Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Burk Bag Tradition

Thank goodness, my mother always clipped from newspapers and magazines and sent the clips to family members. Remember this neighborhood icon that's being torn down? Remember when we were talking about the NYC school system? She'd put the clipping into her latest letter and send it along. When our family got together, she'd hand magazines or something else to each of us girls, in a shopping bag or some such.

That tradition became known as The Burk Bag. And it's lasted well into this generation and the next, with tote bags always being exchanged when one family member visits with another. It happened yesterday when my sis and I exchanged Burk Bags. My nieces bring Burk Bags when they visit and of course leave with Burk Bags as well.

I received lots of books (to read or donate to the local library's fabulous book sale) and some mag and newspaper clippings. Remember Frederik Pohl (I'm a sci-fi fan)? Here's the August 22nd NYT story about his receiving an honorary degree from Brooklyn Tech. Did I know that Brian Boitano has a new cooking show (I'm a skating fan)? Here's a mag clipping about it.

In exchange, my sis got a tiny Burk Bag I filled with two magazines, a book, and a black frog for her new jacket.

We went through some old family letters yesterday and found them filled with clippings too. Apparently my family went for this kind of thing during the 1940s (long before my time) and the spirit of The Burk Bag is alive and well even today. Sometimes the Burk Bags are filled to the brim, sometimes they're pretty slender, but all are reminders of our family's tradition and how we think of each other even when we're miles apart.

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