My father, quiet, considered, funny enough
a man named Meyer, went to Cornell in 1924.
Graduated pre med with every intention of going
to Yale Medical School. At his interview a man
named William Butler said this sentence:
The Jewish Quota is Full. So my father moved
to New York City got an apartment and a research job.
A while later, after the Army (New Zealand Australia
Guinea Bisseau some out of focus black and white
pictures) after he’d started some businesses,
one was wholesale candy and he loved candy, he went back
to the small town in Connecticut where he was born to take over his father’s
Men’s Clothing store. Oscar Cohen’s. His father was born
in Lithuania. Maybe Vilna maybe not. His mother from Bobpst,
in the Ukraine. He married my mother, then decided, with his
college roommate Solly Stein, to buy a beach house together
for the summers. A big green wooden duplex on top of a cement
sea wall right on the Jewish beach of Woodmont, Connecticut.
Adjacent to Italians. Solly and his family were right next door.
Solly was an inventor. He invented a machine that blew out hot air
on hands in public bathrooms. He married an ambitious woman
named Elaine. She dyed her hair white blonde, played golf, and
frequently mentioned her unchanging weight: 111 pounds exactly.
Her motto: She did not eat desserts. My mother dyed her hair
dark brown. She referred to the color as Chestnut. She was not
thin, did not play golf, and spent much of her time reading library books
on our screened in porch. Mostly Jewish novels like Marjorie Morningstar.
She did not exercise ever. The two women did not get along.
After a few years the Steins moved out. Elaine told my mother
that our house was nowhere. My mother said to us at dinner Good Riddance.