Housekeeping in the 1950’s

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I don’t know about any of you, but I really hate washing clothes.  In fact, I hate housekeeping in general.  I much prefer doing something more creative with my day, but let’s face it; we all have to deal with the fact that once or twice a week, it must be done. Sigh. We need clean clothes and an environment that is habitable.

I often wish that I were more like my mother, because she took on the task of  washday and made it one of the highlights of her week. She figured out a way to actually make it fun. (At least for her!) To Gert Kluchin, washing clothes was like solving a mystery. She turned every piece of clothing into a challenge and a creative way to remove stubborn stains from all three of her children’s outfits.

Now, you must keep in mind that I grew up in the 1950’s and children played outside. We ran and jumped and rolled around in the dirt. We played tag, Red Rover, red light, green light, baseball, and basketball, we swirled round and round using hula-hoops… and we roller-skated and rode our bikes everywhere. Therefore, we fell and scraped a lot of knees, came inside with massive grass stains, ripped pants, torn shirts and sweaters, because we truly lived and played in our clothing.

AND when we were done with those clothes, IF they could be salvaged, we passed them down to our younger siblings. So they HAD to be mended.  I suppose THAT is where the excitement began for my Mother. She  dabbled in a variety of ways to fix torn, worn out pants, invented experimental methods to make invisible patches, and concocted her own solutions to clean the impenetrable stains. And 99.9 percent of the time her remedies worked!!!! Remember, those were the days before supermarkets carried sprays or pens that doubled as spot removers. So, she loved Wash Day. And I admire her for that.

And she was great at it. She found a way to make something boring, exciting and creative. I recall her calling me (or my sister) over to show us her miraculous fixes. (Oh, yes, she darned our socks too and they had to be perfect so we couldn’t feel them in our shoes!!!) She was like Mr. Wizard in her Laundry room.

My sister must have found all this pretty extraordinary because she possesses this gene too!!! She can spot remove and fix torn clothing really, really well. Even my sons quietly (Yes, behind my back) have been known to ask her to mend their jeans (after my mother died) and like a good Auntie she always accommodated them. Smart boys, I have. They knew I would have either thrown them out, or cut them up and used the denim to make unique patches. Then I would have put them on my jeans and created a cool pattern that looked very hippie chic. OR, I would have created an interesting denim patchwork pillow or purse.  But no, I would NOT have mended their jeans.

And,  never – ever, have I enjoyed washing clothes. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that year after year as a teacher we did science fair projects and there were always a few children who elected to do a project on which brand- of clothes detergent cleaned better. For all you inquiring minds out there…pretty much it was always a tie with a few brands doing slightly better. (Yawn). Yeah, they are ALL basically the same. Some just have fragrance and some do not. Some are better for the environment than others, but they all clean the same when you use data and chart the results!!!!

Even when I did a class science project I stayed as far away from clothes washing as I possibly could. In fact, I remember when I sent away to Harvard University for a kit on a study (for gifted children) on ESP, (which actually developed math/science skills) using probability and deductive reasoning. The children always found it cool to think ESP was involved. (BTW, I never found a student in 36 years who really had ESP. I did, however, have a parent one year who thought ESP was the work of the devil, and didn’t understand that it was just a probability lesson, which is math.  (But, as teachers you always run into a few odd balls.) And guess what?  BOTH the girls and the boys were equally able to predict outcomes. No surprise there.

Another fun science fair project that didn’t involve washing clothes was to see what kind of music would make plants grow better.  I can tell you right now that Mozart and Beethoven are enjoyed much more by plant/green life than heavy metal rock groups. (Yes, ALL the heavy metal bands actually KILLED the plants.) The Beatles, however did pretty well except for songs like “Helter Skelter” and “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road.” So the lesson? Our environment is sensitive to the vibrations around us…  I could go on, but I digress….

So, while I love to solve a mystery and do research on just about anything, I DO NOT like doing housework or laundry.

