The Four Questions on Jeanne Mance Street
By J. Kott-Wolle
Oil on Canvas, 18x24, painted 2019
Original photograph taken - 1968
My mother’s family lived in Montreal. Growing up, we didn’t take many family vacations, so getting in the car and driving from Toronto to Montreal seemed pretty glamorous to me. We were five sisters stuffed into the back seat of the car - no seat belts and definitely no WiFi. We just had Archie comic books and 8-tracks of Tchaikovsky to entertain us. The greeting we received by my mother’s extended family upon our arrival was like walking the red carpet on Oscar Night. My grandparents’ home was a duplex and we had to climb two flights of stairs to get to it. I remember them standing at the top of those stairs bursting to see us. Cousins, aunts and uncles were all waiting to greet and hug the Kott Sisters and my seriously attractive parents. As the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors there was something about our generation. The older relatives regarded us as nothing short of a walking miracle on earth and to see us participate in our Jewish rituals (in the safety of Canada) was a victory for them after everything they’d been through.