Sherry Dickson December 16 at 6:16am
Hi.... My aunt found me after 24 years on Facebook. she mentioned you had a blog about me and the article in the NYT (Our Mother Missing). She said there's a video but when I searched the video links are broken. She said you mentioned having gone to PS321 with me? Of course people change so I DO remember your name but not the face. Anyway i thought i'd reach out to you.
Noah David Simon December 16 at 7:28am
hi Sherry. holy crap. yes I did look you up because the class teased you... and I found the NYT piece.
I'm glad you are alive. you might not remember we also went out for dinner one night. your mother and my mother. at Oasis.
Noah David Simon December 16 at 7:32am
the video network is down... it might work later in the day
Sherry Dickson December 16 at 12:31pm
Hey. Takes me a while to respond since I have to use my Blackberry to get on here when at work.
Do you have a copy of the video my cousin saw on your blog? She said it made her cry so I am beyond curious lol. She told me to search for myself on google and I'd come across your posts. She said you had a fb page so here I am.
Omg it just dawned on me who you were in 4th grade. Lol as I am writing this it just hit me. Wow. And now I remember the dinner. It took half the day to remember but I do.
Funny tho- ***** ***** (who picked on me the most) is my friend on here. He said he had a crush on me. Lol. Funny way to show it. This whole fb thing is quite interesting- to see where and what everyone has become.
So what have you been up to since um-4th grade?
Noah David Simon December 16 at 2:29pm
kind of ironic you picked the one day for Seesmic to go down to find it.
we all thought you were a pretty girl. that was what was so bizarre to me about the way they were picking on you. the way they treated you was quite raw. I do remember being afraid and also helpless.
I got picked on when I moved to Montclair NJ later that year. I think I related to you because I was ostracized three years before in summer camp, but it was never as bad as what I saw them doing to you.
I'm thankful that you can't see the video yet, because it is hard to sound sincere on video sometimes. or at least I felt that I couldn't. I'd prefer to say what I have to say here. for one thing I sincerely doubt any of my information is correct. I'm guessing about a lot of things and piecing it together and maybe I might across as arrogant at times.
I see you are a Steelers fan like me. my mother is from Pittsburgh and I went to college there. we have that in common as well.
Noah David Simon December 16 at 2:37pm
the irony is that Seesmic is the most stable network I know of and the one day that you looked is the day that it went down.
aaagh. and yes I had a crush on you then as well, that would of been the first year any of us were aware of that kind of thing. I remember getting funny shivers all the way back to being 4 or 5 years old around girls, but by third grade my progressive (blech) liberal mother had already explained to me about sex. but what I saw happen in that class made me want to do something, but I was so afraid. have you considered that any friendship that might of developed later on from that might be some form of Stockholm syndrome. they were really mean kids
Sherry Dickson December 16 at 5:07pm
Hey. I was indeed picked on, teased, punched, beat up, thrown down stairs often in my elementary days. It continued until 8th grade when I finally had enough and broke a girl's arm in the middle of health class right in front of the teacher. This girl was sitting there hitting my arm over and over and over and I just couldn't deal with it anymore. It was that very day it all just.... stopped.
Ever since then I've become quite out spoken for myself and not shy or afraid. High school was heaven for me. In time I started to forget how bad things were (but it was easy to forget that as things got worse with my mother). See no one saw what went on at home. They all thought my mother was nice but I got teased for the lump in her face- cancer which ruined our lives. My mom lost her jaw completely many years later and had reconstructive surgery to make her somewhat normal and be able to eat. But she was over protective, abusive and not at all what others saw.
Did you read the NYT article online or in the paper? The paper one has pictures too.
You were always so quiet. Now I understand why.
Your family moved to NJ from there?
