On July 3, 2016, my husband and I celebrated the 50th anniversary of our marriage with our family and friends.
For the occasion, I wrote a poem with poor rhyme and worse meter to quickly summarize the last 50 years.
Here it is!!
In the summer of 1961,
They went to camp Ramah to have some fun.
He as a counselor, she as a camper,
At times they spoke but then had to scamper.
Camp life included classes, sports, and plays,
But at summer’s end they went separate ways.
Occasional letters, clever and witty,
Went between Philadelphia and New York City.
One day 4 years later while eating bagels and lox,
She saw news blurb saying he was at Fort Knox.
That prompted letters in a constant flurry,
From September until February.
Actually, they continued into July,
But that didn’t rhyme, just you try.
Because they weren’t living side-by-side,
Rona became a “mail order bride.”
Thus on 3 July 66 in Army dress blues,
With Rabbi and chuppah and various Jews.
The wedding took place, Philadelphia the venue,
Rubber chicken the mainstay of the menu.
Concomitently without any kibbitzen,
That was the day Rona became a rebbitzin.
After a honeymoon in Manhattan,
They went to Fort Knox, home to tankers like Patton.
Studying philosophy that year, Rona became “well rounded.”
For a reason that provided joy unbounded.
In May 67 fears became heightened,
The threats against Israel had us all frightened.
Israel’s victory filled all with elation,
And added to the anticipation.
And 2 months later Benjy was born,
On 2 August at 5:10 in the morn.
Less than 4 weeks later began the roam,
To Columbia, South Carolina, their new home.
House of Peace was the synagogue’s name,
As the new young rabbi, Aaron achieved fame.
The people in town had a southern mentality,
and racially there was no equality.
But a year later, showing their parents merzi,
They moved closer to them, Somerset, New Jersey.
Near to parents, not far from the ocean’s water,
The highlight of their time there was the birth of Rachel, a daughter.
In 70 they moved to Pittsburgh, all of the famuel,
And shortly thereafter welcomed new baby Samuel.
At his brit someone asked “next year will there be another?”
So 16 months later along came Akiva, his brother.
By this time civilian life was getting smarmy,
So Aaron decided to head back to the Army.
They filled up their cars, rather than amble,
And moved right along to Kentucky’s Fort Campbell.
It turned out to be a momentous decision,
As Aaron joined the 101st Airborne Division.
Life on the post for the kids was full of glee,
And they played at the swamp and at the “Mother Nature” tree.
From where hundreds of copters flew over in harmony,
From Campbell the family moved next to Garmony.
They landed in Germany with their pans and their pots,
And taught the children “wir vohnen in Wiesbaden auf dem flugplatz.”
Life there was good, they never were sorry,
As Akiva went to preschool with Timmy, Tumu, and Jabari.
One day in July the kids called a vote,
“We want a little sister on whom we can dote.”
The vacation in England all would remember,
Back in Germany there was good news in September.
With walks to Luley’s they were all in cahoots,
And they befriended the “geezer” who let them pick fruits.
In springtime near Pesach when trees start to blossom,
Baby girl Leah was born- how awesome!
The next summer with 2 month old Leah they flew,
To spend 4 weeks in a place where all spoke Hebrew.
Dressed alike the 4 big ones wearing bandanas,
On bus trips sat on strangers and were fed bananas.
2 summers in Israel, for children used to roam,
Convinced them that someday, this would be their home.
3 ½ years in Germany came to an end,
To Fort Monmouth New Jersey their path did wend.
In a big Ford station wagon that sure was a beaut,
The gate guards on the post would smile seeing the children salute.
Attending a day school, but not in the groove,
6 months later, it was time to move.
Fort Benning Georgia was the next abode,
In the beautiful house on Sigerfoos Road.
(Yes, Sigerfoos, not a joke it could be-
But he was not friend or confidante of Robert E. Lee).
When Ben entered high school, instead of dealing with Santa,
He went to Yeshiva High School in Atlanta.
Meanwhile they raised children, led the Jewish congregation,
And Aaron served soldiers of all kinds for their nation.
During three years of this place the children were fond,
With forays to the minimarket and to the pond.
The football field near their house for the boys was a dream,
As they made their fortune selling cokes and ice cream.
But being stuck down in Georgia for them was exhaustin’,
So they were thrilled when Aaron was sent to study at Harvard in Boston.
No matter from where in Boston the children were hailing,
On the Charles River they were offered lessons in sailing.
For that year in Boston all of them were learning,
While Aaron from the Army a salary was earning.
At the end of that year the Michelson aliya got started,
As Benjy for Hebrew University departed.
It was time to get on again with their roam-a
And they set out for their new home in Oklahoma.
Aaron taught ethics at the artillery school,
Rona opened her family therapy office, how cool!
Over the next 3 years, Rachel went to Israel- at 16,
And Sam and Akiva left the scene.
They studied at a yeshiva in Texas, in Dallas,
And lived in a home that was not a palace.
Later off to St. Louis the two boys went,
While in a 5 bedroom mansion the last 3 lived content.
Time in Lawton Oklahoma had lots of fun in it,
Concerts, and shows and traffic’s rush minute.
After being rural of civilization they needed a fix,
So were happy to receive orders to Fort Dix.
Their home was happy, full of jokes,
And only an hour and a half ride from the folks.
Rona studied at Penn, Aaron paid the bills,
In summer Akiva worked at Great Adventure a park for thrills.
Ben and Rachel were in Israel, Aaron worked as a clergyman,
Rona & Leah visited Israel, Sam was in St. Petersburg or Kyrgystan.
Visiting Israel a lot whet their desires,
On Tower Airlines they became frequent fliers.
Akiva and Sam made aliya,
Leaving Leah at home with ma and pa.
In 93 for sukkot they traveled to Israel in anticipation,
And met Hadas, the first of the next generation
Two months later came Tzvi, bright and curious,
After that came more and more, fast and furious.
In 95 when Leah came to study at Bar Ilan,
Rona arrived in Israel too, a hanger-on.
For 4 years Rona & Aaron commuted across the Atlantic,
The frequent reunions were very romantic.
When they bought a home in Modiin,
Aaron’s father agreed to come too, sight-unseen.
The rest of the story’s full of nachas embarrassing,
So for you dear people no more harassing.
As you know they travel far and wide,
For 50 years, it’s been quite a ride.
Now here is the whole family minus three grandsons- Matan, Yonatan, and Shlomo. Fortunately, Yonatan joined us later in the evening.