At our graduation ceremony, I traded places with my
friend Marvin Friedenn so that the ruse I had cooked up
to date Judy Mayersohn could continue. Her family were
orthodox Jews and she was forbidden to go out with
gentiles, so I had been dating her all that winter and
spring as Marv.
Judy was a good student and headed for medical school,
very alert and witty about the way the world worked. Her
biting sense of humor counter-balanced any lingering
cynicism I felt about her having been elected Prom
Queen a few days earlier. I knew this wasn’t something
she campaigned for. It happened because she was the
most beautiful girl in the class. She and I were sure we
deserved each other, regardless of orthodox traditions. I
could tell that her mother was suspicious whenever I
picked Judy up, but we had gotten away with it, and the
graduation gave me an opportunity to seal the
arrangement in public and confound those in the know
with what seemed a meaningless prank. The vice
principal, Mr. Leudeke, was startled when I walked to the
stage for Marv's diploma, but he handed it to me without
pause. When my name was called and Marv walked up,
there were some titters in the bleachers.
Photo by Frederick Knoop