Matrimonial Stakes

marryin-sam-1

Upper field was fertile ground for planting seeds of a relationship that could last a lifetime.  Couples at Saginaw spent many romantic evenings searching out constellations and other heavenly forms under bright starry skies never imagining where these forays might lead them.

sadie-hawkins-invite

For those below it lead to a ceremony with a  Marryin’ Sam Ketuba, or a more official one, where they danced the Hora and made their vows to spend the rest of their lives together.

1950’s and 1960’s

Eddie Paul and Rhona Blankman

Dave Wanicur and Nancy Littman

Joel Goozh and Karen Richmond

Larry Abrams and Nancy Julius

1959 Courting on the bench

Eddie Abrams and Deanna Rosen

lee-david-katz

David Katz and Lee Richmond (1963)

Barry Greene and Eydie Kotzin (1965)

kathy-and-hank-aberman

Hank Aberman and Kathy Katz (1966)

Harvey Forman and Marian Eisman

herb-and-lillian

Herbie Cohen(*) and Lillian DuVaull (1968)

Jack Weiss(*) and Sharon Korman  (1970)

1970’s

mike-lindner-and-sheri-lipstein

Mike Lindner and Sheri Lipstein (1970)

Cary Reines and Ellen Rashbaum (1974)

Mark Dubin and Darlene Resnick

1970-ferne-gendason-and-jeff-cooper

Jeff Cooper and Ferne Gendason (1975)

1972-lynn-and-arthur

Arthur Dubin and Lynn Gendason (1979)

Brad Barash and Karen Edelson

1980’s

curt-and-karen-heffler

Curt Heffler and Karen Frankel (1981)

jody-reines-and-dave-topolsky

David Topolsky and Jody Reines  (1983)

1990’s and 2000’s

jon-and-sloane-fish

Jon Fish and Sloane Drapkin  (1995)

andrew-and-marcee-senker-1993

Andrew Senker and Marcee Rabinowitz (1997)

staceymichael-silverstein

Michael Silverstein and Stacey Cooperman (2004)

Bobby Landau and Arlen Katzen

Cliff Gutman and Marcie Taylor

Joe Bockol Marla Glickfield

Dave Green and Debbie Fink (*)  (2011)

(*) We remember fondly these spouses and Saginaw friends who were taken from our midst way to early.  We are sure they are up there with the other Greek Gods and Goddesses keeping an eye on what we are up to and making sure we are still living their dreams.  Memory of their influence on our lives is something we carry with us every day.

We are looking for other Saginaw Alums who might have met, cavorted, and eventually gotten married to fill out this list.  Please forward any suggested names to consider, and their contact email if you have it, to us at moedweck@comcast.net.

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4 thoughts on “Matrimonial Stakes

  1. The Cubby

    This is my favorite Saginaw story, and though I am very much a part of it, I did not know it had occurred until 22 years after it happened.

    We record our own histories to affirm that we were here, that we embraced a time and place as it was handed to us, and we altered that time and that place by having been there. And it, irrevocably, altered us.

    And so it was sad on an April day in 2001, to witness the disappearance of a piece of recorded history, the erasure of art work far less masterful but no less treasured than that found on chapel ceilings or monastery walls. This art work sprang from the same impulse as that. It was etched or printed into the walls; in fresco-like fusion, it became the walls, merged into each pore, which held tight the timelines of lives lived here, the genealogies of families, the precious baby-book albums of children growing up. These rich histories are gone now, painted over to make clean walls. No museums are built to preserve the time of youth breathed into camp bunk walls and cubbies.

    It was inevitable that a new generation’s history would come to replace ours. And it is a sign that the place still lives, that it changes in response to each decade of summer sojourners. But because time’s tides have rinsed clean nearly all evidence of our having been here, I will have to re-create one very special lost moment now, as I imagine it occurred:

    It must have been a cool, late August night, the chill a harbinger of summer’s end. It would have been the kind of night that made us want to wrap our arms around ourselves, to coax from within, our own sources of warmth that we would need to call upon in the days to come. It would have been a night of immense sadness, because loss was imminent, just beyond the horizon, with the next sunrise. It would have been the last night of camp, when something like mortality comes into consciousness. And the brevity of time left to us evoked in all of us, a desire to immortalize ourselves, to make known, for all of history, our presence here, in this place, in that time. All future generations should know: we had been here, as we knew, and revered, those who had been here before our coming. Their names, upon those walls, were mythic, they had lived where we lived, this place had made its imprint upon them, too. And so, whether we knew them or not, we knew them, for they were kin. And we would be kin and we would be myth to those who might never meet us personally. Like palimpsests these walls and cubbies were, with new histories never really obscuring the old, and with the oldest always giving a sense of richness and depth, context and continuity to the newer.

