About Billy Jacobowitz
"Billy (Wilfred Zeph) was born almost three years after Toddy, completing the family in nice round numbers -- another redhead. The partiy for the Brith was quite an event, someone asking 'Is this your FIRST child?"
It is difficult to write about him. All of you will remember him well, his high intelligence, the warmth of his love, his eagerness to learn, to participate in all the activities of the family. He was four or five when he wanted a bicycle, a two-wheeler, and Pop thought he was too young, so he offered to prove he could manage one, and demonstrated by riding one of the boys' bicycles, catching successfully the foot pedals as they rose, He got the bicycle. He and Toddy occupied twin beds in the back bedroom, and Bud used to bribe him to come into the double bed where he slept with Norman in the middle room, to come in to be warmed up and get kissed..." As I Remember, 1962, P. 39
"Miriam's wedding was set for March 29th, 1930. In between the two marriages (Ruth-Louis and Miriam-Sol), the one tragic event in our lives occurred: we lost our beloved son, Billy, three days short of his twelfth birthday, the darling of our hearts. He had a highly developed intelligence, a sense of humor, an understanding heart. He was born on the very date of our twelfth anniversary, and would have been Bar Mitzvah on our twenty-fifth. He had already issued personal invitations to friends for that event, notably his dentist, Dr. Fleisig, in New York, where he went for appointments unaccompanied, since two or three years before. He took the wrong train once but nothing daunted he got out at the next station and phoned the Doctor, who gave him directions.
We never got over it, especially Eli, who had been in the habit of telling him bedtime stories Friday night, lying alongside of him until he fell asleep. The time came when Pop fell asleep before Billy did, roused to tell him he had no more stories, so perhaps Billy could tell a story for a change; he was young enough to remember the "other side" where he came from. This teasing didn't please Billy one bit; began describing how the soul animated the body, ending his description with a question: "How do you know the souls of your father and mother aren't hovering around you?" "How do you make that out?" Pop asked, and this is what Billy gave us to remember: "I'll prove it to you: go downstairs, everything is quiet, but turn a button on the radio and you hear voices, music, talking and laughter. Some day our ears will be attuned to the voices of the departed, and we will be able to communicate with them."
I don't want this to be a sad part of the record; we all decided not to evade talking about him, to remember the way he lived, the funny incidents,the mischief, the greatness of his character. In time I consoled myself with the thought that Billy lived out the full span of his years in that short twelve years, some purpose he had to fulfill. He loved old people, was a regular member of the "Shalle Sudos" Club, a group of elderly men who met Sabbath afternoons to study Torah, argue, sing liturgical as well as Hebrew songs, and of course the snack of herring, cookies and schnapps. There was one old man who used to deliver our Sukkoth Esrog every holiday, asked directions for delivering another one in the same neighborhood, so Billy accompanied him and didn't come back for over an hour: he had gone with the old man to every other customer.
I have a time-worn but beautiful hand printed tribute on a decorated cardboard, a bird (in color) pasted in the corner, with Hebrew letters which, translated, read: "Peace: In remembrance of the little lamb who had no healing; he was like a bird whose voice resounded in song, making sweet the taste of the Sabbath Shalle Sudos. His young spirit blended with the old. May there be no more need for the young to be cut off -- from beginning to end." A humble housepainter inscribed those words. LKJ As I p 57-58