Posts in Uncategorized

Gershon’s Obituary

December 13th, 2022 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

In the Miami Herald December 4, 2022

                  Gershon Press Rapoport

        September 15, 1984 – November 30, 2022

  Hollywood, Florida – Gershon Press Rapoport, from

Miami Beach, FL, was a beloved son, brother, brother-in-law,

grandson, nephew and cousin who died on November 30, 2022

of a drug overdose. He is survived by his parents

Drs. Shirley Press and William Rapoport and his

sister Sarah Rapoport. Gersh bravely

battled drug addiction for 19 years. He is best

remembered as a gentle soul always

available to help others. He was a talented artist, singer,

lyricist and guitarist. His sense of humor and kindness will be

be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Eulogy for my son Gershon

December 13th, 2022 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

On December 4, 2022, with a broken heart and an empty soul, I gave this eulogy for my son Gershon who died of a drug overdose on November 30, 2022

   I stand here today with a broken heart. I don’t know how I’m going to live on without Gersh. Even though he has been struggling with addiction for 19 years, I was not ready for him to die. I felt so bonded to him through it all. I am devastated.  Gershon had a lot of bad breaks in his life with the drugs taking over – crushing and consuming him. He tried so hard to beat the addiction over 19 years with the detoxes, rehabs, counseling, halfway houses and sober living. He even helped others with the same problems. However, he never seemed to be able to get ahead and turn it around. As the years went on, his friends deserted him, jobs didn’t work out and relationships failed. Through it all, he still tried and persisted. He was upbeat and always had another plan. Sometimes he was angry, blamed others for his fate in life and was depressed. And the drugs like a cancer got him in the end. Now I feel this emptiness that will never leave. I have to tell myself that Gersh lived a full 38 years.

   Let’s go back. We named our beautiful boy Gershon after my father Gershon who died in 1970. As a baby, he and Sarah were the cutest. They hung out together since the get go. They were bonded. They were joined.  A blond hair, blue eyed gorgeous child, he was charming and  a ladies’ man from the start. I remember him at three years of age telling me over and over again, “Mommy, you’re so pretty.” At age five, Gershon was chosen to be in a feature article about children’s names in the Miami Herald.  He had good times with friends in school, Hebrew School, camp and traveling. He had talent in art and played a mean guitar. Gersh did a spectacular job along with Sarah on their B’nai Mitzvah. In addition, he along with his band members performed a few cool songs at the event. Many of you here today attended their B’nai Mitzvah and have been in our lives forever. His Bubbie, my mother, was especially proud of him. Gershon and Sarah were such stars and made a fantastic team. In those years we also went to NJ many times to see our family. We spent many times walking the boardwalk in Atlantic City where he had many an adventure. He once made $100 for skinny dipping on a dare in the Atlantic Ocean. And he also met a variety of characters. He had a flair for fashion and always looked the part. Sometimes he was a character. As a teen, he would go to Johnny Rockets in South Beach and claim it was his birthday every three months until the manager got wise. By the same token, he would repeatedly get a lot of free samples from Sephora until they booted him out of the store. As a family we traveled to St. Thomas a few years ago where he loved to shop and haggle in the open markets.   Unfortunately, he had a propensity for accidents whether they involved his car, e-bike, scooter or skateboard. He was always getting banged up.

  Gersh had many different jobs. He worked as a painter, a stocker, a plumber’s assistant which naturally he hated saying it was too shitty, a roofer despite the fact he was afraid of heights, a driver and he also worked in Macy’s fulfillment center. Plus, he had some underworld jobs.

  While in rehab, he wrote songs, poetry and verse in his journals. He wrote, “I am worthy because I am a good and caring person. I am worthy because I never give up even through the hardest and toughest of times I’ve had in my life. I am worthy of having another dance in life and to better myself to have a good life.” Yes, definitely you were worthy, Gersh. He also wrote, “This addiction has got to break. It’s cost me so much pain.”

In another journal I found that he wrote about his desperation about a friend who died,

“Four years ago my girl got put in the ground.

Her war is over, Now she’s safe and sound

I wish she could look down on me and be so proud

But that’s not the case because I’m going down, down, down

Wanna hear something that’s so damn sick

I look at her picture as I take a hit

Hoping my heart will stop and I will fall

We could start a new life where we stand tall

Not going down, down, down

I already been here 3 damn times

Obviously, something ain’t right cuz I’m still not fine

Maybe I’m that sicker one or I don’t wanna

Stop, maybe I’ll keep on running until I drop

Going down, down, down

So I admit ya I need some help

Cuz I tried many times to do it myself

And I’ll admit ya I’m not that tough

Cuz one to many a thousand is never enough”

He truly wanted to beat it but in the end the drugs killed him. Addiction is a disease. It’s a monster.  I learned that I didn’t cause it, couldn’t control it and couldn’t cure it. And that proved true in Gershon’s case.

   Unlike a lot of mothers and sons, we spoke every day and saw each other often – shopping, talking, quarreling and eating. Every night Gershon texted me “Goodnight Mom. I love you.” and likewise I texted him back. I never gave up on you, Gershon. On the night he died, I didn’t receive a text. I was hoping, “He’s 38 and he doesn’t need to text me every night.” The next morning he didn’t pick his phone and then we found him. It was the saddest day of my life. Gershon’s struggles and suffering are over. Ours continues. My hope that things would get better is gone forever.  

 Rest in peace my beloved son. I will always love you.

Love you forever,


Speech at the Unveiling of the Gravestone for Our Mother, Leah on July 17, 2022

July 22nd, 2022 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet


Thank you all for coming to our mother’s unveiling. We appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts.  It’s been a tough road without you, Mom. I think about you a lot and how we miss you and also think about what you’ve missed – what has been going on in our families – the naches and the tsurus. In the last few years Maddie had a son Simon, in addition to Luna, your first grandchild, Sarah, your granddaughter was married and your grandson Gershon eluded death three times from drug overdoses. I know that if you were well, you’d know just what to do and say having endured your own horrible struggles in life.

 Our mother Leah was cherished by everyone – her family, friends, colleagues, etc.  Seeing the tremendous love and support for our  mom before and after she died is gratifying. We are a small family but we are a closed knit bunch. Our mom inspired and influenced us through her love, devotion and actions. Barb and I were her bright lights after a life of horrors surviving the concentration camps in the Holocaust. She loved us without bounds. She was remarkable, smart and driven even after all she had been through – learning English impeccably , getting married, having children, working in my fathers  grocery store, becoming a teacher and a PTA president and being active at her synagogue. As all of you know, she was the most gracious and kind person. She was the OG original bubbly “hostess with the mostess.” People would drop by our house all the time to eat, schmooze and mainly to see Leah. It was her power of compassion. Even though we had very little, my mother was always giving of herself and she always made time for everyone. We remember her packing up our hand-me-downs and routinely shipping them off to Israel in the early days. One time she was generous to a fault. I went to pick her up at Beth EL and noticed another teacher wearing a skirt similar to one I had. When I got home, I realized that that was my skirt. My mother just figured I didnt need it anymore.

We had fun times too. Our mom, Tanti, Philip, Bev, Barb and I, with Hashel and Gershon on the weekends, would spend a month in Atlantic City in this dumpy boarding house without a phone. We called it Hotel Dropsie. In later years, Mom, Tanti, Frieda Levy and I would go back to Atlantic City to play the slots.

We had good times and we had tragic times. Your unconditional love will inspire us for our lifetimes. You were the best there is.      

With unending love,

 Shirley and Barbara

Facebook is a significant part of my life

February 2nd, 2022 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

As I am getting older…  I am 70 which is a hard number to digest because I don’t feel like what I think 70 should feel like. I feel younger like I when I was 40 or 50. Regardless, as things in my life are slipping away, I am spending more time on FB to connect. Many factors play into this – Covid and staying home, not going out, people dying, people moving away, friendships fading or dissolving without new ones to take their place. And I appreciate every like and comment people make on my posts

Eulogy for my Mother – Leah Kalina (9/14/1929-1/15/2021)

January 21st, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet


Eulogy for My Mother – Leah Kalina

Thank you for being here today in person or virtually. “Mom, you would be glad to know that I’m standing up straight and that I combed my hair.” These are two things that my mother harped on me about all of my life. Her special gift in life was connecting with people and my mother would have been delighted to know how many relatives and friends have come here today or are viewing this or will connect with us after the funeral to remember her. Already we have had many, many condolences.  No matter where my mother went, she had the ability to connect. Her life was one of tragedy and triumph of the human spirit.

