Sunday, September 5, 2010


Continuing with my 100th year birthday celebration, I would like to tell you what Laurie Magnant-Oliver, my Vermont grandaughter, presented to me. A lovely book containing a volume 0f all my postings from August 24, 2009 to June 28, 2010 with autographed comments from family members, in addition to the comments from my cyberspace friends. What a treasure!

I was so enthused and happy to be embraced by this beautiful garden of human love -flowers that I could not imagine even in my wildest dream, that I would be able to embrace any more. But I did! I wish to end this chapter sharing with you an essay written by one of these flowers, also a real Angel, one who guards me night and day, my own daughter Angela. Here it is:

Elvira S. Oliver
The Oldest Blogger on Earth

Everybody in Carmel, N.Y. who takes the Paratransit bus knows her as Elvira, the oldest blogger on earth. Her chariot picks her up outside the front door of Hughson Commons in Carmel, N.Y. a haven for senior citizens. With silky white hair blowing in the wind, she leans lightly on the polished branch 0f a mahogany tree and, softly smiling, greets the bus driver and his aging crew. In spite of her years, she moves gracefully reminding one of an elegant but feminine Yoda, as she steps into the bus. At 99, she imparts a tough wisdom and is the epitome of independence and a good natured feistiness.

Delivered by a neighborhood midwife of Italian immigrants, Arcangela and Salvatore Sperduto of Brooklyn, N.Y. on July 18, 1910, Elvira Oliver grew up so Italian she didn't realize she was American until she was well into her teens.

Elvira gave up her car at 98, because she lost the vision in one eye as the result of a mini-stroke. She prefers to take the bus so she isn't a burden, but her daughter will drive her anywhere. "I want to do things myself and remain as independent as possible" is her mantra. If you visit her apartment, you may smell fried onions and meatballs simmering in sauce. Complete pasta dinners are still served at her house for her family. Still cleaning and shopping for herself. Elvira loves to go out on the Paratransit meeting new people and relaying her stories.

From the time she was 8 years old until she started high school she worked as a clerk in her mother's Italian grocery store on the ground floor of the three-story brick apartment building her parents owned. While waiting to serve customers you could find Elvira roller skating over the wooden floor getting in some treasured moments of playtime. Papa crafted a small wooden stool on which she sat at other times, st0ically, in the shadows behind the counter doing homework and keeping a list 0f all the transactions. Until starting school she spoke only Italian, and shyly blushed for a long time while speaking English. These feelings of embarrassment and the desire to overcome them led her to become a good writer with an extensive vocabulary. Now, looking up every word that is not familiar continues a childhood habit. Yet, today she is articulate, animated, self-confident, outgoing, and she tells a good story.

Elvira worked her entire life until 80 years old. Laboring as an executive secretary for the top staff of large companies, a speed queen of dictation, she could clock in at 125 wpm and type at 100 wpm. When she made changes in letters and reports making them more spirited, her bosses soon realized she was an excellent writer. Eventually, she composed sales and other correspondence with her bosses just dictating the gist of what they'd like.

Elvira married a man of English descent whose father was a mining engineer and the head of an upper middle-class family in Oxford, New Jersey. They met at a friend's wedding. She was very sensitive about her immigrant roots and sometimes suffered from the family's unfortunate but rather typical attitudes towards "Eyetalians".

Martin, her husband, who workeed as a salesman for Merck Corporation traveled extensively in the South, keeping him away from home for weeks at a time. With her husband away, she made all the decisions facing the family.

After twelve years, Elvira separated from her difficult and painful marriage. By standing up to her husband, she delivered herself into a state of liberation. Taking on the responsibility of a family by herself, she became a pioneer in this endeavor. Elvira continued to live in the apartment she had shared with Martin, for divorce was still scandalous during the late 40's. She became a modern woman as she plowed her way through difficult work situations and raisd her three young children without support from Martin. She faced the world of work where many bosses tried to take advantage of her excellent skills and her marital status by giving her too much work and too little pay. If she didn.t get a raise she deserved, she would quit. She was so talented, she could easily find another job. She has lots of stories.

Because she is a fighter, Elvira does not allow anybody to take advantage of her. When a product doesn't live up to its advertisements, when promises are made and not kept, when someone tries to exploit or opportunize, she starts to write. She writes to CEO's, managers, town officials, congressmen. whoever can act as an arbiter of injustice. She usually wins. So many times she has been right, and through extensive organization and record keeping has been able to prove it.

Elvira once worked for Congresswoman Edna Kelly of Brooklyn, one of the first women in Congress. Forced to put her children in a boarding school for children from broken homes near Verbank, New York because she could not afford or find the day care she needed, she worked two jobs providing for her children's needs. Many years later, the good congresswoman introduced what became legislation, for a tax exemption for the cost of licenced childcare, on behalf of Elvira and other working mothers in similar situations. Today, Elvira is very proud of her three children Tom, Floyd and Angela who are all retired now. Tom became an Air Force Major, Floyd the Station Manager in Wqashington, D.C. for American Eagle Airlines, and Angela a Child Welfare Administrator. She has three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

In her Blog, she takes you back to the early years of the twentieth century and how it felt to be an Italian-American through her story "The Joy of Growing-up Italian"which has spread world-wide over the Internet, unfortunately without giving her even a byline other than "Anonymous".

Eric Shackle an Internet Investigative Reporter and Publisher well-known for his blog "Life Begins at 80" has reviewed all of the different versions she has written over the years and compared them to those on the Internet and believes she is the actual author. He also saw her driver's license and has verified her as the oldest blogger in the world, as known to date. He was a friend of the two previous bloggers wro died at 107 and 108.

It has been one of her remaining goals in life to receive credit for the story which she circulated to all of her friends and acquaintances of Italian descent by the hundreds across the years, and is now read aloud in Italian-American Clubs all across the country.

The oldest blogger on earth can take you back in great detail to World War I, the influenza epidemic of 1918, the Depression of 1929 (she was the sole support of her family of eight), World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. As a child, she lived jn a world without electricity or modern conveniences and tells stories about small apartment buildings in Brooklyn that had only one commode in the cellar for all the tenants. Across the years, Elvira has seen many mechanisms of living morph from one form into another....gas lights into incadescent electric bulbs, boiling laundry on the stove, scrubbing it on washboards and hanging it out on the line, to automatic washers and dryers. Elvira is Time's witness. Her blog relates the saga familiar to only a few of our oldest seniors. With her long and eventful life, Elvira can fascinate you and make you laugh and cry, and people of all ages will enjoy her blog.

By Angela D'Ambrosio

In my next chapter, I will tell you how my one hundreth birthday continued for several more days. Lucky for me that ladies' hats presently are not in vogue, otherwise I would not be able to find one that woul fit me.

Good Night......Elvira

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Centenarian - Chapter 1

Hi there!

I'm willing to wager that most of you who follow my blogs have been wondering the reason for my long silence or, perhaps, even believing that Elvira has gone on to her eternal resting place. Nope!

I am happy to say that I had a marvelous birthday on Sunday, July 18th, 2010, celebrating one hundred years of my miraculous life on Planet EARTH in the company of my precious family. Angela took on the responsibility of planning this lovely day and was rewarded when late that evening ALL retired with smiling faces.

The reception was held at The Olive Garden in Danbury, Connecticut, a very nice restaurant catering to a superb Italian menu. After dinner, Happy Birthday was sung by my guests and some of the waiters and was followed with a Gift Certificate and congratulations from the Manager for my 100 years and also for being THE OLDEST BLOGGER ON eARTH, at least for the time being.. Then, to continue the celebration, Angela had reserved the Club House at the apartment complex in which I reside. An hour later, we entered a Club House decorated with streamers and balloons by my niece and nephew, Gabriella and Sal; the room was festively beautiful to behold.

Tom, my son, announced he had a surprise.....and what a surprise it turned out to be! He had produced a DVD and labeled it "THE SPERDUTO/OLIVER SAGA"......and when viewing it (as if in a dream), some of the events travelled back in Time. The great applause at the viewing-end of the DVD prompted Tom to say that he would endeavor to produce another one encompassing in more detail a more complete Saga of the Sperduto/Oliver family. So, for the past several weeks, I have been rummaging through drawers and boxes, gathering and mailing photos and negatives to Tom for his enormous project. I'm glad to say that I am presently working on the last box and it contains photos of my Italian ancestry. On the back of each photo, it will be necessary to note who is the person; that is, if I can.

After viewing the DVD, a beautiful cake with glowing candles was placed on the table for us to whet our waning appetites. As conversations began to fade, Floyd (my San Diego son) rose and gave a tribute to the Mothers of the world, directing his words especially to me, as well as to my own long-departed Mother Arcangela, his beloved grandmother. Oh! how I wish that he had written it down, so that I could have presented it to you now. It was so beautiful!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shipping and Handling Charges

Smells like a SCAM.

I believe that the Attorney Generals in all the States should make sure that this practice of collecting "shipping and handling charges" on items purchased via Television Ads, Internet, and other means, should be abolished or curtailed, especially when cancelling an order before it reaches the shipping department or when "it is not yet in the system.

I am not blaming the employees for this; they are only doing what they are told to do. The blame goes to the one who institutes this practice. I can't even blame the CEO; it is usually the upper-scale employee who best qualifies as the "Madoff" of the company, although the CEO is responsible for his employment and actions.

