Saturday, May 28, 2022

COLLEGE BREAK, 1952...First trip to California

(Note: I am very aware of all the horrible things that are going on in our country right now and I know that it can't be all the fault of Trump, but his lies have made it OK for the very scum of our citizenship to surface and  wreak their hatred and racism upon us.  I am 89 years old and pray that I can live long enough to vote against them all.  In the meantime I will continue to share my memories in the hopes they will give you a brief reprieve as they do for me.)


When I was between my Sophomore and Junior years in college I spent the summer break in California. A classmate and I traveled there from Massachusetts by Greyhound and I will never forget that l-o-o-o-ng bus trip. There were many stops but only two of them gave us enough time to shower and wash our hair.. Gayle and I decided we’d “beat the system” and save 25c in the bargain. . We crowded together in one booth…vying with each other for every drop of precious water. The only problem was that the booth had a door that reached only half-way to the floor & the attendant saw our four legs. We ended up paying the full price after all!

The trip took 5 days and by the time we landed in Los Angeles our ankles had swollen to twice their size and we could hardly walk. We were met by my beautiful slim sister and her handsome Danish husband. They looked like an advertisement for the good life in California, as compared to us, the pasty complexioned and fat relatives from the East.

An active day or two got us back to our normal selves, however, and we did manage to get jobs as waitresses in the historic Pierpont Inn, in Ventura, overlooking the ocean. (In the photo that’s Gayle (on the left) and me in our waitress garb.) 

It was hard work. We were taught to carry the big trays, loaded with food, balanced on our shoulder. By the end of the summer my right arm was actually larger than the left. But, the ambience and the clientele were delightful and the tips were plentiful…enough to enable us to fly home!.

A memorable Pierpont moment was the night that I had the actor Rory Calhoun as a customer. 

The Pierpont was often visited by celebrities but it was seldom that I had a chance to wait on them…they were usually assigned to the older waitresses. Rory was dressed in his usual outfit…white cowboy boots, white pants & fancy white shirt. I emphasize the “white” because it was hardly that after I spilled chilled gazpacho on it. I tripped and upset a whole tray of the tomato-based soup into his lap. What a gentleman he proved to be!  He insisted that I remain as his waitress and left me a huge tip!

That was truly a magical summer…hard work, sun, sand, ocean and my first chance to explore this amazing country of ours.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Our “L’il Marco” at the Bocce Restaurant, 1959


Dick and I were married in 1958 and living in New York city. Our favorite Italian restaurant was a place where you entered through a neighborhood bar and then into the back room which featured an indoor Bocce court. It was so much fun to enjoy a magnificent Italian dinner while watching the men compete.

About 2 months after our first son Mark was  born we decided to treat ourselves to a night out at "il Vagabondo" and we took him with us. The bar was very crowded that night and we knew many of the locals by sight. Many of them were elderly Italian men and their eyes lit up when they saw Mark and they wanted to know what we had named him. Of course he became “L’il Marco” to them and they insisted that we leave him with them and go in and enjoy our dinner.

I suppose that sounds a bit shocking in today’s world, but we felt very secure leaving Mark with them. Even when we were seated at a table in the next room we could hear them “ooing” and “ahhing” over “L’il Marco” as they passed him gently around the bar. When it was time to leave I remember that our usually good baby started to cry and I was amazed. In a very short time he had come to love those rough old men and he hated to leave. I felt the same way.

In 2008 Mark and I actually took a trip to Italy and we often enjoyed watching and listening as the elderly Italians laughed and gestured their way through a conversation. I told Mark how it reminded me of the magical night when he became "L'il Marco" and was held in the loving arms of the same type of old Italian men just like these.

Thursday, May 19, 2022



Some of the best conversations I have ever enjoyed have been around the dining room table. 

This was particularly true of my childhood home. As my Dad used to say, 'When the body is fed the mind follows".  By the mid 40’s none of us had left home yet so our dining room table was always full. It was very large…room enough to seat 10 comfortably. We needed that space because we were 5 girls, (separated in age by 8 years!), my mother and father, and a never ending assortment of boyfriends and other guests.

Everyone was welcome and it was understood that if you stayed for dinner you would participate in the lively discussions and games that followed. The menu might be scant, due to the Depression, rationing or lack of funds, but, the enthusiasm was abundant.