And, in a moment I will have take out my delicates and hang them up and then put in a load of jeans. The only exciting thing about that is my next load is filled with very cool embroidered jeans, so I will have to hang them up rather carefully instead of putting them in the dryer. (Yawn) Still not very exciting.

My point in all of this? I guess I was just thinking that I really admired my mother for finding a creative way to make housekeeping and washing clothing in the 1950’s enjoyable.  I’m 68 and I still haven’t figured out how to do that. But SHE DID!  She never seemed unhappy  doing the wash or housework, and made it seem like she was the Indiana Jones of Laundry. And that is really rather special.  I didn’t appreciate her creativity back when I was little, but I certainly do now.

And when her day was done and the three kids were in bed, sometimes I would creep into the hallway and peek in to see what my mom was doing at her desk while she waited for my dad to come home.  I’d sit and smile and watch her. She’d be typing away in her journal letting her imagination run wild as she relived the events of her day. I’d hear the indistinguishable sound as her fingers flew across the keys and she wrote down her thoughts about politics and other issues happening all around the world.  Journal entries that I did not read until after she passed away.  Gosh, I really miss her.  I think if she were alive today, I might even pay better attention to how she took out those difficult grass stains….

UGH! There goes the buzzer. Time for another load of laundry ….

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Time To Join Hands!

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Today I had lunch with a dear friend who I have known since the mid 1970’s. Over the years we rarely (if ever) discussed politics. She knew I was a Democrat and I was aware that she was a Republican. It never affected our friendship or any other aspect of our lives, at least not until Donald Trump ran for President. There were even times over the years when we didn’t vote strictly down party lines but voted for who we thought was best for the country, or best for our state. Mostly we kept pretty quiet about our personal political viewpoints. Perhaps because we were teachers and as educators we knew that personal views on religion or politics were subjects that weren’t appropriate for the classroom or open for discussion in school. Students, teachers, and parents never knew our individual political viewpoints. And it didn’t matter because we were consummate professionals.

But, this last election was different. We both have been retired for a few years now and when things got heated during the election we chose not to discuss the candidates simply because we didn’t want politics to ruin our friendship.

However, today she blurted out a comment that shocked me to the core and made me wonder if that’s how a majority of Republicans feel. Or perhaps how people in general think.
She told me she thought that I worried way too much about everyone and everything and that all she really cared about was what affected her personally. That stunned me! I explained that I felt today, more than ever, we HAD to care about our fellow man if democracy was going to survive. I let her know that while she might not be suffering or discriminated against today, tomorrow it might be her without healthcare or she could be the one excluded from living in certain places due to age discrimination or religious exclusion. I tried to share how wrong bigotry of any kind was, but I still could not get through to her.

I wonder if that’s what has happened to Congress and to many of our citizens in general. That they only care about themselves and what affects them. Not about anybody else. Not even their constituents. and that thought hurts me to the core.

Those are NOT the principles our founding fathers wrote about when they referred to us as “WE THE PEOPLE”. This is not the United States of Lesley or Susie or Teddy. It’s the United States of America and ALL of us matter. We HAVE to care about one another. If we don’t, we not only lose our freedom, we lose our humanity.

I remember seeing a photo taken during WWII where a group of women were stripped naked and they were in a long line waiting to be shot. Their babies clung tightly to their mothers’ chests as they tried to find comfort. Naked, they all stood together. The rich Indistinguishable from the poor. Their only link being that they were Jewish Women.
If WE all stood together naked, hand in hand, what would we see? Nothing but a group of human beings together. Neither rich nor poor, just people. Americans! There would be no major differences between us. We are all human. Some taller, some shorter, some smarter, some prettier, some more athletic, others more talented, but all human beings. We Americans need to unite not fight. In the end we are no better than the next person. We cannot let 45 divide us. That is what dictators do.  “WE THE PEOPLE” have no choice but to join hands and unite if we intend to hold on to our precious inalienable rights!

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We All Should be Wonder Woman!

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We All should be Wonder Woman!

