Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

                  Sorry, the Easter Bunny is busy, but s/he sent me to wish you a Happy Easter!

                             Krisdos haryav y merelotz.  Ohrnyal e haroutioun Krisdosi!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Making Hot Cross Buns

Snipping the crosses
Yesterday was Good Friday, the day Jesus was hung on the cross.  In memory of that day, Enila and Iffar joined Marash Girl in the traditional making of hot cross buns.  After adding the secret ingredient (do you know what it is), the children kneaded the dough, made a cross on the top of the dough with the side of their hand (just like their great grandmother used to do in Marash, and in Springfield), and set the dough aside to rise.  When the dough had risen (the cross on the top had disappeared), they shaped the dough into rolls, and snipped a cross into the top of each roll, just like their mom used to do.  After baking the hot cross buns, they decorated crosses on top of each roll with frosting made of confectionary sugar and milk.  They shared the hot cross buns with everyone!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Gorilla Love

Gorilla Love
            Yesterday, at the Franklin Park Zoo, Enila & Iffar fell in love with the baby gorilla.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Discovering the Discovery Museum

Perfect for ages 6 to 10, possibly 12, the Science Discovery Museum in Acton, Massachusetts, offers never ending rooms of hands-on discoveries [accompanied by scientific explanations, should the parents be interested :) ], but the all time favorite for Iffar and Enila was the room with an arts and crafts table and a tool bench & tool wall covered with every tool that any craftsman could want.  The children, after covering their eyes with protective eye goggles, worked with hammer and nail, vise and saw, screwdriver and screw,  hasp and sandpaper, creating their inventions.  It was a room they never wanted to leave. (Of course, this was the one day that Marash Girl did not have her camera with her!) Marash Girl cannot recommend the Discovery Museum highly enough.  The children cannot wait to return.

N.B. While in the crafts room, the children learned that most Home Depots offer  free Saturday workshops for children, teaching them to build from wood such items as bird feeders, pencil boxes, etc.  The children await that experience with great excitement!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


As Iffar watched THE SOUND OF MUSIC for the very first time, at the scene of the marriage of Maria to Georg Von Trapp, Iffar commented, "Our new Pope should watch this movie!"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Greek Mythology intrudes on Palm Sunday

Leaving Trinity Chapel in New York City, singing Hosana and waving palms, Iffar notified Marash Girl, "I just saw Zeus, Poseidon and Hermes in that church!"

N.B. Iffar (age 6) had just been reading D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Mythology!

Monday, March 25, 2013

What will you do with your 10 minutes?

At the Apple Store, Chestnut Hill Mall, Newton Massachusetts

"You're here 10 minutes early," the Apple representative told him.

"What will you do with your 10 minutes?" onlooker Marash Girl asked the man with 10 minutes to spare.

The man with 10 minutes to spare used one moment of those 10 minutes to glare at Marash Girl, turned his back and walked away.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Spring at the Corner of Lowell and Hull

Marash Girl's childhood home faced once-quarried granite cliffs become bird sanctuary, and backed onto its own orchard of apple trees, pears and peaches, with white birch and granite rocks on its northern side.  Two blocks north of the house was a spring.  In good weather, Grandpa Moses would carry a gallon thermos past the then recently built brick houses, down the hill,  past the stretch  of woods, to the corner of Lowell Avenue and Hull Street where the freshest spring water one ever would taste flowed out of a rusty old pipe.  Upon filling his thermos, Grandpa would trudge back up the hill to share the clear brew with the family.  

When we grew older, we children, asked to make that same trip carrying containers somewhat smaller than the gallon thermos, would arrive at the spring, drink as much of the water as we could manage before we filled the containers, and trudge back on up the hill to share the sweet clear drink with the family.

But as with all fairy tales, the dream soon came to an end when a developer bought the wooded property and replaced the woods with eight unbelievably unimaginative houses, filling Lowell Avenue all the way to the corner of Hull Street, and covering the spring and its gift of sweet fresh water.  For a good while the cellar hole for the corner house was never built upon, as the spring insisted on continuing to offer its gifts . . . but soon the developer ignored the insistence of the spring, and built that corner house despite the spring, a corner house whose cellar, to this day, has water in its basement.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Joy in the morning

Overheard at Panera Bread in Newton Centre:  "The government says we've been married for three years, but the universe knows we've been married for twenty," he said, his face glowing with joy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy BIrthday, Karoun!

