SESSION 1 - WINTER 2021

WEEK 1: PROMPT # 1 

What did you read under the covers with a flashlight?  “Good night” I told my parents and then snuck away under the blankets to keep reading.  Remember “murder” mysteries or sporting events on the radios?

Stories Submitted

After Lights Out - Claire


Bed time, school tomorrow, lights out. Well, the lights were out but I wasn’t going to sleep. I was under the covers and on the phone. Now I’m not going to tell you how old I am just, suffice it to say, this was before cell phones. I didn’t even have an extension to the phone in my room. So, how was I on the phone, you ask. Well, there was a neighbor in our building who was an electrician. I assume that my father had a conversation with him and, the next thing you know is my best friend and I had a “phone” rigged up from my bedroom to hers. She lived on the other side of the building, you see, and, stroke of luck, her bedroom and mine shared a fire escape and a wall, though we never did use the fire escape. The phone was just a little thing, maybe 3 inches long. She had one and I had one with the on/off switch on my side. If we wanted to talk, we’d knock on the wall to alert each other to pick up the phone. We would talk and giggle under the covers. “Did you see that new cute boy in our 4th grade class?” There was never a loss as to what to talk and giggle about. We had that phone for years. Now, it’s so many years later. Our conversations are now about our children, grandchildren and how great it is to be retired. Yes, we still keep in touch and I partially credit that little phone in the wall. Could the neighbor who rigged it up for us realize what he created? Thanks Dad for doing that for me.




After Lights Out - Ed


After Lights out I used to do different things. I shared a room with my brother and we always tried to catch up and whisper about what we had done during that day, as we were three years apart in age. Most of the time I would take a flashlight and read under the covers.

I had a reading problem early on until a teacher named Mrs. Riley refused to give up on me in the 3rd grade. She even visited my house and got me started reading Classic Comics. They were comics with true stories from American history that were drawn in cells, just like comics (illustrated). The dam seemed to burst and I couldn’t stop reading. My favorites became Superman, Super Boy and Batman. I would read unless my Dad caught me and told me to go to sleep.

I also was crazy about the Brooklyn Dodgers. I would take my little transistor radio and listen to the games under the covers. I grew up in Queens and sometimes would take the shuttle from Flushing to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers play. That just about covers my late night activities in those days.





WEEK 1: PROMPT # 2 

There were the things we couldn’t touch.  Old photos of people we didn’t know or couldn’t recognize, like your parents’ parents, your own grandparents, when they were young.  Perhaps there were trinkets, keepsakes, or perfumes.  Close your eyes and remember what you saw.

Stories Submitted

My First Car - Andrea


My first car was a Chevy Vega, a graduation gift from college. Because the engine was in the back it was rated as the most dangerous car on the road. In ten years it never gave me any problems, but driving lessons did. My dad arranged driving lessons for me at the AAA on Columbus Circle and 59th Street in NYC. When i got in the car for the first time, cars, trucks and busses whizzed by. I said "I can't do this." The instructor said “Honey...I get paid if you drive or not so GO." With each lesson I gained more confidence and from that moment to this I was never afraid to drive anyplace. When I moved to Orangeburg my friends would only drive local quiet streets. I guess the moral in those days was FATHER KNOWS BEST. Incidentally my mom never drove.




My First Car - Claire


Oh my! My first outing alone after getting my driver’s license and the car
seems to have a mind of its own. I had a doctor’s appointment just a few
short blocks from the apartment where I lived with my family that consisted
of my parents and my younger brother. My father had taught me to drive
and I passed the test on the first try. Why did the car seem to be moving on
its own power?
I kept my foot on the brake and made it home in one piece. I stopped in
front of our apartment building and breathed a sigh of relief. While I was
pulling myself together, a neighbor from the building was walking by and
stopped to say hello to me. Of course I took the opportunity to tell her my
problem. She listened attentively and then quietly pointed toward the gas
pedal and said, “Your car mat is on the gas pedal.”




