Pinky Pie

Still we’re cousins, Patty Duke & Me

Posted on: May 15, 2011

See any family resemblance? I didn't think so.

Sitting down at dinner at the home of my cousin Art and Edie, I discovered a soupspoon for my salmon chowder. I jumped up to get a teaspoon, announcing as I always do that “I have a delicate mouth.”

Everyone started to laugh and not because I suggested I had a delicate mouth. It was because Art was holding up a teaspoon.

Yes, we are cousins, not exactly identical but with quirks that must have a genetic basis.

It brought to mind the theme song from “The Patty Duke Show.”

Meet Cathy who’s lived most everywhere,

from Zanzibar to Berkeley Square;

But Patty’s only seen the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights — what a crazy pair!

But they’re cousins, identical cousins all the way;

one pair of matching bookends, different as night and day.

Where Cathy adores a minuet,

the Ballets Russes, and crêpes Suzette;

our Patty loves to rock ‘n’ roll, a hot dog makes her lose control — what a wild duet!

Still they’re cousins, identical cousins and you’ll find

they laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike.

You can lose your mind … when cousins are two of a kind!

In this analogy, which I’m not sure Arthur would accept, I would be Patty.  But perhaps you already sensed that. Yes, Art and I share some family quirks.

Art also brought together for another dinner any Hessel relatives he could find in the Washington area, including his daughters Michelle and Hannah, who had not seen Michael since he was 4. He’s grown a bit since.

He also invited the daughter of our cousin, Al. Tobi is a lawyer and lives in the DC area.

And then there were Francie and her husband, Joshua, and daughter. I had never met them before, but had become Facebook friends with Francie, whose grandfather like my grandfather was a brother of the father of singer Al Jolson. She grew up near me, although I did not know her.

He also invited Alison whose grandmother was the sister of Art’s mother and my Aunt Mildred. Here’s what ALison wrote about our dinner on Facebook:

And… now that I am finally friends with the last member of its FB crew, I can also thank Arthur Hessel, Edie Hessel, Michelle Hessel, Hannah Hessel, Susan T. Hessel and Michael Hessel-Mial for allowing in this twig of the Karfeld branch to infiltrate the Hessel Reunion Party on Friday. 🙂

Susan T. Hessel You are much more than a twig. You will always be a strong branch of the family – we’re liberals.

Alison Karfeld Awwww. 🙂 Thank ya!

Michelle Hessel oh alison – you are such a hessel wannabe 😉

Susan T. Hessel Isn’t everyone?

Alison Karfeld That’s ok… Hannah Hessel did tell me I wasn’t related. 😉 I’m going with Susan T. Hessel though…

Michelle Hessel ps. i am hoping the hessel reunion party was thursday not friday…because otherwise i wasn’t invited!

Alison Karfeld In fact… it was and you were.

Michelle Hessel haha thank goodness!

Susan T. Hessel That Friday party was the best!

Alison Karfeld Or so I hear tell…

If you’re lucky, family is forever.


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