Pearl 1940s beach pic

I thought since Mother’s Day is this Sunday, I’d share one of my mom’s poems. I found her poems 10 years ago when my sister N and I were cleaning out her condo in Florida and moving her to an assisted living. She died eight years ago at the age of 91. She would have been 100 this year. Wow-o-wow! Hope she is celebrating her centennial in heaven. I miss her every day.

My mom was a poet and I didn’t know it

My mom wrote poems during the 1940s, when she was in her twenties. Some depict her feelings about the wartime, World War II, to be exact. My uncle N, her brother, went off to war as did many of her male friends and her girlfriends’ boyfriends. Some returned and some didn’t.

These poems are like little treasures. Each one typed on a typewriter, some with handwritten edits. I am careful when I open the folds as the papers are nearly 80 years worn, browned at the edges, words faded. As I read the lines I can picture my mom typing them on an old Smith Corona. The poems are fun with a positive spirit, just like my mom.

Group of twenty-somethings in the 1940s

My mom’s poems were about her family and friends during the 1940s, including World War II (Mom is first from right)

My mom loved the seashore

“Summer Memories” is one of my favorite poems. It’s especially poignant because it reinforces her love for the seashore — a gift she gave to me and my sister N. It’s why we flock to the ocean when the heat rises in June, July and August. My sister N to the New York beaches and I to the Jersey shore. I’ve also passed down this love to my daughter A and my son D.

My mom was excited when I purchased my “condo on the corner” at the Jersey shore in 2008, shortly after my husband died. She always wished for a house in Long Beach, New York, where we vacationed during my childhood summers. Those were glorious days drizzling sandcastles, chasing waves and eating soggy cream cheese and grape jelly sandwiches for lunch. Ooh, ooh, ooh the Welch’s grape jelly would ooze out from the heat and turn my fingers dark purple. My mom said salt water from the ocean cured everything, even purple fingers. And it did.

Judy at the Jersey Shore

My mom passed on a love of the seashore to me

Sharing one of my mom’s poems

I hope this poem by my mom (whose name is Pearl) reminds you of your own summer memories and sparks new ones for 2021. May you find peace and calm this summer season, get to see your family and friends after a tough winter, and enjoy the outdoors.

Pearl in her 20s

My mom wrote “Summer Memories” when she was twenty-something

Summer Memories by Pearl

Thanks for the memories,
Of Winter, Spring and Fall,
But Summer most of all,
We did have fun,
But now it’s done
And back to work we crawl
With loads of regrets.

Thanks for the memories,
Of a World’s Fair made in sand,
of Eli getting canned,
Of Florie’s rages,
Martha’s wagers,
Bracelets of rubber bands
How lovely they were.

Gertie came back with a sunburn,
And that was when Lennie started teezing
Tho everyone else thought it pleasing
He tried his best,
To be a pest.

So thanks for the memories,
Of Coney in the rain,
Missing a Rockaway train,
Sir John was a bore,
His jokes were so raw,
We thought he was insane,
We just didn’t care.

Many’s the time that we argue,
And many’s the time that we say things
Tho we only mean them as gay things
Some think they’re not smart
And take them to heart.

So thanks for the memories,
Of Boardwalk strolls at night
Of Billie, what a sight!
Of sunburn faces
Museums and places
No wind to fly a kite,
So thank you so much.

Remember the time we went dancing,
Remember the time we went rowing,
Tho we didn’t think we were going,
We hadn’t enough,
So one boat not he cuff.

So thanks for the memories,

Of all our Summer crushes,
And Gertie’s “Fuller Brushes”
We won’t forget,
This summer yet,
In Winter’s snows and slushes,

So thank you so much.

Have a “Happy Mother’s Day!”


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