I am going to try at this writing not to mention names, but if the order I placed at 1:oo am this early morning of June 28, 2010 (by calling a number shown on the TV-ad) is not cancelled as per my request approximately ten hours later, and was informed "it is not yet in the system", then I shall come back and expose the name of the company. Who, in spite of my early cancellation and the fact that "it is not yet in the system" will ship the order, charge me for the product, plus shipping and handling charges. Then when the product arrives, I can refuse the product. After it is returned and again redeemed by them, they will issue a full refund for the product, less the shipping and handling charges.

Now you have no product, but they have gained a revenue of about Six Dollars by shipping a product which you cancelled before it was even in the system. In this particular case, the shipping and handling charges are $6.95. I am willing to bet that the actual mailing would be less than a dollar. A profit to them of about $6.00 on an order that was cancelled before 'it was in the system'.

If the cancellation is made before it is in the system, I just cannot understand why it could not be retrieved before it reached the shipping department. The response can only rightly be that the moment you place an order, you are charged immediately.

If I go to the supermarket, the store clerk does not follow me around with a calculator and ask me to pay for items I have not yet placed in the shopping cart. When I get to the shipping department (in the supermarket, it is known as the 'cashier's counter), each item is charged, wrapped and placed in the cart. It has been 'shipped' to me and charged properly.

Nothing is free. Be especially aware of those that offer a Free Gift with the purchase of a non-tangible offer, but charge 'shipping and handling charges' on the free gift which can only be used with the offer. Here's the catch: You are allowed to cancel the so-called offer and receive a refund. But what are you going to do with the Free Gift that you cannot use, on which you paid rather steep shipping and handling charges which are not refundable, and on which they paid a miniscule amount of money to mail to you.

You can believe all of the above or not. In several weeks, God willing, I will be 100 years old. I worked in the business world until I was eighty years old and saw the many changes that took place and reveled in them most of the time. I am a clipper and a saver and want to assure you that I can prove with actual documents, that the postings I have submitted are not fairy tales.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Putnam Hospital Center - Valet Parking

I don't know how many people would say that they enjoy a visit to a doctor's office. Well, here I am admitting that I look forward to my visits to my eye doctor's office. Dr. Allan Farquhar is renouned in our area as a young dedicated ophthalmologist surgeon and I have placed myself completely in his hands. It is with the knowledge that he will do all that he can within his power, to enable me to maintain what vision still remains, so that I may continue to blog for a little while longer. I always leave his office in a very happy mood, filled with exhilaration from all the attention showered upon me, not only from his staff, but from Dr. Farquhar himself who takes time from his exceedingly busy schedule to answer all my questions.

When I leave, I usually sit on a bench in front of 664 Stoneleigh Avenue building (which is part of the Putnam Hospital complex) and wait from zero minutes to an hour for a bus to take me home. I don't mind waiting; I'm happy.....and I watch the perpetual 'movie' enfolding before my eyes.

As people enter or exit the building, I try to decipher from their facial expressions and demeanor what brought them to the hospital today. Have they come to keep an appointment with a doctor in his office, for an x-ray, or have they come to visit a loved-one who is lying in a hospital bed?

Look over there to my right! The new Camarda Building. And my thoughts flow back to the day several weeks ago, when Angela and I had occasion to enter its lobby, and I said: "Wow! its beautiful. Just look at that grand piano! Is this a Music Hall or a Theatre? It certainly should be used for fund-raising events."

At this point, I wish to emphasize that unless I quote " " something, all the thoughts and observations are strictly mine and I'm solely responsible for them.

When I initially came to Carmel, I remember trips to Putnam Hospital required visitors to park their own car and then paying an hourly fee on exiting the grounds. However, on a visit to a doctor's office, you could obtain a validated coupon for free parking. But now, several years later, parking is completely free. To me, this is an Act of Kindness. After all, people do not go to hospitals or doctors' offices for enjoyment; why add insult to injury?

As my eyes roamed the area, I focused on a small shelter tucked-in between bushes just a few feet before the entrance to the building. I realized it was placed there for the use of the valets. I do not know when this valet service began, but I thought it was a nicer way to garner revenue rather than charge everyone for parking. And I wondered what the fee would be!

The shelter was occupied by two, three or four young boys or men wearing bright orange jackets. As a car approached and stopped, and after all passengers were discharged, one of the smiling valets would hand something (a ticket I assumed) to the driver/owner, and wisk the car away.

Then I noticed that some of those, that exited the building, would walk over to the shelter and hand a ticket to one of the valets, who would hustle out to the parking lot to retrieve the car. And here is when I noted two different scenarios work out:

1. When a car was retrieved and presented to the owner, I noticed the owner stretch out his arm and shake the hand of the valet, both smiling at each other. Then the valet still smiling raised his hand as if in an army-salute, but probably more as if waving goodbye.

2. When a car was retrieved and presented to the owner, I noticed the owner look away from the valet, get in the car and drive away.

I sat there saying to myself "I don't understand this; I must get to the bottom of it". I rose and slowly walked to the shelter. I approached the valets and said "I've been sitting on that bench and watching you boys work....and I'm puzzled. How much is the fee and how and when is it collected?" With a great big grin on all their faces, each eager to explain: "Lady, there is no charge; its free." Then I asked a question which I prefaced with 'I probably should not ask this and you don't have to answer' but "are you volunteers?" There was just a slight hesitancy, but then one young man spoke for all of them........and let me put it this way for my blog-readers: Its a great service the hospital offers and they gladly volunteer to serve as valets at a minimum wage. The tips, of course, make for a descent living, especially in this bad economy when lots of boys and young men can't find a job. They are rendering a service and enjoy doing it.

Kudos to Putnam Hospital for expending revenue by hiring caring young men to serve the visitors that make use of their facilities. Every hospital should follow their example.

However, I believe an Act of Kindness should, at least, be rewarded by an Act of Appreciation. So to those who just keep taking and not giving....Shame on you! The next time.....just look at the person and say 'Thank you"; it doesn't cost anything.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

Today is Sunday, May 30, 2010 and it is Memorial Day.

At three o'clock this afternoon, I will suspend anything I am doing to concentrate and remember all those patriotic heroes of all wars who gave of themselves to serve our country. Among my heroes, I salute my sons Thomas and Floyd.

However, I want to pay tribute today to two men who became part of my extended family about sixteen years ago and who are a source of inspiration to many young people, and most of all to me. They are Raymond and John.

Raymond is Laurie's father, and Laurie became my granddaughter when she married my grandson Thomas Jr. Since then, Raymond has become a grandfather twice more and I have been blessed twice with the title of 'great grandmother' by handsome Evan and beautiful Maeghan.

Raymond has been involved, in the past nine years, in several missions in our conflicts overseas. His son John, also a father, is now serving his third or fourth mission there. I hope and pray that he will be returning soon safely to all his love-ones.

The other day, in a local newspaper (The Putnam County Courier), I came across an article which filled me with emotion. Perhaps it will inspire you to read and explain to our young folk the true meaning of Memorial Day.......that it is not the beginning of open-season for backyard barbeques or opening-day of beaches.


"Canadian poet John McCrae wrote the famed poem "In Flanders Fields," after his experience as a field surgeon at the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915.

The poem was inspired by the funeral of a friend who died in that battle, and the reference to poppies in the Flanders fields led to the tradition of wearing paper poppies in honor of those who have died in war.

The poppies reference was not accidental: the flower, a source of opium, is a symbol of sleep, and as the poet Sackville noted, its cousin, death.

The American poet R. W. Lillard wrote, "America's Answer," in reply to Flanders Fields in which he said: Fear not that ye have died for naught; The torch ye threw to us we caught, Ten million hands will hold it high, And freedom's light shall never die!

Here are the words of McCrae's poem:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from falling hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.""

Its a beautiful day here in Carmel; I hope yours is, too.


Friday, May 28, 2010

High School - Chapter 5

My last chapter referred to an event that took place in GCHS and came to a glorious conclusion after many years............

Many times over my long life, I have recounted the story of the swimming pool edict by the principal of GCHS, Mrs. Evelyn Allan. And whenever I completed the story, I realized that no one believed such a tale. But it was always real to me and since I acknowledge that I am a repeater of good stories, I continued to tell it.

One day, in my Life-bio class (year 2006), I chose this particular event as my home-work story. When I completed reading it to the class, I looked up to see a shifting of the eyes from one person to another. I was embarrassed but made no comment and neither did the others. It is an incredible story; why would someone be deprived of graduation for not learning to swim. I'm sure that even my blog friends and followers have been thinking the same thing.

Now, let me bring you to January 1, 2007. On this celebrated day, I was alone in the afternoon. I decided to practice my new-found skills of surfing the internet. (Remember, I started computer classes in 2006). Let me see: "I wonder if any of my high school friends are still living.' No luck! I tried to recall the names of some of the newspapers of 1928.....and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and the Brooklyn Standard Union came to mind and I scanned about 95 pages. I was about to give up when up popped a page "Brooklyn Standard Union - 1929 News- June. I really can't account for continuing, but I did.......and lo and behold, I came across this article, and I quote it word for word:

20 June 1929
Pupils Have Until Next Tuesday to Obey Edict
Mrs. Evelyn W. Allan, principal of the Girls Commercial High School, is enforcing the rule that all girls graduated from the school must be able to swim the length of the 75-foot pool in the gymnasium, The penalty is loss of the privilege of participating in the commencement exercises, which take place next Wednesday. Instead they will get their diplomas by mail.

