The Story of the Voting Rabbi

Writing is never conducted in a vacuum. There is research to be done, notes to be jotted down, paragraphs to be edited and deleted, thoughts to be discussed with family and friends, books to read and ruminate over, and more research to be delved into.

I’m in the process of writing a book I mentioned here once or twice. It seems that I’ve been writing it forever – and maybe so. It’s a story that’s been floating and spinning in my head and sprawled in shorthand and scribbled notes in a notebook for years. Just as writing – good writing – is never achieved in a vacuum, neither is composing a well-written book. And therein comes the research.

My book needed some information on women’s makeup fashion and habits from the 1930s. I knew a little bit about that – I’m a big fan of culture from the first half of the twentieth century – yet I needed specifics: product names, colors, types, where to buy the beauty products, et cetera. An Internet search led me to the November 7, 1934 archived issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune. It had advertisements and a plethora of information I could use.

My husband and I even found a story about one of his grandfather’s friends on the front page (There’s a story for the future!)

Then, turning to the front page, where the headlines and sub-headlines screamed all the news of the mid-term election where the Democrats were the Stars of the Day and won a Supermajority, and towards the bottom of the page, was this story of the voting rabbi in New York City:

Now I am curious why Rabbi Wolf was the only voter in the precinct. Did the election officials know there would be only one voter, or did it just turn out that way? Who was Rabbi Wolf? What kind of poems were in the book he carried to the polls?

This will need more research, and who knows where that will lead me?

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.

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