I'm headed home now so ill finish writing when I am at a normal computer :)
Noah David Simon December 16 at 7:19pm
I was quiet? no one ever said that about me before. maybe I was quiet to you because I didn't know what to say. I read the NYTimes online last year. I ran into a mutual friend Leah Oppenzato from PS 321 through my mother. I could not remember your name... the only thing I remembered was a face and the abuse. I told Leah it was an attractive girl. it was impossible to tell what one girl looked like from the other in the old class photo. I picked the wrong girl. it was another attractive female, but not the same one. I friended another girl from PS 321 on facebook, but it was not the one I was looking for. everyone's face is so blurry that I could not tell one from another. Leah told it to me. she told me your name an I started looking for you online. I couldn't find it... but then I came across the NYTimes... and I saw a story that came out right before Sept 11th and partly took part in Park Slope. I knew it had to be you. I could not remember where your mother was from, but I knew she wasn't American. The story filled me in to a lot of things I didn't know before. your mother's life was hard. I began to think in some ways if she was in some way also a victim of WWII. she was escaping a past... something she had nothing to do with. Something in her life was unloving. she was nice to me and my mother, but my mother described her as strange. not sure of course... but I tried to piece together why everything might of been unstable. I know there is a lot of details that I don't know, but the fact that she was post war German tells me some clues. it might be true that your mother had nothing to do with you getting teased, but if you had a father that would show up in school and give some of the boys a mean look I am certain your experience would of been different.
Sherry Dickson December 16 at 7:41pm
I first have to say... I laughed out loud when the cooties comment was made in the video LOL!!!! I haven't heard that since then! LOL
Ok... so now you know I came home and went right to that video. First I blushed, then I was shocked... i guess i never really thought about how others "saw" what was going on. It was just a part of life I guess LOL.
Oh the bitch comment made me laugh really hard! I was SOOOOOO bossy back then! OMG. HA! I can honestly say I can be the biggest bitch on the planet and I can still be super bossy IF needed.
By the way that's the picture I was looking for when I came home... 4th grade class. Oh and yes you WERE wearing a STEELERS shirt! How funny is that?! (I didnt mean to ignore that statement in your message to me before-- It's such a PITA to FB on a Blackberry). My grew up a Giants fan. My boyfriend is a huge Steelers fan and I totally fell in love with them. They're just SO exciting to watch. Troy is my man! hehe.
Well, now you can go post that I did turn out well haha.
I think the article explains that I didn't talk to her for like 8 years--- but we got her off of the streets, we got her mentally healthy before she died. 7 years ago she died from lung cancer. The adult home was treating her for TB but she had cancer. We couldn't sue because the hospital was closed down by Guiliani right after her death.
I don't know if you remember my father... he owned the Pharmacy on Union and 7th. He and I were very very very very close. He passed on 6 years ago from advanced Parkinson's complications.
You know what's funny is that my friends say that my life would be unbelievable if there wasn't proof. Granted anyone would go to therapy after all that crap.... but I can honestly say that I'm happy the way my life turned out.
I have a great job (they need to change my title based on what i actually DO at work) but i'm a Marketing Coordinator/Graphic Designer/Webmaster for ****** ******* ***. The company is a manufacturer of ***** ******** and ****** and they design salons too. There's a ****** division but I don't do any work for them. I'm more of a Marketing Manager than a Coordinator but whatever haha.
I have a boyfriend of over 9 years, have lived in NJ for 8, and have the greatest friends. No one at all believes me when I tell them about growing up LOL. They think I'm exaggerating... if they only saw this video (which I only sent to my closest 3 friends). LOL. I think I named the email "circle circle dot dot now I have the sherry shot". That was the cooties chant. I love travel, purple, pets, movies, horseback riding... ice skating, football (unfortunately the Steelers ruined that this year as well as the Giants... ugh), and Rangers Hockey!
I just saw my Blackberry light up that I have a FB message so I'm just going to address that here too.
OMG LEAH!!!! OPPENHEIM was her last name! Does she still live in Brookline MA? I know she was planning to come back to Brooklyn but we lost touch... omg! I have to find her on here. Had you picked the right girl she would have told you she and I were in touch until 7 years ago. I went to Boston to see her a few times with my father even.
