I spent more than half of my weekends at Nana and Grandpa’s house as a child. I was the first grandchild on both sides of the family and of course the favorite even after the rest of them came along.
They were Jewish which meant that my mom was Jewish which means that according to the Jewish faith, I am also Jewish. I was raised a Catholic. As a kid I was in a Synagogue twice: once to play bingo and the other time for my cousin’s Bar and Bat Mitzvahs (held together). The only thing I remember is reading backwards for three and half hours and being able to eat as much lox as I wanted to. I also remember my cousins leaving with enough money to afford a couple of small homes.
So I was raised on cream cheese, bagels, and lox, matzos with butter, and kugel or koogle (as I’ve seen it spelled). Grandpa also ate gefilte fish which came in a jar. I can remember Nana (in her NY/Jewish accent) saying, “Ronnie, can you get Grandpa the gafelta fish?”
Grandpa was a nervous type of guy. He especially could not stand it when a person made noise while eating. He’d say, “What’s all that music you’re making over there? Stop the racket!”
Matzo is crunchy. You can’t eat it quietly. Nana used to take me outside to eat mine. My sister once told me that she would suck hers while it was in her mouth until it was soft. Soft matzos don’t make noise but she was risking the chance that some sort of sucking sound would reach Grandpa’s ears.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I’D LOVE TO STAY AND WRITE MORE BUT I HAVE A BENEFIT’S FAIR AT ONE OF MY BUSINESSES. STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 TONIGHT. DON’T MISS HOW NANA AND GRANDPA THOUGHT THAT ANIMAL HOUSE WAS A CUTE DISNEY MOVIE… UNTIL IT STARTED.