"The only way to make the girls learn how to swim," said Mrs. Allan today, "is to pursue more or less drastic means. Barring a girl from her commencement will act as a tonic on her to learn to swim."

Mrs. ALLAN said that the pool will be open all day every day until next Tuesday, the last opportunity to satisfy the requirement, and those girls who have not yet traveled the 75-foot tank under their own power still have ample time in which to master enough of the art of swimming to cover this distance.

Mrs. ALLAN declared that the Girls Commercial High School has occupied its new building for five years now. All this time the girls have been aware of the swimming requirement and they have had four years in which to learn, the pool being available to them during their entire stay at the high school. A month ago, more than fifty seniors had still failed to swim the length of the pool. Yesterday this number had dwindled to twenty-nine. Mrs. ALLAN said that she expected the number to melt away considerably during the next few days.

Mrs. ALLAN said 249 seniors are to be graduated from the school next Wednesday and of this number, she expects to have only a handful barred from the commencement exercises because of failure to swim the length of the tank. "Barring this handful," she said, "will not only stimulate those barred to learn to swim, but will act as a lesson for the seniors to come, who have thus far been backward in availing themselves of the opportunity offered by the new, beautiful pool we have here."


You will note that Mrs. Allan became a bit more lenient in her threat a year and a half after I graduated. It was no longer 'loss of graduation'; it was 'the loss of participating in commencement exercises'.

I quickly made ten copies of this on my printer on January 1, 2007, and at my next bio-class handed each one a copy, and smilingly said: "He who laughs last, laughs best".

Yes, I was in my glory. After 79 years, I have been vindicated.

I've mentioned several times that I'm not computer literate. The easiest way for me to locate this EDICT quickly is to Google Search as follows: Mrs. Evelyn Allan - Brooklyn Standard Union - June 20, 1929.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

High School - Chapter 4

This will bring me to the last two weeks of my attendance at Girls Commercial High School.......................

Several days after the family's happiness regarding the Life Extension incident, on arriving at school, my first class of the day was swimming, which was to be the last swim session of the term. Ater roll-call, one teacher said that she had just received a bulletin from Mrs. Allan, our school principal, and as soon as all the chatter stopped, she proceeded to read from it: 'That any girl who had not learned to swim at least across the width of the pool, would not graduate.'

I can't recall my immediate reaction except that my whole world collapsed. I sat down on the floor, shaking and sobbing uncontrollably. Then I felt the arms of my teacher embracing me, whilst assuring me that I still had ten days to learn.

The last ten or twelve days before graduation were usually spent by most students 'just-fooling around', visiting friends and teachers in different classrooms, signing autograph books, and attending to last minute details. But, not for me! I didn't dare say a word at home. For the next seven days, I rose, dressed and walked to school in a trance. There, I would don my bathing suit and report to the pool area. My teacher, realizing how dreadfully scared I was, patiently kept coaxing me. I kept going in and out of the water but hanging on to the ledge constantly. Then I heard the teacher call me back into the water: Elvira, please come back...I'll be right here with you; just have faith in me; you will not drown. Eventually, very slowly, I walked down the several steps into the shallow end of the pool. "Now Elvira, just do as I say: Now throw yourself backward (yes, I'm holding on to you), wave your arms through the water (yes, I'm still holding you), splash your legs up and down (yes, still holding)...........and about minute or two later, I heard several teachers and a few students yelling and clapping their hands, and the teacher in the water with me, saying "mission accomplished". Then I was told.......that without my realizing or being aware of it, and after the last 'yes, I'm still holding', she released her hold and I just floated across on my own steam. Her report to the principal's office was that I swam across the pool.

Are you out there listening to me? I've told you more than once.........REAL angels are everywhere, and they are just ordinary people.

Yes, I graduated from Girls Commercial High School with Rose Lorber in January 1928. In my new autograph book, this time she wrote "Too bad we won't be going to three schools together". And, in the Year Book, under my picture was printed:

Elvira you're not so unoberved
We know you're doing your share
Twixt printing room and typing
Your days are not free from care

A very lovely and very distinguished lady, Louise Hoover, was our Commencement Speaker. A year later, her husband, would become the President of the United States. Unfortunately, only seven months into President Herbert Hoover's administration, sounds of newsboys, down on the streets below offices, resounded with "EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!"......and the whole world remained in a Great Depression until World War II.

However, in February 1928, I entered the business world with the economy rather
good. No longer was I the little girl who worked in her Mother's grocery store. I was a stenographer and bookkeeper on her way to a job in a medical office in Manhattan. I had become an American young lady whose heart was wrapped up tightly, enclosing forever, all that warm Italian culture. which, to this day, has sustained me throughout my extraordinary journey in this life.

There is one more chapter regarding the incredible event that took place in GCHS, which, after many years, came to a glorious conclusion for me.

So until next time........Elvira

Monday, May 24, 2010

High School - Chapter 3

In my last blog, I wrote that I had two years left of high school days---------

The last two years at Girls Commercial High School found me exceedingly happy. Days flew by quickly, Before I knew it, we were preparing for the 1927 Christmas-time festivities. With only a few days more than a month away, we talked a great deal about the expected graduations; my younger sister Marie from grade school and bound for GCHS, and my graduation from GCHS and bound for-who-knows-where. I was 17-years old, but very naive regarding the world outside of my neighborhood. No one seemed to ask, nor did I ever question what I would do with the knowledge I had acquired over the past four years. The answer came again in the form of real angels..............

Returning to school after the Holiday-break in early January 1928, recruiters from the Life Extension Institute presented themselves at GCHS seeking soon-to-be-graduates with excellent stenographic skills who would be able to take rapid dictation from doctors. Four students were to be hired to start working immediately after graduation..... and I was selected as one of them.

At dinner that evening, my family was in a state of jubilation: Elvira was going to be a stenographer and take dictation from doctors. Every morning, she would board a St. John's Place trolley car, which would take her to Flatbush Avenue; and from there, go underground to a subway train which will carry her to 42nd Street Times Square. Best of all, she was going to earn $15.00 for 43 hours per week....nine to five Monday through Friday and nine till noontime on Saturday. Wow! 35-cents an hour. And just imagine, she didn't have to spend time scanning newspaper ads or pay an employment agency to find a job. How lucky can one be!

It's true. There was not a dark cloud in the sky; just a lot of blue, blue skies.

My last two weeks at GCHS is still another story.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

High School - Chapter 2

In my last post, I told you about the wonderful Christmas present given to me by my Father.....that he fully supported my wish to graduate from high school. So let's continue.....

With my new found happiness, I set the ball rolling. I changed my studies from an academic course to a commercial one, which included bookkeeping, typing and the handwritten 'lost' language of stenography in which I excelled and enjoyed tremendously.

The transition from academic to commercial caused me to lose quite a few credits....and if I still wanted to graduate with Rose Lorber, somehow, I had to recover those credits. I sought the advice of my Grade Advisor (a music teacher whose name, at the moment, I can't remember) and she directed me to summer school classes at Erasmus Hall High School on Flatbush and Church Avenues in Brooklyn. I enrolled and the summers of 1926 and 1927 were spent at this school accumulating the necessary credits.

During the first two years of my high school days, a new building was being constructed for Girls Commercial High School on Classon Avenue and Union Street.....opposite the famous Brooklyn Museum and across from the Prospect Park Botanical Gardens. In the interium, some of the students were temporarily housed in annex buildings throughout the borough. Rose and I were placed in an annex on Gates Avenue, between Tompkins and Stuyvesant Avenues....and each morning at eight o'clock, we boarded a Gates Avenue trolley at Greene Avenue and St. James Place after walking four long blocks.

Christmas 1925! What a wonderful Christmas; it continued to reign gifts. On returning to school shortly after the holidays, the students at the annex received a surprise announcement, but to me it was a gift: The new term, beginning the first school day in February 1926.....we were all to report to the new building on Classon Avenue; that all Girls Commercial students, for the first time, would all be together in a magnificent building, with a very large auditorium and a huge swimming pool.

Yes, I proudly walked through the Union Street door of this magnificent building on the first school day in February 1926. There was no need for a trolley; I walked ten short blocks straight up Washington Avenue. And on most Friday afternoons for the next two years, I stopped and chatted with my Aunt Filomena (my Mother's youngest sister) whose house I passed-by each day. I decided I would try to do my very best in all the activities assigned to me,

Part of the Gymnasium curriculum was a swimming class once a month. Students were required to purchase a standard-style swimming suit at the school store, and when I asked Mother for the money, I thought she was having a heart attack. She screamed and cried: "No! No! No! You can't go in the water. You will drown." And once again, I sat down and listened to a tale of woe from my dear loving Mother: In Italy, when she was 17 years old, she was riding a horse across the meadows, when she came to a stream she had crossed many times before on her way to and from her home. This particular day, something in the water disturbed the horse and she was thrown into the stream, rendered unconscience and nearly drowned. Fortunately, she was rescued by a neighbor but remained slightly incapacitated for almost a year. "So you must understand; you must not go into the swimming pool; you must promise me; promise me." What could I do, I promised....although I had no idea how to handle it.

Well, I don't recall what excuses I gave once a month to the swimming teachers. However, there is one excuse I used legitimately and frequently; but I can't recall what the others were. As I sit here typing, I calculate there must have been at least 20 swimming sessions during the next two years, and perhaps for the five or six legitimate excuses, I truly can't recall the other fourteen or fifteen ones. Since I can't remember any stress, it probably didn't matter much to the teachers. I'm wondering if I just said "I don't want to swim today"....or did the teachers say to each other "We don't force anyone to climb the ropes, so what's the difference."