My First Car-Beginning a New Chapter in Life - Joe


Wow! September 1959. A 1959 white Plymouth sedan was ours. A basic mode of
modern transportation was going to help us move along in life.
I met Shelly Kerper, lovely, charming and beautiful in 1955. I was a freshman at
NYU Dental School and she a sophomore at Brooklyn College. We married in 1958.
We lived in a small studio apartment (I never saw a large one) at the Ocean
Parkway exit of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Shelly taught first grade at the
East Meadow Elementary School. Shelly supported us both and luckily we didn’t
eat much. Her generous parents gave us their old (aptly named) Oldsmobile which
had 140,000 miles and a faulty electrical system. I enlisted in the United States Air Force and we drove from Brooklyn to the air force
base in Orlando, Florida. We said good-bye to our Oldsmobile and welcomed our
new Plymouth. So, September 1959 was a true transition for us. A song I wrote, “This is the Air Force, Dr. Katz,” (which Irving Berlin modified) was
playing in my head as I drove to work. A large impressive sign “McCoy Air Force
Base-Strategic Air Command-321 st Bomb Wing” marked the entrance. The new
Plymouth and the young Captain entered. The Plymouth’s front bumper had a large
sticker that read “Captain, 813 Medical Group, McCoy AFB, USAF, SAC”. The old
car had a bumper sticker also, “Original Pete’s Pizza.” The car and driver were saluted by a smartly uniformed sergeant and greeted,
“Good morning, doctor. Have a good day, sir.” I returned his salute, wished him a
good day, and addressed him by rank and name (which I read on his uniform).
What a nice way to start a day and begin my military career, a wonderful two
years. No one ever saluted that car again, but the car did receive recognition by the New
York Police Department for parking violations.





WEEK 2: PROMPT # 3 

A first car is a milestone.  Maybe you got it to commute to school or to get a new job. Perhaps your dad got a new car and you were allowed to drive his old Junker. What freedoms did a car afford you? What did it feel like the first time you were behind its wheel?

Stories Submitted

My First Car - Andrea


My first car was a Chevy Vega, a graduation gift from college. Because the engine was in the back it was rated as the most dangerous car on the road. In ten years it never gave me any problems, but driving lessons did. My dad arranged driving lessons for me at the AAA on Columbus Circle and 59th Street in NYC. When i got in the car for the first time, cars, trucks and busses whizzed by. I said "I can't do this." The instructor said “Honey...I get paid if you drive or not so GO." With each lesson I gained more confidence and from that moment to this I was never afraid to drive anyplace. When I moved to Orangeburg my friends would only drive local quiet streets. I guess the moral in those days was FATHER KNOWS BEST. Incidentally my mom never drove.




My First Car - Claire


Oh my! My first outing alone after getting my driver’s license and the car
seems to have a mind of its own. I had a doctor’s appointment just a few
short blocks from the apartment where I lived with my family that consisted
of my parents and my younger brother. My father had taught me to drive
and I passed the test on the first try. Why did the car seem to be moving on
its own power?
I kept my foot on the brake and made it home in one piece. I stopped in
front of our apartment building and breathed a sigh of relief. While I was
pulling myself together, a neighbor from the building was walking by and
stopped to say hello to me. Of course I took the opportunity to tell her my
problem. She listened attentively and then quietly pointed toward the gas
pedal and said, “Your car mat is on the gas pedal.”




My First Car-Beginning a New Chapter in Life - Joe


Wow! September 1959. A 1959 white Plymouth sedan was ours. A basic mode of
modern transportation was going to help us move along in life.
I met Shelly Kerper, lovely, charming and beautiful in 1955. I was a freshman at
NYU Dental School and she a sophomore at Brooklyn College. We married in 1958.
We lived in a small studio apartment (I never saw a large one) at the Ocean
Parkway exit of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Shelly taught first grade at the
East Meadow Elementary School. Shelly supported us both and luckily we didn’t
eat much. Her generous parents gave us their old (aptly named) Oldsmobile which
had 140,000 miles and a faulty electrical system. I enlisted in the United States Air Force and we drove from Brooklyn to the air force
base in Orlando, Florida. We said good-bye to our Oldsmobile and welcomed our
new Plymouth. So, September 1959 was a true transition for us. A song I wrote, “This is the Air Force, Dr. Katz,” (which Irving Berlin modified) was
playing in my head as I drove to work. A large impressive sign “McCoy Air Force
Base-Strategic Air Command-321 st Bomb Wing” marked the entrance. The new
Plymouth and the young Captain entered. The Plymouth’s front bumper had a large
sticker that read “Captain, 813 Medical Group, McCoy AFB, USAF, SAC”. The old
car had a bumper sticker also, “Original Pete’s Pizza.” The car and driver were saluted by a smartly uniformed sergeant and greeted,
“Good morning, doctor. Have a good day, sir.” I returned his salute, wished him a
good day, and addressed him by rank and name (which I read on his uniform).
What a nice way to start a day and begin my military career, a wonderful two
years. No one ever saluted that car again, but the car did receive recognition by the New
York Police Department for parking violations.





WEEK 2: PROMPT # 4 

There was a particular teacher who you were positive hated you.  Remember how big the 5th graders were when you were a first grader? Your favorite subjects and the ones you liked the least, the girls or boys you loved to tease.

