Bruria Lindenberg Cooperman

author  •  sculptor  •  peripatetic  • rebel bubbie

For This
I Survived?


Bruria Lindenberg Cooperman

author  •  sculptor  •  peripatetic  • rebel bubbie

For This
I Survived?



How a September/December marriage between a Right-of-Attila man and a Trotskyite woman can live under the same roof. Two goldfish, a hampster and a dog named Kafka are only the beginning.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

So Far – Friday
Welcome to the Cooperman/Kerouac Travelling Road Show.  A most excellent adventure has begun. So far, dad is behaving. He did lose the Volvo key only once (got zei dank) but I found it. He thought he had lost it on the Thruway. He only has two pieces of plastic cutlery in his pocket. The rest is pens and flashlights.  So he’s walking a bit lopsided. There was nothing to do in NY state — been there so many times. So, I figured if we get into Massachusetts, things would look up.  And they did. CHARMING!!!!!Checked into a Super 8 — fabulously clean and a KING bed — in Lee, Mass — soooo charming. Go figure.  Best night’s sleep in a long time. Went for a long walk through charming, charming, charming. Lee. The night before, kids and their parents gathered on blankets and lawn chairs in the park to watch a movie on a large screen — or perhaps a big sheet.  Adorable. They had a popcorn machine and cotton candy. Went into Ben’s — figured it was owned by the one Jew in town — I was right.  The Slaminsky brothers started it eons ago.  Bought a belt but could not give them any more business.  They had the largest selection of Woolrich but nothing fit today. Walked our legs off.  Came back to check out.  Grabbed the last of the motel’s breakfast coffee and hot water and we were on our way to Lennox (Tanglewood) then the Shaker Village then a Pissaro exhibit in Williamstown and maybe the Normal Rockwell. Tonight, we put our heads down in Franklin, Mass … Roz says there is an outlet mall near there.  SUNDAY — we hope to land in Cape Cod — But will check in before bedtime.BLC

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Chapter 2

Wanted to do everything but could only get The Clark in.

Of course, everybody looked like us and older.  Walking slightly stooped and swaying from side to side.  Who else has the time?

Bought tapes.  Fabulous exhibit. Would like to come back but I doubt it.  

It was mobbed because the exhibit had been featured on the front page of the New York Times.  So, the fabulous and the oh-so cuhl-chuld were there.  Then there was Dad and me.

Got some food — again by sheer lucky fumbling …. put my finger on a restaurant so the GPS would get us there….haven’t figured out how to get to only a city — and the food was great and I had the best shrimps in history.  And a caeser with ‘white anchovies’ …. more New York stuff….

Got to Franklin around 7 and checked in and went out to the Outlet Mall near here.

Did not want to go to a restaurant and I remembered there was a ‘grocery store’ near here.  Went and it was a Costco but called BJ’s.  I have never seen such sizes in my life.  I wanted small containers of tuna with a pop tab and had to buy it in bulk.  That was okay but then I saw cans of tuna that were bigger than my head!  We took pictures.

This country does not have to worry themselves with economic death; they will drop dead collectively of obesity!

Tomorrow we head off to the Cape — but will try and get in some shopping.  Can’t check in until 3:00 anyway.

Kisses and hugs.

B & Dad

Friday, 26 August 2011

Chapter 3 – The Beat Goes On

Yesterday — we left our motel in Franklin and toodled over to the Outlet Mall — more grossness — that is, people and stores.

Then it was pouring rain.  

We met R & R at Ruby Tuesdays and had lunch.  Then made arrangements to meet at the Super Shop & Stop — a grocery store very close to Dennis Port.

OMG!!!!!!  It was packed.  But Sunday and Saturday are the exchange days — when people come in and out.

R & R said they were leaving Monday (staying at a motel Sunday night) to avoid the exodus.

We’ve got a date to meet Orofino & Kevan in Toronto — hope we make it. So, we’re driving back in one day. (I also want to pick up the dog Sunday night — if we can make it back.)

In the dark and in pouring rain, in a new place, we got lost coming here because I had not given the right address into the GPS.

Moishe-Kerouac panicked but He said nothing.  No words, nothing.  Just this ‘something’ emanating. The anxiety was palpable and rising by the second.  I must admit, it was scary not knowing where we were in the pitch black out in cottage country with no light!!!

I stopped in front of a hotel and told him to go in to pee. I needed to think.

