I hope you are all doing well and keeping safe and healthy.
We have the same parents. My brother and I. He’s not a new person in my life, he’s my big brother. I didn’t know all the pieces and parts that Jay is made of, but I’m getting to know him now writing his memoirs—and there’s a lot to know. I love this crazy, amazing, dazzling new connection.
We reminence and smile remembering the deep connection we had as kids. Jay was always the one to give me advice. When I was ten he told me to be a good girl. When I was fourteen, he told me to say no to the boys. When I was sixteen he told me to be the young lady that a young man wants to marry and not the kind who says yes to hanky panky.
We always protected each other. When we were kids he didn’t let the Canterville Ghost (from the Charles Laughton movie) that lived in our chimney scare me, and I didn’t let the giant waterbugs that lived in our basement scare him. He always checked on me that I was taking good care of myself, even after I married.
Our hobbies kept us connected. I had tropical fish in a thirty-gallon tank outfitted for cleanliness and prettiness. He got expensive exotic fish and bigger and better tanks. When Jay and his wife Barb went on vacation, he gave his housekeeper instructions on how to feed the fish. They came back from their travels and there were no fish in the tank.
He asked the housekeeper, “What happened?”
She said, “I don’t know what happened, I fed them all day, but don’t worry, I have all the fish, they’re in the freezer.”
After choking on her answer, he explained if you feed tropical fish all day they’ll die. Fish keep eating anything you give them.
One day we had a disagreement and he didn’t talk to me for fifteen years. Devastated and not understanding what hurt him so deeply, I tried to apologize, but he kept away. I had lost my precious brother. After my granddaughter died and he came to the funeral, we talked and made up. We commiserated about Rebecca’s death, and he understood. He felt my loss and looped my arm through his. I leaned on his shoulder and wept.
Four years ago, Jay mentioned to me that he was working on his memoirs. He’d asked his niece, Judith Zissman, a talented and accomplished journalist, to help, and she agreed. But four years later Jay’s memoirs only had an outline. Then about six months ago, Jay asked me to work with him. He sent me the outline, and Judith sent me all the background research. She is a talented writer and now is working as my editor on this project.
I write the scenes/chapters and send them to Judith. She edits them and sends them back to me. After I tweak them, I send them to Jay. He does his share of writing. We’ve created a system for his memoirs that’s working well.
My former editor and friend Joanna had been encouraging me to write my memoirs. She’s always telling me what an exciting and inspiring life I’ve lived (still live). I began writing about my life and shared some of those funny childhood stories with Jay. But his memoirs took center stage. I put mine on hold.
I’m learning some of the technical stuff that he pioneered when working for NFL Films. He created first-time projects in electronics, frequency coordination, and coach to quarterback communications.
Here I am reminiscing, me at eighty-four and Jay at eighty-eight. I’m not working on another historical romance, but there’s history in Jay’s memoirs. Once we get Jay’s finished, I hope to get back to mine.
In other news, I won first prize for my oil painting, Grasses in the Marsh, in the Madison Art Society (Madison, CT) member show. Use this link to find the show online (https://madisonartsocietyct.org).
No matter what your goals are — never give up your dreams.
This blog is a farewell as of October 15, 2020. It’s been a wonderful journey with a great group of authors in a wonderful publishing company. Thanks to Debby and Char. Thanks for always being there.