Was I a tomboy? Yes, I was. Did I play basketball and all the rougher ball games? I sure did! I remember qll the long black stockings that had holes in them from the falls, scraping the grounds. Did I climb the ropes? Why do you ask? What a snap.....heck, all the way to the top!

I remember clearly....that every Monday morning, we assembled in our beautiful auditorium and after pledging allegiance to our Flag, I can bet that even the people staffing the museum could hear us sing our school song:

We're Girls Commercial
Yes we are, yes we are
In everything, we are the star
We are the star
Ooooh say by jinx
Now don't you wish that you
Belonged to Girls Commercial too.

Two years to go and I will graduate from high school.

To be continued.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

High School Entry

My last posting referred to the fact that by sheer luck I was going to be a student in a high school. The story continues as follows:

Rose Lorber had signed up for an academic course at Girl Commercial High School to prepare her for a two-year college course at a teacher's training school. Since I was going to high school for only one term (five months),....shucks, I might as well go there too; at least I would be in school with Rose.

As the end of the five-month reprisal date approached, once again my brother Nicholas spoke on my behalf. He told my Father that it would be a shame to withdraw me from school: "Elvira is doing so well." After a rather heated discussion, with pros and cons being bantered about, Dad relented, and "Bene, go five more months".....and after that period expired, another five months.

I was 15 years old at Christmastime 1925 and I had decided it was time to stand up to my Father and his old customs. Ho! Ho! Ho! What a joke! After a late and rather long Christmas breakfast with home-made struffoli, panzarotti, demi-tasse with a touch of anisette instead of coffee with milk, Dad rose from the table and went to the basement to attend to some of his daily chores. After clearing the table and attending to my other duties, I went down to confront my Father. As he was placing some wood in the stove, I blurted out: "Papa, I want you to know that I'm tired of your five month extensions; I've been in high school almost two years and I've decided to go through the full four years and graduate. My Dad turned, looked at me standing in the doorway; then quietly but sternly said: "Come here." Afraid of the thrashing I was about to receive for speaking so disrespectfully, I stood there petrified. As father drew closer to me, he took me by the hand, walked to his chair, sat down....and with the warmest embrace I can still feel, my Dad gave me the best Christmas present I could ever have received. It was nothing tangible.....just words. Words that have been forged in my memory-bin forevermore. "Now! Now! is that what has been bothering you? Who said you would not graduate! Of course, you will." Suddenly, I realized that my Italian father was slowly, but surely, becoming an American.....and, by golly, I WAS an American.

I'll stop here; I'm a bit tired Will stir up some energy and try to get back tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grade School Graduation

As I was approaching the end of January 1924, I also knew that my school education would also be ending. For some time, I had been alerted by my dear Italian Father that it was time for me to take over some of the more tedious burdens of my Mother, to allow her to devote more time to her store business, and to prepare me for my future role as wife and mother. This is something I accepted, albeit grudgingly, but with great respect, because it was the way of life. Most all of the other Italian girls in my neighborhood, who were graduating from grade school, faced the same reality; however, they usually became factory workers.

In New York City in those days, it was the law that if you were under sixteen years of age when completing grade school, it was necessary to acquire Working Papers whether or not you became a wage earner. To facilitate matters to obtain these papers, an application form had to be filled out and signed by the school's principal and then presented in person to the proper government-agent whose office was on Tillary Street in downtown Brooklyn. New York.

I remember the day it was my turn to go to the principal's office. As I entered, Mr. Harding rose and came from around his desk to shake my hand, and, "What brings you here to see me, Elvita." Working Papers, I said. "Working Papers? Why? Aren't you going to high school?" No. And silently, without saying a word, he shook his head from side to side. He pulled out an application form from his desk drawer and started to fill out the form......Name: Elvita Sperduto, Address: 946 Atlantic Avenue, Birth: July --, 1910. And then a long pause, as if he was thinking. No longer gloomy, he looked at me smiling gleefully, and words just rushed out: "Elvita, you're going to high school whether your father likes it or not, You are not going to be 14 until July and that's six months away. The Law requires that you must be at least 14 years old before your schooling ceases. You are only 13-1/2 and, therefore, you must attend high school at least for one term before Working Papers will be granted." I was stunned! Once again, Mr. Harding walked around his desk and, this time, instead of shaking my hand, I received a great big bear-hug. (That would be considered inappropriate today. What a shame!) I'm almost one hundred years old and I still love that man...Mr. Franklyn Harding, the Principal of Public School #11.

I just could not eat dinner that evening and Mother thought I was ill. After dishes were cleared away, Father sat back in his chair and surveyed his domain. A few words from here and there and then I blurted out: "Pa , whether you like it or not, I'm going to high school" and continued to relate the conversation in the principal's office. I can still see my Father, rising in his chair, shoulders spread back, bang on the dining room table, and in a rage bellow: "No one is going to tell me how to raise my children. You are lying. You and the principal 'cooked-up' this story." Thank God for Nicholas, my oldest brother who was now 25 years old and worked as a private chauffeur driving a Lincoln limousine for a very wealthy financier. Nicholas spoke in a very quiet tone: "Pa, it is the law. You will be arrested and sent to jail. I happened to visit a few of my old teachers several weeks ago and they all said Elvira is smart....and, after all Pa, it's only for one term." Nick was able to calm down this enraged but truly law-abiding man. "Bene, justa fer fiva muns." Mother was removing pots from the back of the coal stove and with her apron wiping away tears. My brothers were elated "Gee, El, you're going to high school. Wow!" My sisters looked at me with awe.

Now I'm in a dilemma. I really wanted to be a dancer or fashion-designer. But, I'm going to high school only for one term. Heck, I'll ask Rose Lorber where she was going. The next day and with autograph book in hand , I met Rose and told her the above story. And as I mentioned in my last post, Rose said: "Goodness gracious, after all that was said and done. Give me your book, Elvita"....and wrote the poem about Moses.


By sheer LUCK I was able to attend high school My 4-A teacher had me skip a class; instead of promoting me to the 4-B, she placed me in the 5-A class. Had I not skipped a class, I would have graduated in June 1924,,,,, July, I was fourteen and my Italian culture would have prevailed.


Rose and I both graduated from Girls Commercial High School in January 1928 and that is another story!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Autograph Books

I have not been able to energize myself for the past several weeks due to the fact that a member of my family, one very dear to me, has had major surgery, and it has taken a toll on me.

Since I'm still not up to composing something for you, I will post from time to time facts relating to memorabilia I have accumulated over the years, as well as thoughts that come to mind as I daydream through each day.

I'll start with a box that I recently brought up from the storage in the basement. I pulled out of it two autograph books: one from grade school (year 1924) and the other from high school (year 1928. The grade school one quickly reminded me of a poem my best girl friend wrote, and before I scanned the pages to look for it, I tested myself to see if I remembered it.....and sure enough I did. Here it is:

Moses was a good man
Of children he had seven
He thought he'd hire a donkey-cart
And drive them all to Heaven
But sad to say
He lost his way
Although he knew it well
He overturned the donkey-cart
And drove them all to................
Now don't get excited
Now don't get red
Instead of going to Heaven
They all went to bed.

Rose Lorber was my best girl friend and lived across the street from me on the second floor in a tenement building. Her family were the only Jewish people in our neighborhood, and her father Samuel Lorber was everybody's plumber. Rose was very aware of the differences in our cultures and we each respected the others. She knew that my school days would end with my graduation from grade school, Therefore, the day after I learned I could attend high school and told her the good news, we jumped in glee and clung to each other. Then in a more serious tone, Rose said: "Goodness gracious. after all that was said and done. Give me your book, Elvita"...... and wrote the above poem. In my next posting, I will tell you about this chapter in my life.


And now: A Joke for the Ladies

The editor of a paper in Providence lately informed his readers that the ladies always pull off the left stocking last. This, as may be supposed, created some little stir among his readers, and while in positive terms they denied the statement, they at the same time declared that he had no business to know it, even if such was the fact. and pronounced him no gentleman. He proved it, however, by a short argument: when one stocking is pulled off first, there is another left on, and pulling off this is taking off the left stocking last.


And: Did You Know

Australia is the richest source of mineral sand in the world.

The average normal speed of birds in order to remain aloft in flight is reported to be about 11 miles per hour.

Color telephones were first mass-produced in 1954.

A coward was originally a boy who took care of cows.

The famous Russian composer Aleksandr Borodin was also a respected chemistry professor in St. Petersburg.

The fastest moon in our solar system circles Jupiter once every seven hours....travelling at 70,400 miles per hour.


Until next time Elvira

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Poetess

As I have mentioned in a previous post, from time to time, I would like to honor friends that have enriched my life, each one in his or her inimatable way.

Danita is a lovely lady, who as a child grew up in Texas. Today, she is a Mother, Grandmother and a vivacious Realtor in Putnam County, New York...and one of my colleauges and an alumni of the Life-Bio Class under the supervision of Mary Andriola. Danita has been able to over-ride the many trials and tribulations which enter one's life, by remembering that she is still THAT little girl in Texas who was fazed by nothing.

Danita is our Poetess and writes in prose. Her subjects are usually enriched with the splendor of Nature. Here is one of my favorites........

