Monthly Archives: December 2010

When I Was a Boy

Don’t let the white gloves, dolls, party shoes, foofy dresses and hats fool you: I was a tree-climbing, somersault-turning, knee-scabbing, tar-peeling, bat-swinging, I-can-do-anything-better-than-you-can tomboy during those early years. But that’s all going to change very soon. When training bras and once-a-month visits from “my friend” start, it’s a whole new ballgame.

It’s good to remember those grass-stained knees though. And Dar Williams says it better than I can.

Six in the City, Part 2

It’s all jumbled up in my memory: tastes, smells, sights, sounds. The stale air of the subway stations, the extra chewy bagels and buttery lox; fragrant rye bread and piles of pastrami and corned beef at the deli; taxis whooshing by, steam coming up from from manholes in the street; hot, hissing radiators, bulky snowContinue Reading

Tough Love: Me and My Dolls

Like every other little girl I knew, I put my dolls into perilous situations that, in my case anyway, resulted in drastic hair damage and loss of limbs. My favorite doll ended up with one leg and almost no hair. The few white-blond strands she had left by the time I’d played beauty parlor withContinue Reading


 Yes, I started out on comic strips but soon hit the harder stuff. I  remember the aha moment. Sitting in the back seat of our car as we zoomed along the highway, I looked out the window at a passing billboard and realized that I could no longer look at a string of letters withoutContinue Reading

Six in the City

When we were five and eight years old, our parents told these two San Francisco-born California girls that we were packing up and moving to New York City. My father had entered the doctoral program at Teachers College,Columbia University, and we’d be living in Morningside Heights for a year, giving up our house and ourContinue Reading

Return With Us Now to the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Click and close your eyes. There’s nothing to see here. Now, that’s what I call a theme song! I remember wondering what “yesteryear” meant. It was a word I’d never heard anyone use. But how exciting to hear that music, even now. The Lone Ranger was one of my favorite cowboy shows.There were a lotContinue Reading

Playing Games, Part 2: Who’s "It"?

If you were going to play hide-and-go-seek or any kind of tag, someone had to be “it.” You could, of course, all shout “NOT IT!!” at the top of your lungs and some poor kid would be caught unawares and go home crying. So then you’d have to start over and pick some other kidContinue Reading

Playing Games, Part 1: You Don’t Know Jacks

Well, maybe you do. But any little girl worth her salt could play jacks. You watched the older girls and one day you threw the jacks down, bounced the little red ball and tried to get through “onesies.” Here’s what we used to do when we played jacks:1. Onesies (picking up one jack at aContinue Reading

Having Fun: The Evidence

 Defying gravity and modesty at the same time  The technlology isn’t perfect and I’m far from it. So this is just an adjunct to the last post with proof of my enthusiasm for not giving a damn and trying to do a cartwheel in a dress. My grandfather loomed large in our lives. Grampa MikeContinue Reading

Enter Laughing

Keep an eye on these eyebrows After several unsuccessful attempts going from Yiddish to English on the online Yiddish dictionary, I typed in “mischievous child” and there it was: Mazek! It’s what people called me as far back as I can remember. (While I was at it, I looked up one of my dad’s nicknames forContinue Reading