Event in Judy Blume’s New Book was Witnessed by My Mother and Grandfather

Judy Blume's upcoming book, IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT.

Judy Blume’s upcoming book, IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT.

I am very excited to hear that bestselling author Judy Blume has written a new book, IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT.  The book will be available in June.

Judy Blume went to the same grammar school as I did, Victor Mravlag School 21 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  We were there a generation apart, but we had Miss Anne Tobiassen as one of our fabulous teachers.  Miss T used to tell me about Judy because she knew I loved to write, too.

And read.  I’ve always enjoyed Judy Blume’s books, not only the ones she wrote for children that I read so long ago but her adult books, especially SUMMER SISTERS.  They’re all vivid and the characters stay with me forever, but the ones in that book really hit home.  One of them reminded me so much of an old friend…

Imagine my astonishment last night when my parents contacted me to read me an article about her latest book.  IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT is based on a true sequence of events: in the three months between December 1951 and February 1952, there were not one, not two, but three plane crashes all in…the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Want to hear of an unlikely event?  My mother, Mary Yoerger, and my grandfather, Teddy, were eyewitnesses to the first one.  In fact, they not only witnessed the crash, but were the first two people to reach the scene.

My mother told me last night that she and her father had been sitting on the porch of their house on Grove Street and New York Avenue in Elizabeth when they saw a plane flying far too low over their house.  “I think that one’s having trouble,” my mother said to the man I would later call my Pop Pop.

Suddenly they heard an enormous explosion.

“Let’s go!” Teddy said to his daughter, and they ran right to the car.

“If my mother had been home,” Mom said, “she never would have let us go to the scene of a plane crash.  But she hadn’t come back from work yet, so off we went.”

They found that the plane had crashed by Battin High School.

“It was strange,” my mother reported, “but when we got there, nobody was there yet.  The nuns from the St. Mary’s convent were right by the crash site, but they didn’t come out to see what was going on.  There was no one but my father and me.”

The two of them edged closer to the crash site.  Finally a police officer materialized, one who knew them.  “Teddy and Mary, get back,” he said.  “You don’t want to be near it if it explodes further.”

They did, and lived to tell the tale.

I’ve known this story for a long time, but until last night I had no idea there were three crashes in Elizabeth within three months.  I can fully understand why Judy Blume has used these events for the basis of a new novel, which will recount how the three crashes impacted a family.  What fun, though, to find out that this particular story also packed a wallop in mine!

I can hardly wait to read this book!

My mother, Mary Yoerger, at about the time of the first plane crash in 1951.

My mother, Mary Yoerger, at about the time of the first plane crash in 1951.

My grandfather, Teddy Yoerger.

My grandfather, Teddy Yoerger.

Thirty-One Online Party Events: Like a Tupperware Party for the Digital Age!

One of many attractive items available from Thirty-One!

One of many attractive items available from Thirty-One!

I want to recommend a really fun way to get “together” with your friends – virtually – and have a “party” right on your computer.

Many moons ago, I grew up around the corner from a delightful little girl named Ellen Scher Weitzenhofer, who is now a representative for Thirty-One, a company that has parties where you can buy attractive bags and organizing supplies.  The parties can be either in person or online.

The online parties are like good old-fashioned Tupperware parties – but they’re through the computer and right in keeping with the digital age!  Woo-HOO!

It was my pleasure to “host” one, and it was a blast!  Ellen ran an enjoyable event right through a Facebook page and several of us got the chance to buy some very cool items.  Naturally, if you are the party’s “hostess,” you get to be eligible for some special items, too.

Take a look.  Here is Ellen’s link, and I recommend her highly.  Let her run a party for your friends, too – and enjoy!


Three Terrific Yiddish Proverbs

Here are three Yiddish proverbs that I found online and loved so much that I made them into signs.  They now hang on the walls of my office at my cool new job.


Go for it.

Go for it.









Easy does it.

Easy does it.







Fortune – and this one is my absolute favorite:

Stay awhile!

Stay awhile.

Have a Happy Saturday!

Forget Them Not: The 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Explanation of why the Forget-Me-Not flower is a symbol of the Armenian genocide.

Explanation of why the Forget-Me-Not flower is a symbol of the Armenian genocide.

This is a sad day for America, as well as Armenia.

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.  1.5 Million people – men, women and children – were murdered by the Turks on April 24, 1915.  Some were even crucified.

That this genocide happened is a well-known historical fact.  The Armenian Genocide is studied in Holocaust programs all over the world.

However, in the United States of America, we have a President who won’t use the word “genocide” to describe this slaughter.  We have a President who – despite having made campaign promises where he said he’d recognize this mass murder by its proper term – genocide – won’t do it.  Oh, no.  He’s too afraid of offending the Turks, despite the fact that the ones who perpetrated it a hundred years ago are certainly all dead.  The Turks of 2015 don’t like it when other countries call this long-ago event by its proper name, though.

Be that as it may, what kind of man is this President Obama for wanting to appease them? 

