Project Greenhorn

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First the book. Read it. Not just because Miriam Nerlove has created a tender cover and equally tender illustrations scattered throughout the pages. But because Anna Olswanger gives us another story we need to hear. Sensitively told, it soulfully adds to our knowledge and hearts the struggles and pain of one boy from over there, from the Holocaust.

Now the Greenhorn Film Project. Of course, when you finish the book, which I know you will, then you will want to join others in their efforts to make Greenhorn a short film. Visit the Greenhorn Film Project  for more details. And don't forget to "like" their Faceook page.

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Below is my response on Goodreads to Greenhorn  

You have written a book that matters. I made sure my library bought Greenhorn.

You were right to blog about Denise and Greenhorn. Greenhorn sparks conversation. Reading it, I kept thinking about Joe Sinai. In the 1980's, he had a home repair business in Albany, New York, across the Hudson from Troy, my hometown. My mother became ill in 1982, suddenly. By the time she was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, she was partially paralyzed. I took a leave from graduate school to care of her. I knew she wanted to be at home and I was determined that she would. That meant I needed to make her house wheelchair accessible. And even though she never was able to use it, she wanted to build a shower on the first floor.

I found Joe's ad in the Jewish World. When I explained to him what I needed and why, he came right over. In fact, he brought his wife with him. They sat and talked with me. Sympathetic and kind, they were. Good listeners. Then, Joe told me his story. He was a child who wandered during the Holocaust. And here's why I thought of him when I read Greenhorn, he carried all his belongings in a small box -- an image that has stayed with to this day.

Boxes are important to survivors. I am sure they hold more than memories.

My mother was in hospital recovering from her brain surgery while Joe worked on her house. He also made repairs my mother had neglected during the years the tumor was slowly invading her brain. The day she returned home, using the ramp Joe built to enter her house, Joe stopped by. He brought her a gift wrapped bottle of perfume. He sat in armchair beside her hospital bed in her bedroom, formerly the den. He chatted with her about everyday sorts of things, giving her sickroom a fleeting sense of normalcy. My mother had a visitor. He was charming and compassionate.

Joe returned a few times more before my mother died . All in all, her illness, was brief. After her funeral, I went back to graduate school and made my home in towns far away from Troy. I lost touch with Joe. But I never will forget him.

Thank you opening a memory.