Karoun offers the photographer a bite of apple freshly picked from Grandpa Peter's apple tree!                 Happy Birthday, Karoun!

Following is the tale of one of Karoun's most memorable birthday celebrations as told by her sister, Lorig.

"Karoun was flying into BWI on her birthday and asked us to pick her up.  Gathering a few friends,  a half sheet cake, balloons, and some streamers, we headed to the airport early.  This was back before 9/11, so one could go through security to the gate without a ticket and with a sheet cake.  We arrived at the gate and started decorating the waiting area, birthday party style.  The plane was connecting to another destination, so there were several people with us in the waiting area, including a karate team in their late teens to early 20's.  We announced our plans to the gathered strangers (strangers no longer) and started teaching everyone in the arrival area how to say Karoun's name, so they would pronounce it correctly when they sang "Happy Birthday" to her.  

(During this time, we, the siblings, were into pushing each others' faces into  birthday cakes.  We realized that we would not be able to do that and still serve  pieces of cake to the crowds that had gathered, so we went off to get a Cinnabun to shove in her face instead.)

As we continued our preparations, people walking by stopped to see what the excitement was about.  Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd, and eventually we had nearly 150 people standing around.  I think they assumed there was a celebrity on the flight, (which, as far as I'm concerned, there was.) 

The plane finally landed and as people came off, they stuck around to see what the big deal was.  We lit the candles. Karoun was the last to come off the plane.  As she did, she saw me standing there with the cake and the nearly 200 people -- she started to turn back around to run away.  But there was nowhere to go.  200 people sang happy birthday to her and I shoved the Cinnabun in her face.  Everyone got a piece of birthday cake, and neither I, nor Karoun, nor (I doubt) any of the other folks present have ever forgotten that day many years ago, March 22, Karoun's birthday!"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is REDSKINS a racial slur?

The Washington Redskins - will they win in trademark court?  Native Americans are arguing that the name is a racial slur, but according to CBS News , "as the 90-minute hearing before three judges on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board showed, the case against the team is not as simple as declaring that the word “redskins” is a slur and therefore shouldn’t have federal trademark protection. The group of five Native American petitioners has to show that the name 'Washington Redskins' was disparaging to a significant population of American Indians back when the team was granted the trademarks from 1967 to 1990."

The court case, addressed this week by Bill Littlefield on  WBUR's "Only A Game", brought back the memory of how one Native American was treated in the 1960's in Harvard Square.

Upon entering a liquor store, a Navajo Indian friend, a student at Harvard University, attempted to purchase a bottle of wine.  The store keeper replied, "We don't sell firewater to Redskins."  Not meant as a racial slur?  Marash Girl doubts that.  Perhaps the Native American petitioners should ask Marash Girl to testify!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blueberries for Ahsin & Girol!

Medzmama had her own special way of freezing berries.  Yes, there were blueberry bushes at the greenhouse along the Connecticut River, in the sunny corner where the packing room met the glass houses, and the berries were prolific.  Ahsin (age 5?) would say bigger is better (or was it smaller is sweeter) as she would pick the largest berries she could find (and as she was taller, she had a better chance at getting all the bigger berries which were nearer the sun), but Girol (age 3 1/2?) would retort, "Smaller is sweeter," as she was relegated to picking the berries that her sister left.  (Whether the girls were talking about themselves or the berries is unclear!)

Later, taking their baskets brimming with blue to the house, they watched Medzmama as she processed the berries.  After rinsing the berries in cool water and drying them on a clean terry-cloth towel, Medzmama set aside the berries that the family could use in a week, and prepared the rest of the berries for freezing.   And how did she freeze them?  A good trick that Marash Girl remembers to this day (and actually uses regularly). . .  Medzmama spread the clean dry berries in one layer on a cookie tray, and placed the tray in her freezer.  After several hours, the berries would be frozen.  She was able to easily remove the berries from the tray, and pour them into a plastic bag, sealing the bag so that it would be airtight, returning the now bagged berries to the freezer.  Using this method, Medzmama was assured that the berries that her precious tornigs had picked would always be "pourable" and "frost free", ready to stir into the batter for her next batch of blueberry muffins!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wondering what to do with leftover cold steak?

Leftover cold steak, and a cold snowy day -- cold steak sandwiches don't really sound very appetizing, nor does steak heated up in the microwave.  Ugh.  

