Marjorie Ruth Blumberg was born 3 Feb 1925 in Chattanooga, TN. Right off the bat, you may note, she was eager to perform. She was the daughter of Leah and Louis Blumberg and the sister of two-year older Herbert. The family lived, for a time on Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, the scene of fierce fighting during the War Between The States.

It was all very natural and understandable…Marjorie Ruth simply couldn’t stand still whenever music was playing. Here she is at the age of two, mandolin in hand and already doing the high kick, at three ready for recital to “Tip Toe Through The Tulips”, and then, at the age of five, dressed for her “Russian Dance”.

Within a short time, the family had moved back to Chattanooga, then to Nashville and, later, to Roanoke, VA. It was in Roanoke that Marjorie Ruth grew through her teen years into a beautiful young lady, and graduated high school. She was active in the Young Judeans and had a very active social life, including weekend parties at Washington & Lee and VPI.

And…as you will note, Marjorie had more on her mind than boys and dates. She won honors for her essays (see inset from the Roanoke Times) and is listed in the “American Jewish Yearbook, 1940-1941” And, as president of the Roanoke Young Judeans, she won a trip to the Young Judean Camp in Port Jervis, NY

From her earliest years, Marjorie Ruth had shown a talent and love of art; her portfolio yet contains some of her early sketches and drawings to enjoy. She wanted to study art at a top school and that school, as it happens, was in Richmond VA and known by the appellation, “Richmond Professional Institute, College of William and Mary” [RPI]. Marjorie Ruth entered college Sept 1942 and proceeded to have the time of her life…as well as to learn the techniques and processes of creating fine art.

…But…it was not all about art!

At RPI, Marj met and roomed with Joan Shapiro (nee Harrison) who became her best friend and, later, maid of honor at her wedding: It was a most joyous time…dates, parties, wild dances (including a solo bacchanal to the “Bolero”). Being away from home for her first time, and “cutting loose”, Marjorie Ruth decided she wanted to be known as “Marj” or “Marjorie”, not “Ruth” as her family and friends had known her till college.

And it was there, a few months before her graduation that God took Ellis by the hand on a train ride from Hampton to Richmond for an afternoon tea party where his love would be among the group. And it was God’s hand (helped by Joan) that told Marjorie to accept a date for the party because, at least, it meant a Sunday supper out. Well, as is often said, “the rest is history”. Ellis was blown away when he saw that beautiful poised young lady in the checkered suit with a tam perched prettily atop her darling head. Early in March, on the third date, Ellis asked Marjorie to be his wife. But she did not acquiesce until weeks later. At her June graduation, with her parents and dear Aunt Rosetta present, Marjorie became engaged to Ellis…Glory Be !!!

And, finally, here she is…my “Girly-Girl” doing her famous high kick

Marjorie’s 80th Birthday

Of all things she loves most…is her family. So, on Saturday 5 Feb 05, her family celebrated her birthday at the Cafe Bizou. It was a happy festive time with Charlotte and Alan, Susie and Howard, Tina, Reva and Paul, Michelle, Erica and Dan (Joelle was at Girl Scout camp). The photos below tell part of the story.

This section contains several of Marjorie’s poems . Several were written in response to an incident she found amusing or meaningful and reflect a poetic response to that incident. Her poems, given below are, in order:

  • “Beragamo Jo”
  • “Big Dog Barking”
  • “The Crow and the Cottontail”
  • “They Come Together”
  • “Spring Awakening”
  • “Around The Table”
  • “I Love My Sofa”
  • “Marina”
  • “Reflections”
  • “What Nature Has Wrought”
  • “What Now Leanne?”
  • “My Antonia”
  • “The Old Yellow Packard”

The Ballard of Beragamo Jo

On one of our evening walks we passed a street called “Beragamo”. Somehow that name intrigued me and, later that evening, I wrote my “ballard”. [9 Apr 1998]

Beragamo Jo…he aint no mo,
Lived in these here parts
Many a year ago.
Sat on the stoop
Of the general store.
Cursed and spat…
An a whole lot more.
But we all loved him cuz
He belonged to us.
And mosta all,
Were a loveable cuss.
Till the day he died
By a scraggaly few
Who hated Beragamo
For some things he do.
Hanged from a tree
In the courthouse square,
An all us folks cried
When we saw him there.
I was a kid in knickers yet,
But I cried too…
for Beragamo Jo
Who lived in this here place…
An aint no mo.