Last night I FINALLY got around to seeing the new “Wonder Woman” movie. Subsequently, I felt empowered, inspired, and more ready than ever to fight for equality and justice for everyone on the planet!

The film was terrific! Directed by a woman, it took on an entirely different approach to a super hero, showing that when a woman is at the helm, not only can she be strong, intelligent, and capable, but she can do it without revenge and with love in her heart. I think that is why more women need to have leadership roles in our country and around the world. The movie brought up that theme in many ways. The Amazon society in this film was about unity, appreciation, community, responsibility, strength, and caring. It survived on resilience, honor, and intelligence and love for humanity. Qualities in my mind that go along with being female.

I pre- ordered the film on Xfinity knowing that someday when my grand daughter gets a little older, we would watch it together. And the extra video clips that come along when you purchase the film, included spoken word poetry, inspirational thoughts from the director and other contributors of the film, as well as technical details, costumes, historical information about the original Wonder Woman, and a noted call for peace and unity in the world.

*What I found especially fascinating was that the athletic trainers noted a huge difference in preparing a group of women to become fit and strong for their roles as Amazons, in contrast to how men react and respond during similar strength training. They said men usually become competitive and aggressive, whereas the women were continuously supportive and encouraged one another. Each time a woman succeeded, she was applauded for her efforts by the other women in the group. They worked as a united team rather than individuals. YES, imagine that!!! They worked together. A completely different experience from the way men train. The director selected female athletes from all over the world, including women of all races and all nationalities, and trained them for five months. And so to everyone’s delight, the women  became more united the more they trained. They WERE Amazons!

Of course, I have to admit, that I could not hold back tears of joy seeing a Sabra play the heroic role of Wonder Woman. A young Israeli woman chosen to lead the fight against the forces of evil in order to save humanity. That was the icing on the cake for me!!!

Quite honesty, I cried, I smiled, and I felt pride as a woman as I watched this film. It made me feel like I was a warrior too. That I could achieve any goal I set for myself, or I’d die trying to accomplish it! And that is what I have always believed. That we women can change the world for the better. We can do it because we are able to unite and fight for freedom more easily than men. (We don’t seem to let ego get in the way.) And not only can we do it, we do it with love in our hearts!   So far, men have muddled things up pretty badly. Therefore, it is time for women to make sure that justice prevails. We ALL can be Wonder Women! We can do this!!!!!

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Know Your Women’s History!

KNOW YOUR WOMEN’S HISTORY!!!

This morning I turned on the television while having my morning cup of coffee and the channel was already tuned in to the “Today Show” (A program I usually never get to watch). The host, Jenna Bush, was asking women in the audience some EASY questions about Women’s History. (They were given 3 multiple-choice answers to make it even easier.) And these young women still did not know the correct answers.  Ladies, seriously?? You didn’t even know who Sally Ride was???? How is this possible?

I taught Women’s History long before President Jimmy Carter declared March as Women’s History month in 1987. (I got my teaching degree in 1971.) I was happy that the White House finally understood that we needed to recognize our unsung heroines, but by 1987 I had created dozens of lessons that I did every year with my students to help them learn about the AMAZING females who were part of American history, even though most of them were not in our text books.

Ironically, I usually presented my lessons around March simply because it fit nicely in between some other important historical events.  After honoring the Presidents and African Americans for Black History Month in February, and then paying tribute in April to William Shakespeare, (His birthday is April 23rd – and also his recorded death.) I decided that in my classroom April would be poetry month (Decades before it was declared poetry month in the 1990’s.) I mean what teacher in her right mind wouldn’t celebrate poetry and writing for an entire month to pay homage to the Bard??? Duh!!! It’s common sense!!  So, I added women’s history in between and that way I could include First Ladies, important African American women, and add female poets and writers too, and have a three month research-biography celebration in my classroom. It just made creative academic sense! At least it made sense to moi.

After 1987, Broward County, where I was teaching, created their own curriculum and had writing contests about Women’s History. So lessons for every teacher were made available if they wanted to take the time to add that to their curriculum.