Our mother was born Lenke Grüenberg on September 14, 1929, the second oldest of four sisters of Eli (aka Illes) Gruenberg and Sheindel (aka Zseni) Schwimmer Gruenberg in Čierny Potok, CZ close to the Carpathian Mountains. Our Tante Ruchel was the oldest. Her father was a businessman who owned a farm and maybe a mill. My mother remembers Čierny Potok as an idyllic small town where everyone knew each other. “There was no place I would rather be.” My mother and her sisters adored their mother, Sheindel. “I thought nobody in this world had such a mother as we did,” she said, remembering her as a gentle woman who never raised her voice. She said, “I would rather be with her than any of my friends.”

Tragedy: The nightmare of our mother’s life began at age 14, on April 9, 1944, the second day of Passover. At that time, the Hungarians, who were in collaboration with the Germans, controlled the town. Policemen warned the town’s few Jews against celebrating Passover, but the family went ahead. My mother, in her Shoah Foundation tape, said it was a very different Passover from the usual happy occasion; tense and frightening. “The worst part was when I saw tears streaming down his (her father’s) face. I knew something was very wrong,” she said. “I never saw him cry before that time. He knew it would probably be our last Passover.” The next day the police forcibly removed them from their modest home and sent them to the Mukačevo ghetto in Hungary. “’Dad said ‘Take food; make sure you are taking food.’ ”

On May 11, 1944, after a month in Mukačevo, they were transported to Auschwitz by rail in a locked cattle car crammed wall-to-wall. “We had no idea where we were going,” my mother recalls. “I remember looking through this tiny window (in the cattle car) and seeing the green grass and thinking, ‘how beautiful the world is, but not for us.’ It was the second time I saw my father cry.”

At the camp, those assigned to the right were selected for work, at least temporarily. People deemed too old, young, feeble or too weak to work were assigned to the left and slaughtered. Her parents and sister Malka, the youngest at age 8, were murdered in the gas chambers right after their arrival.

“We arrived at night,” my mother said. “There is no way to express the feeling on arrival to Auschwitz.”  “They took away the most precious thing in my life, my mother – she was only 42 years old – and my precious sister Malka,” my mother said.

My mother and her sisters, Ruchel and Bluma, were sent to the barracks after their heads were shaved, the first step in the dehumanization process. “My sister was right in front of me and I didn’t recognize her,” my mother said. No one could escape the sight of flames and smell of smoke coming from the crematoria. My mother remembers her shock when she first encountered the emaciated, hollow-eyed children in the barracks. When the other girls in the barracks told her that her sister and parents and were almost certainly already up in smoke, my mother recalls how “We just cried and cried and cried.”

At Auschwitz, survival was the only goal. My mother, Ruchel and Bluma were assigned to digging ditches. “We gave each other some kind of hope; we will get out of here, we will make it. They could never take away from me my will to live and my faith in God, though I was very angry with God,” she said.

Every day meant standing in formation for hours. Every day there was a selection. They always took somebody. Each morning my mother and her sisters would pinch their cheeks to look healthy enough to work though they were being starved and the hunger was constant. Each day they would be given soup, one piece of black bread and a little butter. “It’s the kind of hunger that there is nothing in this world you would not give for a piece of bread,” my mother said. One day, she impulsively ran out of the barracks door with her food container when she saw the people with the soup cauldron approaching. She was lucky not to have been beaten to death then and there. She was forced to kneel for hours on gravel.

A few weeks later, they were moved to Plaszow, the concentration camp portrayed in Schindler’s List. This camp was actually worse than Auschwitz. Lice were rampant. They labored 12 hours a day hauling stones. There were savage, unpredictable shootings and beatings. German shepherds dogged their heels, ready to attack if someone fell.

Sadly, Bluma, my mother’s younger sister was weakening. To try to conserve energy, the sisters would try and hide a piece of bread from their rations to eat later. One day, when the sisters were looking for the stash, they discovered it was gone. A girl came crying to them, “I took it,” she sobbed. They all began crying. “Imagine, four kids crying over one piece of bread,” said my mother.

Then in August 1944, they were transported back to Auschwitz. On August 11, 1944, the number, A-21653 was tattooed on her left arm. After arrival, there was another selection. It was overseen by Dr. Joseph Mengele, the infamous Nazi “Angel of Death.” And the worst happened. Bluma was selected.

“With one nod, they took Bluma up,” my mother remembers. “Bluma screamed to us ‘please don’t let me go.’ ” Ruchel tried to intercede, begging Mengele to let Bluma go. According to a tape made by Ruchel, he said to her, “Go back in line because you will die like a dog too.”

In the fall of 1944, my mother and her sister Ruchel were transferred to Bergen-Belsen. She said the stench of the dead bodies was awful. After Bergen-Belsen, their last camp was Buchenwald, which she and Ruchel entered December 17, 1944. For the final months, my mother was placed in a subcamp called Markkleeberg.

Finally, with the Allies invading from all sides, my mother, her sister and about 2,000 others were sent on a death march to Theresienstadt in northern Czechoslovakia. Fewer than 200 would survive. It was during the march that my mother escaped. They were forced to walk nonstop, with just an hour or so of sleep each night. They were given a piece of bread at the beginning of each day, then nothing. After about two weeks, my mother saw a field of freshly planted potatoes. On impulse, the same kind of impulse that sent her out for extra soup, she darted into the field.

“There I go again,” she stated in her Shoah testimony, “I’m thinking, ‘I’m just going to dig up the plants and come right back.’ ” But she fainted and when she came to, the others were gone. “I woke up and there were three potatoes and no one but G-d was with me. Those three potatoes were the best food I ever had.”

Our mother soon met up with two other death march escapees. She told us that upon liberation, she weighed approximately 70 pounds and she is 5 feet 3 inches tall. She just began walking and walking.

After the war, my mother learned that Ruchel had made it alive to Theresienstadt. Eventually, they reunited in Čierny Potok, their hometown. When they returned to the town, they found that their house had been turned into a small school. They were given a room, but it was clear there was no future there. “At that time I was very surprised the people in the town were not happy to see us,” my mother said.

She went to work in Prague as a babysitter and then worked in a bakery. In 1946 she and her sister were placed in a series of displaced persons camps through the Joint Distribution Committee. At first, in the DP camps, people talked about their experiences. Then they stopped. “We had the incentive to build a new life, the incentive to work hard, not hating people,” she said

The last DP camp was DP Camp Deggendorf in Germany. My mother described this as “heaven” compared to the concentration camps. The survivors were given plenty of food and my mother described herself as a “blimp” for that period of her life. She had her own cot. In the camp there were also cultural and social events and schooling. My mother attended the dressmaking school sponsored by ORT, the Jewish educational and vocational training organization. She remembered going to lectures on Zionism and joined the Betar Movement which was a Zionist youth organization for a while. There was a makeshift synagogue and medical facilities. Life moved forward for many as there were many marriages and babies born there. My Aunt Ruchel married her husband Hashel there in a hand-me-down wedding gown. My mother and her sister Ruchel possessed an inner strength when challenged by tragedy.

Our mother was able to obtain a “child’s visa” and immigrated to the United States alone. HIAS also participated in this process. She began her journey to the United States on October 15, 1947, also at the port of Bremen, Germany aboard the “Ernie Pyle.” When my mother arrived in New York, her name was Lenke. She changed it to Leah shortly thereafter. Her American relatives, who were her sponsors, Uncle Louis and Aunt Zina Schwimmer, met her in New York.

Triumph: Our mother was unflinching and extraordinary. In the six years from 1945 until 1951 in which she lost her parents, her two sisters, her home, her education, her teenage years and survived four concentration camps and a DP camp, she then  came to the US, where she went to night school, learned English, married my father and started a family-me and Barb in 1953. That’s courage.

It was at a lecture in 1948 in Philadelphia at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel where Moshe Sharett, the first Minister of Foreign Affairs from Israel, was speaking where my mother first met my father. He went because of his passion for history – especially Russian and Jewish history. Dad was talking too loudly; my mother turned around and told him to be quiet. As they say, this was the beginning of a beautiful romance. Tragedy struck again when our father died in 1970 due to a massive stroke.

