Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg!

Thank goodness for email. And FaceTime. And all our social media tools.

Since all of us in Colorado (and many other places) are under orders to stay home, I am so thankful that there are many ways to stay in touch. We need to stay connected now more than ever. That’s why I want to change the language from “social distancing” to physically distant, socially connected. Here’s the hashtag: #physicallydistantsociallyconnected. Let’s stay connected to each other, to our families and friends, and to our work colleagues and neighbors who might need us.

The weight of all this is truly bearing down. I can see fear and sadness in the eyes of those around me. And I hear it in voices over the phone. My aunt is in a long term care facility and it is locked down. No one can go see her. That makes me really sad…

My sister-in-law and cousin, who live seven miles apart, sent a picture this week of them standing on opposite sides of a glass door, touching hands through the glass. It made me laugh out loud at those two goofy women and then made me cry because of what it means. None of us are immune from the impact of the virus.

As crazy as it sounds, all I can hear this week is my mom’s voice calling out, “Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg!” I hope you’ll go online and watch a bit of The Goldbergs. You’ll hear the way it is said — which means everything to me. It became a sing-song call my mom would use when she was looking for me. She told me stories about Molly Goldberg so I would understand why that call meant so much to her.

Molly Goldberg was a fictional character created in 1929 by Gertrude Berg. Berg wrote, directed and played the role of Molly in the long-running radio show, which my mom listened to as a child. The show followed matriarch Molly and her Jewish family, who lived in a tenement in the Bronx and worked to build their own piece of American life. It aired during the Great Depression and through WWII, providing a bright spot during hard times.

The show was about family, community and belonging. Wide sections of America identified with the experiences of the Goldbergs, and LIFE magazine wrote of the millions of Americans who listened in and later watched the television show. Here’s one of my favorite clips, when Molly opens her apartment window and enthusiastically says, “Hello! Hello is such a little word for such a big feeling. I want to say “hello” to you, in all the letters of the alphabet!”

My mom was clearly impacted as a young person, and was drawn to the stories of struggle, connection and the resolve to build a better future. Molly Goldberg provided hope and inclusion.

At Ginger and Baker, we are down to a skeleton crew. We closed our doors to the public on Monday morning, March 16. It was very hard, knowing the consequences to our employees, but we thought it was the right thing to do. Within 48 hours, the state issued a directive closing all restaurants in town. Life has changed.

Some of our employees are working from home. The few that are inside the building are focused. We wash our hands until they are raw. We disinfect every surface – repeatedly. (Even our ink pens are sanitized.) It is our hope to keep as many people employed as we can. To feed as many in the community as we can through our take-out and family meals. To prepare food for as many of our employees as we can. I know we are just one of many places trying to hang on and do what is right.

Thanks to all the healthcare workers, police and fire departments, food service and grocery store staff, and those in transportation and utilities — everyone trying to keep us safe and able to take care of our families.

I hope you are well and working from home. Or figuring out how to homeschool (God bless teachers!). Or learning a new recipe (see our video links below!). Whatever it takes to stay well and remain positive.

To those that are sick, afraid they might be, or who are tending to someone who is sick, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Hang on. I’m listening to Father Ray Kelly right now on Britain’s Got Talent singing “Everybody Hurts,” and asking us to “hold on.” It’s such a powerful message.

So now, I’ll be calling out ”Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg!” Looking for our ‘regulars.’ Checking on friends and neighbors. Knowing that we can get through hard times if we stick together.


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