Monday, September 22, 2008

Bob Gruberg

One of the first things a Jewish kid from the city seeks in a new community is a place to get a good corned beef sandwich.

In 1970, when I moved to Kingston, there were two: the Hub Deli and Lou's House of Delicacies (Lou and Amy Kirschner's place).

I frequented the former more than the latter, primarily because it was more convenient when I drove home from the Freeman's then-home on the Strand up Broadway to my tiny apartment on Lucas Avenue.

The man behind the counter at the Hub Deli was Bob Gruberg, who bought the business in 1950 and ran it until 1981. (His wife died a year earlier.)

As they could have said in a Hub Deli commercial, he aimed to please. Good corned beef, crusty rye bread, spicy mustard and a sour pickle. (And I'm pretty sure they had Dr. Brown's cream soda.) Heaven on Earth.

Bob participated in a variety of community and business ventures in the years after the Hub Deli closed. He was perhaps most visible as a member of the horn section of the Kingston Lions Club band.

Bob died Friday at age 79, having lived a full life, often making people happy, particularly when the corned beef was lean.

My condolences to Bob's daughter, Marge Rovereto of Ulster Savings Bank, her brother and sister and the rest of the family.
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