Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas with the Daughters of Israel.

Aunt Louise is sick.

No, not that kind of sick. Really sick. Sick as in needing 24-hour care. Sick as in being moved into the Daughters of Israel home in West Orange, New Jersey, where she's cared for 24x7 by women named LaToya.

She hates everything about the Daughters of Israel, including LaToya. She hates the food. She hates her room. She hates that there's nothing to do, though she won a woolen afghan playing Bingo last Sunday night.

Last night they were playing the classic Hitchcock movie "Rebecca." It's an excellent movie, and was nominated for Best Picture back in 1940 and both Joan Fontaine and Lawrence Olivier earned best leading actor nominations.

I called Aunt Louise and she told me she didn't make it to Rebecca.

"You should go to tonight's movie," I urged her. "They're playing "Gigi."

"It has Maurice Chevalier," she answered.

I sang a bit with a bad French accent: "Every little breeze seems to whisper Louise."

She laughed at that and then said simply: "Collaborator. He collaborated with the Nazis."

I was more than a little taken aback. Aunt Louise doesn't cook on all four burners; the fact is, she has a hard time even counting. I was surprised at her cognizance.

I had gone through a similar boycott of Chevalier for the same reason. Then a whole new slate of Lubitsch movies came out, starring Chevalier. That prompted me to do some research. It turned out Chevalier had been acquitted of the collaborationist charges leveled against him.

"He was acquitted," I told Aunt Louise.

"Nazi," she repeated. "I'd rather just talk to LaToya."

And with that she hung up the phone.

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