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Purim 2020 Play

Is it Purim season already? A crazy upside down year of covrona distancing has passed and it is time for my latest annual play to be preformed. This time in ZOOM-O-VISION.

SUSANNA IN THE SUNFLOWER GARDEN
An original play based on a tale in the ancient apocrypha

by
Priss Prisstofferson


Dramatis Personae
ESTHER Whom we know from the Megillah
CHELSEA Susanna’s mother
SUSANNA Our smart and headstrong heroine
JABBA AND VOLDEMORT Two villainous snakes, may their names be blotted out.
EMILY AND CHARLOTTE Sisters-in-law and chaperones
JUDGE JUDY Perceptive like unto none
DANIEL Our brother
Non Speaking roles
MARC SUSANNA’s Father
JOAKIM SUSANNA’s Husband
Act One - The Day Begins
ESTHER: My name is ESTHER. You know me from the Megillah scroll. Before I was even born, one of my grandmothers paved the way for my story. She dwelt in ancient Babylon and her name was SUSANNA, the daughter of CHELSEA and MARC

ESTHER: It is 7:00 in the morning. SUSANNA and her mother CHELSEA are having a cup of tea together before getting on with the rest of their daily schedules. It may have been in person or perhaps it was over a video conference. Who can tell in these turbulent times where social distancing is sometimes in fashion?

CHELSEA: My dear daughter SHOSHANAH, is everything well with you today?

SUSANNA: Yes, of course IMA. But I am busy. So busy. My husband JOAKIM’s family is staying with us and my hostessing duties are nonstop. And now I need to pack some sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches for my children’s lunch.

CHELSEA: Sunflower butter. Is that what’s on our toast? It’s delicious!

ESTHER: Now in addition to her extended family, SUSANNA also has townspeople coming and going on most days of the week. The front room of her house serves as the courthouse, and her husband is always involved in decisions and deal making. Sometimes SUSANNA helps with interviews and finds it very interesting to see how things get worked out. But in the afternoon, the court is quiet because everyone has gone home for siesta and to prepare their evening meals. Everyone except for two of the respected judges. JABBA and VOLDERMORT.

ESTHER: JABBA pulls VOLDERMORT into the coat room for a private whisper.

Sound effect is sung by all: DUN DUN DUNNN

JABBA: Seeing SUSANNA here every day is so very tempting.
VOLDERMORT: She certainly would be tasty.
JABBA: I just need to see just a little bit more of her.
VOLDERMORT: There’s no need for us to leave just yet. I have a notion of a plan to set in motion.

Act Two - Afternoon in the Garden
ESTHER: SUSANNA being done with her busy morning plans for a stroll in the garden. The custom is that her sisters-in-law will come along.

SUSANNA: EMILY and CHARLOTTE, I’m going outside to tend my sunflowers. Can you keep an eye on things inside for me?

EMILY: Naturally, we will come along to keep you company.

CHARLOTTE: We need to come along. We wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to you.

SUSANNA: The chances anything going wrong are so minuscule. And if the worst happened, say, a fiery meteor fell from the heavens and consumed every blade of lawn, I don’t think having you with me would be much protection.

ESTHER: So despite protestations, the three went out and circled the path.
SUSANNA watered plants and dug out weeds. The sunflowers were growing gloriously.

Sing song #1 here
ESTHER: After working in the garden, it was SUSANNA’s custom to bathe. Before indoor plumbing, bathing was an outdoor activity.

CHARLOTTE: SUSANNA, I have set out your pitchers of water.

EMILY: Here are the new towels. So fluffy!

SUSANNA: You will both need to run back into the house. I need you to bring me a new loofah sponge, and my shampoo bottle is almost empty!

ESTHER: The two went back inside leaving SUSANNA to her quiet contemplation of nature as she prepared for her bath. The minute that they were gone, JABBA and VOLDERMORT came out of the bushes.

Sound effect is sung by all: DUN DUN DUNNN


JABBA: Oh SUSANNA! I have watched you every day in court and I know that we were meant to be together. Now that we are alone, we can lie down together right now.

VOLDERMORT: Oh SUSANNA! I have been in love with you since I first saw you. And today we can finally be together.

SUSANNA: NO. This is not OK. You both need to leave.

JABBA: You can cooperate, or we may do you harm.

SUSANNA: In addition to the danger to my life, falling into your evil grasp would destroy my reputation in the community. It would truly be a fate worse than death.