I will never forget when Esther Rolle (Good Times) came to Florida in the late 80’s and helped judge the Women’s History essays and the top two winners in the entire county were MY students. (YES, they actually beat out the high school students!!!! One girl and one boy from my class won! It was picked up by the local and national papers and turned into a big deal. The funny thing was that the essay topic my kids wrote was from a lesson I had created back in the 70’s!!

But, suddenly March was National Women’s History month and so my students won awards for the knowledge they would have learned anyway in my gifted class.  I was thrilled, but my point is, why was I, (then and even when I left teaching after almost 4 decades), just about the ONLY teacher in most of the schools teaching children about women who made a difference??? This is something every female on the planet should know. It is important! Yes, you can now buy pre-fab bulletin boards about women in history and decorate your classroom during March. But how many teachers actually TEACH this  to their students and have them research these women????? Sadly, not many feel they have the time with all the testing.

The fact that so many young people do not know the names of the women who helped forge our nation is unforgivable. No wonder so many millennials (and women in general), didn’t understand the implications and magnitude of the first woman candidate of a major party running for President. They had no clue about how long and hard women fought for equality and what a big deal this was. Oh, they thought they understood. BUT, clearly they did not. Our current situation in Washington is proof enough of that.

Ladies of all ages, it is time to get with the program. We are handing over the torch to you! You have to learn this stuff because my generation is getting old and won’t be around forever to help guide you and remind you about your history. We’ve already lost most of the amazing WWII generation of women (and men) who fought tyranny and kept America from fascism. It was filled with strong women who flew planes, bravely went over seas and participated in defeating Hitler. And here at home women put away their aprons and filled the factories to build bombs and planes that helped us win the war. We need to remember those women. They did all that and yet women couldn’t even get a home loan in their own name or a credit card, and their husbands were legally allowed to beat them without police interference. That was the way it was back then. However, they could save lives, build bombs, fly planes and fight Nazi’s!!!

My generation got us those credit cards without having to use our father’s or husband’s signature. We gave you the right to wear pants in the work place and jeans in school. We fought to give you jobs that were previously only allotted to men. We ended quotas for women in law and medicine, and gave you the chance to become managers. My generation of women gave you the right to stay working if you got pregnant, and allowed you to get hired to teach school even if you were divorced. We did all that and more!!! We flew into space, we won gold medals, and we were mathematicians and CEO’s. We were members of Congress, Secretary of State, and we ran for President.

Now YOU have to carry the torch and continue the fight for female equality and the first step IS TO KNOW YOUR HISTORY! READ! GOOGLE IT!! Study! And then tell your daughters and grand daughters. Tell your students, your nieces and nephews. Everyone needs to know!

And teachers, don’t give me the baloney that you don’t have time to teach Women’s History. I made time for it and you can too! It’s one month out of the year!  MAKE TIME! Even if it is just five minutes every day in March! Because if you don’t, our girls won’t understand how valuable they ARE!  They won’t know they were an important part of American history and made a huge difference in the lives of their mothers and grandmothers. They won’t know that once upon a time, women inventors had to use a man’s name to get a patent to create an invention and that they never got credit in history for their genius. (Example: Ely Whitney did not invent the cotton gin. His landlady, Catherine Littlefield Greene did. He lent his name to her invention because women were not allowed to get a patent!) But today, WE can invent anything because we have the power to be whomever we choose to be. But we must teach this in our schools and in our homes.

This past election was proof enough that not enough women support women, and that is mainly because they are not taught to be aware of their illustrious past. They don’t recognize all the fabulous females who paved the way for their future. So…

Happy Women’s History Month. We Celebrate ALL women. Know your history!!! Remember, Susan, Elizabeth, Sojourner, Alice, Harriet, Shirley, Eleanor, Rosa, Sally, Madeline, Gloria, Hillary and all the little girls who will one day be women who will change the world! REMEMBER them and celebrate!!!

NO MORE!!!!

