BERTHA’S CLOSET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BERTHA’S CLOSET

 

Closets are places to store things … Items you need everyday like shoes, shirts, pants, skirts … items you need every once in a while like a special coat, jacket or purse … and items you just want to store, keep or cherish like photographs, letters or cards.

 

Our memories are mind closets, places to store things .. items you need everyday like faces, names, and phone numbers … items you need every once in a while like birthdays, shopping lists, directions … and items you just want to store, keep or cherish like the smell of your mother’s apple pie, the sound of your baby’s first cry, or the warmth of holding hands with your first love.

 

Like a new house with an empty closet, so is a new baby’s memory.  With each day and each year, the memory closet fills. Initial items are easily placed, organized and retrieved.  With the passage of time, the closet becomes a holding place of colors, sizes, textures, smells, intensities, sentiments and feelings.

 

Decade after decade, the memory closet ultimately helps define who we are by what we have learned, what we have experience, what we like or dislike, what we hope for and dream  Each closet is so individually unique.

 

Come and celebrate 90years with 90 items from Bertha’s Closet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bertha’s Closet…Then

At its infancy in 1918

Bertha’s Closet…Now

90 years later in 2008

 

 

 

“Got a few minutes to sit and chat?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

90 Items

from Bertha’s Closet

 

 

 

 

 

-1-

 

OUCH!

Earliest childhood memory is a needle stick in my rear end for diphtheria. I was screaming and jumping up and down.  I was 3 ½.

 

 

-2-

 

MY NEXT EARLIEST MEMORY

I was coming home from kindergarten, the Pine Street School.  I was sitting on the stoop because the door was locked.  I thought they left me alone.  The man next door Mr. Ward told me not to cry because my parents would be back soon;  my grandmother had died (my father’s mother).

 


-3-

 

BIRTHDAYS AND FEELING IMPORTANT:

My mother always made birthday parties for us.  We were in desperate need for money because my parents were separated.  She made me a birthday party, a couple of kids in the neighborhood came.  One kid gave me a $1 for a present….that was a lot of money back then.  My mother remembered my birthday and I remember I was older then, I wasn’t a baby.  I remember my cousin Miriam, she might have been the one who gave me the dollar.

 

 

 

Bertha’s Mother: Bessie

Miriam and Bertha

 

 


-4-

 

LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER:

So, when Esther was 1 year old, I made a party for her.  And all the mothers, the gifts and the babies were there… it was so crowded in that little house. 

 

 

-5-

 

JUST BEAUTIFUL:

I remember we moved from that beautiful apartment with a beautiful dog Blitz….the grapes growing over a frame (arbor) with the beautiful yard..

 

 

-6-

 

MOVING AND HAVING A STORE: 

We moved from there to a house.  You went up 10 steps to get to the porch where my mother opened a grocery store.  She went to the Jewish man in town who sold things.  There was a Catholic school nearby.  The kids would run in to buy candy.

 

 

-7-

 

SMALL TOWN, USA: 

You know how a small town is….everybody knew everybody..  Years ago, people didn’t like Jewish people because they had a store, a business.  They made a living.

 


-8-

 

CHILDHOOD:

I was a very serious child.  .When I was very young, I had to wear what clothing I had.

 

 

-9-

 

A FONDNESS FOR SHOES:

I took shoes from the store.  I would always go through the shoes.  If I liked them, I did something to them like scratch them so my father wouldn’t know the difference.  Those were the days we had money.  I still like shoes.  I don’t buy them unless they fit good.

 

 

-10-

 

CLEANING LADY:

I always had a cleaning lady.  If I couldn’t really afford it.  When we were young, we had Minnie and she lived with us.  Shirley was a baby. We 3 slept in the bed – my sister Alice, Minnie and me.  My brother slept in a cot.  All before there was a store or before we had an Eli.

 

 

-11-

 

A VERY BRAVE SOUL

There was an incident.  My parents went out and we were home alone with Minnie.  Shirley was a baby.  We went to bed.  We heard a noise in the kitchen.  I was always the one who wasn’t afraid to do anything.   I said that I’ll go and see who it is.  Minnie picked up the baby.  Alice got out of bed and Jack wasn’t home.  We started going from room to room and as I’m going through, I’m lighting the lights. In the living room was a piano and my father’s violin.  I walked out with that violin and was going to hit somebody.  (We used to play together.)   I walk brazenly ahead.  When you get to the dining room, the next room was the kitchen.  After, there was a bathroom or a hall that lead you to the steps that took you down to the store.  When I stepped into the hall, nobody was there, and then, a hand grabbed me from behind the door.  It was my brother Jack. I gave out such a scream. 

