About Mom

As I go about my daily life, the question I am most asked is, “How is your mother?”

Since I live in Vermont and she lives in Florida, this question is an enduring tribute to her vitality and the many columns I have written about her over the years — columns which you will find on this Web site.

The answer is, “She’s fine. Thank you for asking.”

June 11, 2011, was my mother’s 94th birthday.

For many, many years, my mother, Rose Kagan, has been a dazzling star on the amateur stage — writing, directing, choreographing and starring in many Broadway-style musicals.

She began her theatrical career when she was a child.

After I was born, she continued directing plays in summer camps and public schools.

But her career took on a force of its own when she and my late father retired to Florida. The condominium they chose had a theater and a lively group of talented people who lived to put on plays.

When I began writing a weekly column for the Brattleboro Reformer, I often documented my mother’s career. She became something of a star in Brattleboro.

When she was visiting me, people would come up to her in the street and tell her how they felt they knew her. When my book, “A Thousand Words or Less,” came out, many of the columns were about her. For the book party at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, she flew up from Florida with some of her costumes; we mounted them on dress dummies. Over 70 people came to meet her and hear her talk.

Almost until the end, she  was living comfortably in her new apartment. Her meals were served in a large dining room, where she could sit with friends. Her apartment was lovely and filled with her favorite things; it was cleaned weekly by the friendly staff. She belonged to a play reading group and took Tai Chi on Sundays. She was happy to have time to herself; she could finally read The New Yorker and The Sunday New York Times cover to cover, even if it took her all week.

She was talking about writing and producing a new musical. She was even having a last “fling,” but that was supposed to be a secret.

She died at 94. I miss her every single day.

Just click on “Mom Columns” to see some of the pieces I’ve written about my mother.

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