By Marjorie Roth
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.