Category Archives: Rebecca Rikleen


By Rebecca F. Rikleen

We were not the first owners nor the last owners of Blue Boy.  But he was ours.  I had been wary of buying a Ford in the first place; Ford the man was such a bigot, so hateful.


But price was right; the car was carefully used, and convenient and within our means. Plus it was a hatchback, great for lugging groceries and treasures from yard sales; the mileage was good.  I would overlook the dreaded personality of the namesake, long dead.


Ford was born in 1863. Blue boy was born 91 years after Ford.  Blue Boy served us well; we bequeathed him to my daughter Annie when he was 12 years old.  Now a year later, granddaughter Emily drove him to show us her apartment in Brooklyn.

At 125th St and First Avenue she slammed into a black sedan.  I wasn’t looking; I saw nothing till suddenly an enameled black wall loomed and then, with a jolt, our windshield smashed in myriad fracture lines; paper bags collected around my legs and greasy black smoke spiraled up from the motor. Continue reading


Rosh Hashanah 2014

By Rebecca Rikleen

I had barely returned home from the Emergency Room with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure and aortic valve stenosis, gasping for breath, unsteady, frightened, when my next door neighbor phoned. Her voce was weak, halting, hesitant, ”I’m about to ask you ….perhaps you are willing…. It’s Rosh Hashonah ….I feel the need to sing the prayers….will you let me join you?” Continue reading


By Rebecca F. Rikleen,  a member of Get Your Wordsworth

I am 89. I go to senior centers where I paint along side other older men and women. We are happy to see that we each made it, and we greet one another with congratulations and solicitations. So I am familiar with the long list of ailments that come with age.

Even with exercise and rest and good diet I am turning deaf and blind and unsteady. I know the script from phone calls and visits, all the thorns and barbs, the horrors of old age. I don’t want to spend visiting time hearing the list. There is a world to watch and attend to.

But on the bus in our busy city I see, and marvel at the nerve of shaky old men, shriveled old women, up and about. We stop the bus for a wheel chair, or two wheel chairs, sometimes leaving a third wheel chair on the curb to wait for the next bus. Continue reading