In first person… An appreciated role model, Grandma was the star of my life

Mollie arrived in Philadelphia from Kiev in 1904. She was a blond beauty with big, blue eyes. Sam, an immigrant from Odessa, saw Mollie and took boxing lessons, then advised the boys in the neighborhood to stay away from her or get beaten up.

Mollie and Sam married young, lived well and retired early in Los Angeles.

However, they left the warmth of Southern California to spend a cold winter taking care of me in Chicago when my mom was notified by the War Department that Dad, a U.S. Army soldier, was missing in action. Mom needed her mother and Mollie came out of retirement to stand in long rationing lines, cook meals, supervise my baths and mother us through winter illnesses.

When Dad miraculously came home from the war, Mollie and Sam returned to Los Angeles and invited us to spend summer vacation with them. They convinced us to move permanently and be their next-door neighbors. Dad went into business and needed Mom's help, so I went to Mollie's house after school for milk and cookies. When I needed pretty party dresses, Mollie opened her sewing machine and created outfits for me from pictures in fashion magazines.

People thought that Mollie was a movie star because of her stunning good looks, dazzling smile, self-confidence and posture. She was the star of my life because of her caring, warmth, sharing of beauty and concern for her family. Now that I am a grandmother, I appreciate having such a great role model.