My Grandma Susan Robins
My Safta’s name is Sue (Susan) Starkman Robins. She was born on January 10, 1933. In her family she had 2 parents, Celia and Harold, and a younger brother, Jim.
Her family wasn’t always observant when she was younger. They conscious of being Jewish. They went to shul on some Shabbatot, observed Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, had two sedarim on Pessach and her parents believed that my Safta should only go out with Jewish boys and marry a Jew.
Her favorite things to do when she was a child were to go to shows and listen to music. My Safta grew up in Manhattan. She never moved cities, but until she was 5 years old, she lived on 14th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. Then the family moved to 93rd Street and West End Avenue, also in Manhattan.
During my Safta’s time off from school, her parents wanted her to work in order to make some money for herself. My Safta worked at a store. Usually women worked as teachers or secretaries.
My grandparents met at the Birch Wathen School. Starting in 5th grade, they were both in the same class. In the beginning my grandparents didn’t like each other. My Safta’s parents and my Saba’s parents started to be friends. When they were in college they started to date and got married.
My Safta and Saba’s anniversary is on June 29 and my Saba’s birthday is on July 2. In other words, they are four days apart. In 2000, my Safta decided to surprise my Saba for their 40th anniversary and his 65th birthday with a special present. She bought a beautiful Chanukiah from a friend who’s a silversmith in Chutzot HaYotzer in Jerusalem.
Safta and her friend, Gidon Hay, made up a story for Saba that Gidon had a client in NY who had ordered the Chanukiah and that he asked Safta and Saba to take the Chanukiah to the client when they went back to NY.
The Chanukiah got put in a special wooden box, which Safta put in her hand luggage when they got on the plane. When she got back to NY, Safta put the box with the Chanukiah in the closet of my Ima and aunt’s old bedroom. Safta decorated the box and Saba was very surprised when Safta gave him the Chanukiah.
Saba said that Safta and Gidon played a dirty trick on him, but he laughs every time he thinks about it. Safta likes giving Saba one big present instead of two little presents as a combined anniversary-birthday present.
The most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the East, Hudson, and Harlem Rivers, but also includes several small adjacent islands, as well as Marble Hill, a small neighborhood on the U.S. mainland. (Wikipedia)