TIME by Danita Mancini

Is it your time or my time
Even though we live
In the same Universe
I can tell you
We look at it QUITE differently
Have to be before time
I am that person
Who is waiting for you
Because you are NEVER ON TIME
You say you never have enough time
Time is just the spaces between events
How we use that is what makes the difference
What do you mean you never have time?
Did someone steal it?
Does it mean you waste time
Dream time away
Do you think
There is a third
Dimension your not privy to
Or are you unrealistic on
What you can do with time?
Does it mean you let other people
Tie you to their thoughts
Fleeting your time away
I have always run everywhere
And often wondered how
People can pass snail paced through
Do they daydream more than me?
Have more pleasure than me
Or smell the roses more?
Let me tell you
I can smell those roses
And I can observe it all
To this day I bless my Mother who
In her infinite wisdom
Didn't think I ever moved fast enough.



A full moon always rises at sunset.

The side of a hammer is called a cheek.

About 33,000,000 Americans do crosswords in newspapers, journals, and paperback books.

Ostriches stick their heads in the sand to look for water.

The forest of the Canadian Lake District is so dense that during Winter snow stays on top of the trees and the forest floor stays bare.

Hope you enjoy..........Elvira

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Joe, the Shoemaker and Salvatore

It is the perception...that as one becomes older, the brain loses the capacity to retain the visions of the Present. Somehow, I think it is false and I may be completely off base. But at this moment, I care to believe it. I know almost nothing about computer technology or its language, but did I read or comprehend correctly, that one can retrieve anything you have discarded into the 'trash-bin' of the computer? Goodness gracious! If that is so, then why can't you retrieve from the tired brain, the thoughts that the Present environment deemed unimportant, and quickly discarded them into its trash-bin. I think that all the tired brain needs is stimulation,,,,a trigger of something similarly long past, to bring it back to the present. Let me try to explain what I mean......

On intermittent Wednesdays, the alumni class of Life-Bio meets. And on several occasions of late, one of the members, if she thinks she's late, has rushed into the room, apologizes, and Mary assures her that she is not late. Somehow, on these occasions, I would feel a slight breeze flow past me, but the sensation quickly disappears. It never happened when the other "young ladies' entered the room and calmly sat down with a 'good morning'.

Then just a few days ago, as I was sitting quietly in my chair reading the local newspaper, I dozed off and dreamed. Into my day-dream appears Danita (yep, that's her name), rushes into the kitchen, and exclaims 'Oh, am I late, am I late?' Father gently says 'slow down, slow down. No, you,re not late for dinner.'......and suddenly I awakened by the noise of a para-transit bus backing up.

That was it for me! I really believe that on the few occasions when it seemed I felt the slight breeze at the time of Danita's 'rushed' entrance, that it was the Present trying to connect to a similar 'rushing' pattern in the Past....and when the Present was unable to trigger my memory in the waking state, it endeavored to reach me in the imaginative the day-dream.

To those who have been reading my posts:: Remember when I posted excerpts from Wayne Dyer's IMAGINATION, wherein he mentions that YOU are all the characters in your dreams, whomever or whatever it may be. I believe this to be true. The Danita in the dream was ME...and my Father's 'slow down, slow down' was a way of of reminding me of his conversation with Joe, the Shoemaker.

And here is the reason that I place so much emphasis 'on the slight breeze I felt and caused by Danita's rushed entrance': It is a very fond memory of my dear Father in 1949, a year before he passed away.............

One day my Father came home for dinner after spending a few hours in the afternoon chi-chatting with Joe, the Shoemaker. In those times, to be a shoemaker was considered quite a meaningful profession. Shoes were not easily discarded after the soles were worn out. They were usually half-soled once or twice before the upper leather of the shoe became useless. Joe's store was at the corner of our long block, St. Johns Place, just two doors in from the corner, before it intersected with Nostrand Avenue, which became one of the great shopping avenues in Brooklyn.

Ernie, who never married, lived with my parents in the six-family apartment house they owned. They lived in one of the apartments on the second floor, and I rented from them the apartment directly underneath. I heard three bangs from the pipe in the dumbwaiter shaft; it was the signal that someone upstairs was trying to contact me. I responded, and my Father said: "Elvira, if you have not had your dinner as yet, come up and join us. Ernesto is home too, I have something funny to tell you."

Although many years had passed, we still abided by some of the old traditions. One of them was Mange e Cheto (Eat and Be Quiet) and the other was consuming the usual Thursday dinner which consisted of freshly cooked pasta and last-Sunday's leftovers, including the meatballs and bracioli. Ernie and I were like small children, waiting patiently, and then Ernie: "Come on Pa, what's funny?" Sitting back in his chair and grinning broadly, he said: "Joe asked me a pecular question today. He wanted to know, Elvira, if you had a physical ailment." He stopped because I had a look on my face, my mouth wide open. Still grinning, he continued: "Joe said, you know, Salvatore, your daughter does not walk properly; she runs. She goes past my store , waves to me, and before I can wave back, she's gone. Is there something wrong with her?" At this point, we just could not stop laughing. "And what did you say", Mom asked....and Ernie and I followed with the same question. I said to Joe: "Elvira has been like that since her very young days when she was her Mother's assistant in a grocery store. At about four o'clock each day, the customers would line up in the store to buy food for the evening meal, and it seemed like every customer was in a hurry." And I told Joe: "In order to serve each customer quickly, she hurried from one shelf to another, from bin to bin, from one area of the store to another, to fill the orders and keep the customers satisfied. She's in the same fix today; she goes from one job to another. We are so used to her pace, we don't notice it as different from the norm....and I guess its a habit she will not outgrow until she is an old lady." Turning to me, my Father said: "Joe was greatly impressed today...but we here, Elvira, want you to know that we have been impressed by you since you were a little girl. Haven't we, Arcangela? Now give me a hug and go home." Filled with this display of love and affection from my family, what more could anyone want!

For the young who read this, you may wonder why the customers waited until late in the afternoon to buy food for the evening meal. You are lucky to be born during the last fifty or sixty years. Because, in my time, to buy food in advance presented a major problem. To preserve food for future use, refrigeration is required, and the only accommodation in the 1920's and 1930's was an ice-box, which did not have the capacity to store much food. Several times a week (perhaps it was more frequently; I do not remember) ice man, with a block of ice held together with a pincer and slung over his protected shoulder, would patiently climb two, three and four flights of stairs, to deliver ice for only ten or fifteen cents, depending on the size of the block. He would place the ice in the upper part of the box, In the inside rear was a pipe which fed the water from the melting ice into a pan under the ice box. Every evening before bedtime and every morning, it was necessary to empty the pan under the ice-box to avoid the spillage of water on to the floor.

- - - - - - - - -- - -

I would like to post a tribute to my friend Danita, whose mere 'rush' into a room, triggered a fond memory of my dear Father, as noted above. I'm a bit tired now, but I'll be back after a few restful days. Until then......Goodnight.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

What is my Name?

March 21, 2010

The other day when I posted "School Days - Chapter I", I stated that the reason I remembered those thoughts was because someone addressed me as Elvera, but what I forgot to tell you was that for the first time, with determinaton but politely, I corrected the lady and asked her to please pronounce my name Elvira (with the long 'i'). At home that evening, I recalled the incident and was angry with myself for being so arrogant. However, I pacified myself by saying:
"I don't care; I've been Elvira for 62 years and I'm not going back there any more".

I also forgot to mention that the name Concetta was one that I have had to acknowledge twice during my life, due to necessity, Once in 1964 and again in 1984, each time when I applied for a passport. In 1964, I obtained an application, filled in the information required, with my signature as Elvira S. Oliver. Lo and Behold! The passport was declined because the government agent could not identify me as a citizen of the United States.. I readily submitted a copy of my birth certificate....and now with the passport in hand, I spent two weeks exploring Tahiti and New Zealand.

Tahiti was absolutely a new and beautiful world. One of my highlights there was seeing Marlon Brando, the Hollywood heart-throb. He was basking in the sunshine on the beach in front of his home, with his beautiful Tahitian wife.

I fell in love with New Zealand, especially Christ Church, even though I had two life-challenging experiences. I never did see so many beautiful children with such rosy, rosy cheeks. However, I remember a city by the name of Rotorura; but I'm not sure if I'm spelling it correctly, or even if it was the place where we tourists were caught in a gale out in a small glass-enclosed boat. Our bold and brave Captain managed to steer the ship (with ten frightened would-be-sailors) towards land on which we were able to embark. With feet on solid ground, but surrounded by many trees, we sat on the trunks of trees, and chatted away. The Captain assured us that we would be found....and no longer frightened, we waited four or five hours to be rescued. I still have vivid pictures in my memory of rescuers in their bright yellow rain-gear, chopping and sawing fallen-down trees to reach us.....and later, arriving back at our hotel, mid great cheers of joy and celebration....and, best of all, to a sumptuous dinner.

The other frightful incident was on a tour to a city that was buried for some years by an earthquake, but still had tops of buried trees growing above ground. There was an area where tourists, if they wished , could venture down into the underground via a stair-well.....and, of course. I became the leader of the band. Down the steps I gingerly ventured, with eight or ten other followers, one behind the other. Several minutes passed when my breathing became constrained. I sat on the step to rest, looked up, and realized that I was alone in this semi-darkened pit....and further, that I had a loss of energy. When the bus was about to leave, the driver noticed that one passenger was missing...and on roll-call, who would it be but yours truly. Lucky for me, the tourist behind me remembered that I was continuing downward when he and his wife became tired and called-it-a-day. Labouring with my breathing, I barely was able to respond YES to the voice from heaven-above: "Elvira Oliver, are you down there?" The driver encouraged me to take one-step at a time, rest, and continue....and "as you rise, your breathing will get better". Gosh!, I wish I could remember the city. Perhaps somewhere in my treasure chest is the answer, or perhaps Eric Shackle will once more come to my rescue to prove I'm not making up these stories.

