Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ruthie' Childhood

Before I tell you about my mom's childhood I just want to let you know that I call my mom every morning to say hello and hear her cheerful voice.Today mom asked me how my children are.That meant she was having a good day except that I only have one child named Logan.She does not call Logan by his name anymore for 90 % of the time she does not remember his name.My mom has only one grandchild ,who of course like
every other grandmother she adores him.Now please read on about Ruthies Childhood.

My mom lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as a young child and her parents then moved to Coney Island, I believe when she was a teenager. She loved to tell me about her spending summers in the country and for hours reading books under the trees. How she loved words, learning and reading.She also spent summers at the beach and on the boardwalk at Coney Island.Back in those days Coney Island which is in Brooklyn had some “fame”. It was known as one of the greatest amusement parks which included the famous Parachute ride, Nathans (so famous for its hot dogs), cotton candy,jelly apples  and  some of the largest display of fireworks on the 4th of July. My mom was proud to be living there. She would tell me stories about visiting her friend Millie who lived at the other end of the beach in a private locked community called Seagate. She loved to tell me and everyone else through the years about her going in a private 2 seated plane with her best friend Jeanie’s husband Jimmy. Jimmy would flip the plane to try to scare her to death and she would say to Jimmy,” I loved it please do it again”,(using reverse psychology) just so he would not do it again. She would say that her mom, who wouldn’t even let her cross the street alone till the age of sixteen, would absolutely die if she knew what my mom did. I think in some ways my mom really enjoyed doing some “dare devil” things to perhaps rebel against her overprotective mom. Although she never said it I think she favored her father .I remember going to stay at my grandparents home  and sleeping over as a child to see the fireworks on the 4th of July  on the boardwalk.  I just loved and cherished doing that. As of today the 4th of July celebration just thrills me. I have such wonderful memories of my grandfather and yet I hardly remember my grandma.  Perhaps this was because I was quite young when she died. My grandfather Louie lived into his early 80’s. My son Logan is named after my grandfather who truly was a great man. Born in Russia he came over on a boat not speaking any English to get away from the persecution of the Jews in Europe. He went to work in a sweat shop in the garment center . I remember his tales about how he tore up his draft card (which back in Russia they did not have one)going to Angela Davis Rallies, calling to tell us he was just robbed by “gentlemen “and going to see Mayor Lindsay who my grandfather  had received a letter of  acknowledgment for something he had done. My grandfather till the day he died was always in a suit, neatly pressed shirt and tie, and always told us that it was important to dress like a gentlemen. My grandfather had no money yet he had an awareness and sophistication that money could not buy. I guess one would say that he was a very rich man. He was really liked and respected by his children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. He was so involved and active in different causes, clubs and community organizations.. I was told that in some ways he was communist and I looked upon him as a real liberal, with no prejudices, which is the 1960’s might have been unusual. Unfortunately asking my mom now about her parents she says she doesn’t remember anything that it was so too long ago. What I do remember her saying was that her mom was very good natured and that people loved her. She also said that her mom was so over protective of her because she had lost another child (or had miscarried). My grandmother became fearful that something could happen to my mom or her younger brother, who several year ago died of Alzheimer’s.As I write this my grandfather did not have Alzheimer’s and my grandmother ( who was born in Austria) died at age 56 so I’ll never know if she would have gotten the disease. My mom always said that my grandfather would buy her presents and new outfits for my mom to wear, even though they had no money and he would take her out to show her “the world”. He wanted my mom to dress nice and have nice clothes. He was a very proud man so to speak.
My mom loved reading and learning and continued after I was in my teens to take courses at a college or to go to lectures. She did this same thing after she moved to Florida and had recently stopped which was one of the first signs now that I look back of her having dementia. She always encouraged me to read and learn which I had rebelled about while in school..My brother seemed to listen and went onto become a doctor. My mom was also quite liberal with me like her dad was with her.

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