Friday, November 27, 2009

for Brian

My friend Brian emailed wanting to know the link for the radio show and this blog so I'm going to surprise him by writing a story about his mother and my mother.
Doris Kurzius, like my mother, is impossible to explain to anyone who has not met her. Tthe opportunity to meet both of those wonderful quirky souls has vanished along with their outer form of dust. Let's just go with quirky and leave it at that. Brian's father was non-quirky. He was the total opposite of what that word embodies. Why a quirk and a non-quirk end up together is a mystery but I can think of a lot of couples who fall into that category.
Anyway, after Charlie passed away Doris traveled like a feather taken by the winds and we never knew where or why she landed where she did, but we knew in her heart she was trying in her own pure way to serve humanity and spread the Baha'i Faith.
My equally quirky mother was holding forth in her office in Beacon, N.Y. when the phone rang. My mother did not have a receptionist or an answering machine so phone calls were answered in a terse manner. She gave her full concentration to who she was working with and had little time for small talk.
Here is my recreation of the phone call: "Mary, help!!! I'm in a cabin in the wilderness of Alaska and a bear is beating down the walls and the door. He wants to eat me!!!
"Doris!! Calm down!! You know what to do. Walk all around and shout Ya Allah El Mustaga(I'm sure I'm misspelling, but Baha'is say this in times of dire trouble). The bear will run away. Now stop bothering me!. I'm working on a patient!"
So Doris did walk around shouting this Arabic call for divine assistance and the bear did run away. The local inhabitants came the next day and were taken aback by the mauled cabin walls and wondered why she was still alive. I know people are going to suspect the veracity of this story, but that is how it happened.


  1. Ronnie--that's hilarious. Thanks for sharing it. And it says a lot of about both of them that my mother would decided to call your mother -- thousands of miles away -- when she was trying to solve a problem with a bear. It's perfectly logical and illogical at the same time. I'll remember to call you under similar circumstances :-)

  2. I have heard this story many times, and I never tire of it. :)