Friday, February 12, 2016

I Married Grandpa Munster And Lived On Roosevelt Island - Al Lewis Remembered In New Book Authored By His Wife Karen Lewis

Roosevelt Island has its fair share of interesting characters. None more so than Al Lewis who played Grandpa on the 1960's TV show The Munsters.

His wife, Karen Lewis, has written a book titled "I Married A Munster" about her life with Grandpa Munster Al Lewis.

According to Karen Lewis:

Al and I were seriously worried that if we moved from Manhattan in 1989, to that funny little island in the middle of the East River, that we'd be isolated and cut off from the action. After all, Al had his Greenwich Village eatery to get to and we were both seeking work as actors. However, as you Roosevelt Islanders know, nothing could have been further from the truth. Moving to the Island was one of the smartest things we ever did. We found many new friends and organizations to share our lives with. In I MARRIED A MUNSTER, My Life with "Grandpa" Al Lewis, (which you can purchase online at Amazon or order from B&N stores)

Image From Amazon

you will see that our home there was magical glue. Our love affair with Roosevelt Island is still echoing that magic in 2016.
Grandpa Al Lewis was often seen at the Trellis Diner holding court with his friends and neighbors

and relaxing at the Rivercross lawn.

In a 2007 post about Grandpa Al, the Bowery Boys reported:
... According to a recollection by Cohen, “I remember when Al was already sick, a Reclaim the Streets party/demo had ended up on Roosevelt Island. We marched past Al and Karen’s apartment, and I started the chant: “We love you

Grandpa, we miss you, get better!” and pretty soon the hundreds of us took up the chant, lights came on in the apartments, people looked out the windows, and everyone waved, knowing whom we were chanting about as we snaked by.”

He died at his Roosevelt Island home on February 3, 2006. At his funeral, one friend said,
“Who was Al Lewis? A raconteur. The de facto mayor of Roosevelt Island. The best-dressed man on Roosevelt Island. He held court in front of 546 Main Street, the senior citizens center…” It should be noted that Grampa Munster’s signature ride, the ‘dragula’ gold coffin on wheels, rolled up to the door of the church.
The Twitterverse remembers Grandpa Al running for NY State Governor as the Green Party candidate in1998.
and here's a Grandpa Munster Al Lewis documentary.

Roosevelt Island resident Lynn Strong-Shinozaki adds:
Al came onto my life when I was going through an incredibly hard time. He had compassion and I was a recipient of his love, companionship and kindness and I am forever in his debt. But I was one of many people he personally mentored. I love Al and Karen Lewis and they are my family! I don’t know how I got so lucky to be apart of these wonderful peoples lives but I am forever in their debt for how they positively contributed to my life and my children's life!
Karen Lewis was interviewed about her book, I Married A Munster by CPR's Don DeBar in October 2015.

I think Al would have gotten a few laughs at this tweet.
You can purchase I Married A Munster at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.