1913. Rose Levinthal left Lithuania as the Russians were invading. Her parents told her to wear her hair in braids and to wear a full apron.
“If they ask you how old you are, say 11,” they told her, as the invaders were raping girls.
Rose came to America at age 14. Her uncle picked her up in a horse and wagon from Ellis Island. Rose worked in a cigar factory rolling cigars. Her aunt told her to save her money.
When Rose was 17, she took the train to New York for her cousin’s wedding. Rose sang “I Love You Truly” at the wedding.
A man introduced himself as Abe. He said Rose sang “like an Irish coleen.”
The next year, Rose went to another wedding. Abe was there. He called her “Abie’s Irish Rose.” He asked Rose to marry him.
The next year, there was a play on Broadway: “Abie’s Irish Rose.”
Years later, Barbra Streisand sang “Second Hand Rose.”
The wild rose is the state flower of New York.
When I had my house, I had ruby roses in my backyard and yellow roses on the front trellis.
My daughter, Nancy, went to the Rose Bowl to watch the Huskies play.
I live at the Grove, a senior complex in Cerritos. My living room window faces the rose garden. The yellow rose bush has a small bud, it is called the yellow rose of Texas.
“The Bachelor” on TV gave out roses.
Roses are red, violets are blue, I love you.
Dora Silvers is a member of the writing class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. It is held off-campus at the Norwalk Senior Center.