The Cardo Friendship Table

by | Aug 11, 2022 | Other News

If you’ve ever been in the Sandler Family Campus’ Cardo dining area around noon, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed a table with a group of lively, lovely seniors. Usually, the first four to show up are Vicki Corneille, Nona Lipsey, and Nancy and Steven Rosenberg. They settle in, then more friends start to arrive and add chairs to the corners, then others come and pull adjoining tables over and suddenly, like magic, laughter and lunch kicks off.

I call this the ‘Friendship Table,’ and as a special treat for Jewish News, I lunched with this fun bunch and asked a couple of questions. Here’s how it went—be warned, these guys love to joke and laugh!

I sit at the table and, after listening for a few minutes, tell them I’m afraid I won’t be able to separate the truth from the ongoing barrage of jokes and delightful sarcasm. They don’t seem to mind. In fact, everyone seems delighted with the possibilities. And so, we’re off to the races.

Robin Ford: How long have you known each other?

The Friendship Table: Laughing, Corneille says, “We don’t know!” Nona estimates, “A few years.” Nancy Rosenberg chimes in with, “Several years.” They agree they knew each other a few years pre-quarantine, and all remark on how much they missed each other during lockdown.

RF: Did you first meet at the Simon Family JCC?

TFT: Everyone nods yes, and Lipsey and Nancy Rosenberg are quick to point out that, in becoming friends at the JCC, they discovered they are actually neighbors.

Everyone is chuckling now and Corneille says, “I didn’t know any of these people!” Raucous laughter fills the air, and I can’t help but think that I need to find more time to eat lunch at this table. The energy is amazing, and it is clear that these guys are well past being strangers. They are a wonderful, joyful, eclectic family.

RF: Do you ever attend other events together?

TFT: Steven Rosenberg instantly replies, “I see Nancy every night!” Every-one thinks that is hilarious because Steven and Nancy are married. Gail Salzberg has now joined the table and mentions that she and Lipsey play mahjong at the JCC, and they also go out with another social group they created.

I am keenly aware that I have no control of this interview. I have a few more questions, but I don’t ask them. Everyone is having so much fun, so I put my pen down and give in to the laughter, love, and food around me.

These friends are different ages, races, faiths, and they love that about each other. I listen to Corneille’s stories about her father, who was a doctor in the early 1900s. She also tells me she is 80 years old (I still don’t believe you, Vicki!).

Audre Piratzky and Gloria Saunders join us, and when I mention that I call this table The Friendship Table, everyone agrees. Piratzky smiles and says, “We are a community.”

If you get a chance, pull up a chair at The Friendship Table. You won’t regret it.

Robin Ford