ESTHER: So SUSANNA cried out to her husband JOAKIM, and to her dismissed chaperones.

SUSANNA: JOAKIM, EMILY, CHARLOTTE come help me! There are snakes in the garden.

ESTHER: Her family members came running and made sure that she was covered up as they asked about what happened. The EVIL SNAKES were eager to tell their sides of the story. It was a very serious matter. They were accusing SUSANNA of infidelity to her marriage. SUSANNA prayed to the Lord to give her strength. She was facing the possibility of being put to death.

Act Three - A Legal Matter
ESTHER: A court was set up and the TWO SNAKES began their statements. They said that they were only passing by on their way to their respective homes and somehow happened to see into SUSANNA’s garden. JUDGE JUDY presided.

JUDGE JUDY: I find it very unlikely that you just happened, JUST HAPPENED to see into SUSANNA’s back yard. It sounds like you were voyeuristically snooping. That would be punishable under Babylonian law.

VOLDERMORT: There was an opening in the trees, and a sound of commotion.

JUDGE JUDY: In the future, even if there is LOCO-MOTION, keep your eyes away from private property. OK, continue.

JABBA: And following the direction of the loco-sound we saw the fair SUSANNA lying with a young man. A man that she was not married to!

Sound effect is sung by all: DUN DUN DUNNN

JUDGE JUDY: OK, let’s hear from the defense.

ESTHER: Now SUSANNA had found a skilled attorney. It was none other than DANIEL. The very same DANIEL who tamed lions in their dens and interpreted the dreams of King Nebuchadnezzar.
DANIEL: To get the most information from our witnesses I will need to question them separately.

JUDGE JUDY: So ordered! Please remove JABBA offstage to wait in a SOUNDPROOF BOOTH.

ESTHER: When this was done, the questioning continued.

DANIEL: VOLDERMORT, When you saw SUSANNA and the young man in the heat of the afternoon, what part of the garden were they in?

VOLDERMORT: I can still see the scene in my mind. Their bodies tangled together under the shade of a dogwood sapling like the dogs that they are.

DANIEL: No further questions. When the first witness is moved to the SOUNDPROOF BOOTH I will begin to question the second one.

DANIEL: JABBA, When you saw SUSANNA and the young man in the heat of the afternoon, what tree in the garden did they shelter under?

JABBA: They thrashed about powerfully beneath a mighty redwood.

DANIEL: Thank you, that will conclude all questions. May all here in this courtroom observe that the two trees mentioned by the accusers are quite different. The first, being of a nature light and delicate, and the second being one of the tallest and most weighty trees in the world. NEITHER ONE OF WHICH IS PLANTED IN THIS GARDEN. I therefore call upon you to conclude that if there were no trees, then there was no young man. In this garden were TWO SNAKES who are a danger to all women in the community!

JUDGE JUDY: Having heard all of the evidence, I declare SUSANNA to be innocent of all charges. Furthermore, I sentence the TWO SNAKES to CANCEL CULTURE-ization. Their real names shall be removed from all documents, scrolls, and clay tablets whether holy or profane.

ESTHER: And so SUSANNA/SHOSHANA went home to her husband and to her children. We remember her when we teach our children to use the buddy system, and every time that we look at a sunflower.
Sing song #2 as a finale
Song 1

When you're outside in nature
It's an escape from it all
Sometimes you find a flower blooming behind the garden wall
And you know that soon you will
Be warm and free
And the sun will bring a bliss of pure vitality

Spring is when we plant sunflowers
They're ready to pick before you know
In between we can enjoy the sunny golden glow
The forest fierce is on the march
Advance of snake and crow
Safety isn't given. Is survival just lotto?

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky

SONG 2
It was a sunny afternoon in a suburb of Babylon
When SUSANNA went into the garden to have a stroll
Among the flowers and bees and leaves was a sense of seclusion
But that privacy turned out to be just an illusion


A pair of snakes soon came bounding over the wall
Did SUSANNA have help that she could call?
It took quick thinking to fend off this breach of protocol
Hesitation could mean an Edenic fall.

The sunflower petals glow like a flame
Every plant and bird sings out the Holy Name
In the garden of Eden we frolic with no sense of shame
It’s a pastoral painting circled by a golden frame

This story in our history was considered too ribald to see
We might take it as suggestion in how to go astray
Instead looking at its positives for how we want to be
Value set on goodness, truth, and family.

