Structured, narrated, and edited by Susan Baldwin Stroh
When our sister Meredith was diagnosed with leukemia, my siblings and I felt a strong urge collect our memories of family life while growing up in Scarsdale, New York. Our other treasured sister, Shirley, had died from leukemia some years earlier. We had few, if any, records of times when the four of us had shared impressions of family events together. This made the project of recording our memories even more urgent. We enjoyed our conversations every two weeks for a year from three different states: New York, Massachusetts, and California. The transcriptions of our talks formed the spine of the book.
At first, we wanted to help each other remember events and people, to fill in the blanks caused by age gaps, and then to puzzle out things and people we needed to understand better. In our phone conversations we found it safe to share personal revelations, admissions, and wonderings, as well as stories and anecdotes.
As we progressed in our project, we all agreed that some but not all our conversations could evolve into short stories, authored by one or the other of us. We left the transcripts intact when we were really on a roll and they had an exciting beginning, middle and end. By now, we knew our stories and conversations would make an interesting collection that could be passed on to our children, grandchildren and other relatives who might be interested. We each wrote a “Life After Scarsdale” chapter to catch readers up on our lives and then added the biographies of our children.