... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Ode to Manny Mendelsohn by Eric Mendelsohn

Ode to Manny Mendelsohn Manny was a man of style: He once sported a ponytail! His Maserati had a custom license plate that read “”Moda”(Style” in Italian) The uncle who raised him owned a “haberdashery” and instilled a sense of style that carried through his entire life. He loved shopping for clothes for his wife Caroline, whether she was with him or not.  It was not unusual for him to return after a business trip with several garments for Caroline’s consideration. He and Caroline, his wife,  once opened a women’s clothing boutique in Palm Beach. Manny loved cars, he held a grudge against Mercedes because of their complicity in the Second World War in Germany but he relented later in life and ended up owning several Mercedes, Jaguars, a Maserati, a vintage 1959 Thunderbird that haunted him in his youth, a vintage Jaguar XK120, and a vintage Cadillac convertible in such disrepair that it was an embarrassment to his children to be seen in it. If they misbehaved, that became their ride home from school. Manny served in the National Guard after high school and avoided the Korean War as a result. His time on the water gave him an appreciation for boats and the ocean even though he detested the feel of sand and preferred pools over the beach. He later owned a boat in Jupiter Florida and took many boating trips offshore including to the Bahamas. Manny had a wicked and dark sense of humor. He wasn’t above practical jokes either.  Sarcasm was a finely honed artform in the Mendelsohn house. Once, an overly needy friend was calling to ask to borrow money and he replied: “I’m writing a book, and I’m on Chapter 11”, the friend hung up. Manny had a temper, once, upon receiving extremely unsatisfactory service at a restaurant, Manny removed their sign out in front of the restaurant. That sign hung in his living room for years proudly displayed like a piece of art.  His temper likely led to him starting his own business. Out of college, and after the National Guard, Manny was an accountant for Smith Corona, the typewriter manufacturer. He was diligent in his work and was soon promoted to a manager position with his own office. When he asked about an increase in salary he was told “you get an office, that’s your pay increase”. He quit shortly thereafter and with another co-worker, Larry Brown, started School Bus Part Company. School Bus Parts Company continues to this day and was his lifelong career and project. Manny loved to eat and cook. The number of cookbooks in the Mendelsohn household can fill several pallets. Many of the Mendelsohn vacations were centered around food and restaurant reservations. Once they travelled to California and went to a notable restaurant for lunch that had been featured in Gourmet Magazine. When the family got back to the hotel, Manny was asked “what’s next?” “Are we going to the beach? Disneyland? A museum?” Manny replied: we’ll take a nap and digest lunch until it’s time to go to dinner! He had dinner reservations at another fancy restaurant so that, was that. Manny loved animals. The Mendelsohn  home was always filled with cats & dogs and many wild animals outside the house became extended pets as well. The daily ritual of feeding deer cracked corn gave him joy as well as all the wild song birds, turkeys, guinea hens and peacocks. Four legged visitors like gophers, raccoons and foxes did not go hungry either.  Manny loved horses and was an expert rider. This love affair with horses led him to purchase a horse farm and breeding operation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. He had many fond memories of appearing in horse shows and raising young horses on the walking horse farm.  Many was an avid gardener. So much so, that when asked what he did for exercise, he would reply “aggressive gardening”. He was known to work from early Saturday to late Sunday in the yard; converting the earth to his personal vison of what should be in terms of flora and terra. His yards were the envy of neighbors wherever he lived. Later in life he found joy in heavy equipment like a Kubota front loader and back hoe that took his yard work to a new, higher level of sophistication. Manny loved gadgets. He was addicted to the ‘Sharper Image” catalogue and many packages arrived at the house on a regular basis. So much so that his wife Caroline was on a first name basis with all the delivery drivers.  He was one of the first businesses in his industry to computerize and had a special room  built at his company’s office for a large tape drive computer that today would likely equal the processing power of an i-phone. He once adhered to a diet that included a small device that instructed him how to chew  food a certain number of times at a particular cadence by blinking lights. The family sat around the dinner table and watched Manny chew in time to the lights and poke at the small device to let it know he was taking another mouthful of food. This went on for a few nights until he got tired of it, tossed it, and returned to his usual accelerated eating habits. Besides his wife Caroline, Manny’s longest relationship was with his long suffering business partner Larry Brown. An oddity of their business relationship was that they shared an office together, desks facing each other at right angles.  When asked why, at his level of success, didn’t he have his own office? Manny replied, “this way we can keep an eye on each other”.Like most longtime couples, Manny and Larry could finish each other’s sentences and had a banter that was peculiar to them. When Caroline came into his life, he found a true partner and life sustaining love. Caroline and Manny were an extension of each other.  They built their dream home in Pipersville, PA where they were content to spend quality time with each other and their many adopted animals.   Cheers Manny, you will be missed!

Manny with his son, Eric December 2016 at the New York Stock Exchange

Manny and our beautiful matriarch, Mama M Caroline




A note from Dana- Grateful for Manny who gave me my man, Eric.  As I read this post- completely written by my husband, Eric, I recognize so many common traits, proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  The humor, love for animals, gadgets to gardening skills, love of fashion, fine food, fast cars, business acumen, and loyalty.  I’m forever grateful Manny Mendelsohn.  I’m so thankful I got to know you and spend quality time.  You will never be forgotten.