If you happen to have onions on hand (which you should, as Easter is arriving soon and you're going to need those onion skins to color your Easter eggs, Armenian style -- see Marash Girl's post on coloring Easter eggs), just chop up some onions, saute them with a bit of butter and olive oil, add sliced up mushrooms (especially if you have oyster mushrooms on hand, their fluted caps resemble a fan, and they are slightly denser in texture and don't exude a lot of moisture when sautéed), thinly sliced steak, saute a bit more, and there you have it -- three ingredients, three textures, three minutes stir frying . . . lunch for a king (or queen, as the case may be).  Served with good bread, it can't be beat! 

P.S. For added texture, thinly slice a few water chestnuts and add them to the mix!  Oh, and don't forget the salt and pepper!

Monday, March 18, 2013

WBUR launches its Spring Fundraiser, 2013

Hardy volunteers man the phones at 6:30 AM as WBUR enthusiasts call in with their contributions to
WBUR's Spring Fundraiser.
Robin Young of WBUR's Here and Now greets all the volunteers (Marash Girl among them) who have risen well before 5 AM in order to be at WBUR by 6:30 AM to answer phones for WBUR's Spring  Fundraiser

Bela Bartok? Invite him over for Shish Kebab!

Dearborn Street, Springfield, Massachusetts:  Marash Boy and Jivan Tabibian were having a conversation about how much they liked Bela Bartok . . . Menzmama, preparing the evening meal in the kitchen and overhearing their conversation, called out, "Invite him over for shish kebab!"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Waldorf Salata a la Marash Martha

There was a day when the only lettuce you could find in the marketplace (for Marash Girl and family, it was Star Market in Newtonville, owned by an Armenian who had shortened his name from Mgrditchian to Mugar) was Iceberg Lettuce.  There was no other, that Marash Girl was aware of.  And crisp and crunchy it was!  Salad for us was salata,  iceberg lettuce from Star Market, and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from Marash Girl's back yard, lovingly prepared by her mother Jennie, grown by her father Peter (and before him, her grandfather Moses) in their very own back yard garden.  Add salt, vinegar and oil, and there we had a delicious salad -- although, admittedly, we preferred sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden, and cucumbers (sometimes peeled and chopped and mixed with mint into home made yogurt) which we picked straight from the vine.  So when Marash Martha introduced her version of Waldorf Salad to the family one summer, we were all amazed!  Who ever heard of putting apples (granted, apples from our own apple trees grown in our own back yard) into a salad of Iceberg Lettuce, and then adding walnuts? (The walnuts were NOT from our walnut tree because the squirrels always got the walnuts the night before the walnuts were ready to be picked!)  Fast forward to today -- Waldorf Salad has gone the way of iceberg lettuce -- never has Marash Girl seen Waldorf Salad offered in a restaurant -- at least not within the last 10 years . . . But it was delicious!  And such a surprise!  Thank you, Marash Martha, for enlightening the family with your wonderful Waldorf Salad those many years ago!

Friday, March 15, 2013


"DNA from extinct animals could bring animals from the past into the present," reports National Public Radio this morning.  Is this really where we want to put our efforts and our resources?  With the climate problems, the problems of pollution, the problems of hunger and poverty, the problems of health in the world today?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reading Turkish Coffee Cups in Springfield, Massachusetts

Whenever company came visiting to our home on Dearborn Street in Springfield, my sisters were sent into the kitchen to prepare Turkish coffee.  [Cup reading often happened in the afternoons, when only women were visiting.  My sisters would come home from school and there would be a group of women  sitting in the living room.  . . . ] After preparing the coffee in the jezveh, they would  fill the tiny cups to the brim, and place them on a special tray, making sure there was a bit of foam on the top of each cup.  One sister would carefully carry the tray from the kitchen into the living room, her eyes on the cups as she walked. (My mother had warned them -- don't look anywhere, just look at the cups as you're walking).  My sisters would serve each of the old ladies (they seemed old to me -- I was only four)  from that tray, the thick sweet brew in the smaller than demitasse straight-sided cups and saucers, cups highly decorative with oriental designs in gold and blue and red filigree.  The oldest lady in the room (usually Digin Mayry) would wait patiently until everybody in the room had finished sipping the brew and, turning the cups towards them, had placed the cups rim side down into the saucers.  Waiting a bit (for the coffee sediments to dry) as they chatted, the suspense was soon too much, and they would lift the cups from the saucers, handles to the right, turning the cups away from them as they lifted, and place the cups rim downward. (They never tried to read their own cups!) Digin Mayry, or the oldest lady in the room, would then take each cup in turn, and read the fortune of the lady whose cup she had in her hand. "You will have visitors."  "You will be taking a trip."  "You will be getting a letter."  And after World War II, "You're getting a letter AND it's coming by airmail -- see the wing there?"  And finally, as the cup's owner waited with bated breath, "I see someone who lives far away . . . s/he looks well."   The readings were always similar, and the participants always relieved that there was never any bad news. (Above remembered by Marash Boy) 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Courage to be Kind