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This is my America. The country I have loved for 67 years. The land I felt immense pride in while driving cross-country visiting every historic landmark in my youth. This is the country I stood up for and pledged my allegiance to every single day during my childhood, and for 36 years every morning when I taught elementary school.

I pledged my allegiance to the flag even when we were fighting in Viet Nam and my friends were coming home in body bags. Even when people were protesting against wars, against racism, against animal abuse, against guns, against pesticides, and a million other causes, because in America we have always had the right to free speech. We are accustomed to living in a democracy and being able to express our thoughts, opinions, and assemble peaceably.

Decade after decade I happily stood in front of my students and led them standing tall and proud as I put my hand over my heart and faced the American flag. I wanted them to understand the importance of why we began each day with The Pledge. I explained how lucky we were to be living in the greatest country on earth, America.

And every April I read aloud the Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”, to help them understand how it all began. But, towards the end of the poem, no matter how hard I tried, I would have to hold back my tears, barely making it through to the last stanza because I inevitably got all choked up. Some years I would have to hand the beautifully illustrated poetry book  to one of my students to finish the last few sentences for me, because my tears would be falling and I couldn’t get the words out.  The children always seemed to understand that their teacher was greatly moved by this historical event. An incident that took place long before any of us were born. And they too were moved and inspired by those men and women who helped form this great nation.

“A cry of defiance and not of fear,

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo forevermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

Through all our history, to the last,

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere.”

I never tire of hearing that poem. The bravery and dedication and all the sacrifices the men and women who fought to make this a free nation, lingers between every line, every stanza. And those courageous values have been entrenched in our history and embedded in my heart.

So much so that when I left for work each morning I felt lighthearted and safe. And when I returned home at the end of the day to see my own children, I rejoiced in the fact that I could raise them in this glorious country and that they too would be safe and secure and have countless opportunities ahead of them. Yes, that is the America I grew up in. The America I love so dearly. That is the democracy that chose a young Jewish woman named Emma Lazarus to write the poem that was engraved on our Statue of Liberty, which represented to the world how America welcomes everyone:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

THAT is the America I have known for almost 68 years. Those were the values I was taught growing up and those were the American values I taught my children and my students. But I realized today that THAT America is fading quickly under this new administration and may soon cease to exist.

For the second time this week the JCC ( Jewish Community Center) down the street from my home was threatened and evacuated AGAIN!  Over 200 Jewish schools, centers and Temples have been vandalized and attacked and threatened and every day it gets worse. People of my faith are threatened all over this country. We Jews no longer feel safe in our homes, in our schools, or in our Synagogues. That is no way for any American to live. We should not be fearful in this country.  This is the home of the free and of the brave. None of us should have to be afraid for our lives and the safety of our children.

Every single day I watch as my fellow Jews are put in danger and little Jewish children are rushed out of their classrooms simply because of their faith and I think this cannot be happening in the country that I love. NOT in my America. Freedom of religion is part of our Constitution!!!   I am heartbroken, disappointed in my government, and frightened for my family and for my fellow Jews.

We The People can NOT turn our backs on this kind of discrimination and bigotry. We demand action, protection, and punishment for the perpetrators of such evil. And we say to you, NO MORE!

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Anti-Semitism In My Neighborhood

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Anti-Semitism Hits My Neighborhood!

I have taken some time to cool down from the fear and anger that has been building up inside of me since the latest string of hate attacks on Jewish schools, community centers, cemeteries, and other acts of anti-Semitism and vandalism has happened across America in the past several days.

This is not the first time anti-Semitism has raised its ugly head in South Florida since Mr. Trump was elected President. But it IS the first time it has been so close to home, and the first time my entire family was affected. These strategically calculated attacks have been too numerous to ignore, and have brought back some disturbing and sorrowful memories from my childhood.

