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The Costume Lady: Mrs. Yehupitz Wiggelfield

Shoshie Katz

Truth be told, I was a bit anxious. After all, what could I expect to find in the house of a woman who is known not only for her brilliant and beautiful mishloach manos and costumes, but who runs a full-basement costume gemach for the whole town?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Interviewed by: Miss Yenem bas Yehupitz Wigglefeld

(My mother spells it Wiggelfield according to family minhag, but I have adopted the Anglicized version and spell it Wigglefeld.)

 

Mrs. Wiggelfield quickly put me at ease. She welcomed me graciously into her living room and served me tea and freshly baked cake on elegant china.

“Mrs. Wiggelfield,” I burst out, “I must ask you. Tell me — do you work?”

“Well,” she replies, with the perfect blend of modesty and pride, “I do work full-time out of the house, and I also run a Neshei, and in my spare time I teach yoga (to underprivileged women) … Of course, this is nothing compared to my true job in life: raising my beautiful children …” Here she pauses and lowers her eyes modestly before continuing quietly, “as well as making costumes, of course.”

I lean forward and speak intensely. “So, Mrs. Wiggelfield … that’s why I am here. Costumes. Mishloach manos. Let’s get the scoop.” I clutch the sides of my laptop tightly.

 

My hostess becomes transformed. No longer is she the perfect mother, career woman, housekeeper, and do-gooder. Before my eyes she morphs into the creative artist, passionate in the throes of her obvious love for her calling. Inhibitions are thrown aside and the inner free spirit emerges.

In response to my simple, “What were some of your favorite mishloach manos themes?” Mrs. Wiggelfield begins to wax nostalgic.

 

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