More memories of Grammy

More memories of Grammy

Marsha remembers: "When I was a kid, Grammy always took me to all kinds of wonderful places. Grammy didn’t care if it was the Jewish holidays; if you wanted pastries, she would take you to the place on 72nd Street. She would take me to my favorite shows at Radio City Music Hall. Later on, if I wanted to have a date with a boyfriend in the City, she would let me stay over at her place."

That would have been the apartment at 5 Riverside Drive that Selma inherited from Dr. Prager, where she would reside the rest of her life.

Marsha added, “Grammy was there for all the ages of her grandchildren right up till they were adults. When I pass on, she will be part of the aura I leave, because she was a very important person in my life. Grammy never stopped talking about Stanley and all of the Ruby family, even when you were 2500 miles away. She thought Stan was the greatest guy, the greatest son and the best brother to my mother who ever lived. There was nothing she could have wanted from a son that Stanley did not fulfill for her.”

Robert also remembers with palpable love and affection his visits to Grammy’s apartment on Riverside Drive, when she took him to the Christmas shows at Radio City Music Hall or the Central Park Zoo. There were even more prosaic pleasures such as “the times when she would take me to Horn and Hardart; that place where everything came in vending machines at ridiculously cheap prices. I remember you could get a big slice of chocolate cake—the best I ever ate—for a nickel a slice.”

He added, “Grammy was very vibrant, very active. She never sat still for a minute. Even when she was older, when she came out to the house on Oxford Road in Rockville Centre, she would prune all the roses in our rose garden.” Robert added that she had a very common sense, down to earth approach to life. “I remember her saying ‘Never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know something. If you are lost in the City, go to a cop.’”

Not that Selma was a perfect mother, but then, has there ever been such a specimen? Both Marsha and Robert’s wife Jane remember Joan telling them that Selma would give her a hard time as an adolescent for being slightly overweight, an issue that super svelte and glamorous grown up Joan would revisit on her own daughter Marsha when she was a teenager.

It is, of course, far easier for a grandmother to unreservedly indulge a granddaughter than for a mother to indulge a daughter.