I have such fond memories of Christ Church and the beautiful people I met there. I would like to tell you about them; I have the will but lack energy. I will just have to wait and see, as time goes by.

The second time I used the name Concetta was in 1984 on a passport for the two trips to Italy; the first in mid-January when I was invited to vacation at the home of Filomena and Gerardo Sperduto. They were cousins from Italy who became citizens of the United States , I believe, sometime in the sixties. They had just purchased a condo in Avellino in order to vacation there and continue to be a part of the Sperduto family throughout Italy and Switzerland. I met many, many cousins...hundreds of them, previously unknown to me. I was there one month and every day was a feast day. They would call each other on the telephone (upon my arrival at one's house) and excitedly say: "Venite, venite; la Americana e qui. (Come over, come over; the Anerican is here.) I felt like I was a celebrity. In August of the same year, I was invited to be a guest at the wedding of a second-generation cousin. I found myself being transported back into my childhood and into my Italian culture. I joyfully responded to Elvira (el-vee-ra).....and each time my name flowed from the lips of my cousins, I heard the whispering voices of my Mother and Father in the breeze.

From Memories to:

Did you Know..................

Our eyes are always the same size from birth.

The brass family of instruments includes the trumpet, trombone, tuba, cornet, flugelhorn, French horn, saxhorn. and sousaphone. While they are usually made of brass today, in the past they were made of wood, horn and glass.

Five years ago: The first successful cloning of human embryo.

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world.

Every year in the United States, 625 people are struck by lightening.

There are no poisonous snakes in Maine.

In Britain's House of Commons, the government and opposition sides of the House are separated by two red lines. The distance between the lines is two swords' lengths, a reminder of just how seriously the British used to take their politics.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

School Days - Chapter 1

Thursday, March 18, 2010.......School Days - Chapter I

One day last week, someone called me Elvera and memories of the difficulties I endured with my name , for almost forty years of my life, flashed across my mind. It started at the beginning of my school days.

I do not remember who accompanied me to Public School #11 in Brooklyn, N.Y., when I was just several months past my sixth birthday, to register me for classes. Nevertheless, whoever it was had to present my birth certificate....and the registrar at the school office depended on the information thereon. All well and good, you would say, until...during the first four days, I would refuse to go back to school after luncheon breaks. On the fourth day, my Mother had enough of this nonsense. Seeking an explanation from my brothers Alfred and Ernie, and receiving none, she could not understand the reason for my distress, particularly since I had previously expressed great joy when informed that I was going to attend school. This transpired in the kitchen behind the store. Mother then sat on a chair, took me into her arms, sat me on her lap, and with my brothers listening, persuaded me with her soothing words to tell her the cause of my distress. Sobbing, I told them that an Italian girl told the Americanos that my name meant tomato-paste, and they were laughing, taunting, and calling me "conserva"....and further to add insult to injury, that my teacher kept scolding me in the presence of 47 other pupils. "What
would she say", Mother asked. She would say: "When I call your name, you must stand-up beside your desk or raise your hand". And Mom, she never calls my name....and when I tell her that I never hear her call me, she walks away very angry. Mother realized that if the Italian girl was calling me "conserva", then the teacher was probably calling me 'Consetta', which was the anglicized way of pronouncing 'Concetta' (but in Italian pronounced con-che-ta). Mother solved the problem.

I returned to school on the fourth day after the luncheon break....and Ernie escorted me to my classroom. With me in hand, he approached my teacher at her desk, and recounted the difficulty they (Mom and brothers) had with me about returning to school for the past four days....and Mom said: "If you are calling my sister Concetta, she will not respond because she does not know that word and does not know that is her first-given name. At home, we call her Elvira (pronounced el-vee-ra). The teacher, a lovely person, apologized....and since she had never heard of the name Elvira (el-vee-ra) before, she asked Ernie "How do you spell it." His reply was "I don't know." (Ernest was ten years old and I imagine it was the first time he was asked to spell anyone's name except his own.) Then the teacher asked him to pronounce Elvira (el-vee-ra) several times and came to the conclusion that it sounded like El-vee-ta, and from there on, I was referred to as Elvita by all my school friends. Upon graduating from Grade School in January 1924, my diploma states Elvita Sperduto.

Shortly after I was attending High School, I remember sorting through some papers with my Mother, and in so doing, came across a packet of envelopes tied with a blue ribbon. Mother handed it to me and asked me to read them. They were the children's birth certificates...both civil and baptismal. I was thirteen years old and it was the first time I read that I was named Concetta Elvira Sperduto. When I questioned Mother why I was not called Concetta, for more than an hour she delivered a very impassioned story. I was also surprised to see that the correct spelling of my name was Elvira.

I thought it was high time to correct a misunderstanding, and on the very next school day, I marched into the principal's office of Girls Commercial High School and corrected the spelling of my name....from Elvita to Elvira. And when I received my high school diploma in January 1928, it was properly noted as Elvira Sperduto.

I stopped answering to Elvita, but since all the other Italian girls in the neighborhood named Elvira (el-vee-ra) anglicized their name to Elvera), I conformed and responded to Elvera , but continued to spell it correctly; that is, Elvira. Is this the end! No sireeee!

For the next 25 years, I responded to Elvera. In 1948, I became a single Mom and found that one job was not sufficient to provide for me and my three children. In order to earn more, after my nine to five workday, I hurried home to prepare for my eight pm to one am job. I became a hat-check girl in Club 28. When I applied for this second job, Mr. Lockwood (my employer)
reviewed my application. He raised his head and said: "I believe you introduced yourself as Elvera , but you signed this application as Elvira (he pronounced the 'i' as in the English alphabet). Which is it? " For my excuse, I advised him that I lived in an Italian neighborhood and that all the other Elvira's rather than pronounce it the Italian-way, decided on Elvera. He seemed annoyed with the stupidity and said: "My wife's name is Elvira...she's a beautiful Southern belle from the hills of Tennesee, a proud Swedish woman, and she pronounces her name Elvira (long 'i'). " I replied: "Mr. Lockwood, I want and need this job. You may call me anything, just give me the job." After one year, I became the Cashier. We became very good friends.

Some years later, the group of singers known as The Oak Ridge Boys wrote a song ELVIRA and pronounce it as did Mr. Lockwood, and as I do now for the past 62 years.

And now more of DID YOU KNOW, especially for my cyberspace friend:

The Bible still is the world's best selling book.

Hydroflouric acid will dissolve glass.

Soldiers arrived to fight the Battle of Marne in World War I - not on foot or by military airplane or military vehicle - but by taxi cabs. France took over all the taxi cabs in Paris to get soldiers to the front.

The human head contains 22 bones.

Men get hiccups more often than women. On average a hiccup lasts 5 minutes.

A green diamond is the rarest diamond.

The oldest inhabited city is Damascus, Syria.

A cat's jaw cannot move sideways.

Humans blink over 10,000,000 times a year.

Despite his great scientific and artistic achievements, Leonardo Da Vinci was most proud of his ability to bend iron with his bare hands.

.............Elvira Oliver

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wayne W. Dyer - PBS "Excuses Begone"

Sometime ago, to be exact on October 28, 2009, I posted "Imagination" which I copied from "Wisdom of the Ages", a book I was reading in Kent Library, written by Dr. Dyer. Today, he was on TV's Public Broadcasting Station and I watched intently the presentation he gave "Excuses Begone". I was once again mesmerized. In fact, I called several of my friends, told them "drop everything you're doing and turn on Channel 13. " I listened for more than two hours.

Wherever you are, if you are feeling lonely, depressed, feeling sorry for yourself, or whatever ails you, then I suggest you obtain this book "Excuses Begone"....and start a new life for yourself. There is a book especially for children carrying the same title which should be a must in every household.

On a different note: In the mail once a week, a small magazine is placed in our mailboxes which contains mostly classified ads. However, to fill in spaces, are little tidbits which I enjoy reading. I am ging to refer to them as "DID YOU KNOW" and will post them from time to time. although I cannot swear as to their veracity.


Peanuts are an ingredient of dynamite.

A snail can sleep for three years.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile national monuments.

Dating back to the 1600's thermometers were filled with brandy instead of mercury.

Time slows down near a black hole; inside it stops completely.

Ancient Greeks and Romans believed asparagus had medicinal qualities for preventing bee stings and relieving toothaches.

Bacteria, the tiniest free-living cells, are so small that a single drop of liquid contains as many as 50 million of them

Liquid detergent is added to the beer in beer commercials to make more foam.

Before 1859, baseball umpires were seated in padded chairs behind home plate.

Until next time........Elvira

Saturday, February 20, 2010


February 20, 2010

"Oh, I can't!" What terrible words to say! Shame on you for even wasting your energy to speak them. To say "I'm afraid" is a human emotion,,,and it is okay to express them.-----But, "I cant".......uh! uh! uh!

My daughter-in-law Vicki sends me lots of e-mails with audio attachments. There is one in particular everyone should see.....and, if and when I learn how to send it to you, I wll be sure to do so. It depicts the life of a young man about 20 years old, blind and crippled since birth, who has become a musical genius.

