Around the Town
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

My parents’ break the fasts were legendary. I always marveled at how my mom, Rene, of blessed memory was able to do it all — get the paper out, raise five kids and be the hostess with the “mostest.”
There are more than a few insights and treasures in mom’s recipe box, one of the few items of hers I claimed. Every holiday, I open the battered black metal container and I hear my mother’s distinct voice as I take a walk down memory lane. There are notes for just about every Break the Fast and New Year’s Day party she had. Here’s an example, “Break the Fast 1991, approximately 100 people.

  • Egg salad, 4 dozen eggs
  • Lox and cream cheese: 4 lbs. cream cheese, 4 lbs. of lox, (adequate)
  • 5 large containers cottage cheese, 1 ½ pints sour cream
  • 5 ½ lbs. tuna (some left)
  • 5 cakes, (just right)
  • 8 dozen small Danish
  • 3 large jars of herring
  • 1 tall container white fish
  • Kugel, 1 large, 1 small –just right
  • 1 lb. Swiss cheese
  • Crackers
  • Gefilte Fish, 2 large jars (plenty)
  • Strawberries
  • 2 gallons of wine
  • A fifth of scotch (needed more)
  • Orange juice (1 large, 4 small)
  • 2 large cans tomato juice”

Without the help of computers I now realize that one way mom survived was by taking copious notes, being extremely organized and having an abundance of energy. She was one smart cookie and absolutely loved feeding a crowd.
I feel so close to her and her friends whenever I open “the box.”
I remember when Bea Levine of blessed memory taught me how to make stuffed cabbage. Last week, as I prepared stuffed cabbage for our yontif dinner, I could hear her whispering in my ear (ok, let’s be honest, she wasn’t a whisperer) “make a little package and line them up like soldiers.” Every cabbage leaf I roll and place in the pan I still say that to myself.
Miriam Labovitz taught me how to make the best Passover sponge cake ever and how to whip and fold in egg whites. She had a different kind of drawl of course and it’s crystal clear in my mind’s eye as well.
So many people who influenced me and my family in so many ways — their names too many to enumerate but their legacies live on in “the box” and on our yontif table.
As you gather with your families this Yom Kippur and Sukkot, I wish you good health and happiness in the coming year. For my many errors here at the TJP (also too many to enumerate), please forgive me and G’mar Chatima Tovah.

A bronze star for ‘Tumbleweed Smith’

Beth-El congregant Bob Lewis, a West Texas columnist and radio personality better known as “Tumbleweed Smith,” will be honored Oct. 26 with a bronze star on the Texas Trail of Fame in the Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District. Lewis, the voice and the producer of “The Sound of Texas,” a syndicated radio show, has compiled the largest private oral-history collection in the country.

Beth-El Congregant Bob Lewis, aka “Tumbleweed Smith.”
Beth-El Congregant Bob Lewis, aka “Tumbleweed Smith.”

As a guest speaker, he enthralls audiences with tales excerpted from his oral-history archive. He and his wife, Susan Zack Lewis, commute to Beth-El from their home in Big Spring, 260 miles west of Fort Worth.
The Trail of Fame recognizes “significant contributions to the preservation of the history and grandeur of the Western way of life.” Also among this year’s inductees are oilman- philanthropist Perry Bass and Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe. Previous inductees were Will Rogers, Zane Grey and John Wayne. Recipients’ names are inlaid on a bronze star resembling a U.S. Marshall’s badge that is placed in the sidewalks on Exchange Ave.

Corrine Jacobson shares JFK recollection in video

Corrine Jacobson was among the fortunate JFK fans to attend the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast for President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, the last morning of his life. Her vivid recollections were recently videotaped for the archives of TCU’s Bob Schieffer School of Journalism. CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer incorporated Jacobson’s recollections into “Fort Worth Remembers JFK,” a symposium he led at TCU.
Here is the text of Jacobson’s vignette: “This day will be with me forever. Four of us went to the breakfast at the Hotel Texas full of anticipation of seeing the president and his wife with other dignitaries. There was no disappointment. Kennedy was handsome, and he won us all over at once with his speech and smile. To be in the presence of a living president was memory making, but with his good looks and stature, he made the story of the presidency so alive. Jackie was late and made a grand entrance with her pink pillbox hat and immediately was the center of attention. LBJ and others were present, but she was a picture from a storybook. My son was playing in the Arlington Heights High School band as the presidential motorcade left the city. We all returned to our offices or to school, only to immediately hear on our radios that the president had been shot in Dallas. The world stood still. Everyone went home from work and school. Silence took over the city.” Fort Worth Remembers JFK.

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