I am sorry to report that Elaine Kaufman passed away yesterday, November 7.
I am sure that I am not alone in remembering how Elaine was always our source for any and all the scuttlebutt around town when she was a teacher at our school. She could get information out of anyone and would then tell everyone else. We certainly remember the "Dancing Hat" she'd don for any staff party, including her own retirement party. I wonder if any of you had her change your life when you were sinking. I did.
After my husband died in June of 2003, I was understandably in a rough place. It was a bad summer, and Elaine kept in touch with me and saw how bad was. In her typical nudging way, Elaine bugged me and bugged me until I wore down and agreed that we would BOTH sign up to sub in Piscataway that very next September, something I had always sworn I'd never do in retirement. My thinking was I'd try it once just to stop her nudging, and then I'd crawl right out of it and back into my lonely world again.
That never happened---that one step opened my world again. Though Elaine only subbed that year and perhaps the next, I stayed seventeen years; and most of those seventeen years were spent subbing at Schor. The Covid shut down ended my subbing career just one month shy of my intended end-date, for I was finally ready to call it quits. Thanks to Elaine, I was able to enjoy those years after retirement experiencing only the best parts of teaching---the kids and the colleagues----and none of the paperwork, the meetings, and the politics of it all.
For that reason, I thank you, Elaine, and hope you dwell in peace with your beloved Hal forever.