Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dora - It’s The Season Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Blogging from A to Z Challenge
April 2015
This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge

What is it?

I will be Blogging everyday beginning on April First with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

My theme will be short fictional (well mostly fictional) stories about women.  Each woman’s name will begin with the appropriate letter of the alphabet for that day.
All of the women will have the common life experience of a loss of some type.
I invite you, Dear reader, to comment on how you interpret the loss.

We had a weekly ritual.  My papa would pick me up from Sunday school and we would spend the next few hours together, just the two of us.  The first stop was Louie Streppone’s Ice Cream shop.  I would climb up on the bar stool and Mr. Streppone would always ask me the same question. “One scoop or two, young man?”
I would chuckle and say, “TWO!”
Chocolate on the bottom, vanilla on top.
Mr. Streppone saved a copy of the Sunday Times for papa.  The two men would discuss the day’s headlines while I savored each spoonful of Mrs. Streppone’s home made ice cream.
I would clink the long handled spoon against the tall soda fountain glass, scraping every last bit I could.
“Come on, pal, time to go.”
We lived in a small community in upstate New York.  Once we got out of town, my dad would pull off to the side of the road.  He would get out of the huge Packard four door sedan and I would slide over to sit behind the wheel.
Even though I was only 12 years old, papa thought I should know how to drive.  “Just in case of an emergency,” he would say.
“You never know when you might have to take over to be in the driver’s seat.”
How true that turned out to be.
Our final destination, before we would head home, was one of my favorite places.
Dora and her husband Schmuel, or Sam for short, owned and operated “Kramer’s Lakeside Manor Bungalow Colony and Kosher Kitchen”.
My great aunt Dora was my grandfather’s sister.  She was a short, plump, elderly lady with tightly permed gray curls.  She always wore what was commonly referred to as a “shmattah”.
In essence, it was a sleeveless housecoat,  with buttons down the front and large pockets on either side. That’s the way I remember her, standing at the kitchen table, in her shmattah,  stirring the cracker mixture for her lighter than air Matzo balls.
Papa would tell me that Dora was quite the beauty in her youth.
“She wore the latest fashions,” he said.
“She was dramatic and glamorous.”
At least she was in papa’s young eyes.  He recalled how she loved to go out dancing and would wear a sparkly tiara on top of her perfectly coiffed hair.
As soon as we came into the cabin,  Aunt Dora, who was already in her 80’s, would complain to my father.
“Manny,  Sam is fooling around with that chippie in bungalow number 2.”
“I know it!” she would cry.
Sam, who was a tall distinguished handsome man, was almost a dozen years younger than Dora and did indeed have an eye for the ladies.
When we visited, which was in the mid 1950s, the resort was run down and in desperate need of repair, like Dora, a faded queen.
Sam and Dora lived in one of the playhouse sized bungalows.  
The main building was a Victorian style manor house with clapboard siding.   It had a large staircase leading up to the veranda.  As you passed through the French double doors, the dining room was on one side and the lounge on the other.
I would imagine what it must have looked like in its prime.   I could picture large crystal chandeliers majestically hanging from the 12 foot ceilings in the dining room.  I could almost hear the clinking of glasses, and the lively dinner time conversations.
But, by then, the room only held a few wooden tables and chairs.
The “lounge” which probably doubled as a dance hall, had a raised bandstand.  In my mind I saw couples swaying in time to the big band era music.
All that was left in the “lounge”, though, was an old ping pong table.
Sam wanted to sell the place.
In fact the last time we visited them, my father, who was the Kramer’s attorney, had drawn up the papers for the sale of the property.
I will never forget that day.
Dora was sitting out on the stoop, just staring out at the lake.
“Where’s Sam?” papa asked.
“He left me, Manny,” she said softly.
I told him I wouldn’t sign.
“It’s the season.”
”We have to be here when they come for the season.”


  1. I had to read this a couple of times; I still am not sure about it. I am sorry though that Sam left. I'm not sure why Dora wouldn't sign. Maybe I need to revisit this tomorrow when I'm not tired?


    1. Betty, I am just happy that you take the time to read these pieces. And that you read it twice, wow. Thanks.

  2. I liked the visuals you conjured up of what it looked like now but what it once used to be and I can see why Dora would feel she was letting down her clients coming for another summer season - they had all probably gone through the war together built many memories there as had she. Dora is clinging to the past as a new future of holidays is ushered in. There was a real feeling of sadness in this piece. I am becoming a follower so that I can read more throughout this Challenge :) Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

    1. Thank you for your kind words. And welcome.
      Some of these resorts are still in existence in their abandoned state. It is sad to see the condition of the properties because the ghosts of better times are only too apparent.

  3. poignant - it pulled me in- the details deepened the experience

  4. I think for Dora's sake, it is better that Sam left. On the other hand, Dora is trying to hold on to the past which may or may not be good for her. In time she may see that Sam won't be coming back. That it what she is hanging on to.

    1. Yes, eventually Dora will have to face the reality of her circumstances. And I agree, she was better off without Sam.

  5. Very sad, Dora seems very stubborn. She choose a rundown building, over her husband, that too me is very sad. If you're not moving you're standing still and when you stand still nothing good happens, because life passes you by and it sounds like it had passed her by sometime before. Someone above mentioned she stayed for the season, but ...what season, does not sound like they had any business.

    1. Perhaps, Dora, at age 80 something, didn’t understand that she could have had a second chance at another kind of life. I agree, very sad.

  6. Very sad. Dora just doesn't want to let go, does she?