The 92nd Street Y Ladies

Meet Hilda, Pearl, Trudy, Florence, Diana, Freide and Rena, my 92nd Street Y Ladies of Rockland County who joined me for 15 years, as we finished work on Mondays and made our way into New York City for an evening of great food,passionate conversation and for dessert, the Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y for readings by the leading writers, poets and playwrights of the moment, before Barnes and Nobel had yet to “borrow” the idea.

We could have it all and still be home before the 11 o’clock news.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an easy move from my comfortable teaching position in my hometown. I loved the kids, my classroom and my work with them on the stage.

I loved being close to my family, my young nephew and nieces but after 12 years, I was restless and frustrated and ready to be closer to the Big Apple.

Most of my colleagues thought I was crazy to give up my tenured position to start over. I knew it was a risk, but I was really ready for a change, confident that I would rise to the challenge.

And I did get a new job, teaching English in an 8-12 building and directing plays in the theater program and my new English department welcomed me warmly.

But there was no way I could have predicted how difficult the transition would be: new school, new kids, no reputation, no friends nearby. I did though have future friends around me, in my department. Hilda held out a donut and a cup of coffee at Aunt Molly’s at 7:45 AM, just before school started and I jumped for it and we began our mornings together for my first year.

I remember the first time I met “the group”. With the Jewish holidays coming on the heels of the new school start, Hilda thought that I might like some of her famous honey cake at the party she threw annually on the first day of Rosh Hashonah. The holiday fell out in the middle of the week and it was too hard to get home. I graciously accepted that year, and every year since.

Hilda, Pearl, Trudy, Florence, Diana, Rena and Freide, threw me a lifeline 22 years ago and they continue to enrich my life.

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Categories: Friends | Tags: | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “The 92nd Street Y Ladies

  1. The generosity of people in times of change and transition is heartening, and when someone does that for you, you remember and do it for someone else. At least, in my mind, that is how the world should work.
    Kevin

  2. I just saw them for lunch the other day and it was wonderful. They are very special and I want to spend even more time with them as we all get older.
    You got to this one fast. It’s my Monday Memoir.
    Did you get to the flood of emails I sent back to you?
    Bonnie

  3. Tena koe Bonnie!

    Your 92nd Street Y Ladies of Rockland County certainly look as if they’re having a load of fun. I love poetry. I will be reading some this Wednesday evening at a function in Wellington, not all my own, but really the published works of a group called the Fife Poets which I belong to. Good wine, good food, good company and poetry. What more could anyone want?

    Ka kite

  4. Wonderful photograph! Generous new friends make all the difference when settling into a new place.

  5. Love the phrase, “Threw me a lifeline!” That’s wonderful!

    BTW: I used to live right by the 92nd St. Y and ran one of their units at Camp Yomi four years ago. Thanks for jogging my memory too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thanks for celebrating my Rockland buds with me. I’m so grateful for their friendship and without the Y now, it’s harder to get to see them as a group. But that’s what lunch is for.
    Bonnie

  7. Friends for a lifetime. It is amazing how one gesture of friendship can lead to years and years of meetings and memories. Thank you for sharing your memory and triggering mine. http://www.debrennersmith.com

  8. Back at you Deb.
    Bonnie

  9. Wonderful photo, Bonnie, such warmth in every face. And I love your story of how you met this great group. We’ve probably been to some of the same readings at the 92nd Street Y … but not destined to ‘meet’ until the blogosphere. Funny how small the world can be!

    I think I was in your neck of the woods yesterday, up at the Ulster County Fair …
    –Stacie

  10. Bonnie
    just discovered your image blog. What a great idea! And this story so struck a chord with me. Aren’t friendships like this truly, truly priceless. They look quite a bunch of great gals.

    Best
    Kate

  11. Glad I found your Flickr challenge, Kate, see you there.
    Bonnie

  12. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Skycap

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