Stories Submitted

I REMEMBER GOING TO THE DOCTOR-Janet


In Harrisburg where I grew up our family had one doctor. He was a jack-of-all-trades, taking
care of everything and everyone in the household, from babies to the elderly. If my mother
called, he would come to the house any time of day or night, and we often went to his one person
office for scheduled visits. Several visits stick out in my memory.
When I was 12 years old, I woke up one morning and was unable to walk. I had terrible pain in
the backs of my feet. I was lying on the living room couch, moaning, when Dr Viener arrived.
He examined me and asked what kind of shoes I had been wearing. I showed him my new flip
flops, which I had worn most of the previous day. Sure enough, it was a strain from the shoes.
In junior high school I had an assignment to write my autobiography. Having completed the
contents, I wanted to create a hard cover to make it look like a book, so I took the cover from a
children’s picture book and was trying to sew it together when the sewing needle broke and a
part of it lodged in my finger. Off we went to Dr Viener who had to numb my finger in order to
remove it.
School physicals were given every other year until the 8 th grade. They checked our height,
weight, glands, and I don’t recall what else. As the school doctor was examining me, I
overheard what he dictated to the nurse to write in my chart, “Supra pubic mass.” I hurried back
to my classroom and wrote down what I had heard, fearful that I would forget it. When I got
home I told my mother. Immediately she called Dr Viener who said, ‘Bring her right down,” As
he examined me, I remember him telling my mother that if he didn’t know me and my family, he
might suspect pregnancy but in my case it was probably just a full bladder. He was my doctor
until I left Harrisburg in 1958 and he was an honored guest at my wedding three years later.





WEEK 3: PROMPT # 5 

What games did you play growing up?  Were they “indoors” or “outdoors” games? Did you shoot marbles, play kick the can in the middle of the street, draw hopscotch on the sidewalk, jump rope?

Stories Submitted

MY PERFECT PET - Gail


Growing up in a large apartment building in New York City was a perfect excuse for my mom not wanting us to have a dog.
Needless to say, she was concerned that she would wind up being the mother to our four legged pet, feeding it, walking it,
and all the care it would require. My mom grew up with Brownie, her dog, and she knew all the responsibilities involved.
Not just for a day, but for many years going forward. No amount of pleading by myself and my brother would ever
convince her that we would care for this new addition to our family. My mom held strong and steadfast, that there would
never be a dog as long as we lived in the apartment.
We had the usual goldfish, turtles, parakeets and tropical fish over the years. The novelty of having these creatures and
critters on and off during my childhood brought a lot of excitement and joy into our lives. Admittedly. it was all short lived,
and we were always looking forward to the next. Having a dog was never off the short list. It always seemed unlikely that
our wish would ever come true until…...
One night our dog wish was answered. With no forewarning, my father brought home a dog. I can’t recall every hearing
or seeing my mother and father argue and disagree on anything so vehemently as they did over this dog. Apparently he
had not discussed this surprise with her and she went crazy!!
My brother and I were hysterical hearing her say the dog goes! We knew she meant it. My father was crushed, and so
were we. Fortunately, we had a neighbor who always wanted a dog. My dad, my brother and I went stomping down to
these neighbors to see if they would take care of this adorable dog who we already named Blackie. We lucked out! A
wonderful home was found in the matter of minutes.
My brother and I had all the advantages of having a dog, visiting it whenever, walking it, playing with Blackie, and getting
and giving the love a pet provides. We knew Blackie was in a loving home just a few floors below. It was the PERFECT
DOG.
Fast Forward to 2020-21
The pandemic has once again reminded me of the love and comfort a pet can bring into a life.
This summer I really did get the PERFECT PET. Brownie entered my life at a time when I needed a companion,
unconditional love, and without all the other responsibilities of having a live dog.
I purchased a Chocolate Lab, a breathable dog aka THE PERFECT PET that does all this on a D battery. You might say I
have come full circle. Brownie will never know the excitement and joy he brings into my life each day. (other Brownies are
available on Amazon, enjoy)




