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26th AMENDMENT SIGNING | MEMORIES

Phyllis at Bus Stop

There was a hard rain and I was picking up Phyllis from her job at Columbia University. We owned a vintage (but almost new at that time) Volkswagen beetle. Often Phyllis would walk the few blocks on Broadway from 116th Street past much of Columbia University, Barnard College, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Juilliard School of Music, near Grant's Tomb and Riverside Church up to 122nd Street (our apartment in Hastings Hall at Union Theological Seminary.) When extreme weather descended upon upper Manhattan, I would drive the 6 blocks to bring her to our tiny apartment.

As I made a U-Turn from Broadway downtown to Broadway uptown, I spotted an opening near the sidewalk just outside the door which Phyllis used to enter and exit her office in the Graduate School of Business at Columbia. I quickly pulled into the opening and Phyllis immediately opened the door and jumped into the passenger seat.

Almost simultaneously there was a woman pounding on the window. Phyllis rolled down the window to see what the woman wanted to say. Because I had inadvertently pulled into the bus stop, the uptown bus driver must have seen that I was blocking the bus stop and simply continued on up Broadway without stopping. The waiting passengers were forced to stand in the rain awaiting the next bus. Needless to say, the woman was not happy and said some heartfelt but very nasty words to Phyllis.

Phyllis was never one to deal well with confrontation. When we had purchased her engagement ring (which needed to be re-sized because it was too large) we picked up the ring from the jewelry shop and I immediately noticed that they had done a terrible job when re-sizing the ring. Not only was most of the gold of the bottom of the ring gone, there was a very noticeable seam which would have failed quickly. I spoke up and told the jeweler that this was not acceptable, but totally embarrassed Phyllis who whispered, "Just pay the man and we will take it to another jeweler to be repaired." She hated confrontation - even if she was in the right!

When the disgruntled bus passenger said some terrible things to Phyllis because I caused her to miss her bus, Phyllis quietly responded (the window was rolled down only a couple of inches) "Oh, shut up." That is about as confrontational as my dear wife ever became in our married life.

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