 

 

 

Bertha’s parents: Louie and Bessie

 

 

Bessie, Bertha, Jack, and Alice

 

 

 

 

-12-

 

SHIRLEY’S BOTTOM BRANDING

Minnie set the baby on the stove…which was not lit….she left the baby and she’s running out too!  When I saw it was Jack, I said, “I’m going to tell Daddy!”   I can picture Shirley sitting on the stove.  I went and picked up Shirley and brought her back to the bedroom.

 

 

-13-

 

THE PIANO WOMAN

I went to the Pine Street School until 4th grade.  My young years… that’s when I took piano lessons .. I was young just maybe around 7.

 

 

-14-

 

MY FAVORITE SONG TO PLAY

I have a song that I play and my mother loved it, “The Mother’s Prayer” and you know, I’m forgetting how to play it.   Mr. Saul a music teacher came to the house and taught piano.  My father used to pay me to practice because I didn’t want to practice.  That was a period when my father was home.

 

 

-15-

 

ABOUT PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT

I wasn’t crazy about playing an instrument.  When I got to 7th grade, they gave free lessons.  They opened the first band.  I took the clarinet.  I wanted to play the saxophone, but the teacher said, “No, and that it was better to learn the clarinet first.”

 

 

-16-

 

SAD DAD MEMORIES

My father liked women.  He was supposed to send my mother money every month.  There were a lot of sad memories.  He was not a good husband.  One time I got $10 from him.

 

 

-17-

 

AN ODE TO ELI

When Alice married Eli – that was our salvation.  He married the whole family.  My dad left for good.   We lived in the back of the store.

 

 

-18-

 

SCHOOL DAYS

Miss Wagner was a good teacher … she was my homeroom teacher.  I liked her.  I went to the Pine Street Elementary School,  Monroe Ave School, and then to the high school -  Hazleton HS.  (The building is still there according to Yale).

 

 

-19-

 

MODESTLY ‘SMART’

I made the honor roll.  I used to pity my cousin Miriam.  When we were going to have a test, she went home with books…piles of them, to make sure she had everything to help her study.  I didn’t do that.   I think I liked Math. 

 

 

 

Jack and Bertha

 

 

-20-

 

GINGER ROGERS…AND FRED ASTAIRE

I loved to dance.  No matter where I was, if I heard music, I danced.  Especially with my brother Jack – he was my best partner.  We would go out to a dance.  The two of us would get up on the floor and people would stop and watch us.  I love to dance.  Jitterbugging was my favorite. 

 

 

-21-

 

SIMPLY THE BEST

Up to the mountains…wherever we’d go…they would have dancing.   As I came off the stage, people would say, “We watched you …you were the best one.”

 

 

-22-

 

ARTHUR MURRAY OF THE JCC

There were boys in town who would go to the JCC.  Every time there were new dance numbers, I would get a book of well known dancing teachers. We learned how to dance from the steps in the book…what to do with your feet.  They would come and I would instruct them.

 

 

-23-

 

FAVORITE DANCING SONG OR MUSIC

The music was from a nickelodeon at the JCC.  Benny Goodman was a good one….big band music.

 

 

-24-

 

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

I love music…that Jazz age. … you know “5 foot 2 …eyes of blue.”

 

 

-25-

 

EARLY DATING: ALL ABOUT SAMMY

Through my senior year, I had a steady boyfriend.  Sammy Miller.  I had just moved and met him through my mother’s bakery store.  His sister was my girlfriend.  He said, “Would you be my girlfriend?  At that time, I was 16.  I said, “Sure.”  It was wonderful because he had a car.  You had to go up a hill to get to school. He would bring me home for lunch.  He’d pick me up and half a dozen other boys would be on the running board of the car.  He was a great guy and good looking too.

 

 

Bertha:  HS Graduation

 

Sidney:  HS Graduation

 

-26-

 

DATING RULES

I had a crush on the football players ….  I wasn’t allowed to go out with anyone who wasn’t a Jewish boy.

 

 

-27-

 

MATCHMAKER, MATCHMAKER

My mother’s cousin had three boys and he wanted one of my mother’s girls for one of his boys.   So when I graduated, he sent me a ticket to go to Michigan for a month.  They took me to West Virginia.   It was my chance to see part of America. 

