Sunday, July 20, 2008


SWMBO’s sister Polly, 1958-1975.

I’m not normally in the habit of blegging, but that makes any occasion when I’m willing to do so just that more important. So consider this your Fair Warning: The purpose of this post is to get you, my Esteemed Readers, to unlimber your wallets.

Those who know She Who Must Be Obeyed, either in person or through reading the various screeds on this site, know that she lost her younger sister Polly a little over 33 years ago. It was a tragic loss, not just because Polly was only sixteen, but because of the repercussions her death had on the family dynamic.

When your sixteen-year-old child is suddenly taken from you - a grief the depth of which I cannot conceive, thanks to a happy failure of my own imagination - your life is permanently changed. When your sixteen-year-old sister is gone forever, a part of your soul is gone forever as well.

I’ve written about Polly and her untimely loss before, most notably on the thirtieth anniversary of her death. But there’s a lot I haven’t shared about her.

Polly was born and raised in Fort Worth, attending Paschal High School and the religious school at Temple Beth-El. She was an active member of the Alton Silver chapter of BBG. A passionate and talented dancer, she studied with the TCU Ballet.

At the time of her death, her friends, who constituted a significant proportion of the Jewish youth of Fort Worth, planted a tree and dedicated a plaque in her memory at the Dan Danciger Jewish Community Center, located off Old Granbury Road. Since the closing of the JCC, the plaque has been in the care of a long-time member of the community pending the creation of a permanent memorial.

That permanent memorial is now becoming a reality.

Led by Bro-in-Law d’Elisson, Polly’s family and friends are building a Memorial Garden at the Sonnenschein Chabad Jewish Center of Fort Worth. The Garden, designed by Mrs. Etta Korenman, is located behind the Chabad Center, close by the playground facilities. Once completed, it will be a place where the Jewish youth of Fort Worth can play and learn.

Memorial Garden 1

Memorial Garden 2

The Garden is under construction, and just a few more dollars in donations are needed to make it a fully-realized part of the Local Landscape...and to ensure that funds are available to maintain it on an ongoing basis. And that’s where the blegging - “blog-begging” for you noobs - comes in.

If you have a few extra bucks rattling around in your pocket, there is certainly no shortage of Worthy Causes towards which to put ’em. You have the various victims of natural disasters - Burma and China come to mind. You have medical research trying to find a cure for everything from cancer and heart disease to painful rectal itch. And political candidates are only too happy to take your money, the better to purchase airtime with which to sell their vaporous Snake Oil to the greater commonweal. But you could also use those dollars to create a little oasis of peace, beauty, and spiritual the same time honoring the memory of a bright, lovely girl who never lived to go to her senior prom...who never got to see her nieces and nephews, or have children of her own...whose absence still aches in the hearts of the family she left behind.

If that sounds like a worthy use of your dollars, then get out your checkbook and write a check to Chabad of Fort Worth. On the memo line, note that it is for Polly’s Garden.

Send that check to:

The Sonnenschein Chabad Jewish Center
c/o Aaron Boardman
4516 Embercrest Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76123

All donations are greatly appreciated, regardless of amount. Contributions to Chabad of Fort Worth are tax-deductible, by the way, although you should consult a tax expert for the sake of good order. And you don’t have to be Jewish to contribute.

We’re hoping to be able to complete work on Polly’s Garden in order to be able to hold the official dedication on her 33rd Yahrzeit (the anniversary of her death according to the Jewish calendar), one week from tonight. So if you’re going to whip out that wallet, faster is better.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me [elisson1 (at) aol (dot) com] or Bro-in-Law d’Elisson [moshesbro (at) sbcglobal (dot) net], and we’ll be happy to answer them to the best of our ability.

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