In this letter, Emma apologizes for not keeping in touch with Anna since Emma's marriage, and reports that she has traveled frequently, from Beaufort to Charleston to Savannah and back. She also laments the damage done to Charleston by a fire, particularly the destruction of its two Methodist churches.
Photograph of hurricane damage on Bay Street. Back of photo inscribed: "Beaufort South Carolina after the cyclone of August 27th 1893. Bay Street in front of the residence of the Hon. Wm. Elliott. Club house shown on the right. St[eamer?] Pilot Boy on the left. #15."
Stereoscopic image of street in front of a partial view of a building. The handwritten caption on the verso reads, "Holmes Hosp. #15." A second handwritten caption on the verso incorrectly identified as the "Anchorage."
TZiPi Radondsky (pronouns: She/Her) speaks of her life and its many changes, her search for spiritual enlightenment and her work for a better world. Born into an "ortho-conservative" Jewish family in Boston, she grew up committed to Judaism, but cut herself off from it as a young woman. She attended college, got pregnant, married, and had two daughters. Her husband, a Catholic who converted to Judaism, joined her father in the women's sportswear business. When unionization prompted the transfer of the business to South Carolina, the family moved to Aiken, SC. She divorced, and began a friendship with a woman in Aiken, soon realizing it was love. She and her new partner were part of a closeted group of women in the area, and Radonsky felt frustrated that no one aided her in her pursuit to understand her evolving self. She attended a gay bar in Augusta, GA, began taking courses and was bat mitzvahed as an adult in Aiken. She "wasn't butch enough to be considered lesbian" and differed from most of her friends in having had children. Moving to Gainesville, FL, was "just like I walked into heaven," she notes. It was a liberating experience as she received a master's degree in occupational therapy, ran a women's bookstore and center, and lived in a women's only community. She then moved to Charleston, SC to work from 1984 to 1987 at the Medical University of South Carolina, where again, she found the community closeted. In Greensboro, NC, where she went to complete her PhD, she found a much more open community, wrote her dissertation on lesbians coming out, became a counselor, and began to reconnect with Judaism as she explored other spiritual avenues. A retreat in Taos, NM, prompted her to travel the world through the Servas International Program. As an out lesbian, she had positive, negative and neutral experiences. Mentioning Wicca, Gaia, and Native American religious traditions, Radonsky was ordained as a Rabbi in the Renewal Judaism movement by Mordechai Gafni, a charismatic leader who later lost his position due to claims of sexual misconduct. To take care of her aging parents, Radonsky moved to West Palm Beach, FL, despite her recovered memory of sexual abuse by her father. There she became friends with the early lesbian rights activists Connie Kurtz and Ruthie Berman. After her parents' death, Radonsky relocated to Beaufort, SC, to be near one of her daughters. She speaks of the conservative nature of the area, her work with the Unitarian Universalist Church, the lack of acceptance of her rabbinical degree by the Jewish community and her outspoken support of many causes and issues. She mentions marching with a daughter in Columbia, SC (at the first Pride March), and with her other daughter in Greensboro, NC; her two long-term relationships; and events she helped organize, including a Beaufort gathering to mark the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub and the first Pride March held in Bluffton, SC. She closes by noting that the LGBTQ community has much to offer society at large, and she will continue dedicating her life to total inclusivity.????