 

 

-28-

 

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER FOR SOMEONE ELSE

I was getting letters saying, “I love you, I miss you and all that crap.”  When I came back, my friends said that Sammy had a new girl.  I was broken hearted.  But I was not always nice to him; I had taken advantage of him.  I felt bad.  We remained friends though.  He liked Sidney and Sidney liked him.  I think he came to see Sidney, not me. When he died, Sidney cried.   I didn’t.

 

 

 

 

-29-

 

PMS or PMs…NOT WHAT YOU THINK

While I was in high school, I worked at the shoe store on weekends.  After high school, I worked there more days.  I used to make more money selling PMs (could PM be post mortem?…I don’t know).  They were shoes that hadn’t sold and before the new ones would come in.   I left the shoe store for the meat store.

 

Note from Yale:  I did an Internet search for “PMs shoe store” and found this entry.  “I earned $1.55 per hour, with extras added for selling PMs, those shoes with colored stickers on the boxes. Each sticker gave you Pocket Money, from ten cents up to a dollar depending upon sticker color. They were affixed to out-of-style or one-of-a-kind shoes. Benny used PMs to motivate the sales force to clean out old stock.”

 

 

-30-

 

WORKING GIRL

Before I got married,  I worked at a butcher shop….a kosher butcher shop and got meat at a discount.  I made calls…”Do you want to place an order for tomorrow?” and then if so, I would write it down.   I earned about 30 cents an hour.  After I graduated, I worked full time.  I might have worked for Berman’s, a children’s store with all kinds of kids’ clothes.

 

 

-31-

 

MEETING HIM

My mother had this store on Wyoming St.  In the back of the store, there was an old upright piano.  Sidney was selling pies from store to store.  When he came into the store, he asked who was that girl in the picture on the top of the piano (it was a photo of me).  When I came back from Michigan, my mother told me there was a nice boy in the store selling pies.  He graduated a year before I did and lived in Tamaqua.  My mother said, “I’ll ask him if he’s Jewish.”  So one night I went to the Community Center for a meeting with the girls.  I came out and he said to me, “Would you like to go to Fedullo's (on Diamond Ave)?  He had come up with another couple.  I said I would like to go but that I had to go home first and ask my mother.



A Sidney youngster

 

A Sidney soldier

.  

 

-32-

 

NOT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!

Sidney used to go around singing, “A fine romance with no kisses!”  He had a sense of humor.  He used to send me letters with all columns and headlines; he’d draw pictures.  I think I got rid of them after about 40 years.

 

 

 

 

-33-

 

DATING and the COURTSHIP

I did date others; there was a group of Jewish boys in the community.  I would go to the movies with them, even though I was going with Sidney.  But I never got serious with any one else.  First of all, I was still mourning Sammy and Sidney only wanted to neck.  We would go out skating with other people – Jewish couples, movies, playing cards.  It didn’t take me too long to fall in love.  He was persistent.  He wasn’t going to give up. 

 



-34-

 

POPPED THE QUESTION

We dated 2 years and 3 months and he asked me to marry him.  He took me out for a ride and parked the car.  He said, “I have to ask you a question.  Do you want to have children?”   I said, “Why of course.”   Later, he said if I had said no…he wouldn’t have asked me.  I must have said yes, because we got married.  He asked the two questions right after the other.  He gave me a ring, which I lost.

 

 

Bertha’s Wedding Day

 

Bertha and Sidney

 

-35-

 

BEFORE THE BIG DAY

People gave us gifts.  I got really nice gifts.  They had a shower for me, it was not a surprise. Then there was one for Sylvia, my girlfriend who was Sammy’s sister.    She got married right after me.  I was the first one in my group of twenty something girls. We used to go to the Y together.  When I got married, Sylvia slept with me the night before.  When Sylvia got married, I slept with her the night before.  It was about a month later.

 

 

 

-36-

 

THE BIG DAY

We were engaged for a year from December to December.  I was just about 21.  I enjoyed myself.  I didn’t have a big wedding.  There were a lot of people but it …

 

 

 

-37-

 

wasn’t an elaborate wedding.   I don’t remember too much about it.  I think there was cake.  I knew him 3 years and 3 months when we got married.  I said we would be engaged for a year.  There was not too much planning.

 

 

-38-

 

BECOMING A MRS.

