The Saga of Bessie

INTRODUCTION

            The following history, of Grandma Bessie Cedarbaum Posner, was written by my mother, Florence Stadlen/Faygele Posner, 9th of 10 children of Bessie and Sam Posner.  She composed this on a variety of typewriters and word processors, and eventually entrusted it to nephew Danny Schneider. Left in sometimes confusing condition, it was given to me to decipher some of the confusion.  In transcribing this I have very deliberately maintained her own phrasing and the story of Bessie’s life unrolls in Florence’s own literary voice; the voice of the child who’d heard family stories filtered through stories shared by her elders and of her direct experience and perceptions growing through adulthood.

            Whether Florence intended to bring the family story further into the future is unknown.  What she has left us is this paean to her very remarkable mother; she has given testimony to the early years of toil and struggle, the family lore, which had shaped her and her siblings.  She has given us a very personal and intimate description of the lives of Jewish immigrants of that era.