Barb and I heard all our lives how beautiful, gracious and lovely our mother was and it was absolutely true. All of our friends like to hang out at our house in Cherry Hill – mostly because of Mom. She made everyone feel welcomed and she was also a fantastic cook. Because of her background she got carried away and would always say, “Eat, my children. Eat. Eat or Essen mein kinder.” It’s a wonder that we turned out thin. She was the consummate host. No one ever left her house hungry. No one. She took a real interest in everyone and always saw the good in people.

   Triumph: We remember some of her achievements as becoming the PTA president at Parkside School. She also worked in our father’s grocery store, became a preschool teacher and started talking to school children about her life and the Holocaust. My mother could have the children and teenagers relate to her as she was only 14 herself when she was taken to the camps. She also has her legacy documented in the Shoah Foundation’s videotapes. Her last years were difficult but she faced them with grace and quiet dignity. I remember the lessons she taught me. One example: my mother came with me to a pediatrics conference and we were invited to sit with my chairman as we walked by his table. We spoke for about 10 minutes and then Mom announced that we had to go. Naively, I asked her where we were going? She said, “Nowhere, you never want to wear out your welcome.” Another time the two of us were driving to Atlantic City. We and my Tante Ruchel all loved to gamble. It was 2008 and I was supposed to drive. When we got into the car, she stated that she wanted to drive, so I let her. It was a somewhat harrowing experience. She told me that this was something she always wanted to do and she was doing it. She was a life time learner and bold. My mother, Barb and I had good times working in the store, going to Litt Brothers, attending the NY World’s Fair and many other journeys.

We remember you as a wonderful mother, the best Bubbie, loving wife, devoted sister, doting aunt, warm cousin, vibrant friend, caring teacher and courageous Holocaust survivor.  Above all, we will be remembered for your loving devotion to our family. You were always so reassuring and supportive of us. Mom, we’re going to miss you immensely. Thank you for everything you’ve given us – the love and the bonds we shared during your precious time on earth. You touched many lives. We love you. You’ll always be in our hearts.



March 29th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

All right, Bill Gates, aren’t you famous enough? Do you really need another blog or whatever to keep yourself in the limelight? But since I’m struggling with my own blog, I signed up for your gatesnotes just to check it out. I must say, it is impressive, actually very impressive. Of course, you have a team working on it which most of us don’t have. However, the pieces you write yourself are exemplary. So keep it up and I hope you don’t mind if I model some of my blogs after your writings.


The Polio Epidemic and COVID-19

March 29th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

On March 26, 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk On March 26, 1953. Dr. Jonas Salk announced that he had successfully tested a vaccine against polio. Coronavirus COVID-19 and polio are very different viruses. However, they both are deadly. In 1952, the worst year of the polio epidemic, there were 58,000 cases in the US, 21,259, mostly children, were paralyzed and 3145 deaths occurred. In 1955 the vaccine became widely available. (Baby Boomers can remember this.) I’m optimistic that we can also discover a vaccine for COVID-19 without delay. The photo below is of children participating in clinical trials for the polio vaccine in 1954.

2020 3-29-2020 FB and Blog

A Belated New Year’s Resolution

March 29th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

For the last two weeks, I’ve been staying at home because of the Corona virus Covid-19. I’m been doing my daily routines plus I added three additional people per day to talk or text with. Today I received a notice from Apple that I spent an average of almost five hours a day in the past week on my phone. What? That can’t be. But Apple isn’t wrong. They track you. My daily routine includes reading two newspapers: The Miami Herald (online in addition to print) and The New York Times online – estimated time one hour. I spend probably another  hour going through my email and reading on the phone. Then there’s Facebook, Instagram, Linked-in, Google, CNN, Twitter, photos, the weather, the plunging stock market, playing bridge, texting, phone calls and misc. So thinking about this, it all adds up. I definitely need to streamline some of this. Does this count as another  unfulfilled New Year’s resolution?

New Years Resolutions

I Missed Woodstock 1969

August 15th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I’m mixed about not going to Woodstock. It was right before I was going to college2019 8-15-2019 Woodstock 1969 and I was living at home in Cherry Hill, NJ. My parents wouldn’t let me go. Too dangerous, they said.  So I just accepted this fact. It turned out not to be dangerous at all. No real serious crime. Reports state that there were only a dozen police officers for the 400,000-500,000 who attended. Can you imagine this today? There were three deaths: two from overdoses and one guy was run over by a tractor. It was a happening of peace, love and music. However, there was too much crowding, rain, mud, sewage, traffic jams, drugs and garbage and too little food and bathrooms. On one hand, I missed the greatest musical event of all time. On the other hand, I would have been miserable. Still, I would have liked the bragging rights of having been there.


I Updated Two Lists Under the Projects Menu

June 26th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I added two more libraries to my New York City Library list which now totals 16
And I also updated my Celebrities’ Unique Names list which now total 459.

Women Working during World War II

June 26th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet
These four female pilots leaving their ship at the four engine school at Lockbourne are members of a group of WASPS who have been trained to ferry the B-17 Flying Fortresses. (U.S. Air Force photo)

These four female pilots leaving their ship at the four engine school at Lockbourne are members of a group of WASPS who have been trained to ferry the B-17 Flying Fortresses. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Although this is a topic for articles and books, I’ll try my best to sum it up in a blog. Recently I read an article in Smithsonian Magazine about the Verona Project, a counterintelligence project during WWII, that was started by women and where 90% of the code-breakers during the war were women.

Nearly 350,000 American women served in uniform during WWII, both at home and abroad, volunteering for the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs, later renamed the Women’s Army Corps), the Navy Women’s Reserve (WAVES), the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (SPARS), the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS), the Army Nurses Corps, and the Navy Nurse Corps. General Eisenhower acknowledged the vital role of the women in uniform. Women in uniform took office and clerical jobs in the armed forces in order to free men to fight. They also drove trucks, repaired airplanes, worked as laboratory technicians, rigged parachutes, served as radio operators, analyzed photographs, flew military aircraft across the country, test-flew newly repaired planes, and even trained anti-aircraft artillery gunners by acting as flying targets

Both the Army and the American public initially had difficulty accepting the concept of women in uniform. Although they were non-combat positions, many were commissioned officers were sent to specialized schools for training in communications, supply, the Japanese language, meteorology, and engineering

Five million women entered the workforce between 1940-1945. More well-known were the women who worked in factories where men had previously worked. Rosie the riveter became an icon representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards. As an aside, Rosie’s counterpart in Great Britain were the female forestry workers, known as  lumberjills.

Many other opportunities opened up such as chemists and engineers developing weapons for the war. This included thousands of women who were recruited to work on the Manhattan Project, developing the atomic bomb.

After the war, it was over for most working women. Social commentators worried that when men returned from military service there would be no jobs available for them, and admonished women to return to their “rightful place” in the home as soon as victory was at hand. Although as many as 75% of women reported that they wanted to continue working after World War II, women were laid off  (fired) in large numbers at the end of the war. Women lost footing in the work place so men could resume their roles there. Many of the women did “retired” into housewives and mothers. It would take decades to make up for lost ground.




Luke Perry

March 26th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

2019 3-4-2019 Luke Perry


I took an interest in Luke Perry’s life and death. He died on March 4, 2019 of a massive stroke at the age of 52. The reason for this interest was that my father also died suddenly of a massive stroke at the age of 48. One of his daughters is 18, the same age as I was in 1970 when my father died. I must admit that I was only slightly familiar with Luke’s life and his work, so naturally I “Googled” him. I am impressed that he had auditioned for 256 acting jobs before receiving his first acceptance. That’s the definition of perseverance. Rest in peace.


March 26th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet


Scandals fascinate and dishearten me. Recently there has been a plethora of them. Leaving Neverland aired on January 25 and 26 on HBO about Michael Jackson’s sexual abuse of young boys, Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack on Jan, 29, 2019 (charges were dropped March 26, 2019) and United States federal prosecutors disclosed Operation Varsity Blues, the college admissions cheating scandal on March 12, 2019. These in addition to the Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby shocking and despicable actions of the past few years cause me outrage. Why, why, why and can we learn anything from them? I wish there would be some answers.



More Effects of Cell Phones #3

March 26th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Yesterday I was meeting friends for lunch. I realized I was going to be a few minutes late and I texted so. This is acceptable behavior. It’s not right but it’s very common. Before cell phones entered our lives,  I would not have been tardy. I would have left extra early to be there on time. Just another subtle effect of having cell phones.