MY FAVORITE PET - CLAIRE


I was 9 and in 4th grade and we were moving to Queens. I would no longer be able to
walk to my grandparents’ house but I would have my own room in the new apartment.
And, it was new. The whole neighborhood was new. The streets were not even paved
yet. And, most of all, I’d be going to a new school. Time was drawing near, boxes
were being packed, and then one day, the movers came.
I’m not sure when exactly I found out that my little dog, Sandy, couldn’t come with
us. Sandy had been in the family since shortly before I was born so we were growing
up together. Problem was, the management of the new place said, “No dogs allowed.”
We were coming from a 1 bedroom apartment where my parents, my little brother and
I all shared 1 room. We really needed that new apartment in the new neighborhood.
My parents told me that my great aunt would take Sandy to her house. That was
somewhat comforting. I figured that she was still our dog and, hopefully, one day we
could take her to live with us. We were all heartbroken but the rules were the rules.
We settled into our new place. Then one day we got a call. It was my great aunt
calling. She was not going to be able to care for Sandy and had given her to a family
with 2 sons. They knew Sandy because they’d lived in our building in the Bronx. We
visited a few times until that family eventually moved too.
Fast forward about 60 years. Talking to a second cousin of mine and he mentions a
friend of his who, years ago, had a cute little dog named Sandy. He told me about
Sandy’s later years and that she was well cared for and loved. But, oh, how I had
missed her. But she’d had a good life in her later years with a family who loved her as
much as we did.





WEEK 3: PROMPT # 6 

There are certain smells and tastes that can transport you right back to a specific moment in time.  Perhaps you are sitting in Grandma’s kitchen or perhaps it was your own Mother or a favorite Aunt?  Did you help to cook a holiday meal? Maybe Grandma let you lick the bowl from the chocolate cookies? Did you have a favorite food that only Grandma could make just right?  Feel free to change the prompt to fit your memory.

Stories Submitted

I REMEMBER GOING TO THE DOCTOR-Janet


In Harrisburg where I grew up our family had one doctor. He was a jack-of-all-trades, taking
care of everything and everyone in the household, from babies to the elderly. If my mother
called, he would come to the house any time of day or night, and we often went to his one person
office for scheduled visits. Several visits stick out in my memory.
When I was 12 years old, I woke up one morning and was unable to walk. I had terrible pain in
the backs of my feet. I was lying on the living room couch, moaning, when Dr Viener arrived.
He examined me and asked what kind of shoes I had been wearing. I showed him my new flip
flops, which I had worn most of the previous day. Sure enough, it was a strain from the shoes.
In junior high school I had an assignment to write my autobiography. Having completed the
contents, I wanted to create a hard cover to make it look like a book, so I took the cover from a
children’s picture book and was trying to sew it together when the sewing needle broke and a
part of it lodged in my finger. Off we went to Dr Viener who had to numb my finger in order to
remove it.
School physicals were given every other year until the 8 th grade. They checked our height,
weight, glands, and I don’t recall what else. As the school doctor was examining me, I
overheard what he dictated to the nurse to write in my chart, “Supra pubic mass.” I hurried back
to my classroom and wrote down what I had heard, fearful that I would forget it. When I got
home I told my mother. Immediately she called Dr Viener who said, ‘Bring her right down,” As
he examined me, I remember him telling my mother that if he didn’t know me and my family, he
might suspect pregnancy but in my case it was probably just a full bladder. He was my doctor
until I left Harrisburg in 1958 and he was an honored guest at my wedding three years later.





WEEK 4: PROMPT # 7 

In some families, birthdays are national holidays.  In others they pass without fanfare.  Was there a special tradition or a favorite cake? Or maybe a special birthday party? Did you have to share with your siblings, or did you get to be the star on your birthday?

Stories Submitted

My First Crush - Ruth


I was a VERY LATE bloomer and very shy, so I did not have “crushes” until high school. My
crush (which was not reciprocated) was with Marvin. His dad was a cardiologist in Spring Valley.
He and his brother are both cardiologists and living in Denver. We were in Latin class together.
He and Al, his best friend, were both star basketball players and often did not have time to do
their Latin translation homework when they had a game. So I gave him my homework, and Rae
gave Al her homework. That was the extent of our relationship. He preferred non-Jewish girls!
At Hunter College, soldiers would write to our school newspaper asking for pen pals. I
corresponded with one soldier who was in Korea. He lived in the Bronx. I met him when he
returned home, and he told me his friend, not he, wrote the letters to me. He was a college
dropout! I spent some time with him over the summer and then told him I would be very busy
when I returned to Hunter. That was the end of that relationship.
It was my first day at Hunter that I met a dear friend and now my sister-in-law, Hannah, who
found me crying at my locker. Hunter overwhelmed me. I came from a class of 120 students and
was in a class of 750 students who all had friends from their city high schools. She told me all
about her neighborhood boyfriend Walter who was in the army and had graduated from City
College. She had not seen him in a long time. In the meantime, she dated other guys (including
my cousin).
In our senior year, Walter returned home, and the romance was reignited. They were married
the summer after graduation and went to California for a year to get their Master’s Degrees. I
visited them when I was out there visiting my friend Rae, who lived in LA at the time. When she
and Walter returned home, I invited them to go swimming at Lake Sebago in Bear Mountain
State Park. She asked if she could bring Walter’s brother Karl, who liked to swim. (She knew I
hated blind dates so never mentioned anything.) I said that was no problem. I would make a
couple of extra sandwiches, etc. We had a lovely day, and before they all went back to NYC,
Karl told me he had two tickets to “Three Penny Opera” at the Theater de Lys and would I like to
go. I said I would love to go.
So that was the beginning of our romance. We were married ten months later and spent a two
month honeymoon in Europe! As a teacher, I had the summer off, and Karl took a leave of
absence from his architectural firm. So much for “crushes!”




