Monday, July 23, 2012


Rosetta at 93
Rosetta loved to sing and she had a very good voice. Combine that with her sterling sense of humor and imagine her performing in a show at the local Senior Center.

She was about 82 or 83 when her neighbor Jean Williams, a flamboyant woman of about the same age who ran gambling junkets to Las Vegas, invited her to do a number in one of the shows put on at the Center. Despite her age, Rosetta was always game for most things. She decided to do a funny number, but what could it be? 

Then she remembered one of her favorites--an old Fannie Brice number called, "I'm An Indian." It was a lesser known song that told the story of little Rosie Rosenstein, a Jewish woman who fell in love with an Indian chief and became a squaw. What could be better? Not only was it a funny song, but it lent itself to a great costume. My sister and I had loved to hear her sing it through the years, and now she was to perform it on stage accompanied by another senior playing the tune on the piano.

Rosetta dug out a blanket that sort of looked like an Indian pattern and made herself a headband with a feather, then practiced her dance moves. Even though she was in her eighties, Rosetta had some good moves left in her. Hours were spent rehearsing in front of a full-length mirror, singing: "Look at me, just look at me, I'm what you call an Indian, that's something that I never was before. One day I met an Indian chief named (she called him Itchka Mahogna) and right away he took me for his squaw. He wrapped me up in blankets, put feathers in my head. Between the blankets and the feathers, I feel just like a bed."

Click HERE and you can hear the original Fannie Brice rendition of the entire song.

Finally she was ready to do a test run for Jean and me. She nailed it, Jean gave it thumbs up and the audience loved it. Rosetta was in her glory. She smiled and said, "Now I know what it feels like to be a star."
                                             Morgan St. James, daughter

Enjoy Rosetta's stories in CAN WE COME IN AND LAUGH, TOO? She takes you from being the youngest of ten children, born in 1909, through 1989 when she wrote her memoir. Even when life got rough, her laughter and spirit carried her through. The book has been call funny, inspirational and delightful. A book by an ordinary woman with the extraordinary gift of making people believe in themselves. REMEMBER, Amazon Prime members can borrow the Kindle edition free.

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