Contact Kathryn at: kathrynspira60@gmail.com

Yom Kippur Memories with Mom

So I’m sitting here with Mom, who came to visit Herman and me for the Yom Kippur holiday. This is one of the “high holidays” and one of the most solemn days where Jewish people fast and atone for their sins from the previous year.

As Mom and I are sitting here, she is laughingly telling me about a play I was in when I was in New York City.

The play was called “Getting Out of Bed,” it was off-off Broadway on Hudson Street in the West Village to be exact. It was a one-shot deal Friday and Saturday night, which was kind of a successful run for me in those days even though I wasn’t getting paid. I think this was about 1985.

Mom and Dad came from Cleveland by car to watch.

I had asked Mom if I could borrow her diseased mother’s seal and mink fur coat. Now before I get a bunch of letters, this was before animal rights groups were in vogue.

Thing is, there was a scene during which my boyfriend and I (and my boyfriend on stage happened also to be my boyfriend offstage at the time) were in bed with the borrowed fur coat at the foot.

As I recall, my character became enraged with the boyfriend, got up and yelled at him, and in a fit, threw the coat on the floor.

I heard an audible gasp in the audience and I knew it was Mom, who didn’t realize her coveted coat would be treated as such.

I don’t remember a lot about my grandparents Mutti and Papa, Abraham and Elly Loewenthal, but I do have vivid memories of Mutti coming over on wintry days when I lived on Traymore Road in University Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. As Mom recounts, my grandfather was a furrier when they wound up in Cleveland and had made the coat to order for my grandmother.

Mom inherited the coat from her mother and never imagined the coat would be treated like that.

Mom and Dad were pretty good sports about the whole thing, taking the entire cast out for dinner and drinks after the play was over. There  were about eight in the cast and we all had a good time. Since no one was getting paid, they all appreciated the free meal. Since most of the crew were waiters, we appreciated our bosses giving us the weekend off to perform in the play, but since the weekend was a big money night for tips, we waiters were losing out as well.

Mom reminds me we laughed about it at the time and we are still laughing about it yet today.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com.