My First Crush - Lydia


By the time I was in the 8 th grade I was I was already 5’7” tall. I towered
over all my classmates even the boys, except for one, Marty Spivak. Not
only was he taller than I but he was also blond and good looking. Where do
you find a blond boy in a Yeshiva? At any rate because we were the tallest in
the class we were always next to each other in line, in assembly, and in
classrooms. (This was a modern yeshiva and boys and girls did study
together.) How great was that!
Marty lived in a big house on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. I figured he
must be rich because all the rich Jews lived on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn.
The best thing about that was that I lived only two blocks away. Good
excuse to do homework together when we could. One day Marty asked me
if I wanted to stay awhile after we finished our homework. OMG! A date
with my crush. I was just under 13 at the time.
Know what our first date was? Marty was athletic and I was a tomboy. You
couldn’t top that. We went fence climbing. That was my first and last “date”
with Marty but I will never forget it.





WEEK 4: PROMPT # 8

In some families, birthdays are national holidays.  In others they pass without fanfare.  Was there a special tradition or a favorite cake? Or maybe a special birthday party? Did you have to share with your siblings, or did you get to be the star on your birthday?

Stories Submitted

MY PERFECT PET - Gail


Growing up in a large apartment building in New York City was a perfect excuse for my mom not wanting us to have a dog.
Needless to say, she was concerned that she would wind up being the mother to our four legged pet, feeding it, walking it,
and all the care it would require. My mom grew up with Brownie, her dog, and she knew all the responsibilities involved.
Not just for a day, but for many years going forward. No amount of pleading by myself and my brother would ever
convince her that we would care for this new addition to our family. My mom held strong and steadfast, that there would
never be a dog as long as we lived in the apartment.
We had the usual goldfish, turtles, parakeets and tropical fish over the years. The novelty of having these creatures and
critters on and off during my childhood brought a lot of excitement and joy into our lives. Admittedly. it was all short lived,
and we were always looking forward to the next. Having a dog was never off the short list. It always seemed unlikely that
our wish would ever come true until…...
One night our dog wish was answered. With no forewarning, my father brought home a dog. I can’t recall every hearing
or seeing my mother and father argue and disagree on anything so vehemently as they did over this dog. Apparently he
had not discussed this surprise with her and she went crazy!!
My brother and I were hysterical hearing her say the dog goes! We knew she meant it. My father was crushed, and so
were we. Fortunately, we had a neighbor who always wanted a dog. My dad, my brother and I went stomping down to
these neighbors to see if they would take care of this adorable dog who we already named Blackie. We lucked out! A
wonderful home was found in the matter of minutes.
My brother and I had all the advantages of having a dog, visiting it whenever, walking it, playing with Blackie, and getting
and giving the love a pet provides. We knew Blackie was in a loving home just a few floors below. It was the PERFECT
DOG.
Fast Forward to 2020-21
The pandemic has once again reminded me of the love and comfort a pet can bring into a life.
This summer I really did get the PERFECT PET. Brownie entered my life at a time when I needed a companion,
unconditional love, and without all the other responsibilities of having a live dog.
I purchased a Chocolate Lab, a breathable dog aka THE PERFECT PET that does all this on a D battery. You might say I
have come full circle. Brownie will never know the excitement and joy he brings into my life each day. (other Brownies are
available on Amazon, enjoy)