So there they were, sitting in the back of Panera, old friends from college days, talking about an upcoming trip to Turkey.  "It takes courage to be kind, you know," Marash Girl commented.  "My father used to always say, 'If it weren't for the Turks, not one Armenian would be alive today.'  Whenever he said that, of course, it would make other Armenians angry;  they would always answer, 'If it weren't for the Turks, 1.5 million Armenians would not have been slaughtered,'  (referring, of course, to the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1922, a Genocide perpetrated by the Young Turks, a genocide that Marash Girl's father had survived).  But Marash Girl's father loved irony and often employed it . . . Marash Girl's father knew of the courage to be kind; his Turkish neighbors often alerted his family as to when the next local death march gathering was to occur, and where his family could safely hide. . . Not much, but when your life was at risk for protecting an Armenian in any way, a lot.  The Good Turk, the Good German . . .  the courage to be kind.

The group of ladies played with that concept for awhile until one of the ladies cried out, "But I didn't have the courage to be kind and I regret it to this day."

The ladies all turned to her.

"When I was four years old, I witnessed our tough 16 year old neighbor beating up, really beating up the local shy fat boy; I wanted to say something, but I never did.  I have never forgiven myself."

The ladies all chimed in.  "But it wasn't your fault.  How could you make a difference at 4 years old?"

 "I could have made a difference, but I didn't.  I think I feared he would beat me up as well."

No matter what the ladies said,  the four year old now adult could not forgive herself.

"Do you still know the boy who was beaten up?" one of the ladies asked.

"My sister does."

"Can you get in touch with him and tell him how sorry you are that you did nothing to help?"

"I can try to find him."

"Do it," the group said in unison.  "Find him and tell him how you feel."

"Okay, I'll try," said the four year old now adult lady. "I'll try."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

To comma or not to comma: that is the question!

A few days ago, Marash Girl received an email from Enila calling attention to           t-shirts that have the following logo on them:
"Let's eat Grandma!" "Let's eat, Grandma!" "Commas save lives!"
Not sure if she emailed because she knows Marash Girl was once an English teacher, or because Marash Girl is her grandma . . . She SAID she sent it because she thought Marash Girl should blog on the sentiments expressed. . . In any case, Marash Girl can only say that she's thankful that because of Enila, she's not referred to as Grandma by anyone, especially anyone who might miss a comma!

And speaking of commas saving lives, Mr. Hayes (English teacher of Newton High School fame who came up with the Newton Plan, a method of teaching [boring] English grammar using slides and the time of only one teacher (the main point) to address large groups of students gathered in the auditorium    -- brilliant, or so they thought!) . . . Mr. Hayes' rule of thumb for when and when not to use commas, Marash Girl remembers to this day:  "When in doubt, leave it out!"  Not quite definitive, and quite dangerous, as you can see from the 
quotation printed on the t-shirt pictured above. All that to say that Marash Girl always over-commas her writing, which is probably the reason Enila sent Marash Girl that email, ending with "Commas save lives!"

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Deron!

Happy memories!   Grandma Jennie with Deron at 
474 Lowell Avenue, Newtonville; apple tree in background.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The cabin in Wilbraham? Guess again.

Schoolhouse, Kapawi, Ecuador             Photo Credit:  Lorig
Perhaps we miss our cabin on the top of Wilbraham Mountain too much . . . you know, the one that was tossed about and ultimately destroyed by the tornado . . . but when Matt and Lorig took a an eco-tour of the rain forests of Ecuador, it was Matt who said to Lorig, "Look, look at that school house; does it remind you of something?"  And sure enough, the school house in Kapawi, in the rain forests of Ecuador, looks very much like the portable school house become summer cabin that once graced the top of Wilbraham Mountain.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Ann Hood, author of THE OBITUARY WRITER, her latest novel published on Monday of this week.

