My two links to Barbra Streisand are that we both have the same vivid blue eyes and her Uncle, Sydney Streisand, used to fix my parents' rabbit-eared TV when we lived in Far Rockaway, Queens. Recently, I read Ann Edward's 1999 biography, STREISAND (Little Brown & Co..) and was reminded of Sydney sitting in our dining room over a cup of coffee and telling her that nobody knew what to do with his niece, a meiskeit (a homely person) and a meshugenah. too. (A crazy person.) She kvitches (shrieks) and calls it singing."
That was when Barbara was a sophomore at Erasmus High and I was only ten, but I felt as if my furture somehow depended on her success. I had wanted to be an artist and my parents said I was just potchkeying. Making a mess.) I also wanted to be beautiful, but my hair was fuzzy and my complexion, my mother said, was "sallow." And I remember thinking that Sydney was staying way too long after changing the tubes in our TV.
"My father used to be a heavyweight boxer," I told Sydney. (This was true. My father got the money for his grocery by prizefighting.) "He still keeps in shape by hefting cases of seltzer at his store. He's sleeping now, but I could wake him up so you can meet him."
Sydney put down his cup of coffee, picked up his toolbox, and left. I guess he didn't want to meet my father after all.
Causes Rochelle Shapiro Supports
MADD, The Queens College Alumni Association, The Nature Conservancy, The Anti-Defamation League, The Red Cross.