Articles by Margie Pensak

Fun and Games, Then and Now


yoyo

Have you ever wondered what your fellow baby boomers were playing while you “walked the dog” with your Duncan yo-yo, made a tea party for your Chatty Cathy, or joined the mobs of hula-hoopers on the country’s sidewalks? Have you ever reflected on what toys and games fellow Baltimoreans who relocated from across the globe played when they were growing up? Wonder no more! WWW’s sample survey not only brings some of us down Memory Lane but also reveals a stark contrast between what children consider fun and games, then and now.

A Map for Creativity

Peshi (Paula) Katz grew up in Randallstown, where her father, Rabbi Israel Goldberg, z”l, was the rav of Randallstown Synagogue Center. “We were a very creative family,” reminisces Peshi. “We drew a map of a city in different colors on the back of an old plastic tablecloth – with roads, shops, a gas station, a bank, and probably a shul – and played with our Matchbox cars for hours. We had shoeboxes full of them. They sell rugs like this for kids, now, so we were way ahead of our time.”


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Crosswalks, Potholes and More: Getting Your Traffic and Safety Concerns Addressed


cars

We’ve all noticed them, whether we live in Baltimore City or County: intersections prone to accidents, potholes we must swerve to avoid, and the lack of wheelchair accessibility at curbs, among other unsafe conditions. Is it possible to get action to resolve such traffic and safety issues? And if so, how?

I have to admit, I never gave this topic much thought until I attended the Pikesville-Greenspring Community Coalition’s (PGCC) traffic and safety committee/neighborhood and pedestrian safety meeting in July. Although the subject of the meeting was the Smith Avenue corridor, the safety issues it raised are not exclusive to County residents. As a City resident, I took note.


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Dr. Jonathan Ringo’s Divine Climb to Sinai


healthcare

Jonathan Ringo was six years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia. No treatment was available in his native South Africa at that time. His parents contacted various medical centers around the world, and the one facility willing to chance treatment was the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. At the time of his diagnosis, the prognosis for survival for that type of leukemia was less than five percent. His mother was 26 years old and his father was 27, and people advised them to let their son die comfortably at home. They thought it was cruel of them to take their son out of the country to die. Baruch Hashem, his parents didn’t listen and, instead, brought Jonathan to Boston, where he received an experimental chemotherapy. Presently, Dr. Ringo is one of the longest survivors of pediatric cancer.


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Jews by Choice


ruth

Tzadik Lev and Tikvah Womack were married three times. The first wedding was Christian, the second Conservative Jewish, and most recently, over two years ago, they were once again married as Orthodox Jews.

The Womacks live in Baltimore and daven at Ner Tamid. Tzadik Lev, a lawyer, is an associate at Snider & Associates, LLC, in Baltimore. Tikvah is raising their toddler and also works full-time as a school-based therapist at a Baltimore charter school. The story of the Womacks’ journey to Yiddishkeit is one of idealism and truth-seeking, reflecting that of their spiritual forebear, the biblical Rus.


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Who Has Time to Retire?


cooking

Lucky me that we had that ice storm back in March! Otherwise it would have been a real challenge to catch up with any one of my very active interviewees before my article deadline. Most likely, they wouldn’t have been home; not because they work – since some of them are retired – but because their days are now, perhaps, fuller than ever. What are all those baby boomers and traditionalists so busy with? Here is a sampling of just some of our friends and neighbors and what they are up to.


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Thank You, Lamont, Patti, Jorge, Hector, Michelle, Truman, and Christopher!


lamont

How many of us take the time out of our busy lives to recognize those who help us? They may be home health companions, waiters and waitresses, grocery baggers, shopkeepers, and even neighbors. All of them give us a helping hand. Here is just a small sampling of the many wonderful people who go above and beyond duty in aiding members of our community with a warm smile and a full heart.

Bags Are his Business

If you’ve shopped at Seven Mile Market, you know Lamont. Like the proverbial postman, Lamont has been loading customers’ vehicles with the familiar blue bags 40 hours a week in rain or snow, sleet or heat. Yossi Lax, a fellow employee, remarks, “People really love Lamont because he knows what everyone needs and even remembers where they parked their car. On erev Shabbos or Yom Tov, he knows exactly what to say: “Have a good Shabbos!’ or ‘Have a good Yom Tov!’ I would call him ‘Lamentsch’ because he is a mentsch. I don’t remember a Friday that he didn’t buy flowers to bring home to his wife.”


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