On Wednesday evening of this week, two days after the release of her new novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER, Ann Hood spoke to nearly 50 admirers in the salon of Stellina's Restaurant in Watertown Square.  An energetic and entertaining speaker, Hood talked about the lint catcher in her brain,   and how all the lint comes together to create her novels.  She's always amazed, she said, "by what the lint catcher has caught".  (Humility at its ultimate!) "It's always a wonder as to what stays and why, which is why I never take notes on my ideas or experiences . . . I just write!"  After revealing a good bit about her personal life, she told her audience that she had been sitting next to a fellow from the Middle East on a plane, and after conversing for a while, he made her promise that if he ever died, she would write his obituary.  She agreed.  Shocking as it was, he died the following week, and his family contacted Hood to write his obituary.  She tells of how she called the fellow's family members and friends in order to put together a description of the deceased for the obituary, but all she got was a "resume" of facts, until she called everybody back again, and this time the stories started to come.   It was this experience that inspired her to write her latest novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER, which, by the way, judging from her reading of it, is NOT depressing, but both humorous at times, and steeped in historical fact.

A flight attendant early in life, Ann Hood compared writing to the way an airline pilot once described flying an airplane -- the most crucial, the most exciting moments are the 7 minutes of take off and the 11 minutes of landing.  The computer takes care of the rest.  "I feel that writing's like that . . . but after you write the first draft, it takes 2 years of revising and tweaking!" Then, again, she commented that it takes her 6 months to a year to write 50-60 pages of a novel, and "once I've got that, then I can go and write all day."  She admitted that she'd been writing stories since she was 7 years old, and in those early days, she actually sent samples of her writing to Bennet Cerf. 

When asked about writer's block, she said, "There's no such thing. . . you just need to give yourself time . . . take a walk, take a break, do something that helps you think, knit." (She's a committed knitter, as evidenced by the titles of several of her previous novels.)  

Hood confessed that her favorite novel "is (even though this seems like a cliche) THE GREAT GATSBY."  She loves the authors Willa Cather, and Ann Tyler -- in fact, she confessed, reading DINNER AT THE HOMESICK RESTAURANT helped her write her first novel.  "And where is your favorite place to write," asked one admirer.  "I like to be comfy, and so when I finish my morning's errands, I like to take my computer into bed with me, snuggle up  with my quilts surrounding me, and write!"
Ann Hood, a faculty member in the MFA in Creative Writing program at The New School in New York City, addresses her admirers at Stellina's Restaurant

Ann Hood reading from THE OBITUARY WRITER
Ann Hood signing a copy of her latest novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER.

Books written by Ann Hood
Young-adult novel
  • How I Saved My Father's Life (And Ruined 
  • Everything Else). New York: Scholastic Press, 2008.
  •  ISBN 978-0-439-92819-9
Short story collection

Ginnie Curcio, owner of Stellina's Restaurant in Watertown Square, welcomes the folks who have gathered in the salon of her restaurant, to meet and hear Ann Hood speak on the publication of  Hood's latest novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER.  To be notified of other book events at Stellina's Restaurant in Watertown Square, email

Friday, March 8, 2013

Still snowing!

Newton Corner, 25 hours after the snowstorm began yesterday morning.
 (Steeple of H.H.Richardson church in background.)
And not a snowplow in sight!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

And it only just began!

Newton Corner, 1 hour after the snowstorm began this morning.
 (Steeple of H.H.Richardson church in background.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

No title page?

From a librarian's point of view, a book with no title page is not a book. Now how would that apply to people?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Books on the Bookshelf

Marash Girl (a.k.a. had misspelled the title (her transliteration was off)--ՊատկերազարդՁայնագրուած Հայկական Երգարան --“Badgerazart Tsaynakrvadz Haygagan Yerkaran” , and the folks ordering the book cancelled the order because they realized that they already owned the book. Thank goodness, because Marash Boy saw the  
Armenian song book, no date, circa 1918?
Երգարան and said, "Hey, that's the book that my father kept on his bookshelf next to his reading chair while I was growing up!  You're not going to sell that, are you?"  Had Marash GIrl known, she never would have listed it for sale.  But whenever Marash Boy says, "You're not going to sell that, are you?", and he's assured that the book will not be sold,   he places the book on the bookshelf next to where he reads, and never looks at it again.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fight Nicely!