One of our favorite games revolved around the Dictionary. One person would hold the opened book on their lap, eyes closed and point to a word. It was then up to all the participants to define the word and the winner was the one who came closest to the actual definition in the dictionary. An example might be: the word PICOT. (Typical answers could be: “a small bed”, “a quaint saying”, “ used to make a fancy fence”…etc.) Of course the actual definition is “ornamental loops in embroidery”. It was not only an amusing game but it helped to increase our vocabulary and to promote an interest in words. 

Another high-light of those evenings were the discussions. We would relate our day’s events, talk about world or national events or just plain listen. The 1940'swere tough years, but my parents made them magical for me and my four sisters.  

 What a lucky little girl I was.

Thursday, May 12, 2022


Dick and I married on August 23,1958 in New York City. We didn't have the time nor money for a traditional honeymoon but living in Manhattan was just as good. Here we are in one of our favorite places … Central Park. 

We loved it there and would sit for hours overlooking the lake, reading, talking about the future and just plain people watching. If we waited long enough the entire world would pass before us. Concerts were staged weekly and I remember that it was there that we saw Peter, Paul & Mary, The Mills Brothers and Johnny Mathis to name just a few.
The Children's Zoo was one of our favorite spots in Central Park and we would meet there often after our work was over for the day. Watching the children at the Zoo was almost as much fun as watching the animals.

I have so many fond memories of that time in my life. Just imagine … we had an ongoing honeymoon in Central Park and most of it didn't cost a dime.

Saturday, May 07, 2022



In 1973 my family and I were living in a small town in upstate New York. (The picture shows our oldest son feeding the German Shorthaired puppies that we were breeding then.)

We'd moved from New York city about a year earlier and it was a great change. For one thing we didn’t entertain like we had while living there but, on this particular night, we were having a sit-down dinner for 12 couples. It was a snowy November evening and all of our guests had arrived, but where was my husband? He and our son (pictured here) had gone out hunting early in the day. Now it was well past dark and still no sign of them.

I was starting to get panicky but then I heard a car door slam and knew they were home. We all went to greet them and watched as they carefully lifted Dick’s hunting jacket out of the back of the Blazer. It seemed to be heavy and it took the two of them to carry it inside. 
That was when we heard the tiny yapping sounds and realized that his jacket was full of newborn pups. There must have been 7 or 8 of them and Dick explained what had transpired.

He had noticed a pregnant dog about 4 weeks earlier and every time he went into the woods he would call to her and they became friends. A few days before our party Dick noticed that the mother would not come to his call and he assumed that she must be having, or already had, her puppies. So it was a shock when Dick and Mark stumbled onto the body of the mother. She had most likely been killed by a ruthless hunter who saw movement in the brush and assumed that it was a deer. They were devastated and then their next thought was, “where are the pups?” They finally located them scrunched into a hollow log covered with snow and they extricated them one by one and bundled them in Dick’s jacket. 

You can imagine the rest of the story. We took turns sitting on the kitchen floor, fancy dress clothes and all, cuddling the pups and feeding warm milk to them. So it became a “sit-down” dinner party after all and, to top it off, one of the guests was a journalist. He wrote an article that tugged at the heart strings of many readers and all of our little “orphan pups" were adopted into good homes.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Barbra begins the journey ...


In 1961 my husband and I lived in NY City. We had two small children and were in an apartment on the 11th floor of an old building on West 94th St. Television was coming in to it’s own by then and we loved to watch “The Jack Paar Show” after the evening news. (This, of course, is the TV success that became “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

I can remember so clearly a night when I was watching alone and my husband was in the next room doing paperwork. As I recall Jack Paar was not hosting that night and there were no big name guests listed to be interviewed.

Then the temporary host introduced the next guest who was a singer with the strange name of Barbra Streisand. (I was sure that a cast member was responsible for the misspelling !) He explained that this was her TV debut and that she would be singing her interpretation of the old Tin Pan Alley standard “Happy Days Are Here Again”.  This didn’t grab me particularly since, although I liked the lilting tune, I couldn’t see how this was an appropriate song for a singer trying to break in to the “big time”.

Then Barbra walked on stage, the lights dimmed and the orchestra played very softly in the background as she started to sing. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She sang this normally upbeat song very, very slowly and each note was pure as a bell. I called to my husband and we listened, entranced, as she continued to sing and ended on a single note that seemed to go on forever. There was dead silence in the room and then the audience exploded … as did we, the two of us sitting alone in our apartment and clapping to beat the band.

I have never experienced another pop singer who impressed me as much as Barbra did that night. I was not at all surprised to read that her debut album “The Barbra Streisand Album”, released early in 1963 and including her rendition of “Happy Days” was voted Album of the Year and won three Grammy Awards.