I will now share my most significant find: pictures of my mother when she was young. Since she left Poland before Hitler invaded, these photos must be of her early life in the United States. After my father passed away, I cleaned out their apartment and unearthed a few old photo albums. You can’t imagine how much stuff my father stored in a two-bedroom apartment with only four closets. I must search for his box of memorabilia from WWII; he saved every pay stub from the Merchant Marines.

The first picture boggles my mind since I’ve never seen my mother wearing anything but skirts or dresses. She didn’t go to the beach, so no bathing suits. But here she’s wearing shorts. It must be when she first arrived in the U.S. since after she married, she lived in an apartment with my father in Williamsburg. She told me she lived with cousins, but where I had no idea.

My mother arrived when she was 16, so this must be her as a teenager before she began to lose her vision. She looks happier than I remember her. She wore a bow in her hair, and my daughters loved wearing bows when they were small.

I wonder who this woman is with my mother. She might be Rabbi Lamm’s mother, who was her first cousin. They remained close after my mother married, and I walked with her to Peppy’s house on the Sabbath. Or she could be a close friend, a cheerful-looking friend.

And who is this? My mother’s friends or relatives appear friendly and fun.

More unknown people.

And look what I found: a baby picture of my brother. If you haven’t noticed by now, I always mention my brother whenever I speak of my family.

This is the last picture. My mother appears younger in this one. I don’t know if she brought any photos with her from Poland. No one expected The Holocaust, except for Hitler himself.

I’m relieved my mother had happier times than her experiences later in life.


My earliest memory is trying to reach the window sill in the living room and saying that one day I’ll be tall enough. My next memory is when I was a few years old, maybe 3 or 4, and playing with my Barbie doll, using the radiator as her house. I always wanted a Ken doll, so Barbie had a friend, but my parents never bought me a second doll. I assumed it was too much money and better spent on clothing for my brother and me. I Googled old heating radiators but couldn’t find one with a door on the front, and I used the door as the door to Barbie’s house.

I remember my parents taking me to Marine Park, near Kings Plaza Shopping Center, where I later loved to shop with my friends. My mother sat on her folding chair at the park while I played with my father. I don’t remember what I did, but I loved my egg carton where I placed my little toys. Yes, a regular egg carton after we used the eggs. I’ve included a picture of Marine Park from 1965 since I found a few small albums in my drawer today.

I found a picture of my mother and me standing by the water in Sheepshead Bay. And yes, I had to wear those funny glasses for a few years to correct my left eye from drifting sideways. Thankfully, the eyeglasses were off by the time I began kindergarten.

I have few memories of my brother, who was 11 years older than me, but I remember loving him and hanging out with him in our apartment. If I couldn’t finish my food, he would take my leftovers. Since the apartment had two bedrooms, Neil slept in the foyer and gave me his bedroom after I was born. Later, I would paint this bedroom pink to match the dark pink carpeting. Now I know why pink isn’t my favorite color.

Below is a picture of Neil at the bay in 1966. He was a great photographer but not the person who had taken the picture.

The following picture is of me in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

My mother standing in front of our apartment building.

This photo shows my mother in front of the two-family house used for our temple and a glimpse of the next picture in the album of me in the living room.

I have one picture of my father munching on his breakfast.

The last picture is my grandfather, who had deserted my mother when he came to the U.S. I was afraid of him, and he still looks a bit scary.

Thank you for joining me on my journey down memory lane. These pictures were in a tiny album, and I hope to remember more after opening the other albums.