I got the file out — we have a file for every trip — and looked up our lease.  I found an address in our agreement.  I have no idea how I got the other address.  Probably, the property manager’s …. I put it into the GPS and by the time dad came out, we were on our way.  And within a couple of minutes, we were there.

Finally arrived.  Could have been a scene out of a spooky movie….. I see it now.  Can two yids find their way?  Are there spectres hidden in them there goyishe hills, ready to rise up?  Should they have gone to the Catskills, instead, just as their forebears did?  This is Kennedy country … and we know about them!!!!!

OMG!!!!!!  – again.  This place is a throwback to camp and Crystal Beach when we were kids and YOUNG!!!!!!  Dad and I burst into gales of laughter when we walked in. (I’m never going to live this down with our cousins because we have been refusing to go up to their cottage.  We do not ‘do’ cottages.)

It’s a cottage!  Again, charming — but wet!  Just like at camp.

No key.  We went the next morning.  “Oh, there’s no key?”  That’s right, and they back door doesn’t lock.  “Really?  Did you try the screen door lock?” Yes.  “Oh, well, you don’t need a key.”  So, that’s how we did it.  Closed the front door and that’s it.  It is a throwback and refreshing.  

Everything is here — kitchenette, kitch, chintz, wreaths and little figurines …. Niagara-On-The-Lake but on the ocean.

Americans, besides being huge are extremely friendly.

Dad couldn’t figure out the DVD machine.  A woman heard him ask about this in the office.  She said she would send her husband over.  True to her word, ten minutes later, we heard whistling outside and in he came.  A former cable guy. ‘Houston, we made contact.’

We went for a walk this morning and everybody in Cape Cod was out walking or jogging and everybody said hello or good-morning.

Had a good night’s sleep then heard the news about the stock market and before dad crawled behind the couch, we went out.

Tried to get to Chatham but there was an accident and the towns on the way were ‘shut down’ and everybody had to make a detour.

No patience so we parked and looked around.  There are all these historical towns along Route 28.

I got very testy from hunger.  We’re going out with the Smolkins tonight so back we went to Super Shop & Stop and got some more food.  It’s what we do best.

Dad has fallen asleep in the biggest, ugliest La-zy Boy.  

We’ll go out soon to walk on the beach.  Sun is peeking through …. 

Hope it is sunny for all you kiddies, as well.

B & Dad.

Dad said not to worry about the yurisha — there will be none left and one of you will have to either take us in or take turns.  AAAAACCCCCHHHHH!!!!!!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

What Day Is It?

We always travel with our daily journal — especially this week because there are a few birthdays etc. to remember.

There was dad, staring at the journal, muttering, “Only five days left.  I don’t know if I’m going to survive.”

The early bird last night was awful, dad left his food untouched.  (The night before, he had a terrible roast beef.) Roz sent her wine and her clam chowder back to the kitchen.  Dad’s onion soup was stone cold.

We went toodling around afterwards to the CVS and another place …. I don’t remember.  It was like being back in high school, only this time, we’re the popular kids! Albeit with stooped backs and a lot of groaning just trying to get out of the SUV — Don’t laugh!

Rob took dad to a breakfast place.  I spent the morning in my pyjamas — as did Roz — and had coffee on her porch … We’re right across the way from them.

We were supposed to go to Chatham this afternoon — another charming historical town — on our own … but just as we were ready to take off for our walk, all of a sudden R &R pop over and tell us we’re all going to the mall!  The weather is iffy and that’s where we’re going.

Spent the next 3/4s of an hour in traffic. Had lunch, then went to The Christmas Shoppe — the most fabulours ‘dollar’-ish store…then the mall.

Tonight, we’re going to a band concert in a park ….

Dad is going kookoo …. we keep saying we don’t want to impose on them or their time but to no avail …. honestly, it’s like being 15 again.

The details we’ll regale you with next shabbos….

Not a great e-mail today.  We’re both running out of steam ….

— going to lay down for a nap.


Sunday, 28 August 2011


One of the reasons – I’m convinced – dad and I are still married is that we normally do not share a bathroom.  This vacation has solidified that opinion….only a few days left.

Today, we’re going out for our morning walk — which we’ve not had this week.  And later, we’re going to try and get to Chatham — again — for strolling which we’ve tried to do all several times.

We’re going to try and get out of dinner tonight with R & R and a couple friend of theirs.  Dad and I believe that mixing friends is baaaaaad.  The odd-couple-out always feels left out and if they include you, you have to do a lot of explaining.  I hate explaining.  I beyond that.  I want my friends to know my history and know that I had my thyroid out and that I’m umbilically connected to my parents.  I know, I know — it sounds like a lot of grousing on our parts but we need space!