Big Dog Barking

While Ellis and I were walking one morning, a big dog was standing behind a gate, barking. I thought of Ron and Mikey who, at that time were traveling out this way in his van. [9 Dec 2001]

What or who catches the get-up and go of Mikey?
The Master’s voice or the unknown one?
To wag a tail or secure the boundaries: bark!
The Master’s voice gives a whistle sharp
And Mikey hears the command of voice.
Bounds to his side and with a lick of hand
Ready for any given command.
BIG DOG BARKING down the trail,
Hunts for varmints, rabbit, or quail.
Time to show what he can do…
Get up and go, Mikey and Master

The Crow and the Cottontail

I saw this strange happening while playing golf at the Calabasas Golf Club. I just stood and watched as long as I was able till Ellis called me to the next tee. [9/13/2001]

Eye to eye the supposed foe come together…a blink apart.
The jet-black crow and the wee baby rabbit…
Joined together in a moment of time.
The cottontail to feast on a new-found morsel…
The crow…all-knowing…to watch.

They Come Together

Marjorie wrote this during the Sunday morning of 3/6/06 while Ellis and Son, Dan, flew in Dan’s plane to Santa Paula airport where antique airplanes were on display..

Danny is flying his very own plane,
His dad with him to check out the scene.
A bonding in the sky as clouds scatter round…
And love of mechanics, with a whisper of God.
They come together in mind and the beauty of the Day.

With love for my Sweetheart and our Son 3/5/2006

Spring Awakening

Looking out our bedroom window, I saw two beautiful flowering pear trees in full blossom. [Feb 2009]

What nature has wrought
I cannot compare
The snow-like balls
That fill my eyes with such delight.
I open the shutters
To see a new day
And the brightness of white
Fills my eyes with such delight.
Two flowering pear trees
Ages old.
Bless us with beauty
And their dignity
As blossoms unfold.
Reaching up to the heavens
And giving all to see
What nature has wrought
This gift has been
Given to me.

Around The Table

[Recited to her Family at Brunch on Her Birthday 3 Feb 2012]

Where do I find that special togetherness?
Around the Table.
So many thoughts of love, happy times…
Around the Table.
Thanks for this day: our Beautiful Family…
It all comes full circle…
Around the Table.
Thought for today:
As you planned this celebration..
I am so thankful.
We come together…
Around the Table

I Love My Sofa

I love my sofa…
Not that it is so beautiful…
It is not.
Just a multicolored material…
With three cushions.
In fact this sofa is…
Over fifty years old.
When I bought it,
This piece of furniture…
Had wrought iron arms…
That were later made…
Into a more conventional…
Addition to our den surroundings.
I love my sofa…
When I come home
… It is waiting to relax and…
Comfort me.
First I’m going to sit down…
Remove my shoes…
And then watch…
A special TV show.
After a while…
Having seen Jim Lehrer News Hour…
And a bit of Antique Road Show…
I lay down for maybe…
A quick snooze.
Then my sofa encompasses me…
With the back part against my side.
Oh! What a comforting feeling!
I’m always so glad to know it’s there…
To receive me!

Marina 4/17/2012

An Adorable smile…
A Twinkling laugh…
That’s what our Friend, Marina is about.
She’s always upbeat… Tho’ I’m sure, at times down…
Because Marina hears other’s woes…
And must listen with comforting words
As they expound…
What are her feelings, her cares???
Will anyone else know?

Reflections 30 Oct 09

It comes to me,
As I sit here daydreaming…
That Poetry is a wonderful Art.
I can express my feelings,
And let the thoughts drift
Throught me.
Poetry relaxes my whole being…
First, I’m in a reflextive mood…
Is Life passing me by?
Age and pain are a part of this process…
Perhaps it comes together as I sigh…
And let my daydreams turn to Poetry.
I think of Family and Friends…
I reflect on this day.
All these thoughts meld into a…
Beautiful; Daydream

What Nature Has Wrought

What nature has wrought
I cannot compare…
The snow-like balls that
Fill my eyes
With such delight.
I open the shutters
To see a new day…
And the brightness of white
Fills my eyes with such delight.
Two flowering pear trees…
Ages old,
Bless us with beauty
And their dignity…
As blossoms unfold.
Reaching up to the heavens
And giving all the see
What nature has wrought…
This gift has been given…
To Me.

What Now, Leeann? What Now….

She poises her brush for the next colorful stroke,
Her canvas is full of many hues…
That surprise and question…
To where from here?
Knowing with certainty
Life’s many turns,
The artist seeks a special moment
To reveal a new chapter.
What now, Leeann, what now?

Mar 15 2009

My Antonia

The phone rings…
I answer…it’s You Antonia
Your warm sweet voice brings many thoughts to mind:
When i had my knee surgery…
You came and brought my friend, “Mr. Poo”
To keep me company.
Antonia, you are a blessing to me…
And to the many who know you
For your kind and loving thoughts.

The Old Yellow Packard

The old yellow Packard…
was the best that ever was.
As we rode out to the country side…
on a Sunday afternoon.
Me, behind my Father…
as he drove his family…
With my Brother behind my Mother
The windows down, and the fragrance…
of the new-mown hay.

… Comes a Sunday, I think about those days.