I mentioned to POB (partner of blogger) that if I don’t write down these memories, soon they will be lost because my brain is maxing out.
The 60s were not all days of wine and roses. Some of it was very confusing to a little kid.
I remember when our Jamaican-born baby nurse was not allowed to go into a Sutton Place apartment building to speak to the mother of a boy who hit my sister. Even in our own building, she had to stare down the landlord who told her she had to take the service elevator. She took the main passenger elevator. I was wide-eyed and only later understood what happened.
And yet, for years after his assassination, our baby nurse reminisced about that day that then Senator Bobby Kennedy held the door open for her on his way to the tennis club in our building. People born after those times don’t see how big that was.
Mom used to tell us that her secretary told her not to marry Dad because he was a Jew. Mom had to break the news to her secretary that Mom was also Jewish. To Mom’s credit, she continued to work with that secretary.
I look at it more practically: Mom was dropping an intimidating Polish last name for a generic Jewish one. In those days, it was also a question of: “pick your poison”.