Tonight I drove.  Do you know how many alter kakers it takes to drive a Volvo when you’re on vacation?  Four.  One to do the actual driving and three to navigate.  

“Go here.  No, go there.  You swerved.  Don’t answer your phone. What are you doing???!!!!? Just wait until I’m in the car before you start to drive away!”  

We took four lawn chairs from the back shed and off we went to the historical town of Chatham.  (Hyannis is so yesterday.)

There was a concert in the park.  It was a jug-band.  One of the instruments was actually a jug.  Then there were two washboards — a bass and an alto – a mandolin, an electric guitar, a one-stringed bass, drums and Dr. Edmund Robinson on the concertina. The hit parade of 1872 figured prominently with a whole lotta ‘hee haws’.  

The kids were so cute — running around barefoot, jumping to the music and eventually getting into a whole lotta trouble.

Picture this:  Going back to the car, each one of us carrying a lawn chair, crossing the intersection single file … it was the senior citizen version of the Abbey Road record cover. 

Couldn’t get into one restaurant, we decided to come back to our town of Dennis Port and did chazerai.  Kreamy Kone featured a menu of FRIED —– …. you name it, they fried it with a couple of token grilled pieces.

Ate outside on the water, and talked and talked until I started to get bitten.

I’m the only one who can drive at night — it’s hard with the narrow, winding, country roads with cottagers walking all over the place.

We made it back. Dad got out his flashlight and guided everybody to their respective cabins.  Just like camp!!!

Your two A.K.s are sitting on their barca loungers, reading and writing and sipping cups of tea.

Layla tov.

Sweet dreams, kinderles.

B & Dad.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Part II: Life With Dad

R has had hearing loss since she was 50.  She’s been tutoring dad on the pros and cons of hearing aids.  He is convinced, as he was before, that these contraptions are not for him.

This morning, she came over to say hello, before going to the beach.

When she left, dad turned to me, in the car, and said, “She really has profound hearing loss….”  I pointed out to him that I often have to repeat myself with him.  His answer, “What did you say, honey?”

Later in the morning, while walking, I remarked, “My legs are sore.” His answer:  “You can go into any store you want.” …… 

Otherwise, we had a great time.  Dad bought a whole bunch of stuff — in a store that sells Tilley Hats!  Coincidence?

He also bought a walking stick and promised me he would not lean on me anymore when we walk in the mall.

Came home and ate from our provisions in the fridge.  It was so nice not having to eat in a restaurant.  It does get so tiring — oh, booh hooh for me …..

Now, we have to decide who tells R & R that we’re not joining them for dinner.

Dad has been less goofy.  He doesn’t ask the cashier if it’s okay to use a Canadian Visa.  But he still sings when he goes into a store.

I was rootling around in  back of one of the town establishments on Main Street — (every single city along Cape Cod Bay has a Main Street)  — and ‘somebody’ opened the front door to peek inside — singing.

Of course, everybody turned around to see who it was.  I confessed that it was my husband and that I had to go.

Out on the street, he said that the proprietess of the book store had thanked him for the concert.

Life with Dad.

There is only one thing wrong with a beach.  The sand.  Why can’t they build a boardwalk on every beach?  There is sand everywhere.  In my hair, my bathing suit and other places which I would mention but I know would come under the heading of ‘Too-Much-Information’. 

Right now we’re trying to figure out how to use the long-distance card.  We’re such klutzes.  Of course, R was the one who told us to buy one, instead of paying the roaming charges.

Later that day — we figured everything out.  We went grocery shopping again and started discussing shabbos … we’re not very good on vacations.

We’ll discuss that with you when we return….

Layla tov.

B & Dad

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Still Here After All These Years

Dad just dragged his ass off to breakfast with Uncle B — to The Egg and I — a smile plastered across his face.  Poor Guy.

I’ll get dressed and ready — today, we’re going to Provincetown (Moishe K: “It’s gay, you know.”).

Weather is stupendous and it’s not supposed to cloud over and rain until Sunday — our departure date.

Will start out at 6:00, according to dad’s request.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES — and today, one of the folle was dad.

Of we went to Provincetown (MK: “You know there are homosexuals there.”  BLC:  “Yes, I know, honey.”)

It was a fabulous day.  Perfect weather.  No humidity.