I’m So Ordinary

March 12th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I like to think of myself as unique. However, after reading Lisa Haney’s article in the AARP Magazine February/March 2019 edition entitled “They Won’t Kill You But They Sure Make You Miserable,” I feel so typical. She writes about 8 conditions that are not “medical calamities” but cause a lot of pain. Four of these conditions I can attest to: urinary tract infections, kidney stones, migraine headaches and intense shoulder pain. The others, so far I’ve been spared, are shingles, benign prostatic hyperplasia – not going to happen, gout and fibromyalgia. Like I’ve said before, getting older sucks.


More Effects of Cell Phones #2

March 12th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

This week I was at a local racino which is a combination of a racetrack and a casino.  All of a sudden the PA system came on and made the following announcement, “Will ‘John Smith’ come to the front of the casino? Your party is waiting for you.” I was thinking that I haven’t heard this type of broadcast in years. And of course the answer is obvious – it’s the cell phone. When we can’t find each other, we just use our phone to track down each other. Another cultural thing made obsolete by new technology.

More Effects of Cell Phone #1

February 28th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

This year is the 20th anniversary of my owning a cell phone. To say it changed my life and countless others is an understatement. It’s revolutionary. The cell phone, the personal computer and the Internet are, in my estimation, the great inventions ever. Well maybe, electricity. The big ways are obvious but I was thinking about more obscure small ways.  Today I read that there were 6227 pedestrian fatalities in 2018 which is an increase of 250 over 2017. It has increased 41% since 2008. Wow! People looking at their cell phones and not the traffic had a great impact on this devastating reality.Image result for cell phone photo

I Updated Two Lists under the Projects Menu

February 12th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I added two more libraries to the New York City Library list which now totals 16.


And I also updated my Celebrities Unique Names list which now totals 459.


Getting Older Sucks

October 18th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I am getting older and it sucks. I’m 67 and sometimes I feel 80 and other times I feel like I did at 40. I have a number of common physical woes. As a list maker, here they are.


Hair thinning

Face and neck wrinkling

Balance is off

Generalized aches and pains

High cholesterol – on a statin medication

Osteopenia – on medication

Feeling tired – taking vitamins and estrogen

Arthritis in hands


New Problems in the Last Six Months

Cataracts Stage 1

Tooth Abscess requiring incision, drainage and a root canal

Left shoulder rotator cuff tear


And then there is the fear of getting even older.  I’m the oldest physician in my group. I try hard not to be grumpy or depressed about aging.  Also I am trying to keep my brain sharp to ward off dementia.  So as Robert Crumb stated way back in 1968,  I “Keep on truckin.”


Was This the Last Time in my Life that I am Called “ A Young Lady”?

August 30th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

It’s hard to accept aging. I’m now 67 and look at my reflection in the mirror and think, “Who’s that?” In most ways, I feel 402018 Young-Old Ladyish. A month ago I got into a shouting match with a UPS driver who was speeding in my neighborhood. He called me an old lady. That was worse than his offense of speeding. In contrast, today I took a photography course at the Apple Store in my nearby mall. The other person taking the course was a man about 70-75 years of age. He called me a “young lady.” My first thought was doesn’t he realize we’re about the same age? Then my lingering thought is – is this the last time in my life that I will be referred to as such?

Three Identical Strangers Movie

August 7th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Every so often, I see a movie that has an enormous effect on me. Three Identical Strangers is one of those movies. It is about identical triplets who were maliciously and unconscionably separated after birth by an adoption agency involved in an experiment separating identical twins. And then the triplets (their jackpot) came along. It was a research study designed to answer the question of nurture vs. nature. But to deprive these people of a lifelong sibling is horrible. And they did suffer. Filmed as a documentary with some reenactments. Excellent. I was crying during some of the scenes. Very gripping and moving.Three Identical Strangers

Dollar Tree

July 31st, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I am hooked on Dollar Tree. There’s one located about 1.5 miles from my house and I find myself shopping there approximately once every two weeks. To me, it’s like a treasure hunt. Every item is a dollar. Since I enjoy creating lists, below is my Top 10 list of what I find to be Dollar Tree Deals.

1.Hallmark cards

2.Snyder pretzels

3.Mead envelopes

4.Crazy Glue

5. Helium balloons

6. Yardley soap

7. Dermasil lotion

8. Normal saline nose drops

9. Garden stakes


The Americans – A TV Series Like an Old Friend

June 5th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I got hooked on the TV series “The Americans.” The series finale aired on May 30, 2018 after six seasons and I feel like I’ve lost a good friend. It was different from other shows in that the main characters Philip and Elizabeth were married Russian spies living in the US. Since they were groomed for the job from the time they were children, they spoke with no accent. I knew they were the bad guys but the viewers were made to like and sympathize with their situation. The finale was brilliant. No violence which had permeated the series was there. However, a lot of people lost out including Philip and Elizabeth and their children. It was heartbreaking. Yet why was I so vested in a show? It just struck a chord with me and many others. Even The New York Times wrote a weekly recap on many of its shows and the series finale received three long articles analyzing the show and its effect. I feel TV used to unite us. “Everyone” watched Leave it to Beaver, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Fugitive and Dallas to give some examples. Now with so many choices, people aren’t watching the same shows. Less to talk about and to discuss. So much for so many options.

Engaging Website

February 14th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Many years ago I used to surf the web looking for interesting websites. In late 1994, I found the White House website and thought that it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I remember showing it to the medical students and residents that I worked with and they were equally enthralled. Fast forward 24 years and the websites come to you by email. The sheer number of website is astounding. The following is from Wikipedia “After reaching 1 billion websites in September 2014, a milestone confirmed by NetCraft in its October 2014 Web Server Survey and that Internet Live Stats was the first to announce—as attested by this tweet from the inventor of the World Wide Web himself, Tim Berners-Lee—the number of websites in the world has subsequently declined, reverting to a level below 1 billion. This is due to the monthly fluctuations in the count of inactive websites. The number of websites again grew to over 1 billion in March 2016, and has continued growing since.”

 One of my favorites is which is all about curious and wondrous travel focusing on the unusual and the obscure. It’s a mix of  historic and modern times. I check its atlas of New York City before each of my visits there. The guide features “hidden” New York which outlines 281 cool and unusual things to do in the city. Check it out.

Atlas Obscura

My Hospital’s 100th Anniversary

February 10th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

My hospital, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, was founded by Dr. James Jackson in 1918. There are so few institutions (and people) that are 100 or more years old. When it opened, Jackson Memorial Hospital had 13 beds and a few employees. Today it has 2100 beds and 12,000 full-time employees. Its vision has always remained the same; providing quality care to all those in need. Now with any big institution there are problems. I actually enjoy ragging about Jackson. We’re overworked, it’s overcrowded and the food is lousy. After my husband’s life was saved there in 2008, I kept a lid on the kvetching for a while. And we were in a position to donate to the hospital, so I became an active board member of the Jackson Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital. Below is a photo of my husband, my daughter, Keith Tribble, the CEO of the Foundation and me at the hospital’s 100th anniversary gala. I was in a whimsical mood that night wearing a headband with the numbers “100” rising from it.

1-20-2018 JMH 100th Anniversary Gala

Beloit College Mindset Lists

January 12th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet


The Mindset Lists  are written by Ron Nief, Public Affairs Director Emeritus, Tom McBride, Professor of English and Keefer Professor of Humanities, both at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. It originated in 1997. It is a list of what incoming freshmen of the year know and don’t know. Examples from the Mindset List of the Class of 2021 include the following:

#2  They are the last class to be born in the 1900s, the last of the Millennials —  enter

next year, on cue, Generation Z! 

#3  They are the first generation for whom a “phone” has been primarily a video game,

direction finder, electronic telegraph, and research library.

#59 Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton’s aging husband.

The previous Mindset Lists are available on the website. They are a reminder to me of how

fast the world is changing.

Numbers Don’t Lie – Patterns Teach

January 9th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I thought I posted all the time especially the year (2013) my book was published. Sort of  true. I did post a lot relative to the subsequent years. Below is a summary of 2013-17

Summary of blogposts on


2013         69 posts

2014           8 posts

2015           6 posts

2016           8 posts

2017           8 posts

Numbers tell all. The first year I wrote 69 posts which is only 1.33 posts/week.  It was all downhill from there. This year I will try for two posts a week.






