At summer camp, the popular chant was “Make new friends, keep the old / Some are silver, some are gold.”
Here in lies a continuing life saga of how friendship endures through the decades with seven native Atlanta women who are modern-day “Golden Girls.”
Peggy Slotin recalled, “We were all together on the ‘Woody Willow TV Show’ in our Brownie uniforms, led by Mrs. Gavin. Additionally, we were all in Hebrew Sunday school together on 10th Street, taught by Mr. Steinberg, and played basketball on the old courts of the AJCC on Peachtree Street. On Saturdays, we walked together from the AA Synagogue on Washington Street to Ding Ho’s Restaurant after Rabbi Epstein’s religious services, and we were all confirmed together.”
Member Charlotte Kaminsky said she enjoys how the group still holds on to “Old Atlanta” through their lasting friendships.
The group did take some down time to go to college, get married, and have children. Later in life, at the onset of COVID, they reconnected.
Alice Sanders said, “Not surprisingly, we are each other’s history. We remember each other’s families, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. Asking around, you will not find many people still in touch with their friends from kindergarten. We have come full circle…we fabulous ladies in our 80s.”
The “Girls” are much more than a support group. They share a meeting of the minds, common experiences, recognition at a deep level of acquired wisdom, and an appreciation of each other’s issues.
Bunny Rosenberg said, “Knowing that you are part of a group that understands its roots, appreciates the other’s accomplishments, and are grateful we all have arrived safely together at this stage of life, creating a strong bond and an everlasting sense of comfort. I feel young when I can spend time with the friends that I knew when I was young…it’s like a step back in time.”
Events are top of mind for the group. They get together for lunch at fashionable restaurants. They toured Savannah College of Art & Design and the Atlanta History Center. The Breman Jewish Museum and the Swan House are on the future activity list.
The pandemic played a pivotal role in strengthening relationships. Not being able to be present physically, they learned to Zoom, which was a significant challenge. Zooming offered the ladies the opportunity to stay connected socially and share life events.
Eleanor Schwartz said, “Our Sunday afternoon Zoom meetings were the highlight of my week. We named our group, “The Zoom Gali Gali Girls.”
Zooming continued as an educational tool. Slotin, who goes to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from November to April, offered a different dimension. She shared what it was like to live in another country and showed her presentation, “The Seeds of Antisemitism,” which begins with Abraham and goes through the part that the early Roman Catholic Church played in the suffering of the Jewish people. She said, “The reception by a large mixed religious group in Puerto Vallarta was amazing. This is the same presentation I gave to the ‘Girls’ and their husbands at an ice cream party hosted by Cookie Aftergut recently.”
The ladies are unique in their own way. Aftergut appreciated the bond and support in difficult times. Aftergut, who just turned 82, is a vocal and well-known breast cancer survivor and started “Chemoflage,” a different kind of support group.
She said, “I am proud to say I helped many women going down the ‘chemo journey’ and, upon closing, was able to donate $66,000 to cancer charities.” She is looking forward to celebrating their 100th birthdays together in 18 years. She is known to say, “We are not aging, we are ripening to perfection.”
Another “Girl,” Gail Natter, summed it up, “The only thing better than old friends is old friends with chocolate! The Zoom Gali Gali Girls take our birthdays very seriously. They feel each birthday marks a milestone. At this point in our lives, we count our blessings instead of candles.”
Wonder what Rabbi Epstein thought about Ding Ho dining?
- Senior Living
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Golden Girls
- Peggy Slotin
- Woody Willow TV Show
- Ahavath Achim
- Ding Ho’s Restaurant
- Charlotte Kaminsky
- Alice Sanders
- Bunny Rosenberg
- Savannah College of Art & Design
- Atlanta History Center
- Breman Jewish Museum
- Swan House
- Zoom Gali Gali Girls
- Gail Natter