Marash Girl had heard the phrase before, but never thought to use it.

Until last week . . . 

"Fight nicely, children!"

"That's really funny, Ama," they replied,  and began laughing so hard,  that it became physically impossible for them to continue  their argument.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Beauty Parlor, The Footstool, and Vahan Topalian

Bzdigu hon gurna nsdil.  Marash Girl swivelled in her chair.  Sitting in the station two chairs over from Marash Girl was a girl no older than 6 having her shoulder length hair trimmed.  Marash Girl wondered if it was the little one's very first haircut.  Marash Girl still remembers her very first "professional" haircut.  Her mother (Jennie) had taken little Marash Girl to the "beauty parlor" on Bowers Street right next door to the electrical shop, Newtonville Electric, run by Dad Peter and Uncle Paul in Uncle Vartan's  (Rev. Vartan Bilezikian) 19th century brick building (he lived in the  upstairs apartment) right across the street from the H.H.Richardson designed Newtonville train station.  Little Marash Girl was excited to have her hair professionally cut in a "beauty parlor" (that's what they called those places in those days); and well she should have been as she never stepped into another one until she was 20 years old and her friend gave her a birthday gift:  a haircut at a "beauty parlor" (by then, known as a hair salon) on Newbury Street in Boston.  [That certainly changed things up, as it were, for in those days, the girls were all wearing their hair long.]

Marash Girl still remembers the blonde furniture that was tastefully arranged throughout the first "beauty parlor" she ever entered.    She remembers that furniture because, when the shop closed, her mother purchased some of the furniture to use in their newly built sunroom at 474 Lowell Avenue in Newtonville.  One of those pieces lives on today in Marash Girl's own living room.  And why is that?

In the early 1960's, Boston's urban renewal demolished many of the antique brick houses on Beacon Hill in order to clear the way for what is today's Government Center.  Vahan Topalian, (1886-1983), well known Armenian intellectual and collector, and Marash Girl's very close family friend (he came for supper every Saturday night) was forced to leave his town house / library / museum (Armenian Cultural Foundation) on Beacon Hill (18 Somerset Street) and put all of his precious life long collection of antique books, antique lamps, antique oriental rugs, antique oriental pillows, antique furniture . . . in storage!  Topalian asked his good friend (Marash Girl's father) Peter if he could use the attic at 474/476 to store his things, or at least as much as would fit --  of course, Peter acceded.  Marash Girl still remembers admiring the beautiful antiques that were then stored in that attic, among them a very special oriental pillow, a pillow that tugged at her heart every time she went up to the third floor. She asked Mr. Topalian if he would gift her that pillow, the pillow in flat woven, geometric patterns of oranges and reds, but he refused. (It must have been more valuable than Marash Girl, in her innocence, had guessed).  In its place, Mr. Topalian offered her an antique pillow in blues and pinks, not quite what young Marash Girl had hoped for, but a pillow that to this day sits in Marash Girl's living room atop, yes, the footstool from the hair salon on Bowers Street, the blonde wooden footstool, emptied of its original cushion, spray painted flat black (the style of the 1960's),  re-invented as the base for the beautiful antique pillow that Mr. Vahan Topalian gifted Marash Girl on that day so long ago.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"God recognizes you."

Yesterday, catching the tail end of a story presented on WBUR (never could find it to relisten), a heart-wrenching account of a Jewish man who, growing up, had to lie about his religious affiliation , as it were, pretending to be Christian in order to save his life . . . Today, struggling with his faith . . . he was told by a Rabbi, 

 "It doesn't matter that you don't recognize God; God recognizes you."

Marash Girl was reminded of that very sentiment in the Christian community, words she, herself, in fact, has used with those of her friends who are aetheists.

"Even if you don't believe in God, God still believes in you."

Friday, March 1, 2013

Armenians in Turkey: A Life Spent in Hiding


Turkey/Armenia: A Life Spent in Hiding

Nearly a century after the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman
Empire, an increasing number of Turks of Armenian heritage are
acknowledging their roots. Out of fear of discrimination, many
survivors had converted to Islam and adopted Turkish names. Powered by
Realized by the German TV : DW
Click to view video.