Friday, May 11, 2018


The street I grew up on was a block and a half long, and the half block dead ended at the railroad tracks (the houses on the half block are all gone, replaced most recently by a giant CVS). There were a lot of kids on the street when I was growing up, most of them my siblings or cousins (the street was locally known as "Lally's alley").

Four cousins lived next door to me, in birth order a boy a girl a boy and a girl. The two girls were both deaf and the boys not. Both girls, MaryLynn and RuthAnn, became dynamos I have always been very proud of. The youngest, Ruth Ann, as I understand it, was responsible for forcing a change in the treatment of deaf children in New Jersey schools, guaranteeing a sign language interpreter in their classrooms.

I was older and gone when Ruth Ann married a fellow deaf person, Bill Schornstein, and set up house for a while in her widow mother's home next to my parents' home. When I'd visit, I'd hang out with Ruth Ann and Bill, and eventually their children when they were little, Tina and Bill/Liam. I haven't seen them that much in the years after they moved away and I moved all over (though Facebook has made keeping up with them easier).

I remember Bill senior as a kind and humorous man, and a loving and decent father and husband. I am happy to hear that he passed peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones, to whom I offer my condolences.

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