One year ago, my Second Generation group (daughters of Holocaust survivors) celebrated the launch of “Tears and Tequila” complete with the most incredible cake. We’ve been meeting for the past 10 years and have shared the many ways in which we’re ‘different the same’ as a result of our parents’ common experiences. On this night, one year ago, I felt more deeply seen, heard and acknowledged than ever. I could feel our parents watching over us as we laughed and I can see the love in all of our eyes when I look at this photo. Thank you, Darlene Basch, for leading our group so wonderfully well. Thank you, Judith Chorub Gurian, for throwing the best book party ever. Thank you to all of our parents, who survived terrible tragedies and yet raised resilient daughters. I am so very grateful for the gifts we were given and the friendships we share.
Long ago, in a Galaxy far away (Fishkill, NY) I lived in a white house with green shutters up a 1/2 mile dirt road on a 250 acre piece of land, including a peach orchard. We kept bees, had a 40 x 40 foot garden and heated the house with wood. Those were some of the best years of my life. Here’s the proof. #backtotheland
It’s been an amazing ‘old home week’ on the east coast. In Westport, I’m staying at the beautiful home of my childhood friend, Lucy, which whom I share so much history and who spearheaded the event at The Westport Library. And who should happen to walk into the Library as I was talking? My best friend from P.S. 87, Cynthia, who lives nearby. Here we are at age 7, in my kitchen and last night, in Lucy’s living room, after a great time together.
At the end of her life, my mother, Austrian emigre artist Greta Schreyer (1917-2005), painted a series of 6 burning wooden synagogues. These synagogues burned on Kristallnacht, six months after my mother said goodbye to her parents at a train station in Vienna, never to see them again.
Yesterday morning the LA Museum of the Holocaust came to see them, along with some of the other works of art I inherited when my mother died. Fingers crossed that these paintings find the right home!
The peach orchard where I used to live in Fishkill, New York. Back in the day. B/W painted by dearest Tibor Gergely, legendary children’s book illustrator and honorary member of our family. Watercolor by artist Greta Schreyer, my mother. #peace #peaches #livingmydream #honoringthesetwoartists #family#missingthem
When I was all of 22 I decided I wanted to teach. But I only wanted to teach in a school like Summerhill, which I’d read about and loved. I learned of such a school nearby, in Rockland County, where I lived at the time. I walked in, met the four teachers who’d started it a year earlier, began to volunteer the following week and ended up teaching there for the next 7 years. Those 4 teachers are in this photo, taken at a reunion 5 years ago. Our students are still in touch with us. We all, teachers, students, parents changed each other’s lives. Jim, you were/are the heart of the school. Can’t wait to be together in May.