Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Friday Apr 25

Had dinner this eve at
Claras house, Nettie and Philip and
little Rosie, Max and Dora Breindel
were there too,

Later came Eva, Sadie
and others

A nice little home affair


Matt's Notes

A few days ago I mistakenly speculated that "little Sadie" was a woman Papa got set up with, but as it turns out Sadie, Eva and Clara were the daughters of Max and Dora Breindel, the cousins who gave Papa and his sister Nettie a place to stay when they first came to New York.1 Papa and Nettie had actually shared a bed with the three Breindel sisters for a long while (in later years my grandmother would jokingly shout "you slept with my husband!" when she ran into Sadie) and apparently everyone enjoyed themselves immensely during that time. (I wonder if, having gotten to know each other under such close and adventurous circumstances, they all regressed and behaved like kids when they got together in later years. What games had they played? What secret language had they developed?)

I think a "nice little home affair" (probably Passover-related, since it happened at the tail end of Passover week, when traditional Jews get together) was just what Papa needed. The holiday had intensified his longing to be with his father, who was struggling with a protracted illness in the old country. He'd written, just the day before, about how "alarmed" he was over the lack of contact from his parents, though I think this was just one intense manifestation of the powerful, pervasive homesickness behind Papa's chronic loneliness. Perhaps Max and Dora, who had welcomed Papa when he arrived at Ellis Island in 1913, reminded him of a time when his memories of home were still fresh, and the voices of his friends and family still rang in his ears.


Additional Notes

1 - How could I have erred so profoundly about Sadie's identity, you ask? I made the mistake of neglecting to run her name past my mother before writing my initial post about her, and I took a gamble and assumed she would remain as mysterious as many of the other people Papa mentions in his diary. In fact, my mother says "they were all lovely people, with whom our family was most friendly in later life." Lesson learned.

No comments:

Post a Comment