MY FAVORITE PET - CLAIRE


I was 9 and in 4th grade and we were moving to Queens. I would no longer be able to
walk to my grandparents’ house but I would have my own room in the new apartment.
And, it was new. The whole neighborhood was new. The streets were not even paved
yet. And, most of all, I’d be going to a new school. Time was drawing near, boxes
were being packed, and then one day, the movers came.
I’m not sure when exactly I found out that my little dog, Sandy, couldn’t come with
us. Sandy had been in the family since shortly before I was born so we were growing
up together. Problem was, the management of the new place said, “No dogs allowed.”
We were coming from a 1 bedroom apartment where my parents, my little brother and
I all shared 1 room. We really needed that new apartment in the new neighborhood.
My parents told me that my great aunt would take Sandy to her house. That was
somewhat comforting. I figured that she was still our dog and, hopefully, one day we
could take her to live with us. We were all heartbroken but the rules were the rules.
We settled into our new place. Then one day we got a call. It was my great aunt
calling. She was not going to be able to care for Sandy and had given her to a family
with 2 sons. They knew Sandy because they’d lived in our building in the Bronx. We
visited a few times until that family eventually moved too.
Fast forward about 60 years. Talking to a second cousin of mine and he mentions a
friend of his who, years ago, had a cute little dog named Sandy. He told me about
Sandy’s later years and that she was well cared for and loved. But, oh, how I had
missed her. But she’d had a good life in her later years with a family who loved her as
much as we did.





WEEK 5: PROMPT # 9 

Of course, grandma only has eyes for grandpa, and vice versa.  But what about the first time you noticed that the opposite sex might offer more than cooties? Did you have class together? Were you neighbors? Where did you first see them? What were they wearing? What did you like about them?

Stories Submitted

My First Crush - Ruth


I was a VERY LATE bloomer and very shy, so I did not have “crushes” until high school. My
crush (which was not reciprocated) was with Marvin. His dad was a cardiologist in Spring Valley.
He and his brother are both cardiologists and living in Denver. We were in Latin class together.
He and Al, his best friend, were both star basketball players and often did not have time to do
their Latin translation homework when they had a game. So I gave him my homework, and Rae
gave Al her homework. That was the extent of our relationship. He preferred non-Jewish girls!
At Hunter College, soldiers would write to our school newspaper asking for pen pals. I
corresponded with one soldier who was in Korea. He lived in the Bronx. I met him when he
returned home, and he told me his friend, not he, wrote the letters to me. He was a college
dropout! I spent some time with him over the summer and then told him I would be very busy
when I returned to Hunter. That was the end of that relationship.
It was my first day at Hunter that I met a dear friend and now my sister-in-law, Hannah, who
found me crying at my locker. Hunter overwhelmed me. I came from a class of 120 students and
was in a class of 750 students who all had friends from their city high schools. She told me all
about her neighborhood boyfriend Walter who was in the army and had graduated from City
College. She had not seen him in a long time. In the meantime, she dated other guys (including
my cousin).
In our senior year, Walter returned home, and the romance was reignited. They were married
the summer after graduation and went to California for a year to get their Master’s Degrees. I
visited them when I was out there visiting my friend Rae, who lived in LA at the time. When she
and Walter returned home, I invited them to go swimming at Lake Sebago in Bear Mountain
State Park. She asked if she could bring Walter’s brother Karl, who liked to swim. (She knew I
hated blind dates so never mentioned anything.) I said that was no problem. I would make a
couple of extra sandwiches, etc. We had a lovely day, and before they all went back to NYC,
Karl told me he had two tickets to “Three Penny Opera” at the Theater de Lys and would I like to
go. I said I would love to go.
So that was the beginning of our romance. We were married ten months later and spent a two
month honeymoon in Europe! As a teacher, I had the summer off, and Karl took a leave of
absence from his architectural firm. So much for “crushes!”




My First Crush - Lydia


By the time I was in the 8 th grade I was I was already 5’7” tall. I towered
over all my classmates even the boys, except for one, Marty Spivak. Not
only was he taller than I but he was also blond and good looking. Where do
you find a blond boy in a Yeshiva? At any rate because we were the tallest in
the class we were always next to each other in line, in assembly, and in
classrooms. (This was a modern yeshiva and boys and girls did study
together.) How great was that!
Marty lived in a big house on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. I figured he
must be rich because all the rich Jews lived on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn.
The best thing about that was that I lived only two blocks away. Good
excuse to do homework together when we could. One day Marty asked me
if I wanted to stay awhile after we finished our homework. OMG! A date
with my crush. I was just under 13 at the time.
Know what our first date was? Marty was athletic and I was a tomboy. You
couldn’t top that. We went fence climbing. That was my first and last “date”
with Marty but I will never forget it.





WEEK 5: PROMPT # 10 

When I picked up my high school yearbook, I was transported back to 1958, holding the book under my arm as I wandered the halls of William Penn High School in Harrisburg, PA looking for friends to sign it.  What was high school like for you? Do you recognize the people in your yearbook? Do you recognize yourself? What do the things people wrote remind you of?