The sunflower petals glow like a flame
Every plant and bird sings out the Holy Name
In the garden of Eden we can frolic with no sense of shame
It’s a pastoral painting circled by a golden frame
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Esther’s Donkey Purim Spiel 2019

As usual, the Pr1ss Journal gets dusted off for my annual Purim Play, available only here on Livejournal, or in-person performances.

Esther’s Donkey
Purim Spiel 2019
Seattle Washington

Dramatis Personae
NARRATOR – A Spiel Maker ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
ESTHER – A Princess with the mostest ------------------------------------------------------------ ________________
KING ELVIS-BLUE-SHOE-WEAR-US – A Middling Musician ------------------------------- ________________
The Royal Donkey – Hee Haw! ---------------------------------------------------------------------_________________
BOUDRIAN – A mostly mute Donkey Trainer -------------------------------------------------- ________________
MAMA-DE-CHAI – A lively Yoga teacher -------------------------------------------------------- ________________
The Gimmel-Toes – Groupies? Fans? Who Knows? ---- __________ and ___________and ___________
HAm-AND-EGGS – From This, You Don’t Want to Nibble ---------------------------------- ________________
PROPS – Donkey Treats! Now in Gluten-Free.


Written by Priss
Based on an Original concept by The Megillah-ist

Accompaniment Provided by
THE MADDY UKULELE ORCHESTRA

Additional Acting and Singing Provided by
A CAST OF THOUSANDS




Esther’s Donkey Purim Spiel 2019
NARRATOR:
Like the Tigress and the Euphrates flow
Surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things, were meant to be.
A long time ago,( or perhaps far in the future) in the land of Tennessee a young woman named Esther was growing up on the wrong side of Interstate-5 next door to her Mama-de-Chai’s Yoga and Pilates studio. She felt expected to follow in the flexible footsteps of her ancestors, and yet was mysteriously drawn to all things four-footed.
Mama-de-Chai: Esther, will you be able to teach yoga classes this morning? I have some meetings that I’d like to attend.
Esther: Of course Mama-de-Chai! Then I will head over to the stables this afternoon. There is much riding and mucking out to attend to.
NARRATOR: Across town in a castle called Graceland, Elvis-Blue-Shoe-Wear-us was holding court. His mostly female admirers the Gimmel-Toes hovered around him.
G1: Oh King Elvis, your shoes are adorable!
G2: Oh King Elvis, your cloak is magnificent!
G3: Oh King Elvis, you’re just the best king ever!
King Elvis: You’re the best party dolls ever!
And I’m Just a Hunka-Hunka Burning Love.

NARRATOR: Later that day Elvis-Blue-Shoe-Wear-us met with his shady business manager, a man called Ham-and-Eggs. (Grogger time!)
Ham-and-Eggs: My Royal King, your songs are all being down-loaded by fans from websites such as King-sta gram and Soup-tube! Record sales are now something from ancient history.
King Elvis: Ham-and-Eggs, I need to my income to Rush In. Without it, Graceland Castle will fall apart and start to look like Heartbreak Hotel!
Ham-and-Eggs: Have you ever considered branching out into other fields? Your white horse named George Washington might do well as a racer?
Ham-and-Eggs: (To the audience) My Plan is to secretly lame George Washington, the King’s white horse and then bet against him! (dun dun dun!) I’ll be rich! The Gimmel-Toes will flock to my side, and Graceland Castle will be re-named Ham-and-Egg Castle!!!
NARRATOR: George Washington, the King’s white horse began to win races near and far. Soon Ham-and-Eggs was called in again to speak with the King.
King Elvis: With you at my side, my fame and fortune has grown. You’re a regular Good Luck Charm. How could I express my appreciation?
Ham-and-Eggs: I would like to ride down Interstate 5 on your royal white horse so that all will know that the King has me in his favor.
King Elvis: I will schedule a gratitude parade. Wise Men will say, this is a person whom the King desires to honor.

