Talk with Jackie


By Belle’s Daughter

Life is Good

Belle at 19 in 1933 as an orphan and widow. She’s the bold, young woman next to her in-law relatives. My mother.

I want to talk about living. David wears a T-shirt that says, “Life is Good.” It is.

There are depressed people who need help to understand that life is good. It’s true.

Some local talent knows how to live the good life and creatively make it better for others. They do.

You might know the actor Sidney Melton, who loves his dog Boo and clings to life, at age 93. He is good.

This past weekend I celebrated a lucky birthday. Two sevens, on 11-7. On November 7th, 1933 my mother, Belle Joseph, gave me life. She died over 40 years ago, too soon. In her challenging life, short but not boring, she was hysterically funny or just hysterical. Being orphaned at the age of 3, she grew up in the Chicago Jewish Orphans Home, left at 16, came to California and married at l7. While expecting me, at 19, my father died in his early 20s due to a blood clot after a minor surgery. Just like that, Belle became an orphan, widow, teen- mom. It’s no wonder she had an edge and had people crying from laughter or cowering in fear. Our little family, mother and I, moved a lot. When I was in kindergarten we lived at the Rayfield Apartments and slept through a fire. I liked it there, across the street from Bimini Bathes. I played there all day while my mother was at work, going from hot to cold pools and the big one outdoors. Luckily, some stable aunties joined us in a Silver Lake quadraplex. They floated away during the WWII, which was fun for Belle. She entertained the armed forces and I thought of her as very patriotic. One marine, Irving Greenfield, stayed with us after Guadalcanal. I learned that war was more than movies.

Thanks to men like that, life was good. There was peace when I entered King Jr. High and then John Marshall High School. Now, I’m in the midst of planning our 60th reunion. As people are gathered in, they all say, “We were so lucky.”

It’s good thinking of you, mother.

Coyote StageWorks

Locals David Engel and Larry Raben are established professional theatre actors in all mediums. They, among several sensational others, are founding members of Coyote StageWorks, a not-for-profit company dedicated to advancing theatre as a vital art form in the desert communities. They are on a quest to provide a forum for thought provoking, entertaining, and culturally significant works, mostly which make you smile too big. Check their (very tuna) website, You might get a hand delivered tuna sandwich by the stars, or a T-shirt that says, “I’m a Tuna Helper.” If you are heading for Palm Springs in December, jack up your holiday and see A Tuna Christmas. These talented gentlemen and neighbors have been making life good for a long time and with their own company, even better!

Prevent Suicide

The “Out of Darkness” walk was brilliant. Many shared stories and healing from losses that were so unnecessary. Find the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Life is good.

My Birthday

Last Sunday, my husband took my children John and Jennifer Berry and me to lunch at the Pantry restaurant downtown. Very wonderful for me now. Memories of the Pantry with my mom were shared during our chat. It seems granny made friends with some nice guys from a moving van and we went to a midnight dinner. Oh Belle, still thinking of you. We’ll talk

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