Things I Wish They Had Told Me

Ours was a close family even though we were scattered around the country. When I say family, I am talking about my father’s family. There were eight surviving children who as adults continued the bond of their childhood. Growing up in Kissimmee, Florida, running the general store, being the only Jewish family probably contributed to the closeness. The stories that came down to me from my grandmother described how the children seemed to hang together in couples. All her children had nicknames which added to the intimacy. For example, my father was called Lovey. We treated it as a proper name, so my cousins called him “Uncle Lovey”. There was a family story about my uncle who, as a shy child, when asked his name would answer “My name is Jody, but they call me sweetsum”. There seemed to be a birthing arrangement of boy-girl-boy girl. The close pairs of siblings –  Alda and Lovey, Morton and Sis, Dora and Jody – represented that.

The Last Time I Saw Marty

The last time I saw Marty I didn’t think he looked well – a little pale, a little pudgy. But he was his same sweet self. Our periodic reunions were always special, illuminated by warmth from the past, and unfulfilled connections we didn’t really understand.

Fitting In

I was always a child who fit in–at least I felt like it. I always expected to become part of whatever group there was, or might be, and for the most part, that’s the way my life went. Sometimes this had more appearance of fitting in; I only became aware of that when something was said that roused some discomfort in me, an awareness that distance was being created between me and whoever.

My Home

There was a time in Brooklyn in the 1930’s when, in the several square blocks in our neighborhood with which I was familiar, as an observing 10 year old I was affected by the differences in people.