Dec 23rd a minute before midnight, we got married in Hazleton at the synagogue under their chuppah.  All the Jewish people in Hazelton were there.  My cousin Dorothy stood up there with me.  I had a white gown with a full skirt that I had worn to some kind of an affair.  One photo was taken by a young boy who came to the wedding and then sent it to me.

 

 

-39-

 

HONEYMOON AND S*X

After that affair, at one minute to twelve ‘til I don’t know what time in the morning, we were done celebrating.  We took the bus to NY in the early hours in the morning. It was funny, when we got off the bus, there was a sign lit up for the ESSEX HOTEL but two of the lights were burned out – so it said  **SEX HOTEL.   He promised me that he wasn’t going to take advantage of me.  I said to him, “Wait ‘til tomorrow, wait ‘til tomorrow.”  I was scared.

 

 

-40-

 

SIGN OF THE TIMES

It wasn’t like it is now, where everyone is running to each other.  If you went with someone and people found out …you were labeled.   My mother said your reputation is like a beautiful white silk handkerchief – if you stained it, the mark would be there forever.  If a person is good…there is no problem.  If a person has sex with somebody even if they’re going to marry them, there is a problem.  She said you had to be extra special good, because we were in a town where everybody knows everybody in the family.  (We were already labeled because of Dad’s reputation.)

 

 

-41-

 

FAVORITE SONG WITH SIDNEY

“Oh how we danced …all alone in the world.”  That’s our favorite song…the Anniversary Song.

 

 

-42-

 

FAVORITE MEAL TOGETHER

Sandwiches…or anyone who has food.  He wasn’t hard     to please.

 

 

-43-

 

WORKING WIFE

I told him that I wasn’t going to work when I first got married.  My mother worked so hard.  He said, “So don’t work.”   He told me what we earned.  I only had that to spend unless I wanted to go to work.  

 

 

-44-

 

THE NEWLYWEDS

We lived in Tamaqua for about 3 years.  Sidney had a window cleaning business and was working for his father.  We rented an apartment above the store.  You had to walk 20 or 25 steps up.  In the beginning, it was easy to live there.   His father had interest in the theater so I could go to the movies.  It didn’t take me long to learn to play cards.  There were money problems in the beginning.  I went out to work and it made it easier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-45-

 

AND ESTHER CAME ALONG

I lost the first one when I was pregnant.  My sister Alice carried a full term baby and it was born dead.   I was married a long time before Esther came along.  I worked at Christmas time.  Sydney said there was a place to work to earn some money during the holidays.   I said OK.  I had a miscarriage.  I immediately went to the doctor.  I asked when can I start having a baby again.  He said go home and have a baby.  So I went home and had a baby.   That was Esther.

 

-46-

 

BUT WITH YALE

Sydney came home one day and said, “My friend Paul said you won’t become pregnant if you go to the toilet right after you have sex.   Do this and you won’t get pregnant.  I said if we try for one night, I guarantee you that I’ll become pregnant.  Then the next month we were pregnant.  That was it.  Yale was born because of what Paul had said.  That’s when I said that I have one boy and one girl.  My mother said, “That’s enough.”  I said, “You’re right.”

 

 

 

-47-

 

REGRETS?

I am regretful in one way and I’m not in another.   At the time when I could have had children, I was very careful not to.  I’m sorry I didn’t have more children.

 

 

-48-

 

FIRST TIME MOTHER EXPERIENCES

I don’t think it was hard.  I did not have the Baby Blues.  The first one was breast fed and that was Esther.  Then she got sick and they didn’t know what it was.  One doctor said diphtheria, one said that it was something else.  They were guessing.

 

 

-49-

 

WITH AND WITHOUT HIM: PROs and CONs of the DRAFT

Sidney was drafted.  I didn’t cry when he left.  I told him if you hadn’t been drafted, I would have gotten a divorce … I wasn’t getting along with his mother. (It was a good thing he got drafted!)  I had the children when he was in the service.  I would come in from Tamaqua to Hazleton and stay at Alice’s.  My family would help take care of the kids.  Sidney was in Europe; it was not good.  He was so happy to get home from the war zone.

