Friday, November 12, 2010


from my "AUTOBIOGRAPH" (4th-installment) on the TypePad blog cakecakecake edited by Ann Wainwright in Leven, nr Beverley, nr Hull, Humberside, GB.

Intermarriage with Jews was a contentious matter in my life. But it had earlier origins: in the 1920s, the popular New York stage-play “Abie’s Irish Rose” (May 1922- Oct.1927), film (1946) dramatized the intermarriage of Abie (Jewish) & Rose (Irish). In my extended family, my father’s uncle Eddie (Scottish) married Kathy (Jewish), and lived in Winthrop MA, two cities closer to Boston. A toll-collector on the Mystic River (now Tobin) bridge into Boston, Billy Whitebone (Weissbein) was openly acknowledged as the illegitimate son of a Boston cousin of ours

My mother’s virulent Polish anti-semitism was prohibitive. Ex. When I was going to Harvard Summer School (1962), I met Jane Falk, niece of New York actor Peter Falk (The Police Chief in Genet’s “The Balcony”, the rumpled L.A. police detective in the USA TV-series ‘Columbo’) & invited her to come up from Cambridge to Lynn to see where I lived. When I telephoned home & said who was coming with me I had no idea what would happen – when we arrived by bus, the house was locked,, nobody was home. So we quickly went back to Boston by bus. Later that night, when I came home, my parents were there, and warned me to never bring a Jewish girl home because it was an admission of her acceptability for marriage. I just wanted to go to bed with her: we tumbled half-dressed on her apt. bed , which she later said was ‘making love’.

In 1963, when Ann Gorman introduced me to her friend Ellen Kriegsman (Jewish), I lusted after her; so when Ann was not in her apt., Ellen & I were. After Ann & I broke up, disastrously, Ellen & I got together again a few times.

The first time my mother saw Joan Helen Budyk (Budianski, daughter of a Russian Jewish landowner’s socialist son who fled Russia to escape the Bolsheviks), she instantly eyeballed her as a Jew. Technically, she wasn’t – her Michigan U.P. mother was Nettie Adriensen, a Belgian-American R.C. To my mother, the Jews had (ironically) penetrated her family with Joan, & our 2 children were 'half'-Jewish (Jewishly speaking, they aren’t Jewish at all, nor is Joan, whose mother was an R.C., as was Joan when I met her.)

[update, 2010]: A Polish-speaking woman, here where I live, recently woke me up from a sound nap on a park-bench here, saying (in Polish) “You look like a dead Jew.” I’m not Jewish! but I must look like a dead Jew only when I’m asleep, because of the Jewish women I’ve slept with. That explains a lot, Polishly!

~ Bill [Kulik] Costley

1 comment:

Writer's Retreat said...

I thought this very insightful
Interesting for me too. We are all
different, we are all the same

Anita S. Holzberg/poet/teacher