Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Soap

A few entries back I said I was looking on the internet for a soap I remembered from childhood. My Aunt Helga brought it to me from Germany. It was shaped like a teddy bear and grew fur. It had a toy inside.

When found, it turned out to be "Fuzzy Wuzzy" soap, and it was selling on e-bay for over $100. Another e-bay search turned up today's brand of the same item, imported from Europe... Germany, in fact. It's called "Soapy Soap" and comes in shapes like kittens and gnomes. It grows fur, and has a toy inside. It was selling for under $10 a bar.

I ordered two kittens, and a squirrel.

My Aunt Helga was a war bride. She was married to my most dashing and handsome Uncle Milton. Dashing is the perfect word for Milton, who was really my cousin and not my uncle. But dashing is an elusive quality, and not suited to this age. I suspect, that had my mother and Milton, who were first cousins, been living in the shtetl, and not America, Milton would have been my father. To me, growing up in the late '50s and early '60s, Helga and Milton were the most glamorous and sophisticated adults I'd ever seen.

Milton took me to my first horse show one summer's day in Newport, Rhode Island. He picked me up in his red convertible Mustang, with white leather interior. The top was down. We were on a date. I was maybe, at most, eight.

Helga, with her German accent, and a father who spent the war working as a "stationmaster", was a bitter pill for the immigrant Jews of my grandparents' generation. Even at eight, you can pick up on that tension. Helga took my mother shopping on Belleview Avenue. The stories of what my mother saw that day were often repeated.

Milton was an "efficiency expert" what ever the fuck that meant. In the early 60s it meant that he worked up at Cape Canaveral, doing something for NASA. He was somehow involved on the Mercury Project, something vague with the space suits. How cool was that?

They had two sons, each as glamorous and dashing as their parents. The older one lived for a year or so in a tepee, a real tepee (15 foot poles and canvas), in their wooded Connecticut back yard. He went to medical school, became a doctor, left medicine and was last heard to be living on a wooded island somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

The blonde one played sax, like his father, and was rumored to be a ski bum, a tennis bum and a few other dubious or vague professions.

The kids both moved west, Helga and Milton divorced, Milton died.

But I have rich memories, an extra bar of Soapy Soap, and an eight year old niece.
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 10:02 AM in Maudlin Crap Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 10:02 AM in Random Crap

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