I recently posted a tribute to my dear neighbor, Milton Madans, who passed away on January 19th. When he was alive, all the other residents knew him only as a nice man. He never knew what I thought of him; I waited to express myself after his death. Because Time is limited for me, I want to be able to honor as many of those who have enriched my life. Let this be the beginning:

It brings me to my granddaughter Seeley. She is not of my flesh, but she is dear to my heart. When my son Tom married Vicki, a three-year-old beautiful blonde child became part of our extended family....and, immediately, we all fell in love with her. I remember Seeley in a bathing suit, waiting with four or five others, at the Amarillo, Texas Airport. waiting for a flight from New York City on which a dear friend, Everett, was arriving for the wedding which was being held at the Officers Club. (Tom was in the Air Force.) Everett was a heavy six-foot tall and after hugs and introductions, he leaned down and picked-up Seeley. Smiling broadly at Seeley, he said: "What a pretty bathing suit. Will you lend it to me?" Seeley placed her hands on his chest, pushed back, stared straight into his eyes, and perplexedly said: "No. You're too big; I'm small."

Seeley is now almost 48 years old....still beautiful, very charming, very intelligent, and extremely self-sufficient. She is the proprietor of an Employment Agency (Oliver Staffing) in New York City and loved by many of her employees and affiliates. Seeley has appeared on Television, hosted by House & Gardens; she has dabbled in Real Estate; and she has just recently completed the construction of a most magnificent waterside residence in Santa Domingo.

Just as I was unable to fathom how my dear illiterate Mother could add a column of numerals accurately; I still cannot understand, after all these years, how Seeley accomplishes all that she does with great impairment in her vision.

So....don't come to me and say "I can't." You can be sympathy will be extended to you by me!

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from Seeley who lives in New York City: "Grandma, Miguel and I are coming up to Carmel. And , Grandma, we're kidnapping you. We're going to take you to a restuarant in White Plains where they make meatballs just like you do." After dinner, we went sight seeing. I had never been in White Plains, but I travelled many times on the roads surrounding it. I always thought of White Plains as a suburb of New York, so I was really astounded to see the huge buildings and all it encompassed.

What a wonderful, wonderful day!

Back in my apartment, Seeley and Miguel promised to kidnap me once soon as the weather was better. It will then be 'the new sights of New York City'. I haven't been there in ten years. I'm looking forward to it...hopefully, and full of Grace.

I love you, Seeley.

Grandma Elvira.

Friday, February 19, 2010


To-day is Friday, February 19, 2010

After a talk given at the Center I visited yesterday, the following ditty came to mind as I was riding on the bus driven by Houston, the ParaTransit bus driver. Its the way I remember it but I'm not sure if I'm quoting it correctly:

You can fool some of the people, most of the time
Most of the people, some of the time
But you can't fool all the people all of the time.

...............because we have Guardian Angels. I don't mean this in a spiritual sense; its meant by me to signify only that there are people everywhere who care for their fellowmen. I know that recently many people in these United States are disillusuioned by those in the political arena, but I hope they realize that they have a choice at the polls, and that many times we do elect those that are truly dedicated to a just cause, and we need them to maintain honesty and tranquilty. I'm certainly not a political activist; I'm just a person who has lived a long time and just expressing my views. Therefore, let me continue. I sincerely believe that the services rendered to us by the office of the Attorney General is one of them. Presently, in New York State, we are honored by the man we elected, the Honorable Andrew Cuomo. (I bet he's a paesano. If so, I hope he reads my essay "The Joy of Growing-up Italian.) From my perspective, he and his staff are Guardian Angels. One of his representatives is a young man (yes, young as compared to my age) who has been extending his hand to those of us who are most vulnerable in times of catastrophies. His name is John Katzenstein. I first met him last December when he visited the Golden Age Center in Patterson, New York. We are a group of "seniors" who meet every Thursday (weather permitting), indulge in a cup-of-coffee and a bun, play bingo and cards, and chit-chat. Occasionally, we entertain a speaker (or should I say he entertains us) and John Katzenstein is one who re-visited us yesterday (February 18) specifically to warn us about charitable-giving scams perpetrated by unscrupulous members of our society on the elderly. He spoke in a very friendly manner, eloquently and informatively about the proliferation of scams, particularly caused by the recent Haitain earthquake. He alerted us to the differences between good and bad Charities and he distributed leaflets and booklets, describing in more detail many of them.

On arriving back home, and because I sat down and enjoyed reading all the leaflets I had gathered at the Center, I felt that it was incumbent upon me to share with all my friends in the World, the vast information I received directly from John Katzenstein. And, here it is: Go to your computer and.........................Oh! Oh! I'm in trouble. I don't know whether I should say "click" or "go to the website". I'm still a novice concerning computer language...and I thought stenography was difficult back in the 1920's. Anyway, just to be sure...I turned on my computer, brought up Google and typed in the words I found at the bootom of one of the leaflets: sure enough, it brought up the websites I wanted to steer you to.

Now I ask you to please be sure this information is given to all your friends, young and old, who have not had the privilege of listening to John Katzenstein, as I have. I hope he visits us again real soon.....and I hope its okay to give you his office phone number: 914--422-8755. I don't know if he is a Blogger or a follower of other bloggers; but, if he is, I hope he is not offended that I took this liberty.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Cover Girl

February 15, 2010

I am realizing more and more each day that people are not surprised that I blog; it's only when they hear how old I am that they appear to have been struck by lightening. Then they are even more surprised to learn that I am existing at my age without any prescription medication. However, I do take a few vitamins each day.

In fact, when I was nearing my 94th birthday, I read an article in the local newspaper written by Liz Smith, the Celebrity Columnist, who said "Susan Sarandom somewhere over the 50 is the new face of Revlon. Her still dewey skin gives hope to mere mortals. How does she do it? (Aside from those Revlon products?". Although I am no celebrity and absolutely, for certain, no beauty, I was quietly chagrined. I said to myself "Huh! What a fuss over such a young lady! I'll soon be 94 years old and there's not a wrinkle on my face. I'll write to Cover Girl.". (Aside: This is what 'old ladies' do when they have lots of free time on their hands...they write letters.) Sure enough, that's exactly what I did. I got out my IBM electric typewriter and wrote to Cover Girl. I repeated what Liz Smith noted in her column and also advised them that I had been using Cover Girl make-up for over 45 years....and, further, that whenever anyone asked me to what I owed my unwrinkled skin, I always replied "To Cover Girl make-up". I also asked Cover Girl "Now what do you think of that! Perhaps (ha! ha!) you would like to use me as the new face of Cover Girl."

And, just as I did back in 1968 when I originally wrote my essay 'The Joy of Growingup Italian', I placed a copy of the Cover Girl letter in a drawer and forgot about it.

I won't tell you all that transpired over this Cover Girl letter; it would take up too much space. It was just a little bit frightening on my part...and then really! really! hilarious. Cover Girl graciously responded several weeks later and I quote one of the most significant paragraphs: "At this time. we have a full roster of Cover Girl models. We will certainly keep you in mind in case an opportunity arises. However, we did want to show you what you would look like in a Cover Girl advertisement, so just for you, we developed the enclosed sample ad. We hope you like it. We've also enclosed a bag of Cover Girl products as a thank you for being a loyal customer...and as an early birthday present! Thanks again and take care! "

I wish I knew more about the Internet; I do not know how to scan photos. As soon as I am knowledgeable, I will post the picture-ad that Cover Girl made up 'just for me'.

So to my peers: Get up and put your best foot forward!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Past & Present Holiday Seasons

February 13, 2010

Not too many years ago, the Christmas Season started the day after Thanksgiving.. It seemed like everyone got busy, Busy mothers, however, found it a blessing to control fussy or anxious children by simply saying: " Santa knows if you are good or bad,,,,so, no ifs or buts,,,,you better study and do your homework....if you want that doll or bycycle. " The daddys hurried with their breakfasts, before they left for their workplaces just a little bit earlier to avoid the sardine-packed subways and trolley=cars. It really didn't make much difference, because everyone had the same idea. Stores were decorating and stacking shelves. Christmas trees were bought some times as early as three weeks in advance and stored in the backyards. Then someone would say "Wouldn't it be nice if it snowed." In this way, the trees would remain fresh until Christmas Eve. The air was filled with friendliness and anticipation.,,,Hi! Merry Christmas. Then Christmas Eve. "I wonder if they are asleep." "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom." Then, dusting off the tree, setting it up, putting all the gifts under the tree. One last check: under beds, sofas, closets. attic and garage,,,just to make sure all are there. Finally, you just plop into bed, but not for are awakened by the clattering of hooves, not from reindeer, but by gleeful children. And then, sometime later, the gathering of family and friends around the dining room table. consuming all the food, some prepared several days earlier. Lots and lots of talk...reminiscing about other times, and soon some naps wherever someone could lay down his or her head. Later, more aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Merry Christmas! Those were wonderful and joyous times; it was the PAST...the Twentieth Century.

