Marilyn's Magical History Tour

Her grandchildren were always asking about her Brooklyn childhood, so on the occasion of my mother's 80th birthday, I produced Marilyn's History Tour. It was a "This Is Your Life" type of adventure, starting off with the entire family yelling "surprise" over egg creams at an old-school soda fountain. From there, a bus shuttled us to memorable sites throughout my mother's life: the tenement building where she was born, the schools she went to as kids, and the Canarsie neighborhood where my brothers and I grew up. The highlight was an impromptu visit to the Jewish catering hall in Bed-Stuy, now a Gospel Church, where my parents got married 62 years ago. The minister and his congregants greeted us as if we were all family. It was great fun to see my usually-contained mother squeal with delight throughout the day. Books filled with memorabilia and love notes were handed out and a filmmaker recorded the day for posterity.