Things That Make Us Smile

Things That Make Us Smile


It’s early in the morning of a typical work day


This cold morning “the sun is a shining to welcome our day”

As the brits would say, come to the fare


Yours, or savor alone

Come to the fare this morning


Whatever you think it means

In your minds eye, sing it and say it


Conjure what makes you smile


For today, you my dear friend belong

where ever you are

Today at the fare


Be in this state of belonging

If you dare… if you dare…


Hk 1/18/23


There I was literally dancing to the music as my kindergarten class marched in a patriotic manner. Gathered in the background was a group of mothers who put on their own display of patriotism a moment before the children’s parade had taken place. They had, in unison with hands over their hearts, recited our country’s Pledge of Allegiance. It was pre-World War II for the United States of America.

In our neighborhood, and almost all areas of the city where many European immigrants had settled, there existed a great concern for the safety of the very youngest of school children; mainly from kindergarten through the sixth grade. The moms were all volunteers to assure the safety of us kids.

Rumors had been flying around for months, all about how Nazi sympathizers were busily plotting the destruction of our school system in New York City. That’s not to say we six-year-old children knew anything about it. It had been reported at the time, there existed more than twenty-five thousand members of the “German American Bund” actively participating in the violent destruction of our school system.

Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York City and the then President of the USA was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. America and Europe, in general, were still in the process of coming out of the Great Depression. And then, Germany defeated and occupied Poland (September 1939), Denmark (April 1940), Norway (April 1940), Belgium (May 1940), the Netherlands (May 1940), Luxembourg (May 1940), France (May 1940), Yugoslavia (April 1941), and Greece (April 1941). Yet, “Germany did not defeat Great Britain, which was protected from German ground attack by the English Channel and the Royal Navy.” There was great worry about German submarines attacking American shipping lanes on our Eastern coastline.

Many Americans worried about the rumors being true. Ergo, here come the moms taking charge of their children’s safety all over New York and in many other places around the country. The spirit and attitude were decidedly proclaimed by our moms’: “Not on our watch.”

“Hell hath no wrath like a [momma] scorned!”

Especially within the heart of Lillian Kalmenson, proud leader of the moms to all of us kids who were in attendance at P.S. 233 during WW2!

Harvey Kalmenson

Source: The Holocaust Encyclopedia

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