by Alisha Kaplan

The Gingham Dresses

In my grandparents’ house, a 1950s rambler in Toronto’s Downsview neighborhood, nearly every surface was decorated with photos: children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren; bar and bat mitzvahs, graduations, weddings. One black-and-white photo, though, stood starkly apart: 10 young women, in two rows like a class picture, all wearing the same gingham dresses. I was always captivated by the photo, and inspected it whenever I came to visit. I knew that my grandmother, Judith, was the girl at the top right. In fact, I knew all their names because my grandma wrote them in the margins. I was both fascinated and troubled by Clara, the woman in the middle, the only one wearing a white blouse.

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The Refusal of Time: Visiting the Old Old

The articles in this special section:

Wordless Tea

by Liat Katz

The Gingham Dresses

by Alisha Kaplan

Reading “Dear Abby” in Massachusetts

by Jayne Lampert

As told to Susan Schnur