Fan Club

This is a tale of two Fans.

To be precise, the club consists of my late Grandma Fannie and my almost 25 year old daughter Fanny. Although they never knew each other, they shared so many wonderful qualities. Our daughter Fanny was named for her great-grandmother Francis New Ginsberg who was known as Fannie. Born January 19, 1898, she grew up in Austria-Hungary in Eastern Europe.

Fannie and Fanny
Grandma Fannie was a simple woman with a pure sense of humor. Her laugh was a lilting sound. I remember how much she loved coupons, green stamps and starting dinner at 3:30 just to get a jump on things. I can see her sitting cleaning string beans over a bowl while watching TV. (Something I have adopted as a kind of homage to her while cleaning strings beans or asparagus). I refer to it as doing the Grandma Fannie which means to clean a vegetable while watching television.

She was a slight woman with a big heart. Dripping wet she couldn't have weighed 100 lbs. After October 30,1950 her greatest love was to be with her grandchildren. Diane was the first to be showered in that love, then me and finally Mitch. Her three grandchildren were the beneficiaries of that love. She did meet three of her great grandchildren, Jaime, Garret and Sarah.   

In our childhood Grandma Fannie, my Poppa George and Aunt Annette lived at 186 Tuxedo Parkway in Newark, New Jersey. It was a very humble two bedroom apartment that was filled with happy memories and a candy jar I can still see. The jar sat on the a little side table and was a pinkish grey ceramic dish with a floral pattern for the lid. It was filled with sugared magic. To me 186 Tuxedo was like the Land of Oz with a yellow brick road that leads to love, laughter and stuffed cabbage.

Grandma Fannie always made me happy and filled me with the wonderful appreciation for humor and recognizing all the riches we have- particularly in the ordinary things. Her sense of humor was her gift and, like a Jewish Yogi Berra, she came out with some wonderful quotes that to this day, we love to remember. She once woke my Aunt, who was fond of sleeping late, very early one morning to tell her that Gil Hodges was now with the angels. Hodges was the manager of the New York Mets and my Aunt thought Hodges was dead. Nope. He was just traded to another baseball team called the Los Angeles Angels.

A few Fannie funnies:

  1. Chew a piece of thread if you sew a button or anything on you. (If you don’t you will sew away your brains)
  2. If you put anything on backwards, like your pants, do not change or you’ll be surprised.
  3. Always walk into a room with your right foot first for luck. (like when you start a new job)
  4. Always go out the same door you came in.
  5. If someone complains about the hot weather in the summer, say what you expect, it’s summertime. (the same is true in the winter)
  6. The weatherman will say it will be sunny but he will take an umbrella.
  7. People are dying now that has never died before.
  8. Never put off tomorrow what you can do today.
  9. If it rains before seven, it stops before eleven.
  10. You’ll get over it but you’ll never look the same.
  11. If you can’t remember something, hit your head against the wall to knock it out of your head.
  12. If you leave something at someone’s house, it means you will visit again.
  13. Never go to someone’s home for dinner without a box of candy or flowers.
  14. A mother can have five children and they are all different – just like the fingers on your hand; all different. 
The other member of this Fan club is our daughter Fanny. Born October 26, 1985, she too has a similar sense of humor and a grand appreciation for the little things in life. Both our daughter Fanny and my Grandma Fannie were blessed with loving sisters named Sarah (Sara). The love of my grandmother and her sister Sara, and our daughter Fanny and her sister Sarah connects the generations with a powerful bond that completes a circle.  

Fanny always seemed to find joy with little things like perfectly made grilled cheese sandwiches, scrambly eggs with cheddar cheese and sage, or back to back to back episodes of Friends. Joy for Fanny was a pink Barbie car that she could ride down the driveway when she was four and continued to enjoy into her early teens when the car was well past its prime. Crickets, grasshoppers and small insects all had an angel watching over them should they enter our house where Fanny would transport them outside to safety as if she were their guardian. And some day I'll tell a few stories about Fanny and Britney.

Fanny, like Fannie possesses a remarkable sense of humor. It has always been something we celebrated in our house and continues today. From wearing socks on her ears or wearing birthday cake on her face, Fanny always seemed to channel the spirit of Lucille Ball and the joy of Danny Kaye. She doesn’t believe in maps but has her own inner GPS to find fabulous dives and dinners. She appreciates my bad puns and has a quick wit that always leaves you guessing. As Grandma Fannie would say, she keeps us in stiches.

Fanny is not an easy name for a child to have but our daughter Fanny always knew of that special person who name she carries. Today her name fits her perfectly as she carries my Grandmother’s love of the simpler things in life with her on her journey. Fanny is a memorable person. In her new journeys toHollywood, I know it will help her stand out in a crowd. 

So I have a Fan club that honors two people I love. If you would like to join the price of admission is simple. Be happy with life’s little things because it’s in those ordinary moments that your life is lived.  

I guess  you could say I am their biggest fan.

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