It is a Friday about dusk just before dinner. At the
bottom of the stairwell a radio can be heard, and the
top of an attractive silver-gray head can be seen over
the kitchen table. Because it is the Sabbath, Yetta is
working on a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle instead of
knitting or crocheting.
Look a little closer and you will see a tear or two
rolling down her cheeks. She is listening to her
favorite radio show, "The Yiddisher Philizoph"
("The Jewish Philosopher"), who is telling his
audience about the bad things that are happening to
so many people: One lady lost her husband and
doesnít have enough money to pay the rent; a man
lost his job and is having trouble finding a new one;
another person is sick and canít take care of the
children, and so on. And Yetta cries at the sadness.
These memories are as fresh today as they were so
very many years ago. The picture returns frequently
whenever Mozartís Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is
played either on the radio, concert stage or compact
disk because this was the philosopherís theme song.
Yetta was born in the "old country" and never had
the opportunity to attend school either over Ďthereí or
when she came to this country as a young girl. This
saddened her greatly but did not deter her from
learning new things and stretching her mind. I am
reminded of the time when I was about seven years
old and was having difficulty reading a word. I
asked for her assistance and when she told me she
didnít know, I remember saying, "Thatís OK, I guess
when I get to be your age I will forget how to read".