Thursday, December 12, 2019

My GYPSY escapade … (1959)

son Mark was born on July 3rd, 1959, in New York City at Lenox Hill Hospital and it was also the setting for one of the strangest scenarios that I’ve ever been privy to.

The day before I was having labor pains and Dick and I went to the hospital where we were told to wait in the Admissions office. No sooner had we sat down when the doors opened and a group of at least a dozen people came in. The women and little girls were dressed in colorful long skirts and bright scarves. The men sported white shirts with ruffles, cowboy-style boots and hats with ribbons that circled the stiff brims and fell over their shoulders.

The central figure was a lovely young girl with pitch-black hair that cascaded over
her extended belly. She was as pregnant as I, but I felt very dowdy compared to her and envied the amount of attention that was showered upon her. It was obvious that she was closer to giving birth than I was, so when the admissions gal came out of her office I told her to go ahead and admit her first. The group was effusive in their thanks and we chatted away like old friends until it was her time to go upstairs.

Now it was my turn to be admitted and I asked the clerk if she knew who they were? She gave me a condescending look and then explained that they were “gypsies”. She advised me to keep an eye on my belongings “if I insisted on communicating with them.” Her superior attitude and bias really annoyed me and made me all the more anxious to continue my friendship with them.

As luck would have it the gypsy girl was in the room next to mine and we both had uncomplicated and easy births. When her baby was less than 8 hours old she brought him to my bedside and we laughed as we patted his perfect little head covered with black hair.
It was about 9 pm and I was exhausted so soon after her visit I fell asleep. When I woke I was surprised to see that all the overhead lights were on in the hallway. There also seemed to be a buzz of activity going on and I realized that they hadn’t brought my baby to me yet. “What’s going on?” I called to one of the nurses and she stopped long enough to say, “Your 'friend' and her baby are gone but don’t ask me how she managed it. They just disappeared.”

I learned later that this was par for the course with the gypsy community. I enjoyed being part of the intrigue, however, and never did tell anyone that my watch, which had been on my bed-side table, had mysteriously disappeared that night, too.


Blogger Marie Smith said...

You’ve had such fascinating encounters, Ginnie.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Consider the watch as payment for a good blog 60 years later.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Years ago I had a delightful encounter with a band of Gypsies that helped me and my sick car travel safely to a town where I got help. There was good and bad in your experience but I can still feel the warmth from your meeting.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

from my friend Jan:

What a fun story - well, except for the watch part.
You have had some interesting experiences!

11:08 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

When I was in my first year of nursing school, the hospital parking lot was filled with people standing and walking around. I soon learned that their gypsy queen was a patient and gravely ill. The people remained assembled day and night until she died. Then they were suddenly gone. I never learned exactly who they or where they traveled.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

That was quite the story, Ginnie, and I agree with Jan's comment that you have had some very interesting experiences. Sorry to learn that your watch also left with the woman.

5:26 PM  

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