NARRATOR: In some way, and we don’t know exactly how she did it, Esther caught wind of the evil plan of Ham-and-Eggs as she went about her chores in the Tennessee stable. Esther arranged for George Washington, the King’s white horse, to travel to Kentucky to begin training for a big race.
When the day came for the parade, instead of a white horse, the Royal Donkey and his trainer Boudrian showed up at the Freeway on-ramp. Ham-and-Eggs refused to set foot in the donkey cart and walked away in a huff.
Donkey: That was very rude! My rides are every bit as wonderful as George Washington the white horse gives. Even more wonderful!
Boudrian: (Nods) Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw!
Audience: (Nodding)Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw!
Donkey: You know, after a day like this, I really deserve a Donkey Treat.
Boudrian: (Shakes his head no.) Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw!
Audience: (Shaking heads no.) Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw!
Donkey: OK, OK, I’ll sing the song.
Keep your Donkey extra sweet
Give them Donkey-Treat
Boudrian: Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw! (Hands over a Donkey-Treat)
(Audience repeats the song)
Keep your Donkey extra sweet
Give them Donkey-Treat
Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw!
Narrator: Ham-and-Eggs was so angry that his subtle plan had been foiled, that he raised a rabble and attempted to invade Graceland Castle.
Mama-de-Chai: It’s Now or Never, we must defend Graceland.
Narrator: Mama-de-Chai and Esther, whose yoga studio was actually a school of Krav Maga, already had their students in place to put down the uprising. Ham-and-Eggs and his ten sons were soon Dancing to the Jailhouse Rock, Dancing to the Jailhouse Rock

Afterwards, Esther led the crowd in a song of thanks that their lives had been spared.

Ani Ma'amin D Bm A G
Priss Prisstofferson

(Intro)
Stories of heroes
Who lived long ago
Create inspiration
For how we live today
(Verse)
If we aspire to a Messianic age
Or to do mitzvoth right now
Our faith is what gives us the strength to go on
Our community is alive

(Chorus)
Ani ma'amin
b'emunah sh'leimah
Ani ma'amin
b'viat hamashiach
Ani ma'amin
b'emunah sh'leimah
We remember the heroes
Ani ma'amin

(Coda)
Remembering Esther
Purim 2019

Epilogue
King Elvis: Esther, after all that we have been through together, I can’t help Falling in Love with You.
Esther: I feel that way too. I’ll Let You Be, My Teddy Bear.
Narrator: Going forward, instead of pop music or horse racing, our royal couple concentrated on their Donkey-Treat bakery. And so, in closing we invite you and all of your donkeys to slap on the royal feedbag and enjoy a treat.
Keep your Donkey extra sweet
Give them Donkey-Treat
Keep your Donkey extra sweet
Give them Donkey-Treat
Hee-Haw!

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PGA LJ Yippie eye yay

Could my eljay blog be alive? On Friday I posted the Purim play that I wrote for 2017. It will be performed next Friday. I'll be in the role of Announcer 1. Plus, I'll be director and costumer and prop manager and vocalist. My daughter Maddy will be the ukulele orchestra, and my son Zbig, will probably be the king. The rest of the roles are up for grabs. The script is super secret until performance night. No plot spoiling rehearsals will happen. After the show, perhaps I shall unlock the post script, so that the world beyond the Livejournal friends list may find it in searches.
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Purim Golf Association

ANNOUNCER 1: This is the PGA! Welcome to the Ancient Persian Gulf Association 18 hole classic contest.
ANNOUNCER 2: OK, I get that this is Ancient Persia. Now, did you mean to say "Gulf" or "Golf"?
A1: Golf, of course! We're here at the Inglemoor Golf course in the Kenmore neighborhood outside of Shushan Persia. Biggy Bigthan and Terry Teresh are squaring off to see who will win the highly coveted Green Jacket.
A2: Do people in Ancient Persia dress in jackets?
A1: OK, let's say that they are squaring off to see who will win the vastly sought after Green Bathrobe. Oh Spokes-model! Please show us the bathrobe.
(Modeling ensues)
(Wooooo!)
A2: Meanwhile, during the golf match, inside the clubhouse, King Achashveyrosh and his Posse were partying like rock stars.
(The King and Posse are holding fancy cups and a large microphone)
(They sing)
Yo ho, yo ho, a golfer’s life for me
Yo ho, yo ho, a golfer’s life for me
We rule the world as all can see from Egypt to Parée
And every day we watch them play, there's such variety
We're never done, it's constant fun, as you can clearly see
Yo ho, yo ho, a golfer’s life for me

KING A: You know my name, Achat-vey-rosh, it means number one and the top of everything.
POSSE: That's amazing!
KING: Or maybe it means something else, I don't know I could be wrong, or I could be right. They say that it means number one and the top of everything. Are you having a good time, my Posse Peeps?
POSSE: I'm having a great time! This is the best party ever.

