In the US this June (2012), a feisty independent woman named Pearl Rosenberg Cohen died 22 days short of her 100th birthday. Her son Richard Cohen, opinion writer for the Washington Post, believes that she had more than what it takes to be President of the United States. He titles his article, "The president America never had."
His mother arrived in the US at the age of nine with her mother, penniless and hungry in January, 1921. They were refugees from Poland and all of the crap that prevailed there during World War I. "In school, she learned the women stuff — typing and bookkeeping and shorthand," writes Cohen. She had various jobs. "For the longest time, she worked at St. Joseph's, a Catholic hospital where she became the only non-nun to head a department. She was that good."
"She could organize the disorganized and outsmart the smarty-pants and figure the odds at poker."
"She could have been chairman of General Motors, chief executive of Apple in the morning and of Google in the afternoon — and home in time to cook something for my father, quiz my sister and me on our school day and then rush off for a nightcap of canasta. She was the most competent person I've ever known, and her problem, if you could call it that, was she was born way before her time."
"She worked all the time. She worked in her retirement in Florida — a dress shop and a bookkeeping job and then, after she retired from retirement, she volunteered in the gift shop of a hospital and worked the desk at the place where she lived."
"My mother was trapped in the social conventions of her time. Her ceiling wasn't glass. It was gloomy, opaque — a leaden sky of fierce and smug sexism. She was a woman. She had to do women's work."
Richard Cohen's Washington Post, June 19 article is here.
Copyright © 2012 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.