Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Los Angeles Childhood - Memories From Home Part 2
Friday, 04 November 2011 18:25

I remember sitting in our living room, my adoptive mother Esther, my dad and myself, listening to G.E. Theater on the air, or on an old Victrola record player listening to the old wax lacquered recordings of Caruso and Nelly Melba. The box of other records are now somewhere in my garage. Perhaps they sat on that couch bouncing me on their knees or cradling me carefully in their arms, the feet of the couch planted firmly on the carpet. Or maybe earlier, when Alice and my dad lived near my Aunt Gertie. My cousin Ray remembered Alice and told me about her fine singing voice and her kind ways. This was in a house they lived when they were first married.

The companion armchair also in the same style still holds up well in the floral print Esther had it covered when they moved to Shasta Circle South when I was ten. Both couch and chair rested in the living room, a formal room set aside for company and very rarely used except for Tuesday nights when card tables were set up and the women's group played Mah Jong and then men played Gin Rummy. I can remember sneaking out of bed those nights and hiding in the hallway enjoying the music of the 135 tiles clicking as they mixed them up before hands were picked. It was a magic sound, one that carried laughter and oh no's or melding, as my mother or my aunt or one of the other women won a hand. Each Tuesday, all winnings were set aside from the games and placed in a kitty that was cashed in once a year when the gang would all get dressed up and go the Moulin Rouge on Hollywood Boulevard, a ritzy nightclub or maybe the Coconut Grove on Wilshire Blvd. (Information on Mah Jong: http:''en.wikipedia.org/wiki/mahjong. )

I have that Mah Jong set still taking out the tiles made of Bakelite from the 30s. I keep thinking that I will one day take it up seriously and actually did try to learn once but didn't keep it up.

I still remember the Saturday mornings with my mother having her cup of coffee and me a glass of milk and listening to the Metropolitan Opera on the air.

I don't know how many years have gone by since these thoughts came up in my consciousness. All I know is that it gives me such pleasure to think of those pleasant times when they were all alive and I was a small child and then young girl, held and loved as only doting parents can.

What are your oldest memories? Do you have a special piece of furniture, a set of family china? Something that takes you back into those days that passed so quickly but seem like they'll last forever when we were young? If you want to share memories with me, please do write to me, and thank you for reading Not Just A Jewish Book Blog.