Ushki, King of the Wassermans

Robyn Carmel

Robyn Carmel
Born: May 16, 1956, Santa Monica, California
Married: Barry Wasserman, July 6, 1986, Ross, California
Barry Wasserman
Born: July 9, 1951, San Francisco, California
Married: Robyn Carmel, July 6, 1986, Ross, California

A Tribute to My Mother
Mother's Day, 1997

I come from a long line of incredible women. My mother raised three children and then, at the age of 60, rafted down the Colorado River with an all-women's Outward Bound trip-only to return to reeducate herself as a teacher of ESL (English as a Second Language.) My mother's mother was also truly amazing. She went through law school while raising her family (unheard of in her day); she was a founder of the City of Hope; finally, she and my grandfather, in their senior years, relocated to the desert of Southern California to build a hotel called "Bertram's MaHaYah Lodge", so named because, as guests lowered themselves into any of the three hot mineral pools they would invariably exclaim "Ahhh, it's a mahayah!" My grandmother named each: The Pool of Everlasting Love, Everlasting Wisdom, and The Pool of Joy and Laughter. Those were the days of being able to sunbathe twelve hours a day without sunscreen or worry. Those were the days when my grandmother and my mother, her "understudy," would play host to guests who returned to the MaHaYah over and over again because it was like a large chavurah. They were days filled with fun, great food (my grandmother's Romanian cooking was unequaled) and hours of teachings about menschlikeit, yiddishkeit, politics, stories, jokes, and even Jewish cooking - all professed while bathing in the pools! My favorite "MaHaYah" story occurred one day when a group of Jewish mothers, including my own, sat in the Jacuzzi. My mother decided to do an experiment. She asked each woman to describe how they made chicken soup. One by one each told their different recipes. One part, however, was a constant amongst them all. They each began with: First I take "my" chicken...! This Shabbat I will also take "my" chicken when I make soup, and I will remember how thankful I am to my mother, my grandmother, and those fabulous days at the MaHaYah which so greatly enriched my life with everlasting love, wisdom, joy, laughter, and Jewish culture!

Robyn Carmel Wasserman

Last revision: 6/29/97

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