Around the Town with Rene

Sixty years for the Givants
It was some 62 years ago when Earl Givant of Des Moines, Iowa, spied the beautiful Shirley Fried of Council Bluffs on a double blind date — not with each other, mind you! The sparks on Earl’s side were ignited, and within several weeks, the two were dating. Earl was a gob in the U.S. Navy and a handsome one, at that; soon after his release, history was made when they pledged their vows on Aug. 6, 1949.
The Givants had several things in common: They loved each other dearly, they came from close areas in Iowa and both were raised in strict Orthodoxy that they still adhere to today.
After his release from the Navy, Earl became associated with the Sears Roebuck Co. a connection which lasted through the years and took him to California and Omaha before coming to Fort Worth 42 years ago.
The Givants have entrenched themselves in the community. Both are firm supporters of their synagogue, Ahavath Sholom, and Earl gives generously of his time to Jewish War Veterans, B’nai B’rith and Jewish Family Service, among others. My first recollection of Earl Givant is when shopping for school clothes for my kiddoes, long years ago; he was pointed out to me as the big boss at Sears, The Manager.
The Givants have been my good friends and among my most appreciative supporters of the TJP.
Several years back when I was recuperating from a broken femur at The Plaza at Edgemere in Dallas, both Earl and Izzy Bloomberg stopped by to cheer up an aging hurting friend.
Perhaps one of the greatest joys Earl and Shirley have is their grandson Matt Nover, son of Maureen Givant Nover and Ken Nover.
Even as a small child, one could tell Matt had inherited his love for Judaism from his grandparents. In his growing-up stages, he was a leader both academically and in his peer groups.
Matt, home for the summer, has been working at Country Day School as a technology director. When asked, he leads services and davens at Ahavath Sholom. A junior at Rutgers University in Brunswick, N.J., he has been doing research for his professor of Judaic studies. His honors at Rutgers are many. He is a Dean’s List and Rutgers Honors Program participant. His Hillel awards include Outstanding First Year Freshman, Outstanding Service to the Community and Hillel Board
Conservative Chairperson for 2009–2010. Upon his return to Rutgers, he will be teaching classes at Anshai Emeth Congregation.
Shirley and Earl’s close family includes their daughter, Maureen; son, Michael of Arlington; and grandson, Matt.
Shirley and Earl are warm, loving mensches. I wish them more happy special occasions and I’m especially proud to call them my friends.
Growing older and celebrating life!
Some of you may have seen the following item in the Hadassah magazine that came to my desk recently. I thought it was especially interesting and an inspiration for all seniors.
“Dr. Bertha Fineberg walks with a quick step, dresses in a sporty fashion, is personable and witty — a real dynamo. Recently, she celebrated her 100th birthday with the Hadassah Hadar chapter in Netanya, Israel.
“A Hadassah life member, Dr. Fineberg made aliyah last year at the age of 99.
“At her birthday celebration, Dr. Fineberg — one of the first Jewish women ophthalmologists in the United States and a mother of three — shared the secrets of her success: ‘I never recognize obstacles in life, I just concentrate on moving forward.’
“‘I was born in the year Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold made her first visit to Palestine,’ Dr. Fineberg continued. ‘It just took me longer to become a Zionist.’
“Dr. Fineberg graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Mass. in 1931 and then Boston University. In 1940, she became one of the first female physicians at the renowned Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. At age 45, she learned to play the cello, and she celebrated her bat mitzvah at 74.”
Along the same lines, my colleague Violet Spevack, who after 40 years still continues writing her “Cavalcade” column in the Cleveland Jewish News, wrote recently. “Incidentally, I [Violet] chalked up my 93rd birthday last week. Busy, busy time; David, my ever-loving spouse (age 97) made a speedy move from our old digs to a new apartment where we’ll probably sign a 10-year lease.” Keep the wheels turning, Violet! This scribe, at the age of 86, bought a very comfortable house in Big D. Better to be optimistic than pessimistic, I say.
News and notes
Happy birthday greetings to Brigitte Altman, who was honored by her family and friends for her 85th birthday at the Sabbath Kiddush at Beth-El Friday night. Call it double luck and a mazel tov to newlyweds, Dr. Irv Robinson and his bride, Jackie Loeb, who were married by Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger in his study on Aug. 12. Another cheer for the Robinsons: After four days on the market, Irv’s house on Black Canyon was sold on his wedding day. You can send a card to Evelyn Evans or stop by and see her at Trail Lake Nursing Center at 6707 Bluffview. She’s as happy as a lark there and said it was the right time for her to make the move. Mimi and Hal Klotz share the joy of their son, Alan, and his bride, the former Gretchen Duque, on both their recent marriage and their home at 4501 Pershing. Miriam Labovitz was one surprised cookie when she was honored by friends at the Shabbat service and Kiddush at CAS last Saturday. Sharing some of Miriam’s glory was her pal, this scribe. The beautiful birthday cake for both ladies was the gift of friends Gerry Brown and Horty Deifik. Our thanks to all.

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