    Do not mistake what we, and generations before and after us had done, as vandalism. There was no intent to deface, ever, but only to make those walls the holders, forever, of the most precious moments of our lives, as they bore witness, year after year, bunk after bunk, to the unfolding blossoming of our best selves.

    And so it would have been on such a night that a 13 year old boy would bequeath to the side of his cubby a thought, that had been pushing itself into consciousness all summer long. It was a private thought, that at that moment became public. Had you seen that writing at the time, you might have smiled; or you might have dismissed this graffiti, as the impulsive declaration of an adolescent boy’s fantasy. But if it was a fantasy before that moment, it became a promise right then, right there. I imagine that the boy felt a sense of relief and satisfaction, and maybe also a hint of embarrassment at the unlikely possibility of what he had just committed himself to, or maybe just plain happiness at seeing his feelings indelibly tattooed into his cubby wall in black marker; now, with purpose, he would need to move forward out of 13 and find a way to create the life that would fulfill what he had just written.

    The thirteen year old boy turned 35 in the year 1988. As he wandered in and out of memories’ bowers with the hand of his 7 year old son in his own hand, his 4 year old daughter upon his shoulders, and his wife of 18 years by his side, he came upon the cubby. There, on the side where his head would have been, where he could have stared at it on that last night of camp, was his declaration:

    Mike
    &
    Sheri
    1966

    (the above in a heart–I couldn’t get the heart to copy)

    After a moment’s calculation, I exclaimed, “Wait a minute! There was no Mike and Sheri in 1966.” To which Michael replied, “There was for me.”

    For years after that visit to Saginaw, as we marked milestone anniversaries, we wished we had taken the cubby in 1988. We have imagined it in our home, a testament to what Michael knew (long before I did). The story of the cubby is legend for us. It had also come to embody all the possibilities of camp. On the eve of his first departure to sleep away camp, our then 10-year old son expressed distress over going. Mistakenly, we assumed he was anticipating homesickness. He asked, “How will I know?” He was worried that he would meet the girl he would love and not know it.

    So, we felt, the cubby really should be ours. We decided on an April day in 2001, to find it again. And take it. We detoured to Saginaw on our way back from Washington, and looked in every bunk. The cubbies were all new or newly painted, clean, graffiti-less, history-less. The new owner, Jay Petkov, came upon us snooping, and generously tried to help us find our cubby. He unlocked Girl’s Lodge, the one place where a handful of old cubbies awaited “reprogramming.” Excitedly we recognized the names of those with whom we had come of age 30 to 40 years ago, and the names it seemed we had always known, of those who preceded us by10 years, and the names of those who had been junior campers, just beginning as we were leaving. We searched this cache of memory-treasures, our daughter, and the two of us, embracing spider webs and a winter’s layer of dust. No Mike and Sheri cubby.

    I was disappointed. I would have loved that cubby. I have loved that cubby. It does not exist any longer. No young boy will store his clothing there while he spends 8 weeks growing into himself in this Camelot. No young boy will stare at his cubby’s walls at rest period, and absorb, subliminally, knowledge of the 80 or so others who, year after year, each, for a brief moment, shared that space. No young boy will know that once there was another young boy who declared, on that cubby, his love for a young girl, and made the improbable possible. But some young boy, will, next August, take up his laundry marker and begin to create history again, recording his presence and maybe, just maybe, his destiny.

    We left Camp Saginaw empty-handed. No, nothing could be further from the truth. We left that day in 2001 with each other, and with the life that that 13 year old boy dreamt, and dared to write of on the side of his cubby, one late August evening, nearly a half a century ago.

    –Sheri Lindner
    © April 29, 2001
    Various versions of this piece have been published in:
    Opening Eden’s Gate, Lindner, 2012.
    Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, Volume 10, 2014.

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  2. Sherri: Your story is beautiful. Unless you professionally write, you have missed your calling in life. The words paint such a picture in my head. Loved it!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ira! I really appreciate that you read it…and took the time to comment. And I love so many of the new connections we all made at the last reunion.

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