Stories Submitted

MY PERFECT PET - Gail


Growing up in a large apartment building in New York City was a perfect excuse for my mom not wanting us to have a dog.
Needless to say, she was concerned that she would wind up being the mother to our four legged pet, feeding it, walking it,
and all the care it would require. My mom grew up with Brownie, her dog, and she knew all the responsibilities involved.
Not just for a day, but for many years going forward. No amount of pleading by myself and my brother would ever
convince her that we would care for this new addition to our family. My mom held strong and steadfast, that there would
never be a dog as long as we lived in the apartment.
We had the usual goldfish, turtles, parakeets and tropical fish over the years. The novelty of having these creatures and
critters on and off during my childhood brought a lot of excitement and joy into our lives. Admittedly. it was all short lived,
and we were always looking forward to the next. Having a dog was never off the short list. It always seemed unlikely that
our wish would ever come true until…...
One night our dog wish was answered. With no forewarning, my father brought home a dog. I can’t recall every hearing
or seeing my mother and father argue and disagree on anything so vehemently as they did over this dog. Apparently he
had not discussed this surprise with her and she went crazy!!
My brother and I were hysterical hearing her say the dog goes! We knew she meant it. My father was crushed, and so
were we. Fortunately, we had a neighbor who always wanted a dog. My dad, my brother and I went stomping down to
these neighbors to see if they would take care of this adorable dog who we already named Blackie. We lucked out! A
wonderful home was found in the matter of minutes.
My brother and I had all the advantages of having a dog, visiting it whenever, walking it, playing with Blackie, and getting
and giving the love a pet provides. We knew Blackie was in a loving home just a few floors below. It was the PERFECT
DOG.
Fast Forward to 2020-21
The pandemic has once again reminded me of the love and comfort a pet can bring into a life.
This summer I really did get the PERFECT PET. Brownie entered my life at a time when I needed a companion,
unconditional love, and without all the other responsibilities of having a live dog.
I purchased a Chocolate Lab, a breathable dog aka THE PERFECT PET that does all this on a D battery. You might say I
have come full circle. Brownie will never know the excitement and joy he brings into my life each day. (other Brownies are
available on Amazon, enjoy)




MY FAVORITE PET - CLAIRE


I was 9 and in 4th grade and we were moving to Queens. I would no longer be able to
walk to my grandparents’ house but I would have my own room in the new apartment.
And, it was new. The whole neighborhood was new. The streets were not even paved
yet. And, most of all, I’d be going to a new school. Time was drawing near, boxes
were being packed, and then one day, the movers came.
I’m not sure when exactly I found out that my little dog, Sandy, couldn’t come with
us. Sandy had been in the family since shortly before I was born so we were growing
up together. Problem was, the management of the new place said, “No dogs allowed.”
We were coming from a 1 bedroom apartment where my parents, my little brother and
I all shared 1 room. We really needed that new apartment in the new neighborhood.
My parents told me that my great aunt would take Sandy to her house. That was
somewhat comforting. I figured that she was still our dog and, hopefully, one day we
could take her to live with us. We were all heartbroken but the rules were the rules.
We settled into our new place. Then one day we got a call. It was my great aunt
calling. She was not going to be able to care for Sandy and had given her to a family
with 2 sons. They knew Sandy because they’d lived in our building in the Bronx. We
visited a few times until that family eventually moved too.
Fast forward about 60 years. Talking to a second cousin of mine and he mentions a
friend of his who, years ago, had a cute little dog named Sandy. He told me about
Sandy’s later years and that she was well cared for and loved. But, oh, how I had
missed her. But she’d had a good life in her later years with a family who loved her as
much as we did.





WEEK 6: PROMPT # 11 

Some say a sibling is a friend for life.  What about you? Were you co-conspirators or sworn enemies?  What about the time you covered for each other or a secret you shared?  You can choose at what age, which sibling, just one or all of them. Feel free to replace sibling with cousin or another family member or a best friend.

