How Bubba Smith was mistaken for a Jewish grandmother

August 07, 2011

I got the news in Florida this morning that Bubba Smith had died. I couldn't help but smile as I recalled a true story that happened while I still lived in Baltimore.

My brother, Dr. I. Norton Brotman was a well known dentist in Baltimore — he was the Colts dentist in their heyday. He was instrumental in designing mouth guards for the team as well as caring for any dental problems that arose.

My father, Dr. Robert H. Brotman, also a well known dentist in Baltimore, received a phone call one Sunday, and the male voice asked for Bubba. He didn't think of Bubba Smith at the time and did what he thought was right. He called my mother to the phone! My mother was called Bubby by her grandchildren, a Jewish name for grandmother. She took the phone and thought she was talking to my uncle Manny in Washington. My father realized something was wrong and told the calling party to contact Dr. I. Norton Brotman.

It was a family laugh many times.

Z. Valeere Sass, Boca Raton, Fla.

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