Mendel Letters 79 — Spider Girl and Soccer Boy

May 28, 2022

Dear Mendel,

Just wanted to give you an update on my grandkids, two of your large horde of great-grandchildren from the Jackson-Singer tribe. Sadia and Gideon are my stepdaughter Heidi’s seventeen-year-old twins and they are graduating from high school this year. Sadia will attend the University of Vermont in Burlington where she plans to study pre-medicine and be a competitive rock-climber. Gideon will go to SUNY-New Paltz where he hopes to play soccer and occasionally attend classes. Gideon and I like doing schoolwork together so I plan to visit him a often. New Paltz is only a two-hour drive from the city. It’s a beautiful town located in an area where we can go hiking and biking.

While Sadia and Gideon are great kids and good students, what I really want to brag about are their athletic accomplishments. Sadia is Spider Girl and Gideon is Soccer Boy, at least those are the nicknames I give them.

We didn’t play soccer in the Bronx when I was growing up, I’m not sure we even knew about the game, so I’ve really learned about it as a Soccer Zayde. Gideon’s club and school teams play locally so I get to go to matches and cheer. This year Gideon was a co-captain of his school team and they won the championship of their high school division. Gideon is a mid-fielder and has great field vision and dribbling technique so he is constantly setting up his teammates to score goals. He is a good scorer himself, but I like that he is unselfish and always looking to spread the ball around.

Sadia just competed in the divisional round of indoor rock-climbing, which is now an Olympic sport (Who knew?). She scored in the top six in the northeast region so she heads to the national finals in Chicago this summer. Nine members of her Williamsburg, Brooklyn team from different age groups also qualified for the finals so they are really celebrating. Sadia and I used to climb trees together in Prospect Park, but I don’t climb trees anymore. As rock-climbing Zayde I get to go to Chicago and watch her scale the walls.

Your son

Hard copies of these typed letters were discovered in an old camp trunk in the basement storage facility of one of the few buildings that remain standing in this Brooklyn neighborhood. The building is quite decrepit and is scheduled for demolition. The letters were found in November 2048 by a teenager who believes they were written by his great-grandfather. The letters are addressed to Mendel, the letter writer’s father, who appears to have been dead for at least six years when his son, whose name we are unsure of, started to write him. The son appears very agitated in some of the letters. With permission from the family, we are publishing them on the date they were written, only 28 years later.

Follow Alan Singer on twitter at https://twitter.com/AlanJSinger1

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