New Year’s Resolutions from 2017 – Not Kept

January 4th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

5-2-2017 MB Shirley at Upland

This is what I wrote in January, 2017. “I’m going to try to be realistic and make only two resolutions. The first is that I am going to starting blogging again and the second is to lose at least five pounds.  I tell myself to keep on truckin’. Time with tell.” Well, I didn’t achieve either.  I am a broken clock. I only posted 8 blogs for the year and I didn’t lose any weight.  My new New Year’s resolutions for 2018 – the same. Hopefully, this year I’ll be more successful.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

December 22nd, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet


I just started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel a new series on Amazon Prime. It’s a comedy drama set in the late 1950’s about a Jewish housewife in New York City who has it all – a husband, two children and a fabulous apartment on the Upper West Side. It all comes crashing down one day when her husband leaves her for his secretary. Mrs. Maisel then inadvertently discovers that she has a hidden talent of being a standup comedian which her ex-husband aspired to be himself. It’s heartwarming and funny. On watching the first episode, I thought this is as good as any Broadway show.

Self-Driving Cars

December 8th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

When I first heard about self-driving cars a few years ago, I thought, “What do we need this for?”  However, I’ve made a 180 degree turn on this concept. With so many of us baby boomers having medical problems and physical limitations like poor vision, arthritis, poor circulation and slower brains, our diving ability can be compromised. Besides doing the physical and mental work of driving, another positive is the computer that is driving the car will not become distracted  i.e. drugs, alcohol, phone calls, talking and texting. More than 80% of car accidents are caused by human error, so theoretically self-driving cars will be safer. On the downside, it is new technology and there will be a learning curve. And of course, computers can occasionally fail. To me, the need is real and I say, “Bring them on!”

Museum of Failure

December 4th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I read a lot of journals and magazines. Among the best ones I receive is Smithsonian published by the Smithsonian Institute. In the December 2017 issue, they report on the new Los Angles Museum of Failure. Besides having a soft spot for the name, the article highlights inventions and ideas that bombed. Who can’t relate to that? Also in the issue is a feature on John Legend, an account of  the worst journey in the world about Apsley Cherry-Garrad’s 1911 ill-fated expedition to Antarctica and a article on Julia, Sesame Street’s newest character who has autism.

Our Oldest Presidents

September 3rd, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I was thinking about who have been our oldest presidents. It turns out it was Gerald Ford who died at 93 years and 165 days. Next was Ronald Reagan  at 93 yrs. and 120 days. George H. W. Bush is third and as of today Sept. 2, 2017, he is 93 yrs. and 82 days old. Only 38 days to go to tie with Reagan and 84 days to go to beat Ford.


July 14th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Since my 66th birthday last month, I am on a mission to de-clutter my life. I started with my closet which not only contains my clothes and accessories but also gifts, books, my children’s old clothes and a lot more. After I was finished, I would estimate that approximately 40% was donated to Goodwill. Not only can I now clearly see every item, I have an overall feeling of satisfaction. Next project???

Keeping Lottery Winners Anonymous

April 26th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

In some states, lottery winners can be remain anonymous. The Texas House of Representatives has as of April 24, 2017 tentatively approved a new bill that would protect the identity of lottery winners whose jackpots are over one million dollars. Six states – Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina allow winners to remain anonymous. There are two sides to this issue. One is that the public deserves to know where and to whom their money is being spent which could reduce transparency and decrease ticket sales. The other is that lottery winners are in jeopardy when their identities are known. They can be under social media scrutiny, unwanted attention and target of criminals. I feel that lottery winners should be protected.

Book Talk #18

February 18th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I was delighted to give a talk about my book “Pressing My Luck” last week. I hadn’t been invited to speak for over a year. Interest in my book peaked in the first year and a half after it was published in June, 2013. I sold a total of 1254 books (print and Kindle) of which 84% were sold in the first seven months. This is what I expected. So to have interest in it three and a half years later was a pleasant surprise.

Book Talk # 18 with my friend Gail Wigetman Rice

Book Talk # 18 with my friend Gail Wigetman Rice who introduced me.


New Year’s Resolutions

January 6th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I’m going to try to be realistic and make only two resolutions. The first is that I am going to starting blogging again and the second is to lose at least five pounds.  I tell myself to “keep on truckin’.” Time with tell.


April 22nd, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I realized that I had not included Prince in my list of celebrities with unique names. I don’t know how I missed such an amazing artist. The updated list can be found under Projects and then scroll down to the Unique Celebrity Names list. It now includes 402 names. Sometimes I feel it a Sisyphean task to keep it current.

The Gift of the Roommate

March 21st, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet


This is a short story I wrote that my friend Dr. Eva Ritvo posted on her new website It is about the kindness of a stranger that came to my son’s rescue when he was about to bolt from entering rehab.

Silhouette of helping hand of a friend.

Silhouette of helping hand of a friend.

New TV Show: A Mix of History and Entertainment

March 18th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

images.jpg CraIG

Every once in awhile a new TV show comes along and is so unique that I must comment on it. “Join or Die with Craig Ferguson” is one of these shows. It airs on Thursday nights on the History Channel. It is a hybrid of history and entertainment. One topic is chosen each week such as history’s worst medical advice or history’s worst political blunders. Then the panel made up of a professor, a comedian and an actor discusses six examples of the topic. At the end the panel of “experts” along with the audience picks the winner. By the way the show’s name comes from a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin. Witty, funny and fast paced.




March 8th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Change is good I tell myself. So while my first website launched in January, 2013 was fine, I felt it needed a face lift. My new website is now more streamlined and easier to read mainly because there is less to read. Why? I, along with many others, have noticed that attention spans are declining. I think of Moore’s Law which, in a simplified version, states that overall processing power for computers doubles every two years. In homage to Dr. Moore, my law states that attention span halves every two years. So for me, less is more. My plans are to add a new blog post once a week. So check back when you can. And I hope you enjoy my new website. Thanks for your support.



Book Talk #17 – Fundraising for Brandeis University

November 25th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

On November 18, 2015 I gave my 17th book talk to the Brandeis National Committee. It was a luncheon hosted in Miami, FL with 80 people in attendance. I was delighted to learn that they raised a generous amount of funds to support Brandeis University – my alma mater.
2015 11-18 Book Talk #17 Brandeis National Committee

Still Giving Book Talks

November 17th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

On November 3, 2015 I spoke at the Aventura Senior Chabad Center. The group was very enthusiastic which I appreciated.

2015 11-3 Book Talk #16 Aventura Chabad Devorah Smith

Second Anniversary of the Publication of my Book

June 19th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Today is the second anniversary of the publication of my book Pressing My Luck. I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this journey. Sales have naturally wound down however I am still giving book talks when I can.

First Family Vacation Trip in 13 Years

April 21st, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

For the first time in 13 years, all four of us as a family went on vacation to the Virgin Islands. We explored St. Thomas, St John and the Virgin Gorda. It was wonderful that our son could join us.

3-27-2015 St. Thomas Four of Us

Al Franken is Right

March 19th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

In 2004 Al Franken wrote in his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, “no matter how dire the world situation is and the crises we face, people are always interested in lottery winners.” He was so right. It’s been 13 years and people are still interested in my story and all the details of how I won.

To my surprise I’m still be asked to give book talks. Yesterday I spoke at the Jewish Community Center in Aventura, FL. Unbeknownst to me the woman who introduced me was Miss Emily a preschool teacher of my children in the 1980s.

