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Skiing in Europe

Life Story Club Contributor

Feb 10, 2020

My husband and I were skiing in Europe. Actually it’s much tougher to ski in the United States than it is in Europe because you’re below the tree line and you have all those trees that you have to go around.

But we were lucky enough to be traveling in… was it northern Italy or Switzerland? We were caught in a snowstorm and I thought we would never get out, and this was scary. But we finally did get out because the troops, not troops that we paid for, but the troops helped save us.

What’s wonderful about skiing in Europe that’s better than skiing in the United States at least is that it’s above the tree line, because when you ski in the United States it’s much more dangerous because you have to go around everything. In Europe it’s a lot easier.

We were once trapped in a snowstorm. They let us stay in the cable car and we watched this terrible snowstorm. I was afraid that we would never get down from there, but we finally did, but troops saved us. I mean we didn’t save ourselves. But that was the most scary thing I ever did. Actually learning how to ski was pretty scary too.

I learned how to ski in the United States, which is much tougher than skiing in Europe. But I’m always a little afraid of everything physical. I don’t want to get hurt. Anyone who says that they’re not afraid of getting hurt is just lying as far as I’m concerned.

But skiing in the United States was very tough because there were trees all over the place and you had to ski around them. But the most wonderful place we ever skied in Europe, because it was above the tree line. You didn’t have to worry about trees, so that’s when I enjoyed it the most.

Feb 10, 2020

First Date

Life Story Club Contributor

Feb 11, 2020

My first date was in the 6th grade, and there was a boy in the 6th grade at PS197. His name was Freddie Edleman. He played the piano really well. His parents were dentists, and to be dentists during the Depression was a big deal. And they took us to the Brooklyn Museum. Freddie Edleman had red hair, and my father had red hair, which might’ve been what I liked about him. He was a very nice guy, and he was my boyfriend until high school. Then he discovered blondes. That was the end.


Life Story Club Contributor

Feb 3, 2020

The day before we were married, my husband asked me what I had never been able to do that I would like to do and I said, “I’d like to go to the circus.” I had never been to the circus and it always intrigued me. Since then I have been to a number of circuses, but at that time I haven’t been. He took me to Ringling Brothers in Madison Square Garden.

I thought that was the most glorious thing I had ever done, aside from getting married. I love going to circuses. I still like them. I’ve been to the Moscow Circus, I’ve been to the Paris Circus, I’ve been to circuses all over the world because I like to laugh and life is hard and if you don’t laugh, how are you going to make it through life?

My husband was very funny. He didn’t tell jokes he wasn’t like a gagster or anything like that, but he was a very funny man. That was one of the things I loved best about him, that he made me laugh. Laughing is the most important thing you can do in life, I think. Just so you can keep on going, just so you can keep a positive attitude.

Feb 3, 2020

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Most Joyful Day

Life Story Club Contributor

Jan 27, 2020

Well, I was very joyful on my marriage, certainly, but actually the most joyful day I had when I was younger, was when I got my bike.

Yes, I got a bicycle, which meant that I could ride all over the neighborhood, see everything, see everybody. And that was wonderful. Unfortunately, someone in my family had to die in order for me to get the bike. That’s because we couldn’t afford a bike. And this person, my uncle left me some money and I was able to… My mother bought me a bike, and I really wanted a doll at the time for some reason or other, but that’s what I wanted. But I got a bike, and I was very lucky that I did, because I was able to ride all over the neighborhood, see all my friends, see different parts of the neighborhood, and I guess I was too old for dolls. It was that simple.

My friends had bikes also, but they had ballooned tired bikes. I had my mother buy me a racing bike. It had three speeds, and I thought that was fantastic. Later on I got more another bike that had more speeds, but at that time I thought that was just unbelievable.

I taught myself how to ride a bike. But I tell you it was not easy. On and off. On and off, rolling, all the time. I didn’t have any accidents. I mean I didn’t bump into anybody. That’s about it. No skinned knees, I only got skinned knees when I roller-skated. Because we didn’t wear long pants at the time. Now of course we all wore long pants, but I wore shorts at the time. And I got a lot of skinned knees and I just hated it, and really hurt.

And remember what they used to put on stuff? Iodine. You’d have quite of red knees, or purple knees. And that hurt. Iodine really hurt. It stung.


Life Story Club Contributor

Jan 13, 2020

When I found out I was good at art… It was inherited. It’s not something that I had any control over. I just inherited it. I inherited it from my father, who was a professional artist. I was a professional artist, and I have a child; one of my sons is a professional artist. We have a very good time at it. It’s wonderful being an artist.

My father did painting. I could paint, and I always painted. When I was in Cooper Union, I painted. I can’t say that I was the greatest painter in the world, but I had a good time doing it. My stuff was exhibited, which I thought was terrific. Well, it was exhibited in school from a very early age. No, actually I did have a piece of artwork exhibited in Macy’s when I was a young child; a skater. I really loved ice skating. I wasn’t very good at it, but I loved it.

Then later I did print ads, and I also wrote radio commercials and TV commercials. I was very lucky.

I have a younger son who is also an artist. He does commercial art as well. His company’s called Addison Design.

