Felix always kept us ‘Smillin’


To the editor:

(re: “Building relationships simply by repairing one kitchen at a time,” July 1)

I can confirm the wonderful things that were said about Felix Lam, the long-time superintendent at 2465 Palisade Ave.

He is dedicated, helpful, and always present.

We lived at 2465 Palisade in the late ‘70s and most of the ‘80s. Felix could never quite get my name right, calling me “Smillin,” as in, “Mr. Smillin, how are you?” It was close enough that we didn’t feel we had to correct him.

Felix’s dedication to his job reminded me of an incident that happened in the early 1980s. Before the building upgraded the windows, they were basically wood frames, which naturally could warp in warm weather. One summer evening, after having the window in our bedroom open all day, my wife asked me to close it.

It wouldn’t budge. I banged on it. I hung on it with my feet off the ground. Nothing.

My wife said, “Call Felix.” This was in the evening, but she persisted: “Call Felix.”

I called Felix and told him I couldn’t get the window closed. It was immovable. Felix said, “I’ll be right there.”

A few minutes later, there was Felix in his pajamas, bathrobe and slippers. He walked into the bedroom, looked at me, looked at the window. He stuck out one arm and placed it directly over the top center of the window. Deftly, the window came down in one push.

Felix said, “Good night,” and left the apartment. He had been there for less than a minute.

Felix will always keep me “Smillin.”

David Smelin

Have an opinion? Share your thoughts as a letter to the editor. Make your submission to letters@riverdalepress.com. Please include your full name, phone number (for verification purposes only), and home address (which will not be published). The Riverdale Press maintains an open submission policy, and stated opinions do not necessarily represent the publication.
David Smelin,