KING: I'm having a great time too, but I think that this party needs something more. It could really use some dancing girls.
POSSE: (Shaking with fear) King Achashveyrosh, the Dancing Persons Union is out on strike.
KING: They are what???
POSSE: The dancing girls are away for their annual retreat in the woods where they are practicing their art so that they may better entertain you.
A1: But the King knew another dancing girl. He whipped out his iPhone to telephone his wife Vashti. Little did he know, but she was part of the political revolution.
VASHTI: (At another location, gavels her meeting to order) Welcome to Dancers United for BEtter Dollars Union - Local number 18 - abbreviated as DU-BE-DU 18. We have read the minutes and are ready to move on to new business.
(Her fellow dancers applaud.) Excuse me just a minute, the palace is calling me.
VASHTI: No dahling, I'm 100 miles away on Mount Rainier. I'm dancing in the moonlight with my doo-bee-doo ladies. I'll see you on Monday when I get back.
A1: The King's Posse commiserated with him about the absence of his wife Vashti, and they began to mull over the concept of replacing her.
A2: And the party continued, but without any dancing.
(Awwww)
Scene 2
MORDECAI: Esther! I hate it when you watch those staged reality shows. They will rot your brain.
ESTHER: Uncle Mordecai, sometimes these shows have a deeper meaning. I can explain it to you if you are interested.
MORDECAI: I'm always interested in learning new things, please proceed.
ESTHER: This show is called Khloe Kardashian's Royal Body Boot Camp. –the KKRBBC- Young women are being recruited to perfect their appearance and talents until they reach a royal level.
MORDECAI: And when they reach this royal level of fitness, is there some higher purpose?
ESTHER: The king is looking for a new companion. He will be looking over the contestants for someone who is beautiful and entertaining. I’m considering trying out.
MORDECAI: To be truly entertaining, it takes someone who is also smart. This sounds like a worthwhile project!
A2: Esther entered the KKRBBC. At first, she was commuting from home, but then she was asked to move into the palace.
A1: Esther didn’t want to eat the Palace low-carb non-kosher diet. She brought along a doctor’s note explaining that she had been prescribed a vegetarian diet that included pita bread and hummus. This was accepted, and she moved in.
A2: When the day of the contest came along, Esther was chosen as the King’s favorite. She won his heart by demonstrating her talents both musical and athletic.
(Esther HaMalkah Song) http://pr1ss.livejournal.com/177384.htmlhttp://pr1ss.livejournal.com/177384.html
A1: Mordecai came to the palace every day. He waited outside the front gate and Esther came out to visit him when she had a spare minute.
A2: One day while Mordecai was waiting at the gate, the same famous golfers who had been in the tournament were there too. They were talking treason.
TERRY: Biggy, I think that we should take ovah da golf club.
BIGGY: Terry, I’ve always wanted my own golf club! Let’s do it.
A1: Mordecai listened to their plan, and sent a note to the King with all of the details. They were prosecuted, and the golf course was saved!
(Cheers!)
Scene 3
A1: The King’s cabinet included his party posse, and also many advisors. Some of his advisors wanted to make all of the policies and have the King just act as a mouth piece. Perhaps the scariest advisor among the bunch was named ………………. Rasputin!
A2: Rasputin? I’ve been patiently waiting here with my grogger ready and you give me Rasputin??? You know that Rasputin isn’t a grogger-approved name!
A1: OK. Well he did have some other unpleasant cabinet members, and one that you might be interested in was known as Haman.
(Much Grogger noise)
A2: Finally!
A1: Haman was determined to become the King’s best buddy, bestie-bro, best friend forever, bosom boy, banana republican….
A2: I get it!
A1: Haman practiced drinking from a fancy cup, and not gagging on the taste of Sizzurp. He cultivated an appreciation for Ukulele music. He even learned to understand the rules of Gulf, I mean Golf. He became Posse-perfect.
HAMAN: My Royal King, your subjects may need a unifying cause to rally around. This will increase their support for you.
KING: I’m listening.
HAMAN: I find that bigotry is always useful for nation-building.
KING: Haman, I thought that bigotry was old-fashioned and outta style.
Haman: If it’s done in the name of safety and security it can still work.
KING: Does it have any other benefits besides public relations?
HAMAN: It sure does! You get to take all of the wealth of your newly disenfranchised oppressed groups and keep it for yourself.
King: When do we start?