The PRESENT....the Twentyfirst Century. For me, last Christmas was spent at my daughter Angela's house and it will remain in my memory as very enjoyable....but, it was different. Angela hosted her family and extended family, and, as I have already mentioned, I was there too. And true to her wee-bit Italian Culture, the food she prepared and served was traditional. However, the desserts were store-bought....and, in spite of 'no struffoli', we had a wonderful time. Leaving to go back to my apartment and while sitting in the car, I happened to mention that no one seemed to decorate their houses anymore, and that the usual carols were not heard in stores or on TV. Suddenly, I was transported into Christmasland by taking a different route home. Christopher, my musical Grandson, drove me to a community which I did not know existed, and for almost an hour Angela and I were in Heaven. Each and every home was decorated more beautifully than the other. This gesture on the part of Christopher helped to alleviate the sadness I felt not seeing Floyd and Tom-and-family; they live so far away and were not able to join us for Christmas.

The PRESENT is somewhat different. I see things through 'The Clock of Ages' and. believe me, just as all previous centuries have been different, so will the Twentyfirst Century. In spite of all that has happened during the 20th century, I think it is one of the most innovative centuries of all Time. And yet, it has brought about the destruction of the family structure....and unless morality is revved-up once more, all the future scientific innovations will be for naught and possibly even destroy civilization.

One evening, I just decided to surf the Internet and came across a website that greatly disturbed me. I can't even remember the category. However, I do remember it was about the
former oldest blogger on earth, Olive, who passed away last year at the age of 108. These two young men were saying such derogatory remarks about her; it upset me tremendously. Then I decided for me to stop posting would be exactly what they would like to see me do. So here I am again!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Conversation with Sal

I wrote the following in my Life-Bio Class at the Kent Library about a conversation I had with Sal on August 30, 2006....and I think its appropiate to remember it today with all the commentary about Port-au-Prince, Haiti....and the fact that I just remembered Sal had a birthday several days ago; he's now 68....and as soon as I post this, I will place a call to him.

"Sal called me this afternoon....and its still raining. Sal is my nephew, the son of Alfred, the youngest of my four brothers....and I am the only surviving aunt. Sal lives on Long Island and some time has passed since I last spoke to him. You just can't imagine how happy I was to hear his voice. 'Hello, Aunt Elvira, this is Sal.' After a few pleasantries, he asked: 'What mischief have you been up to?' 'Sal, how much time do you have.' "As much time as you want....and , guess what! I was the one that requested 'we call it a day', after we talked (or rather, I talked) for two hours and twenty-five minutes. Sal wanted to keep going, but 'Okay, Aunt Elvira, I will talk to you again real soon."

You may ask: Why did Sal want to continue talking after being on the phone so long. Well, we happened to be talking about the weather, and about the hurricane over Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and Haiti....and we were wondering what ever possessed Seeley (my granddaughter) to buy a Condo and some waterside property in the Dominican Republic, where it was so close to Haiti: such an impoverished and chaotic country. And, then, I very casually said: 'I wonder how our relatives are faring in Port-au-Prince.' And Sal, believing I was jesting: 'Ha! ha! Its a good thing we don't have any there.' 'What do you mean, Sal; maybe my generation of cousins is gone, but all their children are there.' I could sense the disbelief, but still laughing: 'Are you saying, Aunt Elvira, that there are Sperduto's in Haiti, lots of them.' 'Yes, the children of my male-cousins...Nick is one of them...and Gerardo, a doctor, would be Sperduto's, but the children of my female-cousins would probably have french names.

I won't go into that phase of my story here; it is rather a lenthy chapter in my biography. Sal, who is now 64 years old, knew absolutely nothing about the family in Haiti...about my Father's younger brother, Michaela-Arcangelo, a maker of shoes, who with his Italian blonde bride, left Italy in 1902 to migrate to Port-au-Prince Haiti. He was the first man to manufacture low-cost shoes in Haiti and made them available to the poor inhabitants. When his oldest daughter Concetta (pronounced con-che-ta) was seventeen, she was sent to live with my family in Brooklyn, New York in order to seek a husband of similar ethnicity, as there were very few available in Haiti.

Sal was so fascinated and intrigued by the facts I revealed. And it was the mere mention of the weather over Cuba and its neighbors that triggered my brain with memories long forgotten."

Just a reminder......The above was written by me on August 30, 2006. And now I shall call Sal and belatedly extend my best wishes for a happy and healthy 68th birthday and many more years.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Neighbor Milton Madans

I have just returned from the Cargain Funeral Home where I went to say Goodbye to my dear neighbor Milton Madans, who passed away last Tuesday morning, January 19th. 2010...and to offer my condolences to his family.

Although today is a sad day, it's also a beautiful day, with lots of sunshine...and nary a cloud in the sky to obscure seven years of vivid memories of a lovely man.

Milton....a tall, quiet, unassuming gentleman...a very quiet intellectual man...a man who loved his family, his friends and neighbors, and his home. And he loved Nature: I never saw such gorgeous spider-plants, growing magnificently in the inner sunshine of his apartment window. He loved working with wood as was remarkably noticeable by some of his objects and furniture. I wonder what has happened to the rocking horses he made some years ago! I hope they are in the hands of someone who will appreciate and treasure the skills of a talented ancestor...and perhaps sometime in the future reveal that he or she may have inherited the same skills.

(To Milton: I'm "mad at you" Milton. Not once did you refer to your military service. I am so proud of my two sons, Thomas and Floyd, that I unabashedly sing their praises for serving in the Air Force and Army. For me, and for a just cause, there is nothing greater than to lay down your life for your fellowman. I was so surprised and very happy to see that our Government, present to your family, the Flag of the United States of America in gratitude for the services you performed many years ago.

Goodby, Milton! May you Rest in Peace.

P.S. Come back once-in-a-while....and say "hello"}.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

World War-I Parody

Happy New Year!

If you have been wondering why I have not blogged for almost a month, the answer is simply that I have been preparing for the holidays and the new year. What used to take me a few minutes to accomplish, now takes me an hour. My Mother used to say that whatever was the appearance of your house on the last day of the year, THAT would be it for the next year. So true to tradition, I have been clearing out drawers, closets, cabinets and my files. The job is not complete, but it will have to do for the time being.

Several weeks ago, I awoke in the middle of the night from a dream, in which..............

I was sitting on a bench in front of our grocery store with my sister Rose, when we saw our cousin Connie strolling down the street towards us, and happily singing a song. Connie was about 17 years old and I about 13. In those far off days (about 1923), the Facts of Life were grnerally acquired outside of the home, and Connie usually prided herself on being the informant of carnal knowledge to the innocent adoloscent girls on Atlantic Avenue. In the dream, Connie joined us and proceeded to teach us the words of the song, although Rose and I had no idea what the words meant. We kept singing the song over and over again, when suddenly....I awoke from the dream. I turned on the light and immediately started to jot down the words on a note pad. But just to show you how the mind works.....awake, I could recall only a few scattered words and lines. Back to sleep....and miraculously, I flowed into the same dream....Connie was still there...and we continued to sing. Fully awake in the morning, I kept humming the melody....and every once-in-a while, several words or lines would be revealed. After several days of humming, I was able to recall all of the words to the song. For the past 75 years, I don't ever recall hearing those words before. Why! I do not know and I have been pondering ever since. Perhaps its because the news today dwells on war topics and the endurance of our brave soldiers, I am completely ignorant of the mechanics of The Brain, but somehow I believe the news I read today has triggered the memories of previous wars. For instance, for many years after World War-I, the Government maintained the Brooklyn Navy Yard ....and on any day, you would see many sailors walk the streets of Brooklyn , with their bell-bottom pants flouncing in the breeze. It was a beautiful sight to see!

Christmas was celebrated at my daughter"s house...and after a sumptuous dinner, we sat around and talked. I recanted all of the above facts, and all those present (including my three adult grandchildren with impeccable reputations) insisted I sing the song, even though I thought it was risque. After my rather raspy melody, there was lots of chuckling and laughter; the comments were "BLOG it, Grandma; it shows how life was lived in your morality was viewed in those days....what a difference from today". So here it is:

When I was young and foolish, it was my heart's delight
To go to balls and dances, and stay out late at night
It was at a ball I met him, and he asked me for a dance
I knew he was a sailor by looking down at his pants
His shoes were brightly polished, his hair was neatly combed
I danced with him all evening, and then he begged me home
It was in my Father's hallway where I was led astray
It was in my Father's hallway where I was forced to lay
Now girls, now girls, take warning
Now girls take warning from me
Never let a sailor get an inch above your knees
For he will say he loves you
And he'll swear that it is true
But when he gets just what he wants
He'll say...To hell with you.

Then I was asked if I remembered other songs or parodies depicting morality during the 1920's and 1930's.....and here is one:

You're the kind of a girl that men forget,
Just a toy to enjoy for a while
For when men settle down, they always get
An old-fashion girl, with an old-fashion smile
And you'll soon realize, you're not so wise
When the years will bring you tears of regret
And when they play...Here Comes the Bride
You'll stand outside
Just a girl that men forget.

Yes, things have changed!......and I think it all began, when women who worked in War Plants during World War-II, were required to wear pants for protective purposes. However, when the war ended and the heroes returned home, the women forgot to take the pants off. Which reminds me of an incident, just a short time ago, at a social gathering of local women; soneone turned to me and said: "Elvira, I dont recall ever seeing you in a pant-suit. How come?" I was taken by surprise, and since I didn't want to offend anyone, I replied: "Well, let's put it this way! See that door! If a beautiful woman, dressed in a very stylish pant-suit came through it, I'm sure you would all look and say Georgeous! Wonderful!. But, if a handsome man wearing a lovely dress entered, what would be your re-action?" No one offered a response.

Until next time......Good Night.