Stories Submitted

MY PERFECT PET - Gail


Growing up in a large apartment building in New York City was a perfect excuse for my mom not wanting us to have a dog.
Needless to say, she was concerned that she would wind up being the mother to our four legged pet, feeding it, walking it,
and all the care it would require. My mom grew up with Brownie, her dog, and she knew all the responsibilities involved.
Not just for a day, but for many years going forward. No amount of pleading by myself and my brother would ever
convince her that we would care for this new addition to our family. My mom held strong and steadfast, that there would
never be a dog as long as we lived in the apartment.
We had the usual goldfish, turtles, parakeets and tropical fish over the years. The novelty of having these creatures and
critters on and off during my childhood brought a lot of excitement and joy into our lives. Admittedly. it was all short lived,
and we were always looking forward to the next. Having a dog was never off the short list. It always seemed unlikely that
our wish would ever come true until…...
One night our dog wish was answered. With no forewarning, my father brought home a dog. I can’t recall every hearing
or seeing my mother and father argue and disagree on anything so vehemently as they did over this dog. Apparently he
had not discussed this surprise with her and she went crazy!!
My brother and I were hysterical hearing her say the dog goes! We knew she meant it. My father was crushed, and so
were we. Fortunately, we had a neighbor who always wanted a dog. My dad, my brother and I went stomping down to
these neighbors to see if they would take care of this adorable dog who we already named Blackie. We lucked out! A
wonderful home was found in the matter of minutes.
My brother and I had all the advantages of having a dog, visiting it whenever, walking it, playing with Blackie, and getting
and giving the love a pet provides. We knew Blackie was in a loving home just a few floors below. It was the PERFECT
DOG.
Fast Forward to 2020-21
The pandemic has once again reminded me of the love and comfort a pet can bring into a life.
This summer I really did get the PERFECT PET. Brownie entered my life at a time when I needed a companion,
unconditional love, and without all the other responsibilities of having a live dog.
I purchased a Chocolate Lab, a breathable dog aka THE PERFECT PET that does all this on a D battery. You might say I
have come full circle. Brownie will never know the excitement and joy he brings into my life each day. (other Brownies are
available on Amazon, enjoy)




MY FAVORITE PET - CLAIRE


I was 9 and in 4th grade and we were moving to Queens. I would no longer be able to
walk to my grandparents’ house but I would have my own room in the new apartment.
And, it was new. The whole neighborhood was new. The streets were not even paved
yet. And, most of all, I’d be going to a new school. Time was drawing near, boxes
were being packed, and then one day, the movers came.
I’m not sure when exactly I found out that my little dog, Sandy, couldn’t come with
us. Sandy had been in the family since shortly before I was born so we were growing
up together. Problem was, the management of the new place said, “No dogs allowed.”
We were coming from a 1 bedroom apartment where my parents, my little brother and
I all shared 1 room. We really needed that new apartment in the new neighborhood.
My parents told me that my great aunt would take Sandy to her house. That was
somewhat comforting. I figured that she was still our dog and, hopefully, one day we
could take her to live with us. We were all heartbroken but the rules were the rules.
We settled into our new place. Then one day we got a call. It was my great aunt
calling. She was not going to be able to care for Sandy and had given her to a family
with 2 sons. They knew Sandy because they’d lived in our building in the Bronx. We
visited a few times until that family eventually moved too.
Fast forward about 60 years. Talking to a second cousin of mine and he mentions a
friend of his who, years ago, had a cute little dog named Sandy. He told me about
Sandy’s later years and that she was well cared for and loved. But, oh, how I had
missed her. But she’d had a good life in her later years with a family who loved her as
much as we did.





WEEK 6: PROMPT # 12

What was your family doctor like?  Was he kind and friendly or were you scared when you had to see him?  Did he give out lollipops if you were good?  And oh, those shots!

Stories Submitted

I REMEMBER GOING TO THE DOCTOR-Janet


In Harrisburg where I grew up our family had one doctor. He was a jack-of-all-trades, taking
care of everything and everyone in the household, from babies to the elderly. If my mother
called, he would come to the house any time of day or night, and we often went to his one person
office for scheduled visits. Several visits stick out in my memory.
When I was 12 years old, I woke up one morning and was unable to walk. I had terrible pain in
the backs of my feet. I was lying on the living room couch, moaning, when Dr Viener arrived.
He examined me and asked what kind of shoes I had been wearing. I showed him my new flip
flops, which I had worn most of the previous day. Sure enough, it was a strain from the shoes.
In junior high school I had an assignment to write my autobiography. Having completed the
contents, I wanted to create a hard cover to make it look like a book, so I took the cover from a
children’s picture book and was trying to sew it together when the sewing needle broke and a
part of it lodged in my finger. Off we went to Dr Viener who had to numb my finger in order to
remove it.
School physicals were given every other year until the 8 th grade. They checked our height,
weight, glands, and I don’t recall what else. As the school doctor was examining me, I
overheard what he dictated to the nurse to write in my chart, “Supra pubic mass.” I hurried back
to my classroom and wrote down what I had heard, fearful that I would forget it. When I got
home I told my mother. Immediately she called Dr Viener who said, ‘Bring her right down,” As
he examined me, I remember him telling my mother that if he didn’t know me and my family, he
might suspect pregnancy but in my case it was probably just a full bladder. He was my doctor
until I left Harrisburg in 1958 and he was an honored guest at my wedding three years later.





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