I think we’re very lucky. That’s all. It’s something you inherit. It’s not something that… It’s just that you inherited it; you had that skill you inherited, and I’m very grateful for it. I trained. Sure I did. I went to Cooper Union, which is a very tough art school to get into.

I also wrote TV commercials. I did a lot of stuff. I really enjoyed it, and I still enjoy it. And I’m still painting. Oh, I keep very busy.

Favorite Family Tradition

Life Story Club Contributor

Dec 9, 2019

Well, our favorite family tradition was Thanksgiving because we were Jewish and we didn’t celebrate Christmas, and so Thanksgiving was the big deal. There would be 40 of us at Thanksgiving dinner. My maiden name was Cronestadt, which means crown city in German.  I have no idea how we got that name. I have not a clue. I come from a Jewish Russian family, but I was born in the United States. But Thanksgiving really meant something because that’s when we would all be together, and they were all a lot of Cronestadts.

We would alternate between New York and Washington, DC, where the rest of my family lived. The tradition was that each one would bring a dish. We would share. You know, the whole idea of the cooking and everything. But we didn’t celebrate Christmas. Thanksgiving was the big one…

Not that I didn’t love Christmas. I have a great time at Christmas. But Thanksgiving was always it.
I wanted to celebrate Christmas. I suffered from Christmas envy. It seemed to me the whole world was Christian and they were all having Christmas, and I wasn’t having Christmas. Yeah, I really did.

Young Trouble

Life Story Club Contributor

Dec 2, 2019

Lying. And I still lie today. I used to lie about my family being together because it really bothered me that I was the only one at the time whose father was not living at home. So I used to lie about that.

And then today I lie, I still lie because I hate for people to feel bad. I want them to feel good about themselves. And so I tell them, I think they’re smart, even if they aren’t smart. I tell them they’re good looking, even though they aren’t good looking. I tell them they’re well dressed, even if I don’t think they’re well dressed. Because I want them to feel better about themselves. No but I found that lying was a good thing. Not a bad thing. I think lying is a good thing. I think it’s a good thing to want people to feel better about themselves. I think it’s, I don’t mind lying. I don’t mind my lying at all.

Yeah, sure I got in trouble for lying. I used to get hit. Pardon me, spanked. Spankings what I used to get, I used to get a spanking. But I still find lying is very helpful. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Because I want people. Now I lie to people about how they look. Those are little white lies.

I didn’t feel good about myself when I was a kid, because I was the only one whose parents were separated. And I now I just want people to feel good about themselves. So I tell them they’re smart. I told them they’re well dressed. I tell them anything to make them feel better because I wanted to feel better myself.

Dec 2, 2019

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My neighborhood

Life Story Club Contributor

November 15, 2019

I grew up in Flatbush. It was almost entirely Jewish. I only had two friends who weren’t Jewish. One of them was Robert Galley, who was Italian, and the second one was Adrian Crier, who was Protestant. But, essentially, I thought everybody was Jewish when I was growing up. I hardly knew anybody else, but it was a very nice neighborhood. It was called Flatbush and we used to jump rope. We used to roller skate. We used to draw something on the ground and go from box to box to box to box. It wasn’t hopscotch. Well, maybe it was like hopscotch.

We used to roller skate. I remember that I was very disappointed. I had older brothers, much older brothers. I was the only girl and I wanted a doll. I wanted a doll. It was called a Betsy Wetsy doll. You’d feed it water and it would wet its diaper. And I wanted to change its diaper in the worst possible way. I don’t know why, but all I got was roller skates. We didn’t have much money and my mother decided roller skates were it.

Well, roller skates were terrific. I roller skated all over the neighborhood. I really enjoyed rollerskating and I forgot about the doll. Well, it turned out I was very upset, very upset, and I told my mother I did not like her for getting me the roller skates, but the roller skates turned out to be just terrific.

Speaking Up

Life Story Club Contributor

Aug 19, 2019

Did you ever join a protest or a march to further a political message?

I marched against somebody called Senator Joseph Mccarthy. He was a red-baiter. Well, I thought he was a red-baiter. A red-baiter is someone who thinks everyone is a Communist. He was attacking people for being Communist. His assistant was named Roy Cohn. So I took to the streets. I went with my friends because red-baiting was anti anyone who didn’t believe what others in the United States believed in. We weren’t Communists, we just didn’t like what they were doing. The two men I’m talking about ended up going to prison. So it was for a good reason. We were vindicated.

Have you ever had to stand up for yourself?

Oh, all the time. When I started working, women were not paid an equal wage as men. I thought I was working as hard as any man. So I stood up to get the same pay as a man got for the job I was doing. And it worked out. I was always very well paid, since I was in the arts. When you’re an artist and you’re independent, you have talent, so you’re well paid for what you do. It’s different from being a secretary, which is fine. But I felt I deserved to be paid as much as any man for doing what I do. I got my raise. I worked in an industry where I was lucky – I had specific talents, so I always did very well. I did not feel nervous about asking for my raise. I just went and got what was mine! I’m very confident. I think that’s very helpful when you’re working on a job. My mom worked her whole life. And she always fought for exactly what she wanted. So that’s what I did.

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