Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This morning, I went to the Legacy exhibit at the Columbus Jewish Center. Toby Brief, another Designated Daughter, who came home when her father died, volunteered to be the innovator, designer, historian and curator of one of the most exciting historical exhibits I have ever seen. She has given meaning and beauty to the story of the Jewish immigration to Columbus, Ohio. It was a wonderful experience, looking and listening as D.G. pushed me around in my wheel chair.

As I have been contemplating the wonderful ninety years I have led, I have zeroed in on the events of these nine decades; this morning I realized how privileged I am to really have personal memories of my antecedents. There is hardly anyone left to whom I can talk about those people. As a little girl, my father took me to see his father, and two old ladies who were his step-grandmother and, I think, a step-great aunt. Aunt Bet was a little, round old lady who lived up a steep flight of stairs. Great grandfather, Henry, had arrived in Columbus in the 1860's and had run a grocery store. He brought his first wife and their children, and when she died, he remarried and had more children.

There were fascinating maps of early Columbus, the merchants side by side on High Street. There was a section devoted to the early junk dealers, all of whom grew prosperous by turning their scrap metals into something else.

At each stop I babbled on, I kept saying, "His grandson was in my confirmation class" or "yes, she was Uncle Harry's sister."

The collection of items is beautiful, and beautifully presented. The meaning is even more significant. Keep the old pictures and artifacts. Write your memories. You probably have no idea what it will mean to future generations.

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