The Feathers Were Ruffled in the Den

Although the classification of pickles at first glance has little bearing on the brief tale I am about to relate… but in so much that I experience that is the “now”, there is a story from the “then” that is imbedded therein that shines like a jewel.

On February 2, 1963 I was Bar Mitvahed. Mommie Soph looked for an appropriate gift to honor the occasion. Perhaps the gift of stock that could improve in value? And in this matter she adhered to Aunt Tiny’s advice that there was only one stock worth purchasing: IBM. Whether Mom’s opinion was also consulted, I can’t say. But Tiny’s position was followed, and 2 shares of IBM stock were purchased for me.

Then the day arrived when the stock certificate arrived at 25 Alston Avenue. And on that day, or perhaps the day after, Aunt Clara happened by for an afternoon visit. I can imagine Aunt Bella was there, too – she usually was. With pride Mommie Soph took out the stock certificate to show around. “See what I got for my Jimmy! Two shares of IBM stock, and Tiny says this is the best! THE BEST!”

Well, Clara carefully inspected the certificate and declared that this was the wrong stock! “Sophie! You purchased the wrong stock. Look here!” And of course Mommie Soph couldn’t read the words! “This says: International Business Machines! NOT, IBM!” And Clara was insistent on this!!

Now if Clara intended to make a joke it would have been one thing. But that was not the case, she truly believed that Mommie Soph had made a mistake, unfortunate maybe, but an egregious mistake nonetheless!! The feathers were ruffled in the den!

Yes, it took several minutes to sort this out. I am sure Mom was called in to referee this dispute (and maybe even Tiny had to be called to confirm the facts!). The dust settled, and the Chatzek sisters could continue on to a satisfying cup of tea. Peace had returned to the den.

And pickles? Well, and this issue has not been completely resolved to the interested parties, Sandy and I just spent the better part of a half hour discussing the difference between jars of pickles labeled “full sour” pickles & “kosher dill” pickles. For me, it simply a matter of marketing. Pickles are: sweet, half sour or full sour – and that Kosher Dill are full sour unless otherwise noted.

So, what can I say. Somehow this debate brought to memory a quiet afternoon that took place in the den at 25 Alston Avenue fifty-five years ago.

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