When I started to work on the Sunnyside Stories project in February, the first person I phoned was Roanna Judelson. I remembered her from Sunnyside as someone who was always happy to see me and have a chat, despite my being a year or two younger at an age when that counted. I was very shy at the time, so meeting Roanna on 46th Street by chance was a real treat. In truth, I don’t know how often we met – no matter – meeting Roanna always meant a lot to me. She had an easy broad smile and twinkly eyes; she was empathetic and upbeat.
When I phoned Roanna in February, a caretaker answered. Roanna was in ill health, but hearing it was me calling, and despite the great difficulty she was having catching her breath, she came to the phone. In spirit, Roanna was the girl I remembered: cheerful, interested, warm. She was delighted to hear from an old friend from Sunnyside, and she was eager to participate in the Sunnyside Stories project. I did not realize how sick she was. Roanna died in April.
Ruth Horowitz, 2016
Roanna at Camp Kinderland