Oil on Canvas 24x36
Original Image Taken: 1975
I remember one of my earliest encounters with “FOMO” (fear of missing out). When I was in high school and we returned to class following winter break, I recall seeing a good many of the kids sporting white button-down shirts to highlight golden tans meticulously and evenly achieved at pools and beaches across Florida. I always returned to school looking as pale as ever. I spent my winter breaks at home – watching lots of TV, reading magazines and taking the occasional trip to the local ice rink. I enjoyed those breaks but how I wished I could come back to school looking like I had been somewhere exotic. I was struck by the glamor of it, wondering about fancy resorts and colorful drinks garnished with cocktail umbrellas. Most of my friends, it turns out, were visiting their ‘snowbird grandparents’. These were older Jews – often Holocaust survivors – who managed to save enough money to buy a modest apartment at places like “Century Village” and spend their retirement years in sunny Florida. These folks would leave the cold and snowy north from Thanksgiving until Pesach enjoying warm weather, good programing, fun activities and socializing. For two weeks every December, bubbies and zeidis from Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale endured the disruption to the peace and quiet at their community pools, and ‘shepped nachas’ (felt pride) while hosting their grandchildren.