach Florida (early 1990s) Joseph Lenzenhuber and his mother Gertrude May 2005  (ages 78 & 98)
Joseph Lenzenhuber's extended family at their 50th Wedding Anniversary  (May 2000) Mary, Lou, Joe Lenzenhuber Oct 2009
L-R Larry Blank, Susan (Lenzenhuber) Blank behind, Dylan Blank, Joseph Lenzenhuber behind Mary Lenzenhuber behind Jeremy Barnum, Lou Lenzenhuber behind Mary Ann (Lenzenhuber) Barnum, Jackie Holland (Lenzenhuber) behind Phillip Barnum holding Jessica Barnum  
"If there's a hell, it's going to be crowded"
"It's a good life if you don't weaken"
"The day you are going to die is written down somewhere and there is nothing you can do about it"

When the bakery he worked at was sold he quit going to work. When the new owner finally called to ask why, he told them "He wasn't a slave, he didn't automatically go with the bakery, he hadn't been asked if he was willing to work for the new owner." He was finally offered a job but declined the offer.

1952 Joseph Lenzenhuber 25 Year Mortgage                                                       Deeds from 1881  (Some measures in chains & links instead of feet)           1924 Tice Mortgage
Joe bought the land in 1943 for $250 he had saved from his paper route. He built a house on it in 1952 for $8000. He had to have a lot of sand hauled in to build up the front of the property as the land was low and prone to flooding. The house sold in 2014 for $141,000. He dearly loved his property and mourned the loss of trees as if they were old friends. I remember all the birch trees going early. When he had to take down a large white pine in the front yard, you could tell he had planted it and remembered all the years since he did. (Pines are fast growers some of the backyard maples are hundreds of years old)
Dad would repaint the house every 5 to 8 years or so. I remember him using an eclectic paint stripping device and paint scrapper to get it close to bare wood . He would then prime and repaint the house. It was a Cape Cod style with a high pitched roof. (No idea why it was called Cape Cod Style since I'm sure Delmar got much more snow) I was on leave from the navy when my mother sent me up on the roof to do some thing or another. Scared the shit out of me because of the pitch and no protection As a mountain climber I was big on protection in scary situations) Near then end my mothers sister Helen paid to have vinyl siding installed.

     When my father was young he was very sick and almost died. (Of what I don't remember, Rheumatic fever maybe) When Joe entered Kindergarten he only spoke German. He started school young, being born in September, and graduated at 17. He wasn't much of a student but always excelled in common sense and hard work. After joining the Navy at 17, the Navy decided they didn't have a place for him and discharged him after boot camp. The Army tried to draft him near the end of WWII but he was told to ignore the notice because the war was ending. As I young man he played soccer on a city team  in the Albany area. His hobbies included  golf, bowling and puttering in the yard. He loved his front lawn and his flowers. Although raised a Catholic he eventually abandoned religion and didn't believe there was anything after death. (When I was a kid my mother would bring the family to church on Sundays, including my father) He liked westerns and war movies and the family often went to drive in movies on Saturday nights during the summer, his only night off from work. (Cheaper than the regular theaters because you could bring your own concessions. I remember Royal Crown Colas and Orange Crush in the ice chest) His choice of comedy tended towards physical or slap stick and the hardest I remember him laughing was at the Palace Theater on lower Clinton Avenue while watching either the Shaggy Dog or The Absent Minded Professor. 
     He had two good friends when I was young that we called Uncle. Emil Meister and Bill Stutsrim. Emil worked at the family market, which specialized in meats and Bill worked as a mechanic at Dell's Garage on Delaware Ave. When I was very young Bill and my father were out drinking and got into an auto accident which sent them to the hospital. Although he would have parties in the basement bar he had built, I never remember him as an excessive drinker. He never could understand my alcoholism, "Why can't you just stop after a couple" He would have one beer when he came home from work with his lunch and another with his dinner. At one period he would have a total of three, capping the 2nd lunch one for dinner. Once he had his metal valves put in he went to drinking near beer and having a glass of wine or high ball in the evening. He slept in two shifts while he was a baker. After lunch from about 10am to 4 pm then a short nap for a few hours before he went to work around midnight. My mother would work Mondays & Wednesday's from 3pm until 11pm as a head floor nurse at St Peter's Hospital. She had to make sure she was home in time for him to go to work because they never had more than one car. She could have made more money than him working full time but he was of the vein where a woman takes care of a man's house and children. His Birthday dinner was his favorite, meatloaf and he would much rather putter around in the yard than travel.
     As a baker he worked for Henry Engel at the Delmar Bakery located at the 4 corners in Delmar, his father's Ace Pastry Shop, Walter Wheeler's Bakery (which he had bought and ran for a year) and Phil's Pastry Shop. He also set up a bakery in a grocery store and left after it was up and running. His last job before having metal valves placed in his heart in 1993 was vacuuming rugs at Filenes for a few hours in the morning at the Crossgate Mall around Albany.
     His home of 60 years was a two bedroom Cape Cod style home (A high pitched roof) The attic he made into two more bedrooms. He also built out his basement to include a bar and gathering place. He built a backyard patio of flag stones from the Heldeburgs and cobble stones from Albany streets to include a cobblestone fireplace. He always had a band saw in the basement which he used to make lawn furniture and ornaments. In his latter days his hands shook while he painted his wind ducks. He took his walks ( a mile or three) even in the winter and puttered around the yard or garden until he was reduced to sitting in his chair in the corner of the living room with his wife in her chair near him. For years he slept in one of the bedrooms he had built out in the attic, because of his wife's respiratory problems. (loud snoring & wheezing)

     In the winter of 1992, while visiting his mother in Florida, he ended up having open heart surgery. True open heart surgery, the replaced the valves in his heart (bypass isn't open heart it's open chest). Because his cardio vascular system was so good they decided to put in metal valves instead of pig valves. (They figured they would just have to go back in eight or ten years down the road and replace the pig valves.) Turns out he a congenital valve problem, been there for 66 years at the time of surgery. He lived another 20 years with metal valves in his heart. (You could hear them clicking in a quiet room)
     My father fried bologna with his eggs, claimed he didn't have the patience to cook bacon.. it took too long. He had to have patience to raise me, and my youngest sister. I didn't know he knew any swear words until I set fire to my bedroom with homemade gun powder in my mid teens (minimal damage). In my mid teens I wrote Fire trUCK on the basement blackboard. I was told to erase it, I didn't know my parents knew that word. I had never heard it in our house, or any other swearing. My mother told me he was getting nasty near the end and after she died I heard he used to have bad swearing fits for no apparent reason. 
On August 12th 2013 my youngest sister Susan called me in the California desert telling me our father had died. I had the Jeep packed for a camping trip but instead ended up in the Albany area two days latter. I had thought I would get back to see him before he died. I last saw him 11 months earlier when my mother died. He couldn't live without her and died of a broken heart.
My fathers Navy boot camp graduation class. My mother could have told you which one was him, I can't    (Think he's towards the back)
 
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