 

 

-50-

 

MORE ABOUT IN-LAWS

His mother had an apartment building.  We had the second floor apartment.  We just didn’t get along.  She was on the first floor.  I was a new bride and I didn’t have to work.  But everything I did was wrong.  Today I would appreciate her knowing that I was lucky to have someone who was wanting to be part of our lives, but she used to drive me crazy.  Sidney would come home.  She would catch him at the bottom of the steps and tell him what terrible things I did.  He would come to me and say that it was his mother, she’s old and I would have to be understanding.  He told me to go down and apologize.  I told him you go down and apologize.  How many times do I have to go?   It was hard.   It’s good when your in laws live 500 miles away!    When I was feeding the kids something and you got something on their clothes, my mother in law would say, “I told you to put a bib on them.”  I would say I’m not asking you to do it.  I’ll do it.  I wasn’t a very good daughter in law.  It was two and a half years of living there with her.

 

 

-51-

 

A LITTLE OLDER, A LITTLE BIT WISER

You get older.  You get a little more sense.  By the time Esther had a baby, I was more tolerant. By then I was happy.

 

 

-52-.

 

2 KIDS…AND WITH HELP

I had someone who did the cleaning and took care of the kids.  I wasn’t rich but I could afford a young kid.  The girl who worked for me at that time was named Solaria.  Her family had a farm.  During the summers she was free from school.   She would come and stay with me all week.  They (her parents) were happy she was earning money and had a place to be, to keep out of trouble.  They were very nice people.  She cleaned the potatoes and peppers and onions.

 

 

 

 

Bertha, Esther, Yale, Sidney

Yale and Esther

 

 

-53-

THE FINANCES

While Sidney was gone, I got $50 a month which was taken from his pay.  I lived in the house that Alice lived in but they moved to Philadelphia.  I was renting.  It was $25 a month.

 

 

-54-

 

BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER

It depends on the day you’re talking about.  I was always prideful of my kids.  I was a bragging mother.  Esther is named for my mother in law’s mother who was alive…Esther Sarah.   Yale is my mother’s father’s name.  On a good day,  I never realized how much I could appreciate Yale.  He was a good son as a kid.  He never got in trouble.  But I heard about things later on … years later, like when one ran after the other with a knife, kicking in the door.

 

 

-55-

 

COMING HOME FROM THE ARMY

When Sidney came home from the army, it was scary.  He came home with a 34 waist… that’s skinny. 

 

 

-56-

 

A WORKING MOTHER

I worked when the kids were young.  The kids went to Bubby’s….my mom in Hazelton.  Ask Esther.  She would say, “My mother went to work.”  I’d say, “As soon as I get rid of these customers… As soon as I finish what I’m doing here.” I’m always absorbed in my work. 

 

 

-57-

 

ABOUT WORKING IN SALES

Sales is what I liked the most.  I met people;  I talked to people.

 

 

-58-

 

TEXTILES

First I was working at Tobias on Lincoln on the weekends in ladies clothes.   Then Phil asked me to run his store, a fabric shop.  I learned how to make the patterns.  I learned how to do “the trade.”  When people needed curtains or drapes or to cover a chair, they would come to me and I had to figure out the yardage.  I think there were 3 other girls working in the store.  I was doing the buying, the selling, the bookkeeping. 

 

 

-59-

 

PRIDE AND JOY

I’m most proud that I raised two kids who didn’t get into any trouble.  When I would go to school on parents’ day, they would say, “Your son and your daughter -- no problems.”    Except for the math teacher for Yale  - he knew more than the teacher.

 

 

-60-

 

AN ODE TO MOM

It was a lot of work to be a mom, but I had my mother with me.  I’m proud to have a mother like her.  There was never anything wrong.  If she had something that bothered her, she just managed to make do.  She would never tell us.

 

 

-61-

 

ONE MORE THING ABOUT MY MOTHER-IN-LAW

As I got older I realized that I should appreciate her more.  She loved to tell jokes…she really had a good disposition.

 

 

Bertha’s siblings and spouses

Shirley, Alice, Bessie, Jack, Bertha

Esther and Yale

Bertha and Sidney, 50th Anniverary

 

 

-62-

 

ONE OF MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

From the age of 15,  I kept a diary, except for this year.  Esther writes a journal…inspired by her mom.

 

 

-63-

 

BEST (PAID) WORK

Yes, I’m good in sales.  I’m like Danny, I don’t like to work for anyone else.

 

 

-64-

 

IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ANYONE IN HISTORY

OR IN THE WORLD, WITH WHOM

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EAT DINNER?

Oh my, that’s a hard question….what’s his name…Obama.

 

 

-65-

 

ANYWHERE YOU’D LIKE TO GO IN THE WORLD

To Israel to see all the things that I didn’t get a chance to see.  You can’t get to see everything in 10 days.

 

 

-66-

 

FAVORITE DRINK

Ice cream soda  a cup of tea.