It's ok you picked the wrong girl because I picked the wrong boy when I looked at the picture... and no you weren't quiet.... ahahaa I remember you clearly... but you didn't say too much to me... and I felt like you didnt want to be at dinner with the strange girl and her strange mom.
Again, it was normal for me... that's all I knew then.
My father would have NEVER come to the school because he felt i should stick up for myself. However, I lived with my mother who watched me in school somehow and told me if i stuck up for myself I'd get it when I got home. She would come to the school and make a scene which made it worse for me.... She was the person who taught me to be bitchy and she was the one who I learned to be bossy from. Keep in mind i wasn't allowed to play outside. I had to come home from school and do homework after 1 hour of TV. I was allowed 1 phone call with my best friend, Flora *wearing pink in front of you in the picture* and that was IT. I didnt learn how to relate to other kids. THAT'S why I got picked on so badly... I acted like a 41 year old mom... not a 9 year old kid.
You're right... my mom was born in a bomb shelter during WWII in West Germany. Her family hid from the Nazi's because they were Jewish... but my mom had blue eyes and blonde hair so she was safer. We didn't know that she was mentally ill. This wasn't something discussed when you and I went to school. I was little and didnt get it... Man, there was SO much that happened. The NYT article did a great job of reporting... but I'll send you the actual NYT newspaper scan I have... the one with the pictures.
Ironically the man who found my mom begging for money and called us, works for the NYT and he was a customer of my father's when i was 4!!!!!! He recognized my dad! He called the phone number on the flyers my sister and I put around the city and said he thought he knew us... he said my parents had a little dark haired girl and told my sister what stores we shopped in. Sure enough.. that was me, my mom and my dad. He gave my mom $65 to stay put and called the cops who sent an ambulance to take my mom to Bellvue. Oy ... I should be on Oprah LOL... or not... hehe.
omg I could go on forever... but seeing that picture of our class in 4th grade, I can say now I clearly remember you and clearly remember that dinner :) I couldn't imagine YOU being picked on when you came to NJ. You were.... normal!
My cousin Silvia wants me to tell you that she thanks you for posting the videos because that's what made her continue looking for me and eventually.... found me here!
Ok wow I still talk way too much LOL!
Sherry Dickson December 16 at 7:43pm
oh the only thing is if you do post any blog... dont mention my company name LOL
And I re read what I wrote... sorry I went off on tangents LOL... too much to say
Sherry Dickson December 16 at 7:50pm
ok one more message because i did NOT see this on my BB--which makes it look like I totally avoided the email!
"the irony is that Seesmic is the most stable network I know of and the one day that you looked is the day that it went down.
aaagh. and yes I had a crush on you then as well, that would of been the first year any of us were aware of that kind of thing. I remember getting funny shivers all the way back to being 4 or 5 years old around girls, but by third grade my progressive (blech) liberal mother had already explained to me about sex. but what I saw happen in that class made me want to do something, but I was so afraid. have you considered that any friendship that might of developed later on from that might be some form of Stockholm syndrome. they were really mean kids"
Ok had I seen this statement before I would have just blushed earlier :)
It's too bad you never said anything---- ok ok we were in 4th grade, and I was picked on and I'm sure you didn't want to be picked on too for liking the weird girl... but I had thought you were cute then. And you didn't pick on me.
Noah David Simon December 16 at 8:14pm
the feeling was always mutual... obviously I was still thinking about you years later. in all honesty... I still can't ever express my feelings in life even today. no one believes me when I do anyway... so I guess that isn't a problem.
Sherry Dickson December 16 at 8:17pm
haha sounds pretty normal to me!!!!
So what DO you do? Is that your photography? I see you have a son in your info on FB... By all means, fill me in!