Normally I try to refrain from saying too much about politics.  It’s always been such a joke to me, so mindless, the mud-slinging and the name-calling, the vilification of one party by the other, the propaganda and the indoctrination, the diehard party people who weren’t raised to choose the best candidate – as those of us from families of Independents were – but to automatically vote for one party over the others, no questions asked, like automatons.

Still and all, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation as flat-out idiotic and disgraceful as this one, where The President of The United States is such a gutless wonder that he can’t even admit that a genocide is a genocide – for fear of who he’ll offend.  This is reprehensible, even for a politician.  Think the Turks worried about who might get “offended” back on the day a century ago when they went out of their way to slaughter all those defenseless Armenian people?  Think the moon’s a balloon, too?

I’m beginning to seriously wonder what exactly is going on inside this president’s head if he suddenly can’t acknowledge a known and well-documented chapter history, especially after he promised to do so back in the days when he was merely a candidate in need of the Armenian-American vote.  So it was genocide before he got elected, but it’s “not genocide” after?

I’m speechless!

Pope Francis has no problem stating the word “genocide” with regard to this horrific chapter of history.  The leaders of several other countries are not too wimpy to called it a genocide, by the way.  Bravo to Canada, Lebanon, Belgium, France, Greece, the Vatican, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Venezuela, Poland, Lithuania, Chile , Sweden and Bolivia.  I hope one day America steps up to the plate on this issue and displays the kind of moral courage for which we used to be known.  Again, let me repeat that the Armenian Genocide is studied in Holocaust programs all over the world.

It happened.

I hope the Armenian people know that, in spite what does or doesn’t pour forth from our politicians, Americans are still people of goodwill, and that we are standing with you.  We know that 1.5 Million Armenians were killed in the Armenian Genocide.

May God bless the descendants of 1.5 Million as we remember all of the innocent victims that were lost a century ago today, and please, forget them not.

Here are the fags of the nations that have stood up to recognize the Armenian genocide.  USA, what are you waiting for?  Join them!

Bravo to THESE nations that HAVE stood up to recognize the Armenian genocide. USA, what are you waiting for? Join them!


Forget-Me-Not, showing actual images of the genocide.

Forget-Me-Not, showing actual images of the genocide.  I call this evidence indisputable.

My friend Gail Kubik just made the following comment on this post.  I approved it, but the way this blog is set up, you have to kind of hunt to find the comments, so I’m putting it here so nobody will miss it.  Doesn’t this pack a wallop?

“Even if Germany shall lose this mortal struggle [WWII], and this secret is revealed it will no matter. It is too grand, no one shall believe it, and even if they were to, it shall not matter. It will be forgotten, after all who remembers the Turks slaughtering the Armenians?”

-Adolf Hitler, 1941

Viva la Spring!

One of my favorite poems has always been Robert Browning’s wonderful “Song from Pippa Passes”:

The year’s at the Spring,

And day’s at the morn;

Morning’s at seven;

The hillside’s dew-pearled;

The lark’s on the wing;

The snail’s on the thorn;

God’s in his heaven;

All’s right with the world!

After a winter like the one we’ve had in New York City, it couldn’t possibly be a more appropriate poem to celebrate the Spring.  Here is a Spring photo that I took this morning.  I kind of can’t quite believe it yet that winter is, indeed, over – and Spring is really here!  To see some additional photos of New York in this, my favorite season, please check out my Fine Art Photography website here:


Rejoice, it's Spring!

Rejoice, it’s Spring!

Quentin Letts: Biggest Twit of 2015!

Angela Lansbury looking spectacular, as always, at the Olivier Awards

Angela Lansbury looking spectacular, as always, at the Olivier Awards

Bravo to all those members of the Twitterverse who Tweeted regarding a vile Daily Mail reporter from the UK called Quentin Letts.  Letts got hammered on the social media platform in response to his unfair and ultra-vicious comments about Angela Lansbury.  He deserves it.  The comments are beyond the pale.  I won’t repeat what he said here, except to say this Letts is obviously a bully, and probably one of the jealous or unfulfilled variety.

I don’t read the Daily Mail – thank goodness, since if it published what Letts wrote, it isn’t overloaded with ethics.

I have never heard of this Quentin Letts character, who doesn’t seem to possess one shred of the best quality a human can have – namely, generosity of spirit – until this morning.

However, Angela Lansbury’s name is a household word.

Your name isn’t, Quentin Letts – but hers is.

Angela Lansbury has been entertaining the world since 1944.  She nails every role she gets.  Her “Madame Arcati” in Blithe Spirit is one of the funniest performances I’ve ever seen, and let me tell you, her “Rose” in Gypsy back in 1974 was one I’ve never, ever forgotten.  She deserved that Olivier Award, and I think that, at nearly 90, the fact she’s still working and doing such a great job should be regarded as an inspiration to everyone.

So again, Bravo to the Twitters! 

As for Quentin Letts, clearly, he’s merely a Twit.


Look What I Saw



Check it out: there are blossoms blooming in New York City.

It looks like it’s finally and officially Spring!