Walked up and down Commercial Street.  It was quite an eye opener for dad.

I have a picture of him with a cross-dresser, dressed in pink tights and an outlandish silk, polka-dotted outfit, with a two-foot-high hat, who performs in his own one man — oops, one woman – show called LIP-SHTICK.  He was a hoot.

Then there were the two burly, wrestler-type guys dressed in blonde wigs, similar to Anne of Green Gables, fully costumed in extremely, short tutus, draped over ten layers of crinoline.  One was driving down the street on a tricycle.

Then there was the maitre d’, standing outside a restaurant, shirtless, tight short denims, every few seconds, practising balletic, pas de deux ….

We went to a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant which turned out to have fabulous food,  I had a great meal.  We were the only hetero couple in the establishment.  The guy sitting next to us with his companion, was very friendly.  After the meal, he became more animated.  Asked where we were from.  Was it our first time?

“Did you know,” he asked, sub rosa, “that it was gay?”

We said that yes, we had known.

He said, “I ask because people have come here and have been completely surprised.  They didn’t know.”

“Oh, no,” we answered ever so nonchalantly, “we knew that….we even had gay patients in our practices!”  We are such cosmopolitans!

In the main central square, we stopped to enjoy some jazz played by three old musicians.  It was lovely to see how much they were enjoying themselves.

At four, completely exhaused, we came back to Dennis Port and our humble little cottage.

Had supper on R&R’s porch and now we’re going to watch a DVD.

It’s winding down.

Just now, we had a knock on our door.  “Come in, we shouted.”

Two kids popped their heads in, asking if there were any kids here.  “Sorry, no kids.”

“Oh, too bad, we’re having a game of flashlight tag.”  So cute.

Take care, my little chickadees.

See you soon.


Day Five

I am NEVER, EVER stepping foot on a boat or a plane or a train — no swaying, gliding, drifting vehicle — ever, ever, again.

Dad wanted to go out on a cruise to do some whale watching and I agreed — quite readily, as a fatter of fact.  I love them as much as the next guy.  So, off we went very early this morning.

Got onto a fair-sized boat along with the others.  Every person and family squatting in the best booths.  Of course, Dad and I scoped out the washrooms.  (Lately, that’s how we judge a place.)  These boats always smell of diesel and that is unpleasant.  Finally, the engines started up and off we went on our adventure.  It started out slowly, picked up speed and was, eventually, windier than a NASA noise tunnel. It was too windy for me so I stayed inside.

All dad was missing was Kate Winslett by his side.  There he was, on the promontory of the ship, holding on to the the side railings, chest out to the wind.  This scene could have been enhanced with our very own, cheesy Celine Dion belting out the theme song from Titanic. It was quite a picture.

With his Tilley hat tied tightly under his chin, the front and back rims blown straight up from the wind, there he was looking like a five-year-old on the adventure of a lifetime.

After an hour-plus, we arrived and that’s when my day turned — for the worse.  Literally.

The combination of bobbing up and down, forward and backward, and then sideways was too much for me.  My fortune (much less this week) for a Gravol.  To quote an Italian lady on a similar trip I went on from the Greek Island of Skiathos, “SHOOT ME NOW!”

But all things do wind down.  It took the return trip home for me to settle down.  Dad had a rip-roaring time talking to a Republican American couple — she the ex of a Navy Admiral, he, a retired photographer on the SS America.  I was holding myself and waiting for my upper stomach to calm down.  But the pacemaker held fast and true.

Dad said he also wanted to go to the Zooquarium – some petting-zoo of goats and sheep (Aren’t we in Cape Cod????) but I diverted his attention by pulling into a pizza shoppe.

Last night we went out with R & R for a seafood dinner on the edge of a Marina.  Quite lovely but noisy as hell.  I don’t remember the last time I’ve been in a quiet restaurant.  Am I getting old?  Was it always like this?

I had a 1 1/2 pound lobster who gave his life for my pleasure.  It was fabulous.  The remains on the table was testament to a meal well enjoyed.  Of course, reasonably priced.  R & R are very careful.  Which is why we’re going tomorrow to the Early Bird Special down the street — all under the ruse of having to get to the theatre afterwards.  A musical in an old church, or something.

We just came back from the beach.  I went out in public in a bathing suit for the first time since 1972.  No evidence will be available for general consumption.

We’ll discuss that with you when we return….

Layla tov.

B & Dad

With all our love and kisses.