Book Sales

February 6th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 2 comments

I am happy to announce that my book “Pressing My Luck” has sold 1200 copies.2015 1-14 Book Talk #11 Broward Public Library Foundation

One Year Anniversary of the Publication of My Book “Pressing My Luck”

June 20th, 2014 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

On June 20, 2013 my book “Pressing My Luck” was published. It is a memoir of my pre and post lottery life. Total sales – 1160 copies. And it has been a very busy year. I spent as many years writing the book as I did in medical school. What I didn’t know was that the promotion of the book is as hard as the writing. I was interviewed on the Katie Couric Show, JLTV and the Elaine Viets’ Radio Show. I gave talks at book clubs, Hadassah groups, libraries and synagogues. I posted on Facebook, blogged on my website, youtubed at, tweeted on Twitter, and linked up on LinkedIn. I was written up in the Miami Herald, the Brandeis Magazine and the Drexel University Medical School Alumni Bulletin. I also wrote a piece for the Brandeis Alumni Magazine. In addition, last November I had a booth at the Miami International Book Fair. There’s more but that’s enough for now. I thank everyone for your support. Pressing My Luck Shirley Press

Broward Main Library Talk

April 10th, 2014 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at the Main Library in Broward County, Florida. They are celebrating “Money Smart Week.” I talked in general about smart money management and also about my book “Pressing My Luck.” The audience was enthusiastic and wonderful.002_photo3

Update on my Book

January 30th, 2014 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

Sales for my book “Pressing My Luck” have slowed down to a crawl which can be expected after seven months. Just when I thought things for the book were over, I was asked to speak at three new venues – another book club, a Hadassah chapter meeting and the Broward County Public Library. Keeps me going.

Shirley Press on YouTube

December 20th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Good morning! I have a new video on YouTube where I briefly talk about my book Pressing My Luck. Check it out here.


Book Sales

November 26th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I sold my 1000th copy of “Pressing My Luck” at the book fair this past weekend. Now I’m up to 1002. Thanks everyone for your support.

Pressing My Luck by Shirley Press MD front cover

Book Review by Anne Holmes

November 16th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Just when I was feeling down about my book and the falling sales, I received a wonderful book review by Anne Holmes on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women’s (NABBW) website. Here is the link – She captured the essence of my work.

Self-Publishing – Part 3

November 13th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

This is when the reality of self-publishing sinks in. Although I’ve sold over 900 copies of my book “Pressing My Luck,” the rate of sales is slowing down. Well that is a euphemism for what is actually happening. It seems to be coming to a halt. I do not have an agent, publishing house or publicist behind me. My agent dropped me because he could not sell my book to a major publisher. Hiring a publicist seems unrealistic for a $7.99 book. So it is me alone. I’ve done my best which I am proud of. I have six more events coming up – Books & Books of Coral Gables, FL will carry my book, I will have a booth at the Miami International Book Fair on Nov. 23 in the writers’ row section, two more talks are scheduled, a few more Facebook ads and I’ve written an essay on how the lottery changed my life for Brandeis Magazine which will appear in Jan. 2014. I’m thinking of a YouTube video. Will keep you posted.

Thoughts on Self-Publishing – Part 2

October 8th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

As I mentioned in my prior post, being booked as a guest on the Katie Couric Show provided the impetus to finalize the book for publication in time for the show’s airing – a few weeks away. At the time that I was booked as a guest, my book was undergoing final revisions for submission to Create Space editors. I contacted the editors immediately and was dismayed to find out that Create Space’s turnaround time for editing my book was a month. That was a deal breaker for me and I had to resort to my own resources. Reminiscent of my days as an intern, I stayed up until 4 AM for four days in a row rewriting/editing not to mention numerous days proofreading the final version of the book and then having it proofread by a third party. While that was going on and for the week following, my book cover designer/self-publishing consultant designed and finalized the book cover spread, formatted the print and ebook versions (kindle & epub) and dealt with book submission administration. We had countless progress meetings and other administrative tasks that included creating a publishing company (the recommended option for self-publishing authors) and submitting a copyrighted version to the Library of Congress. On the web end, my web consultant updated my website and create a new website for my publishing company My website updates were particularly important given that Katie’s staff agreed to provide a link to my site and display a graphic of my book cover during the show.

In retrospect, my book’s publication amounted to four years of working erratically and 10 days of intense focus. The deadline made all the difference. I was exhausted in the end but very content. My deadline was met and I had accomplished my goal.

Thoughts on Self-Publishing – Part 1

October 4th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

People are constantly asking me what its like to self-publish. In one word: hard. At least for me, a not so tech-savvy baby boomer, it was. I literally rewrote the book twice with numerous chapter revisions in order to arrive at the final printed version. Writers, editors and a self-publishing consultant were hired to assist me with the rewriting, editing and the digital processing required for self-publishing a book. As for timeframe… My publishing deadline was constantly being pushed back until The Katie Couric Show asked me to be a guest. Who could ask for a better opportunity to announce my book on television? At that point, I decided to go into overdrive and have the book published in time for the show’s airing. The weeks prior to the show were grueling but I met my deadline. The hard work definitely paid off.

A Fellow Uninvited Visitor to Paul McCartney’s Home…What Are the Chances?

September 25th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

When my cousin Susan Kalish was reading my book and in particular the story about surreptitiously entering Paul McCartney’s house in London, she was struck by the fact that she had heard this story before. As it turns out, her friend Barbara Schettini-Barton also broke into Paul’s house when she was a teenager living in London. Susan made the connection between Barbara and I. We spent a half hour talking about our common experience of uninvitedly entering Paul McCartney’s house. In Barbara’s case, the situation took an unexpected turn. After she entered Paul McCartney’s home, he arrived at the house. He asked her and her friends what they were doing there. Quickly thinking on her feet, Barbara replied that they were “cleaning your house for you.” Paul then proceeded to invite the girls to hang out and cook dinner for him. Barbara and her friends complied and became lifelong friends with Paul. A rather remarkable coincidence in my opinion.

Paul McCartney - Shirley Press

Paul McCartney - Shirley Press

Getting the word out.

July 18th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I naively thought that writing and publishing my book, Pressing My Luck, would be the hardest part of the journey. As it turns out, promoting the book is just as involved if not more. The appearance on the Katie Couric Show was a lucky break and I have lots of gratitude for the opportunity. However, now I’m back to the challenging task of getting the word out on my own. As you probably know, I never shy away from a challenge and already have a few things in the works. Will keep you posted, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, check out my book (if you haven’t already done so) on iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Katie Couric Show – July 1, 2013

July 3rd, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I’m winding down from my premiere on The Katie Couric Show. It was an invigorating experience and I’m very pleased with how it came out. Lots of positive reviews! Thank you. Now back to the grind of promoting my book Pressing My Luck.

KATIE - Lottery winners talk about how their lives have changed, on KATIE, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Disney-ABC/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua) KATIE COURIC, SHIRLEY PRESS

KATIE – Lottery winners talk about how their lives have changed, on KATIE, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Disney-ABC/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua) KATIE COURIC, SHIRLEY PRESS

AOL Entertainment feature Shirley Press on Katie Couric Show

July 2nd, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

To my surprise, AOL Entertainment has a video feature on my Katie Couric Show interview. Watch it HERE.

AOL Entertainment feature video of Shirley Press interview on Katie Couric Show

Also, for those that missed my interview on the Katie Couric Show yesterday, a video snippet is available
HERE on Katie Couric’s website.

Shirley Press July 1 interview video on Katie Couric website

A Reminder – Shirley Press on Katie Couric Show tomorrow July 1st on ABC at 3pm

June 30th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 4 comments

I’m excited (and a little nervous) to see tomorrow’s airing (3pm on ABC) of the Katie Couric show. As I mentioned in a prior post, I was flown out to NYC a few weeks ago as a guest on the Katie Couric show. The episode (Life After Lottery) spotlights lottery winners and how they fared after their lottery win. Here’s a link to Monday’s episode page on Katie Couric’s website.

If you watch the episode, let me know what you think. Share your thoughts and leave a comment.

This photo was snapped on set with my iPhone.

Shirley Press on the Katie Couric Show - Pressing My Luck

Paperback version of PRESSING MY LUCK is NOW AVAILABLE

June 24th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

My memoir, Pressing My Luck, is now available in paperback format, in addition to Kindle version. It can be purchased at Amazon (click here). Clicking on the image also will also redirect you to Amazon. The ePub version of Pressing My Luck will be available next week at iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

Pressing My Luck A Doctor's Lottery Journey by Shirley Press MD


June 21st, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

It’s been a grueling few weeks finalizing the publication of my memoir, Pressing My Luck. With that said, I’m happy to announce that it is finally published! It can be purchased in kindle format on Amazon – click HERE for Kindle edition. The eBook and softcover versions are forthcoming and will be available next week. Stay tuned.

Pressing My Luck by Shirley Press

Undeserved and Dangerous Publicity

May 9th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

The amount written about the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon murderers, seems to be unprecedented. And now I’m even writing about the writing about them. I think that all the media publicity about them is dangerous in that it may encourage others on the fringe to act out their evil fantasies. The victims who deserved to be recognized for their fortitude and struggles are being eclipsed.

