Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 23 July 2010 00:00
When Ellen Lawrence entered the Taproot Writing Group at the Jericho Library, she made an immediate impression on the group. We meet every Friday from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. We each write stories and/or poems to a group of about 12 other writers. The constructive critiques are a boon to each of us.
Ellen’s poems were very insightful, and her rhymes were extraordinary. She was born in Holland. On the first days of Hitler’s invasions, her father took his entire family and escaped to Switzerland. He was extremely perceptive, as the borders closed shortly after. He was placed in a work camp away from his family, for a time.
Ellen spent her early years in Switzerland and her tales of her life there were fascinating. Eventually her family came to the U.S.A. Her views on American Life are not in the same perspective as one who was born here. She is modest and deeply pensive. She returns to her writing many times before she is satisfied with it and it meets her standards.
Recently, her children gave a surprise birthday party for Ellen. It was held at Wild Honey in Oyster Bay. We met her three children, Shari, Rick and Mara. We also met her niece Jocelyn and husband Steve (a Marine), who just bought a house in Deer Park. Shari is a mother of three. Rick is an actor with a beautiful voice who is soon to be married. Mara is warm and friendly, with two dogs she saved and adopted. The family also has four cats; a loving family.
The surprise came off well, and the 45 guests were charmed by Ellen and her family. I was asked to read a few thoughts on Ellen. Let me share them with my readers.
From a darling little girl in Switzerland to an intelligent, talented poet and writer in Taproot, Ellen has made the transition. We all marvel at your adventures as a Jew in Nazi Europe. Your father was truly insightful as he bundled his treasured family away from the horrors. You have a foot in both camps- the European and the American.
Ellen, let 70 years be just a new beginning for you and yours.
Stanley and Lorraine Greenberg