Wednesday, August 6

MO in 24

Cousins Di Di and Devon
We touch the Missouri River and the Mississippi River in the same day, pretty cool, and now it is St Louis.

We visit Moe's side of the family and cousin Di Di organises a re union at Aunt Ida's Jewish retirement home (next to a Chinese restaurant, of course) which includes Liebermans and Orensteins and Seniors. Ida is 103 years old and sharp - she recalls everybody's face and where they are on the family tree. A highlight is Joy's photo album which takes us back to the 1920s.

Moe's cousin and childhood pal Al is with his wife Alice, a freshman at University City High School when Moe was a Senior. This area was predominantly Jewish until the '70s and so where my Orthodox great-grandfather Horen landed in the late 19th century, speaking only yiddish (Joy tells us). Horen left Russia to escape the pograms of the 1890s and entered America via Ellis Island. Alice tells me Moe was school President, and "very important and so handsome. We all looked up to him."

Devon is a great kid (head connected to electronic toy) and son of Shavon and Danny, who was adopted by Joy and Larry in '72, before mixed adoptions were stopped (says Joy). Danny is 6'4" and Joy 4'11".  Shavon is from Oakland and, remarkably, was a Freshman at Berkeley High School when I was a Senior, though we did not know each other.

Me: "What do you think of the Liebermans ?"
Madeleine: "Huh?"
Me: "Did you know that you had all these Jewish relatives in St Louis?"
Madeleine: "No."
Me: Pretty cool."
Madeleine: "Yep."
The Jew Crew