Mama Had Many Men


Of course Mama had Papa and her four boys.  She also had Zeyde (grandpa) and Uncle Shiya, her brother, but these don’t count.  There was another group of men that was important to Mama.

There was the butcher man, the milkman, the iceman, the blue-and-white-box man, the candy-store man, the bakery man, the doctor man, and the insurance man. 

All of Mama’s men spoke Yiddish.  The word I remember hearing over and over again was vifl (how many or how much) and Mama answering, “Tsu fil” (too much).

Of all of Mama’s men I still remember the insurance man the best.  He came every month to collect money.  I am not sure if he worked for the New York Life Insurance Company or the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

I still can see that brown leather book he had with a big rubber band around it.  He always wore a long black coat and a funny hat even in warm weather.  Every time he turned a page he wet his finger.  Mama always offered him a glass of tea, and although he always refused it, Mama always put it out, and he always drank it all up.

None of these men came with us to “Joisey” when we move to the farm.

My Mama had many men

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