From my mother’s wallet

My husband and I left New York right after Pesach and Shabbat ended to go to Boston to work on clearing out my mother’s apartment.
I wanted to share the contents of my mother’s wallet. This is not the wallet she used at the end of her life. I found  the wallet in the place where my mother kept all truly important things, her underpants drawer.  The wallet  was one she had made herself while working in camp.
My mother used the wallet in college and perhaps for a little while after that.
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In case you were wondering, my mother could read, as certified by the state. My mother, was also very serious about voting. she once walked a mile in the snow to vote “none of the above”.
I found this photo cut out of a camp year book, along with the note she received with her salary at the end of the summer.  I indicated my mother with a red arrow.

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I also found some photos.
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My mother is on the far right. This is probably the best picture I have ever seen of my mother. She is leaning on her friend D’vorah. My mother and D’vorah always had LOTS of fun together. D’vorah brought out the outrageous in my mother.  I have no idea who the others in the photo are.
D’vorah made aliya with her family. Here she is with her sister Nechama in Israel. My mother had first met Nechama who was somewhat serious. But soon my mother and D’vorah had become much closer.
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Before we went to Israel in 1970, my parents had made a will. In case of their death  we were to be raised by my Aunt Sheva. During the trip to Israel we met D’vorah. We asked that D’vorah raise us instead in case of our parents demise. We knew that living with D'vorah would be a blast.
This extraordinary photo was in the wallet as well.
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This is my Aunt Sheva in Florida. Her husband Sol took the photo. There are many shocking things about the photo, the bare midriff, the shorts and most of all the giant laugh you see.

This photo of Sheva was taken in 1993 and is much closer to the aunt I knew not just because the image is more recent, but it shows the temperament I knew best.
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Below, from the same trip to Florida are my cousins, Sheva and Sol’s two older children, David the ethnomusicologist, and Bonnie the historian.
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This photo was taken the following summer.
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My cousin Judy, is on Sheva’s lap. I met my husband at her wedding.
Below is my Aunt Sheva standing next to her sister Freida. this was taken before the sisters stopped speaking to one another. Sheva’s husband Sol is the adult male in the back row. He died tragically, far too young in 1963.
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The kids are below, the historian and the ethnomusicologist are joined by their cousins and the doctor and the dentist.  Frieda is holding her youngest, David. Despite the rift in the earlier generation I have recently gotten to know my cousin Av in the dark striped shirt and his younger brother Sid in the lighter striped t-shirt.
There was a mystery wedding photo. Perhaps one of my cousins can solve the mystery for me.
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The wallet tour ends with this photo of my mother eating an apple while hanging out with her friend.
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Once I get a working camera in my hands I will take a photo of the green leather wallet tooled with my mother’s Hebrew initials.

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