Thoughts on Investment Advice

April 22nd, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Many people asked me how to invest money or how I invest my winnings. Given the unpredictable nature of investments, I feel giving specific advice is irresponsible. I want to help people but would feel badly if I told someone to invest in something and then it went “south.” Generally speaking though, one thing I do buy for myself is municipal bonds. The income is tax free. Municipals on average pay less than regular corporate bonds but more than a money market. They are pretty safe and conservative. Regardless if you do find yourself with a windfall, I strongly advise obtaining professional financial advice.

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind

April 22nd, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

I am pleased to announce that I have been selected to serve as a board member of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. This organization provides services for the blind and visually impaired. Their website is

Lottery News – Foreign Lottery Scam

April 16th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

I was glad to receive this postcard in the mail. The AARP is warning people about foreign lottery scams where you’re requested to mail or wire money to cover taxes and fees related to claiming prize. Emails or phone calls of this nature should be avoided and/or deleted. Do not respond to these solicitations. Please pass this on to friends and family.

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Pressing My Luck: Get Back

March 20th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 4 comments

Here is another excerpt from my soon-to-be published book Pressing My Luck.

Fifty years before I ever heard of Quick Pick tickets or instant jackpots, I was born in Camden, N.J., the first child of Gershon and Leah Press.
I arrived at 8:42 p.m. on June 2, 1951. There is nothing remarkable about a 6 pounds, 14 ounce baby girl, except that my very existence was a kind of miracle.

My mother had survived Auschwitz, my father, Dachau. They met after both of them came separately to America. They married in 1948. They had defied the odds and now had the never-easy job of raising a child. The next chapter describes a detailed account of their lives.

They rarely spoke of the Holocaust and chose not to burden my sister Barbara, born two-and-a-half years later, and me with the past. They reserved speaking Yiddish, their native language, for private times, of which there were few. At the time, it all seemed so normal. Yet we instinctively understood the precious legacy of survivor children. My parents’ priority was to bring up two assimilated girls in a free land and make a living the American way, yet never forgetting their Jewish heritage. It wasn’t easy.

My dad worked in the grocery store of his Aunt Rose and Uncle Morris Dworkin, who sponsored his immigration to the United States after the war. Aunt Rose was my father’s mother’s sister.My dad was a gentle, even-tempered soul. He always helped people. When he was in a position to do so, he would extend store credit to deserving customers. He would keep each family’s tally on little pieces of white paper. He created an idiosyncratic way of filing these slips, storing them alphabetically on a series of six nails hammered into the wall in the store’s backroom. At the end of each week, customers would come in and pay their tab. I remember him best in his white apron. He had a heavy accent. In addition, until the day he died, he had a full head of brown hair without a speck of gray. I inherited that trait from him. To this day, I have yet to see my first gray hair.

On only a grocer’s salary, we could barely afford our first home, a tiny two-bedroom one-bath brick row house at 1494 Kenwood Avenue in Camden’s Parkside section of town. They paid $8,000 for the house, which was on a typical city block. There was a small grocery store — not ours — on the corner, and a nearby synagogue.

It was a five-block walk to school. We knew many of our neighbors. Two blocks away lived our older cousins, Andrea, who we called Andy, and Mark Dworkin. Andrea grew up to find fame as a writer and feminist. However, as kids, it was Mark we sought out. We spent countless hours entertained by his bottle cap and baseball card collections. In the summer, we would also play in the Dworkins’ inflatable swimming pool while our mothers would talk. I remember Andrea playing the piano, always reading, and talking with the adults. Later in life, we became close.

We always had enough to eat. My mother was a master at transforming hamburger into a variety of different dishes. She was also obsessed with eggs and thought giving us an egg a day would safeguard our health. Her original invention was to wait until she thought we weren’t looking and quietly stir a raw egg into our Bosco Chocolate Syrup flavored milk. We weren’t fooled, but dutifully drank the concoction to make her happy.

It was understood that I would wear hand-me-down clothes from cousins, and when I outgrew them, the cycle would continue with my younger sister. Afterwards, my mother would ship the clothes to our relatives in Israel for another rotation. We lived without air conditioning. The walls in our house were so thin that we were able to play knocking games from our respective bathtubs with our next-door neighbors, Keiran and Trevor Lynch.

My parents could not afford to buy a small black and white television set until 1956, and they purchased their first car, a green Ford Fairlane, in 1961, the year I turned 10. I had no expensive toys but will never forget Susan Serock’s fancy dollhouse in her backyard across the street. Yet, tea parties at the dollhouse were far from my favorite pastime. There were no Barbies on my Hanukkah list. I preferred toys made of rocks, wood or rope for outdoor games like stickball, hopscotch and double-Dutch jump rope or playing in groups of kids that formed spontaneously. We’d play in an alley behind our house. I was generally accompanied by Barbara, a brown-eyed, brown-haired cutie, who I had to drag with me pretty much everywhere. We shared a room and I still remember our matching plaid quilts. I never thought about whether we were rich or poor until Linda Hill, the only African-American girl on our block enlightened me. “Look at the houses on the television and then look at ours,” she said.

The early years were good years, despite money woes. Our neighbor, Jim Serchia, became quite popular for his weekly nickel-and-dime giveaways. He was the original Alex Trebek of Kenwood Avenue, always asking the kids on the block questions about current affairs and rewarding us for right answers. We still keep in touch with “Uncle” Jim; in recent years he has become a close friend to my mother. It was typical of the ’50s that we knew all our neighbors and rarely locked our doors. The only theft I was aware of was when someone stole my bicycle. It was later found up in the branches of an old oak tree. This was the extent of crime on Kenwood Avenue.

We were able to walk without fear each morning to Parkside School. Students were required to go home for lunch. While the other girls went home, I had to eat in the luncheonette section of the local five-and-ten cent store where my mother worked as a sales clerk. She was the only mother I knew who worked outside the home. The little money she made helped to make ends meet. My mother later arranged for Barb and me to eat at my classmate Ina Sirisky’s house. I still keep in touch with her and other friends from the old neighborhood.

Check Your Lottery Ticket Results Yourself.

March 20th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

A word of advice. Check your own lottery ticket results. Below is an article about how a store clerk told a “customer” (really a police officer) that his ticket was a loser when in fact it was worth $1000. The clerk kept it for himself and then cashed it in the next day. This practice has also been reported on NBC and ABC investigative news. The results for lotteries can be found on-line, in newspapers and in the stores selling lottery tickets. Beware of scams.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of my memoir “Pressing My Luck”

March 5th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 7 comments

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of my forthcoming book “Pressing My Luck”. Enjoy!

Chapter 1
Ticket to Ride

As a doctor I’m well aware that the unexpected doesn’t come pre-announced. A person doesn’t wake up in the morning thinking, I’m going to wind up in the emergency room today or I’m going to have a car sideswipe me as I cross the street at lunchtime. As it turns out, the same thing is true when good fortune pulls up a seat at your dinner table. Even moments before it happens, everything seems relatively the same as it has always been.

I was aware that there would be a drawing on the night of September 5, 2001 for what was at that point the largest lottery jackpot in Florida’s history. I fully intended to buy a few tickets that day, as I did nearly every week, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fit it in. I’d worked a short shift in the ER that morning, and I had to take a makeup mandatory course on blood-borne pathogens right after that, and then race back to my office to deal with the mountain of paperwork that had been collecting all day. I had already missed the first scheduled class, because my daughter, Sarah, was swimming in the regional U.S. Maccabi Games.

Since I was the director of a pediatric emergency department, many people thought I did nothing but attend meetings from nine to five, but the endlessly growing pile of documents to review, messages to read, and calls to return attested to something very different. In addition, I needed immediate documentation of my attendance so I had to take extra time after the class was over to get that from the lecturer. I really didn’t have a spot in my schedule to buy lottery tickets, but, since I played the lottery so often, it seemed ludicrous for me not to participate in such an enormous jackpot.

The sprawling Jackson Memorial Hospital complex included an arcade with a variety of shops, including a gift shop that sold the tickets. I ducked in on my way back from the lecture and sighed heavily when I saw a line of around ten people ahead of me, all waiting for the single cashier to help them out. This gift shop was never crowded, even when the hospital was very busy. It became immediately apparent that the huge lottery drawing was the reason everyone was queued up here today.