As a little Jewish girl growing up in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1950’s, I heard hushed accounts of what happened to Jews during World War II. My father was a decorated Army Lieutenant and I lived in a housing development where at least 90 percent of the community fathers were Army Veterans who fought against Hitler and fascism. I played with children of all faiths and remember having a happy and diverse childhood. I knew that there were bad people in the world, but because of loving parents and a strong relationship with my family and our local Synagogue, I felt relatively free from anti-Semitism. I knew it still existed and the threat of it was still very real for my parents and grand parents who had grown up experiencing bigotry and exclusion on every level, but  to me I couldn’t feel or comprehend their fears. In my innocent childhood world, I liked everyone and they all seemed to like me and nobody judged me by my faith. Or at least I was not aware if they did. 

However, it was impossible not to notice that one street over from my house, were several neighbors who had bluish numbers tattooed on their arms. I would often come home from school to find my mother sitting at the kitchen table with women from the neighborhood, and sometimes I could hear crying from those ladies with the ugly blue numbers marring their creamy white skin.

When I would ask my mother about the numbers and the crying, she explained that the Jews who were taken prisoner by the Nazis were tattooed. She told me that people who had numbers still carried very bad memories of all the sad things they saw when they were put into “The Camps.” I tried to find out more information, and while she tried her best to answer and still be honest and age appropriate for my inquisitive young mind, she let me know that the survivors had all lost their families during the war and were treated cruelly in the camps. That much I seemed to comprehend, but I didn’t fully understand the extent of what these people had endured.

I may have been very young, but I was extremely curious about all the people with numbers and kept quizzing my mother to learn more about them. And I was instructed NOT to stare at their arms. They all went to my Temple and always seemed kind and gentle, but also appeared to carry an unspoken burden of sadness with them. (Even when they laughed.) And that was confusing when seen through a child’s eyes. I knew there had to be much more to this and my confusion haunted me. 

I recall one afternoon after walking home with my older brother, instead of going out to play; I crouched down outside the kitchen and hid. I tried to listen to the conversations my mother was having with the women from the neighborhood. I recognized the voice of one woman crying. It was the beautiful raven-haired lady who lived behind us. She was speaking a mixture of English and Yiddish and sobbing. I couldn’t understand all her words just the horror and sadness in her voice along with gasps of air and sobs emerging from what was usually a warm and inviting room. And so being intrigued, I peeked in, only to see her lovely face contorted in agony! I instinctively got up and ran to her and gave her a big hug. I started crying too at her grief, even though I didn’t understand the implications of her tears. I couldn’t have been more than five at the time because I do remember being in kindergarten.

It wasn’t until years later that I learned the extent of why she had been crying. When I was young my mother obviously did not go into detail about the Holocaust. I only knew my pretty neighbor had been put into a concentration camp simply because she was Jewish. I knew for some reason she could not have children and sometimes cried because she wanted them desperately, but the war somehow made her unable to become a mother. Well, that had me confused!!!

I was very aware of how she fawned over me. She and her husband owned a clothing shop for children and she would design and make gorgeous outfits as well as selling other brands. She’d delight in having me try on various styles of dresses and model her creations before putting them in the store window. Honestly, she made me feel like a princess!  Yet, even when she delighted in watching me twirl in her fancy lace and satin dresses, I could still sense the overwhelming sadness behind her smile. Sometimes her eyes filled with tears when she watched me.

What I discovered years later, when my family moved to Florida and I was a teenager, was that this beautiful, Natalie Wood look alike, had been tortured by the Nazi’s. Her entire family had been shot and killed in front of her, and she was saved as a young teen simply because of her extreme beauty. She had been passed around from officer to officer to do with her as they pleased, and then when they tired of her, experiments of some kind were performed on her that made her unable to have children. I was never told anything else, no matter how much I asked.  As I grew up I realized her torture was much, much more than even my imagination could conjure up. So, to this day, I still don’t know the horrific treatment she must have suffered.  And I still shy away from reading about Dr. Mengala and his inhuman experiments, because I can still see her beautiful face and I don’t want to think about what she might have been forced to endure.

