In Her Words
Candid profiles of strength told by the women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Elaine’s Story (Resident of Bayberry at Emerald Court)
What is your name:
What are the names of your parents and brothers and sisters?
Parents- Freda and Robert Jr. Brother-Robert
How did your parents choose your name? Does it have a special meaning? Did you have any nicknames?
My name was supposed to be Janice, but my mother’s friend stole the name for her daughter who was born 4 months earlier. My mother was furious with her friend. Elaine was my mothers second choice and I never had any nicknames which I always resented.
When and where were you born?
I was born on December 9 in New Jersey.
What kinds of things did your family do together when you were young?
We spent time at Whale Beach (Whales would get beached on this beach) and ice skating. My brother was a jazz pianist that toured with the ink spots. I visited him in Russia where he was interviewed on radio.
What did you love to do with your friends?
Go to the movies, local spaghetti house, music. Saturday night canteen in high school which had dimmed lights, a disco ball and juke box we danced with boys there.
What schools did you attend? What were your favorite subjects?
Seabrook School, NJ 5th grade class of 35 students grew to 70 students when Japanese students from internment camps came to join our class. Bridgeton high school in New Jersey, Washington College where my major was Chemistry which I flunked freshman year. Goldey Beacon Business school.
If married, what is/was your husband’s name? How did he propose?
My husband's name was Ralph and he was an economist. He was the chief financial economist for California and worked for New York State Assembly. The United States Treasury department sent us to Eastern Europe. When he proposed he was going to put the ring in chocolate but decided not to because he was afraid I would eat it whole!
What are your children’s names?
Patricia, Ralph and James.
What are some special memories you have about your children?
Humor was a big thing. Funny experiences all of the children were athletes, watching each child play sports, playing April fools jokes on each other.
Where have you lived?
Belarous, Meldova, Sarajevo, Kazakhstan. New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, California, Wisconsin, New York.
Have you had jobs? Who did you work for and what did you do?
Medical Secretary, Legal secretary, Kelly Girl- hire by the day receptionist, office manager for financial adviser George Snyder who ended up in Sing Sing Prison during the 80’s- I was interviewed and cleared of any wrongdoing.
What are your hidden talents?
I can wiggle my ears and nose, whistle very loudly, quark my eyebrow, sketch, I am a self-proclaimed artists and jack of all trades- master of none.
What did you do to get through the difficult times in your life?
Always fallen back on humor and I had a very interesting and wonderful life.
Do you have holiday traditions? What do you do for the holidays?
I spend time with my daughter and her family.
What are some of your favorite things?
Favorite colors? Blue
Favorite flowers? Lilac
Favorite books? The Elegance of the Hedge Hog
Favorite songs? You were meant for me by Gene Kelly
Favorite foods? Sushi
Favorite pets? Waggles which was a black and gray cockapoo
What are some personal experiences that have especially touched your heart?
I loved falling in love with my husband.
What are your favorite things to do now?
What are you favorite experiences to partake in at Bayberry at Emerald Court?
Eating in the dining room with my friend and fellow resident Mary Lou.
What do you hope for your children and grandchildren?
For them to lead interesting lives.
What is your biggest piece of advice?
To find humor in everything and be able to learn and laugh at yourself.
Sum your personality up in 1 word?
A little more about Elaine:
Elaine played flute in the all state Orchestra in New Jersey, she also sang in the all state chorus in New Jersey. She couldn’t be in both and since she loved to sing she chose to be in the chorus. There were 2 concerts per year. She was on TV in the college choir.