“I was in Chicago when my children were small. We were sitting on a bus,” my grandmother, Gisa Spektor, recalls in a Polish-Yiddish accent. She holds back tears.
“A lady was sitting by me, and the lady said, ‘I’m not sitting with a jailbird.’ She saw my number. She didn’t want to sit with us.”
The lady on the bus thought my bubby had been to prison, but she had gotten it wrong.
Gisa Spektor hadn’t been to prison; she’d been to hell.
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This is why we NEED to preserve our family history stories, not just the facts but the story behind them.