“I’m gonna get myself a gigantic house when I win,” said one woman to another while they waited.

“I’m gonna have steak every night,” the other replied dreamily.
The man in front of them turned in their direction. “I have my eyes on a Maserati. A black one with lots of chrome.”

They all grinned and continued to expand on their fantasies. I could tell from their ID tags that they were workers at the hospital. A part of me wanted to join in on their musing, but I didn’t. I was wearing a lab coat and was obviously a doctor, and they probably figured I didn’t belong on the line in the first place. Most people, even those who work closely with them, are under the impression that all doctors are wealthy. Even though that’s far from true, I felt a little bit out of place.

“I’m gonna get my kids back,” said the woman directly in front of me. Everyone turned in her direction. She told the group that she’d lost her six children due to neglect, but that once she hit it big on the lottery, the family would be together again. That sounded better to me than throwing a few hundred thousand after a car, though the mention of neglect made me wonder if any amount of money could make that family whole.

I didn’t consider what I would do with all the cash. Since I’d never won anything in my life, and the odds of winning tonight’s drawing were one-in-twenty-million, I assumed my losing streak would continue. I just liked to play. What I did think about was everything I had to do when I got back to my office, along with wondering about crises that might have emerged in my absence. The woman behind the counter was doing the best she could, but she seemed to be moving very slowly. Twice while I was waiting, I considered getting out of the line, but I stood my ground. Once I got close enough to see that the store had York Peppermint Patties in stock today – they’re my favorite candy – my resolve strengthened.

When it was finally my turn, I put a Peppermint Patty on the counter and asked for six Quick Pick tickets. I’d read somewhere that more people won the lottery by having the computer randomly spit out numbers than by choosing their own, so I always played this way. I stuck the ticket with my six sets of numbers in my lab coat pocket, opened the candy wrapper, and headed back up to work.

As anticipated there was a tremendous amount for me to attend to when I got back to my office. I soon forgot about the tickets and the drawing that was coming that night, as I dealt with a full day’s worth of administrative duties in the few hours I had left that afternoon. When I wasn’t in a meeting, I had the phone glued to my ear while I plowed through paperwork.

When I got home, a different swirl of activity awaited me. A quick family dinner. Coaxing my teenaged kids through their homework. Relaxing in front of the television for a while. Taking care of a few household chores. At some point, the drawing for the largest lottery jackpot in Florida history happened, but it was the furthest thing from my mind.

It would not stay far from my mind the next morning, though. “Dr. Press, did you hear that someone from Jackson won the lottery?” a nurse said to me as I walked into the clean utility room.

“Wow,” I said, my eyes widening. “Who is it?”

“No one knows. The winner hasn’t come forward yet. All we know is that the winning ticket came from the gift shop.”

I wondered if it could have been one of my line-mates. Maybe it was the woman with the six kids. I continued to assume it wasn’t me, because I didn’t have that kind of luck. In fact, though I’d been playing the Florida lottery for as long as I could remember, I’d never had a winning of more than nine dollars.

Updating My Website

February 13th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

I have been working all day on updating my website mainly the “Projects” and “Lists” menu posts. Here I am working outside in one of my Anthropologie shirts.

Flashback Friday – 8 years young

February 8th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

This picture brings back nice memories of my 8th birthday. It was taken in the backyard of my Kentwood Ave. residence back in 1959.
Shirley Press - 8th birthday

A Lesson From Medical School

February 6th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 2 comments

On January 31, the New York Times Well blog published my comment on an article written by Dr. Sekeres titled “A Doctor’s Struggle With Numbers”. My comment is actually an excerpt from my memoir, Pressing My Luck. In the comment, I recall an incident that took place in 1976 when I was a medical student at Hahnemann School of Medicine (now Drexel School of Medicine) in Philadelphia. It was my first lesson in estimating a patient’s mortality. I was assigned to take care of a cancer-stricken female patient who had been hospitalized for months. During my round, her husband asked me how long his wife had left to live. In my naiveté, I unhesitatingly answered that she had three to four days left. The man responded that I was the only “doctor” with the guts to provide a straightforward prediction. Just then, I realized I was in over my head. I immediately attempted to retract my comment under the pretense that I was medical student lacking experience. He didn’t care and actually praised my gumption as it allowed him to better prepare for her imminent death. His wife died a few days later as I had estimated.

Today I would not make such a bold prediction. I agree with Dr. Sekeres that the best approach is to provide a patient with a best estimate range and counsel them on maximizing the quality of their life. You can read my comment on the original blog post HERE.

Medical News – Addressing Obesity

January 30th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

Obesity as the norm in American is of great concern. Over the past 20 years, there has been a steady increase in overweight or obese Americans. From 1994 to 2004, the American College of Cardiology reports that there has been a 150% relative increase in obesity prevalence. As it stands now in the US, two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese. Having worked 31 years as a pediatrician, I have witnessed firsthand the dramatic increase in obesity-related illnesses amongst my patients. A report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine states that annual healthcare costs related to obesity are an estimated $190.2 billon and projected to rise to $549.5 billion by 2030. Besides healthcare related costs, obesity directly affects our nation’s economic productivity with businesses facing billions of dollars in losses from obesity-related absenteeism. Dire statistics, no doubt…

With the future of the nation’s health and productivity at stake, a multi-faceted systematic approach to obesity prevention is necessary. Why multifaceted? The underlying factors of obesity are a complex web which extends to the societal level and hence must be addressed from a public health perspective. Here are a few non-genetic factors contributing to obesity: not enough or lack of physical activity, unhealthy diets (e.g. high fructose, high gluten, processed foods, etc.), marketing of toxic food sources such has junk food and a need for proactive education of public on health/nutrition.

Fortunately, efforts are being made to tackle this issue. Last May 2012, the IOM (Institute of Medicine) released recommendations on obesity prevention that provides a general framework for tackling the issue. The IOM’s recommendations are:

  • Integrating daily physical activity into lifestyle
  • Having schools be the foundation for providing children with the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices
  • Conscious marketing of nutritionally sound foods and beverages
  • Easy accessibility of healthy foods and beverages e.g. vending machines
  • Motivating employers and health care professionals to reinforce healthy lifestyles

The recommendations outlined above were based on an evaluation of 800 published obesity prevention strategies. Its intent is to provide a framework for setting policy as well as outlining a base infrastructure for supporting healthier lifestyles.

As a physician, I’m a proponent of these recommendations and encourage being proactive in its implementation. I also welcome and will gladly answer any general questions on obesity prevention. Please feel free to share your thoughts as well.

Lottery News – Anonymity of Lottery Winners

January 22nd, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

There has been some discussion among lawmakers in Michigan and New Jersey proposing bills to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. I agree that these measures would help protect the winners from falling prey to scams, shady business deals, greedy people and violence. On the other hand, the general public may become skeptical of the entire process and doubt the existence of the actual winners. As with a lot of things in life, there is a potential risk in winning the lottery. I think the public deserves to know the names of lottery winners. After all, it’s the public’s money funding the lottery.

Flexibility in life

January 19th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Life has a way of constantly presenting challenges. The way we handle those challenges determines our success in overcoming them. Given that, I’m a firm believer in a flexible attitude towards life. I attribute my resilience in bouncing back from temporary setbacks to having a consistently adaptable mindset. For example, I had planned to have my memoir published last year but that did not happen for various reasons – work, family and of course, me. I accepted those challenges, even the smaller ones like procrastination, and moved forward. Last year’s challenges are history and my memoir is now near completion. Mission nearly accomplished.

Hard at work editing my memoir in my favorite Anthropologie top

January 17th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment


Time flies…34th Xmas spent working @ Jackson’s Pediatric ER

January 10th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

2013 12-25-2013  Working Christmas in the Pedi-ER


January 10th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 2 comments

Hello friends! Welcome to my blog! I’m Shirley Press, a mother, writer, physician and lottery winner. Being attentive to life’s details are important to me.

I decided to start blogging as a means of sharing my interests, explorations and spin on the world. Winning the lottery in itself has been a memorable experience which has taught me numerous life lessons…some good and some not so good. Many of which I will be sharing in my blog as well as in my forthcoming memoir, Pressing My Luck. As a matter of fact, I’m excited to announce that my memoir is in the final editing phase and hence near completion. Stay tuned for updates on its progress!

Thank you for taking the time to visit!