Every time I hear of an anti-Semitic act, I think about the beautiful lady who lived behind me when I was a little girl. Her dark, shiny hair and bright smile that lit up the room, but who cried sometimes in my mother’s kitchen. And I remember how she would gently grab my hand and I tried so very hard not to gaze at the blue numbers on her arm while she whispered into my ear that I was such a lucky, special girl, and how she wished that she could have a beautiful little daughter just like me!

She even told me once that I reminded her of  when she was a little girl. (Now, keep in mind I was a feisty child, and often spoke my mind a little too much for the 1950’s! Compared to my mild mannered older brother and my baby sister, and being the notorious middle child, I was a spitfire and well aware of being the most challenging of the three children in my family.) So, to have “the dress lady” tell me that she too was a bit “spirited” when she was little, made me happy. But, at the same time, even as young as I was,  I somehow knew that those memories of herself were before the Nazi’s came and took away her “spirit .” Because even though her beauty remained in tact, and her smile was as lovely as any movie star on the cover of Photoplay Magazine, there was always sadness behind those dark eyes of hers.  I understood that deep down, when she looked at me, she saw not only the little girl she would never have, but also the girl she could never be again.

I tell you this story dear readers, because this was as close as I ever got to understanding some real life pain the Nazi’s caused. Her husband had numbers too, but he was a quiet, intellectual man, who only smiled and nodded at me and mostly kept to himself. It was his beautiful wife whose warm heart and kind smile that I remember most. And her longing eyes… which made me understand that being a mother was a gift not everyone was lucky enough to experience.

So, I share this memory to explain to you that for the first time in almost 68 years, I am afraid while living in America. I have felt safe in my country up until now. In the 1950’s I watched Jewish Concentration Camp survivors persevere and try to live their lives even through their sadness. They deeply loved this country with all their hearts and souls.  I protested for equality and women’s rights during the late 60’s when I was in college, and I am still fighting for those rights even now that I am in my late 60’s and a grand mother. I lived my life never worrying that my country was anything but the essence of democracy and freedom. I felt safe living in America.

Not until Donald Trump ran for President has that changed. And suddenly anti-Semitism has personally affected my family and myself. And now with this string of daily vandalism and bomb threats it affects my entire community, my religious freedom, and every person in this country. And just two days ago it affected my grandchildren’s school and the Jewish Community Center down the street from my home.

What is happening in this country is shocking. Especially since these acts are play-by-play incidents that are exactly like what Hitler and his band of Nazis did in Germany to the Jews in the late 1930’s. Trump is systematically making anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry something the people in this country are becoming numb to. It is so frequent, that nobody is watching or caring any more. Even the police are not taking threats seriously. “Another false alarm” one local officer said about the JCC a few streets away from my home the other day. As if it were nothing at all. But it isn’t nothing at all. It is a big deal. A very big deal!!!!!!!

Those of us who have studied history know what this is, and what is to come if we don’t stop it. I predicted this rise in hatred would happen if Trump won the election, and people did not want to listen. BUT now it IS happening. He has incited masses of people to do his dirty work. He preys on the weak and incites hatred and bigotry in the minds of the fearful and the uneducated.  We all need to protect our children and grandchildren from the monstrous things that are about to occur in America if we do not stop Trump and Bannon. I cannot resist Trump by myself, but I will try. I will continue to reject his policies, write my representatives, phone them, and protest!

I will give my life to save this country because freedom and justice matter. And my children and grandchildren matter and so do yours! No matter what faith they are or what color they are. They ALL matter!

“We the people” CANNOT IGNORE WHAT IS HAPPENING. WE CANNOT NORMALIZE TRUMP’S BEHAVIOR! And we cannot allow anti-Semitism to rise again. Not ever!!!  America needs to unite and remain strong against bigotry and hatred. We must demand that freedom of the press continue and that our right to life, liberty, and THE pursuit of happiness is not denied or destroyed. And we must fight and resist every single day if this is to remain the land of the free. WE MUST RESIST!!!!!! Please, JOIN ME!!!

I want to continue to hold my precious grandchildren (pictured below) and know that we are all safe and free!!

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