 

 

-67-

 

FAVORITE DESSERT

… Piece of Nina’s apple pie…

 

 

-68-

 

FAVORITE CHEESE

Swiss cheese…

 

 

-69-

 

A PLACE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN

Hawaii, where my sister went.  Shirley raved about it.  Alice never saw it.  Jack and Ruth changed planes in California and went to Hawaii.

 

 

-70-

 

ELECTION 2008 VOTE

Obama.  Originally, I would’ve voted for Hillary.  I thought Clinton was good.

 

 

-71-

 

ARE DIMONDS A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND?

I don’t think I like jewelry.  I have one ring that I wear that Sidney bought for me in Israel.  I had it redesigned by Barry Chaskin.  I would rather have it a plain band.

 

 

-72-

 

THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY DISLIKE

…I don’t like flying…

 

 

-73-

 

IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY AND HAD A LOT OF MONEY

I have enough money to live any way that I want to.  I know what Sidney would have wanted…to build a cover for all those steps of the synagogue.  I don’t know who I would give it to first, Danny and Rachel.  I would like to help them and all my family that need money.   Charities:  I’d give it to Israel.  For myself:  a couple of pair of slacks.

 

 

-74-

 

FAMOUS OR IN FAMOUS

Bertha’s apple cake.  I’m famous for that.  I ain’t too famous for other things.

 

 

-75-

 

FAVORITE GAME

Mahjong…

 

 

-76-

 

FAVORITE TV SHOW OF ALL TIME

“Everybody Loves Raymond”   The mother is my favorite character.

 

 

-77-

 

FAVORITE MUSICIAN

My husband.  His mother had a nice voice…and he came close to having a nice voice.  I have him singing with his mother on tape.

 

 

-78-

 

HOBBIES or CRAFTS

I crocheted,  I embroidered.  I knitted black and gold macramé purses.  Then I made animals.   Yale says it was the general craze at that time.  

 

 

-79-

 

FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME

“Gone with the Wind.”  I watch very little TV but I like movies.

 

 

-80-

 

FAVORITE ACTOR

Ingrid Bergman.     I like the guy with the dimple in his chin, Kirk Douglas.

 

 

-81-

 

FAVORITE BOOK

I’ve read a lot a lot of books.  I can’t pick one.  I like cookbooks.

 

 

-82-

 

ABOUT TURNING 90

I wish I was younger and didn’t have any aches and pains.

 

 

-83-

 

SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT BEING IN YOUR 91ST YEAR

I would say that I know that my kids do care for me, even though I’m not a very appreciative person.

 

 

-84-

 

ADVICE FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Have a good lawyer, a good doctor and someone who lives long in your genes.  

 

 

-85-

 

HEALTH … THROUGH THE YEARS

I had a hysterectomy, appendicitis…. sicknesses that I could stand.  If I had to go through what Shirley went through and what she is still going through, I thank God that I don’t have to put up with that.

 

 

-86-

 

PUFF…PUFF

I smoked when I was 17 years old.  I didn’t hide it.  My mother said it’s dangerous…you shouldn’t smoke.   I wasn’t particular about the brands   But as soon as I heard there was cancer, I stopped.  I was in the hospital because I had a Crohn’s attack. I made up my mind that if I were going to get out of the hospital, I wasn’t going to smoke.  Sidney kept smoking even when I didn’t.  The kids would leave notes  I love you POP POP….Stop Smoking.”

 

 

-87-

 

DIET

I eat whatever I feel like eating.

 

 

-88-

 

FAVORITE FOODS

Spaghetti and meatballs…because it’s easy to eat since I have a problem with my teeth.  A rib steak if it were guaranteed that there were no problems eating.  I would also choose a lobster tail.

 

 

-89-

 

FAVORITE COLOR

Red.  It’s stimulating and it makes you happy.

 

 

-90-

 

…AND IN CONCLUSION…

It was good to think on the things that happened.

 

 

 

 

Author’s note to Bertha

Thank you for opening the door and allowing us the opportunity to explore and share in your closet.  On your 9th decade, we celebrate everything this is special about you….we love you.

 

 

 

Copyright 2009 by the author of this book (Lynda).  The book author retains sole copyright to his or her contributions to this book.

 

 

 

 

 

BERTHA’S CLOSET

(back cover)

 

 

 

 

 

Bertha with Yale and Esther

at her 90th birthday celebration

in the summer of 2008.