A2: Haman cast lots, which is like rolling dice, to choose a date for his war against the Chosen communities. The name of this Holiday, Purim, means the lots that were cast.
A1: Every day, while Mordecai was waiting at the palace gate to catch a brief visit with Esther, he read the Congressional Record on his Kindle. One fearful day, early in the month of Adar, he read the Community Liquidation Order. He dressed in mourning clothes and dabbed ashes on his face, to signify his distress,
A2: Mordecai worked with Esther to notify the King about the tragedy that was scheduled to happen.
A1: And yes, it all works out well in the end. Mordecai became the King’s most trusted advisor and the communities were authorized and aided in defending themselves. Esther lived happily ever after.
A2: And what happened to you-know-who?
(Haman)
KING: He was fired.
(Mic drop)
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Tomato Story

When I was around six years old, Mom learned how to can produce. She got a pressure cooker, and those one-pint jars with the two-part lids, and she got the pickling seasoning which said on the label, "crab boil". Since we never ate crabs, even having the mention of them was a disturbing element to have in the kitchen. There was only one food from the garden that ever went into the jars: green cherry tomatoes. Fully ripe tomatoes don't can well, but the tart, firm, underripe ones make an amazing pickle.

The reason that we had a bumper crop, was that the dirt came pre-seeded.

The photo below is from my sister's facebook page. She got published in a local magazine! (So proud of her.):

tomato story

And here's what I added in the comments:

The cow manure story was invented and repeated by Mom, because the image of a pasture on a farm was more palatable than where the soil really came from. The straight poop is that our local sewer department offered fully composted solid waste to home gardeners. This humanure had been aged to the point where the health department considered it to be completely safe, although as my sister, said, it was still quite organic. The tomato seeds had passed through public utility customers, and had survived the filtering, and sewage treatment process. These survival-of-the-fittest seeds kept us in an overabundant supply of cherry tomatoes for 7 years.


..........................
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Immediacy

A little bit of down time on a Sunday
afternoon before an event starts. Who could I call for a moment of company? Dad's phone number is still in the favorite numbers list.

I called my daughter.

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The Miracle of 42 Chickpeas

My Wednesday night guests ate all of the hummus, but I still had plenty of bagels and crudités left. Shopping didn't feel appropriate, so I decided to substitute homemade guacamole for the Thursday night Shivah gathering. After we said Kaddish, I started setting out the snacks, and there was a whole tub of exactly the same hummus I'd gotten earlier in the week. It could have been brought by a guest, but just for a second it felt providentially provided.

And there are more memories streaming in today. Recalling the trip around 1982 that Dad and I took to New York. We stayed at Uncle Fred's house, where my grandmother was also living at the time. Fred the youngest of dad's brothers and sisters was a US postal worker. Then we drove to Westchester to see Uncle Herb, the oldest of the four boys. He was a structural engineer who loved to talk about the stock market. There was snow on the ground, and since I'd learned to drive in San Diego, my dad did all of the driving. I knew from experience that these family trips were mostly about seeing the inside of living rooms and sitting around kitchen tables, so I'd made a deal with my dad that if I went on this trip, we would do one genuine sight-seeing activity. The sight-seeing activity that I wanted was a real Broadway show. Alas, not alas at all, David Copperfield was sold out, and I got tickets to a revival of 42nd Street. My dad tried to talk me out of going at the last minute, but he didn't want to reimburse me for the tickets, and nor did he want to put me on a subway to navigate NYC alone in the icy February weather. We went to Nathan's Famous -funny how that name keeps popping up in this story- where I ordered raw clams. Then on to the show, which was every bit as good as I'd dreamed. Dad had a great time too, and he was singing bits of the songs for the rest of the trip. All of the songs that is, except for "Shuffle Off to Buffalo". He had fallen asleep and missed that number. In fact, he didn't believe me that it had been included. After the show, I met my maternal grandfather "under the clock in Times Square". I had dinner with my Bayside Queens grandparents, and then they drove me back to Uncle Fred's in Long Island. When we got there, Nana Ruth (Dad and Fred's mom) rushed around to open a new giant tin of Stella Doro cookies and and to make tea. Even though my parents weren't together any more, the grandparents from both sides were able to be sociable.
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Remembering

In all of the reminiscing with friends, and public speaking at small memorial gatherings over the last few days, I  didn't mention that Dad taught me to roller skate. I imagine that more recollections will come filtering in as time goes by.