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Brooklyn's Seltzer Man Is Back In The Saddle

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Refusing to allow his business to fizzle because of an injury, one of the last doorstop delivery men in the city is working to keep the seltzer flowing.

Ronny "Seltzer Man" Beberman, one of the city's half-dozen remaining seltzer deliverymen, is once again making morning deliveries to loyal customers throughout Brooklyn, as he recovers from a broken foot and vertebra he received last month.

When he fell off the top of his truck in September, Beberman was hospitalized for five days and was forced off the route for weeks.

Now he has hired some help while he recuperates, but says he eventually wants to go back to doing the route on his own.

"It's such a great feeling when people give feedback, how they feel about you," said Beberman. "It's nice to know that you get the seltzer, but the fact that they enjoy my presence, my service to them, that's great."

"I'm just to happy to see that he got somebody to drive his route and he's back," said customer Jean Ervasti. "I'm so, so happy to see him. I love him, he's part of our lives here in Brooklyn."

"It's great to see Ronny back again. He brings us the seltzer every other week, and he's a great guy to talk to in the morning," said customer Henry Jackson. "We did miss him a lot last month."

Beberman's seltzer is packaged into glass siphon bottles at the city's last seltzer plant -- Gomberg Seltzer Works in Canarsie, Brooklyn.

"He is the last [deliveryman] with a seltzer truck, the rest of them use vans," said Kenny Gomberg, the seltzer plant's co-owner. "They're a rare breed. They do a lot of hard work, it's back-breaking labor."

Every two weeks for the last 38 years, Beberman drives his truck out of Midwood, Brooklyn just after 5 a.m. to deliver cases of 10 full seltzer bottles that weigh 70 pounds each.

"It keeps me in shape and I enjoy doing what I'm doing," said Beberman.

He says he wants to deliver seltzer for as long as he can, like his father and grandfather did before him.

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