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Preface to "My Legacy - Memoirs"
Excerpt from the author's memoirs and autobiography
By Daisy Wynn
Copyright 2000 Daisy Wynn
This preface is about the reasons for writing and general background information about the project. The author has stated that the theme of her autobiography is to portray vignettes of the people by telling a little bit of their history, stories, their personality, and relationships.

The reason for writing my memoirs and autobiography is to tell my descendants how it was living in the Twentieth Century. Our lives were not dramatic or exciting, as they would have been had we been members of the underground in France during World War II. Yet, I think it would be important to know about the bedrock foundation from where we came. It is to show them that we had wonderful and interesting lives. We had good and bad experiences filled with social, financial, and emotional ups and downs. We were people who were adaptable and capable of deep and profound involvement in the modern world.

We came from a small rural Jewish "shtetle" background. You probably read or know about the scions of wealth and power like the Fords and the Rockefellers. Our family and many others like us made great strides in a smaller way. We had our own great development and through education moved up to become an integral part of the American melting pot society and democracy. One of the children of the immigrants became a prominent judge in the Seabury investigation (which exposed the corruption of the Democratic Party / Tammany Hall, New York City in the 1920's). Another was instrumental in building the pipeline bringing water to the desert in Israel. Still another was an important world scientist. Although we have had members who made interesting achievements, along with the general laws of nature, we have had our share of people who have been born with fewer chances for success but we love and respect them. We also had our failures and tragedies.

As a retired lady who never enjoyed just relaxing or games, I needed a focus for my energy. I thought it would be a good project to write about my experiences and create a family portrait. Writing gave me a kind of ego satisfaction, and filled a certain void in my life. Rather than hearsay, or a photograph, if something is written, it assumes a certain validity, authority and even immortality. I hope we will not be forgotten and that this will be a legacy for my descendants to read and know something about the personalities and experiences of their forbearers.

I became involved in this project by reading other people's memoirs. I also became the inheritor of our family tree from my maternal grandmother. From my observation I reject Shakespeare's statement in Julius Caesar when he says: "The evil that men do lives after them and the good is oft interred in their bones." I think we remember a little bit of both.
To have written this memoir, required much time and discipline. I do not think it will be a best seller but hope it will be informative. As you read you will come across certain Yiddish expressions which I feel more poignantly expresses a feeling. (I learned Yiddish from listening to my parents and grandparents converse as well as my student days in foster care work in Bronx neighborhoods.)

The theme of this autobiography is to portray vignettes of the people by telling a little bit of their history, stories, their personality, and relationships. I don't know if you remember or know the story of Rashomon. This was a famous Japanese story in which several people witnessed the same event. When questioned about what they saw, each person saw something different. So, if family members disagree with what I wrote, remember this is my recollection. Also, I believe everyone's experience is of value to them and those to whom they are related.

My story starts with my grandparents, Hofstadter's / Rosenfeld's, my parents the Kramers as they provided the setting from which I came. Then the memoir goes on with my childhood and young adulthood, the time spent with my husband; the Winefsky / Wynn family and continues with my children and life on my own. Some of the stories are my own personal experiences and close family members related others to me.