Sunday, June 12, 2011

Family Reunion - Hello Cousin Lloyd, Amy and Rich

"Family" was famously said in my family by two-year-old Jade Greene, my now 20-some niece, who will be married by her Aunt Sarah next June.

And who would ever believe that Aunt Sarah, who is my darling daughter Sarah, would cede her left kidney to me, after my diagnosis of end-stage renal disease after 16.5 yrs on the drug lithium for my bipolar disorder.

My 88-yr-old mother Bernice - her 5 kids call her "Ma" - was in ecstasy with the return of a household full of noisy animated people.

We love Cousin Lloyd Gilden who visits mom once a year. We heard the amazing story of his name and the power that the people at Ellis Island have over the immigrants.

Lloyd's grandfather came over from Russia. When asked his name, he said, "Krupkin."

Knowing he was Jewish, the man changed it to "Goldstein."

Later, Lloyd's father, Jerry Gilden, who was in the women's apparel biz like many Jews including my father, changed Goldstein to Gilden.

Lloyd drove in from Manhattan aided by his Garmin. Another amazing machine to make smart people smarter. Or dumb people smarter. I'd like to rent one from the library and see if I could figger out how to use it.

Let the wild rolling of pictures begin:

Donna lives in Hatboro. Shall I write a short sketch? Strong character, talented artist, her head is always in a Kindle, contrarian, sharp dresser, mother of two great kids.

Ah, here's Lloyd now. Like us, he grew up in Cleveland Heights, but like some of us, graduated from Shaker Heights High.

Retired Queens College psych professor. Has private practice in Manhattan where he works from 10 am until 8 pm. A Buddhist who believes in the possibility of world peace and cooperation. Prez of the Lifwynn Foundation, based on teachings of psychoanalyst Trigant Burrow (d. 1950.)

The youngest Greenwold sister - Amy - is on the left. That's Lynnie on the right.

Detail of quilt Amy made me for my 60th b'day.

Here's Daddy. He would've loved to join us except he's still mouldering in his grave. He was the most important influence in my life, a true leader of people.

Here's my brother David, the youngest of us, and the first to go. An extraordinary human being. Very talented despite his autism. An utterly gentle soul. He was the family photographer.

Dyou think God has his reasons? Or dyou think he's just a figment of our need for answers.

My sister Ellen who sells items on eBay. A great photographer, she was chosen to p'pate in one of the prestigious Bucks County Community College art shows. Her photo was delightfully bizarre.

My daughter Sarah needs no introduction. (Note that when someone writes "needs no introduction" they're too fuckin lazy to write anything more.)

Ma-MA. Born 8-8-22. Married 4-4-44.

She sits at the head of the table where my dad used to sit.

Rich Pomper, my bro/law, who's married to Amy. They live in Eugene OR in one of the most b'ful houses I've ever seen. Rich likes to crack jokes. Are they funny? One out of four.

I think I spent a total of four and a half minutes with Rich and Amy.

Nikki's son Tyler, I mean, Quinn, I mean Paddy! Ze greatest kid ever!

I guess this is what they mean by "deep dish pie." This is a strawberry-rhubarb pie w/mom's rhubarb. Rich made the all-butter crust. I had two helpings it was so delicious. So did Cousin Lloyd who took some home, along w/ mom's lemon squares.

Stretching out after din-din. Sarah and I were exhausted and were gonna leave. Then we got our second wind and left at midnite. Most of the others were up till two. Everyone slept over.

Rich wanted to take family portraits. By this point, I was so exhausted I hoped I could keep my eyes open. I had a New Directions program at the Giant Supermarket Classroom.

So we have both Paddy and Rich taking fam photos.

Amy, get your skinny butt over here!

Mom and her Five Greenwold Girls.

Patrick with his parking garage.

Paddy is making us laugh hysterically.

Where dyou suppose Paddy learning yoga? From his mama, who takes bikrun yoga, in a very hot room to loosen up the joints.

First cousins, Lloyd and Bernice.

"I learned about death from your mother," Lloyd said. She was 6 years older than him and used to babysit for him. One day he asked her, What happens when we die?

Her famous remark was, "The lights go out."

View One from the Glass Table

View Two from the Glass Table

I said to Sarah, when I saw the glass table right now, I thot of a line from my poem The Last Mania:
A dog twitching under a glass table couldn't resemble you more.

Hail the Unconscious which notices All.

The new generation arrives!

About time we included a photo of Lynn's BF Chuck Norris look-alike, Neil. And how are the girls, I asked him about his college-age twin girls.

And how's Mike, I asked, about his Cheltenham cop son.

Jason's doing well, he said.

And how many weeks pregnant is his lovely wife?

Well, she's not pregnant yet, he said.

This morning at breakfast at the always-terrible KitchenBar in Abington, my daughter/law commented about the pregnancy of Alice in California.

That's where I got the pregnancy idea.

And now, ladies n gents, if you'll excuse me, Scott is expecting me. This week's fleet of movies is:

Birth of a Nation
Bang the Drum Slowly
Mrs Harris
Milk (Harvey)
George Harrison concert for the Hungry in Bangladesh 1971


  1. hi ruth, i really like all the photos...the one of david is i never knew him as anything other than slow....seriously. i had forgotten what he looked like...and then the picture brought him right back to life. such a sweet little boy. thanks for all the pix. ellen looks a million times better than at her surprise birthday party !!! love, nancy

  2. Ruth, I just love this post about your wonderful, interesting and talented family, some of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in the past. This all brings both a smile to my face, and a tear with a little sadness that there are no longer family get-togethers possible for my family of origin. Of course, I have my own little brood. And your mother still bakes!

  3. Now that is a family - I wish that David had been there with his new digital camera.

  4. PS: Watching movies sounds fun. I didn't do it much this winter. And I never do it in the summer.

  5. speaking of digital cams, i'm working on an article for about a camera repair shop. and, yes, david would've loved taking photos of everyone.

  6. re the movies - well, it's really 'the thing' around here. hey, that's an old movie i could check out - the thing. i think james arness ws in that. he died recently, i thing.