I’m still going through my grandmother’s copious amount of paperwork a year and half after she died at age 105, and today I came across this magna carta of sorts: At 85, she ordained herself the vice president of a lox club, or should I say “The Lox Club,” perhaps the only lox club on earth. That adorable woman! The first meeting was help at her apartment in the East Village, and, significantly her name was spelled wrong on the agenda, which would have infuriated her…and she would have insisted on copyediting the next agenda before it was printed…then she might have held a secret meeting to fire the secretary…followed by the meticulous fabrication, and then repetitive pin-stabbing of the former secretary’s voodoo doll.
My Baba honored the sanctity of a correctly pronounced and spelled name…except when it was anyone else’s name but hers. Rage notwithstanding, she knew how to live life and get her lox off! I wonder if my Baba Liza took her job too seriously (she certainly took mothering too seriously for anyone’s good) and whether she affected a Louis Gossett Jr./Ed Norton-type persona? Did the rare ingredient, the hickory smoked salt, burn her uvula, and make her even more dictatorial? Did she flip out when she realized Frieda neglected to bring capers, that Luba can’t slice red onions paper-thinly to save her life? Did she try to re-frame after her tantrum, and pass out samples of hickory smoked salt in cocaine-like vials as party favors? These are all questions I can no longer ask her, but maybe she’d have never answered them. After all “Whatever Happens in Lox Club Stays in Lox Club.”