Letter to Papa
Fan Fiction of Fiddler on the Roof
I do NOT own the copyrights to this show.
Sorry, it's been a long time since I've written. I meant to write after Tevanne went down for the night, but I found myself falling asleep too. I've been busy with wedding plans. I really do think you'd like Fredrick. I admit he's not Jewish, but his mother lived in France during the war and her parents hid your people in their attic. I'm not sure how many they helped get out of the country -they don't talk much about it- but I know it left scars because I could see them in his parent's eyes.
Fredrick came to America after the war ended. To this day if someone even suggests another person should go away just because of their skin color, or religion, he orders them out of his house. And one time? When we were with friends who were Jews the owner told them they had to go. Fredrick started to stand and the man said he could stay because he wasn't Jewish. Well, I won't say what he said because Momma would wash my mouth out with soap if I slipped and said it out loud - and I don't care what that gal in school said -that stuff tastes horrible. I should know -Momma made me eat it once when certain words came out of my mouth. You said you'd have done worse when I complained to you. Anyhow, needless to say we left.
I guess I'm telling you all that because your eyes would grow sad whenever you heard of that kind of hatred. I wanted you to know Fredrick may not be of the Jewish community, but he would defend them to the death just as his parents risked their life to save many in Europe.
I' m wondering do you remember the night before we rushed you to the hospital? It was almost as if you knew what was going to happen because you turned on the radio and convinced Momma to leave the kitchen and you danced with her in the front room while singing in Russian.
Papa, you did a lot of good, but I wish you hadn't insisted on us speaking only English. I would have loved to know what you were singing to Momma. I have since learned the language, but I can't remember the words of that night. Maybe, someday, I'll hear -and recognize- the song.
I also recall you teaching me to dance. I don't think Momma cared much for dancing. Oh, she'd dance with you at the house, but I don't remember her voluntarily going onto the dance floor at town socials. No, the older I got the more you and I would dance. You were good too. So much so, that by the time I was twelve we could turn heads. When someone suggested it was wrong it wasn't you that told the old busy-body off, it was Momma. She said we weren't doing any inappropriate dancing and she wasn't worried about you doing anything wrong. Said if you had she'd have made you an involuntary eunuch. The lady looked shocked when you told her -on the heels of Momma's remark- that you valued your manhood too much to mess with Momma's temper.
You know Momma may have had a temper, but she never used it on us -not without just cause anyway. One time I remember her swinging a broom at you and chewing you out something fierce. I can't remember what she was hollering because I couldn't have been more than four, but , boy, was she ticked off. Whatever it was you did it must not have been repeated because I never saw her doing it again.
I also remember you liked to chew out Bessie quite a bit. That old cow was a stubborn thing. You and Momma were always mending fixes because of her. I swear her hooves must have been fingers because I don't see how she could get out of the places you had to fix.
That blasted cow was the first one I tried milking and she wouldn't stop her bellowing. I don't think Momma cried when we ended up butchering her. Personally? I think she as happy because all she did was sing some made up silly song about the cow losing its ability to jump over the moon. Personally? I was convinced Momma had flipped her lid.
I remember going with you and your friend Jordan fishing. Why you took him I don't know. That man squealed at the touch of a warm worse than I did and I was eight and a girl to boot. I sure liked it better when we went alone. And you know what? I think you did too.
Fishing was the one thing Momma would do with us- if we were doing it a the pond on our own property. She really wasn't much one for going places was she? When you first told me what she'd done to get my cousins to Uncle Motel and Aunt Tzeitel it shocked me. I remember stating that is was my opinion she should leave our place more and would have said more, but you placed your finger on my lips and told me it wasn't my place to criticize my mother. That if she wanted to be a homebody that was fine by you.
I guess I'd better wind this down, but Papa? I've only written a small portion of what I remember. I was fortunate I had an old Dad I think. Oh, not all my friends agreed, but we did all our chores together, worked in the garden, and spent plenty of late afternoons - early evenings singing and dancing.
One more thing, Papa? I've learned how to play the Fiddle. And I can do it while dancing on a roof -I did it in a community play.