Noah David Simon December 16 at 8:47pm
I have a son named Maxx. I was an artist and got into marketing and sales, but have been unemployed since 2006. my family has been taking care of me for a few years, but it has not been easy. Maxx's mom lives by Colgate University. We are still together, but I don't have custody anymore due to my financial situation as of late. I did graduate from Carnegie Mellon, but no opportunities came from my schooling. I was going places in advertising till I dropped out with a nervous breakdown from a lot of Anti-Semitism. The experience made me involved in Jewish Activism, and I am building a network from this. Previously my connections were from art, fashion and marketing, but that was where I experienced a lot of the hate. It didn't come from Americans, so don't feel bad. It came from the cultural elitists in Europe. I was working for a Swedish Corp called "Modern Holdings" at the time who owned "The Black Book Photography"... the same company that publishes the Metro Newspaper in NYC (that green thingy they give out for free at train stations). bunch of bigots. anyway... I'm done with that.
my father has had a lot of luck this year however and is one of the stars in the upcoming Oliver Stone movie, "Wall Street 2". my mother has a successful music teaching career now. I live up in Poughkeepsie NY in my parents attic. can't beat the price of rent.
as for the financial stuff. it will happen. I'm networking and meeting people, but I think my girl is losing faith in me and isn't talking to me on the phone. the situation with my kid isn't good, but I have been mostly clean of vice for five years... so maybe that will change things.
my son was diagnosed as high functioning or autistic. then it turned out he wasn't. so that is a relief... though maybe he is slow in developing speech, but everything seems to be working right. just not very verbal. he seems to be thinking and he is very social... so maybe he just is developing differently. I'm certain that is what it is.
I do regret smoking marijuana. I admit I relapsed recently. I never got into anything worse... and I don't have a drinking problem. but I do struggle especially at this time of year. I started smoking again after a two year hiatus about a few months ago... and stopped again two weeks ago. I tend to smoke for a period and then quit. I doubt my ability to make a living is related to this, because when I was most addicted I was making 50 grand a year. whatever...
I'm never going to be completely straight edge. but I try.
Noah David Simon December 16 at 8:57pm
facebook is buggy. I just read some more about you just now. amazing. and I am so glad everything is working out. I do what to do a follow up on the video and talk about our email and how you are doing great. it might be even better if you actually responded to the video yourself however.
Noah David Simon
December 16 at 9:02pm
what is even stranger is both my parents were both teachers at NYIT when you were there. my guess is you had them.
PS: I'm happy your mother was of a Jewish background. I didn't know for sure. it would not of mattered, because I know a lot of great Germans, but I didn't know for sure. that would also explain the trauma and fear she had.Sherry Dickson
December 16 at 9:06pm
Funny you said that- I signed up for an account and have a cam too- ill def post tomorrow night :). Feel free to post that we r in touch (how strange my 1st cousin found u, then was inspired to find me and get me in touch with you).
Ill respond to your other email when I'm back at my computer- Jeremy (bf) just got home so we ate a late dinner.Noah David Simon
December 16 at 9:18pm
can I repost the email? I can edit out what you do not want
December 16 at 9:24pm
Sure... just don't post my company name or what they make. just that I'm in marketing doing graphic design. the rest is fine to post :)Noah David Simon
December 16 at 6:29pm
awesome. It's going up. I won't turn any audience on to it till you can see it.
By ERIKA KINETZ
Published: September 9, 2001
KARIN DICKSON spent 29 years in a white stone building at 857 Union Street, at Seventh Avenue. There is a solid grace about this stretch of Park Slope. The brownstones stack up neatly. The trees are old and generous. The flower boxes are well tended.
Ms. Dickson fell in love here, had a child here, gave tea parties for her neighbors. Those who know her say she lost her mind here.This much is certain: for nearly three decades, she bought cigarettes from the newsstand across the street from her house. She worked as a cosmetologist at the now-defunct Jarret Drugs. She collected Elvis memorabilia. She was rarely seen without high heels. She drank coffee at the Economy Diner for more than two decades.
Then one day in spring 2000, she disappeared.
Hers is the case of an individual suffering from mental illness who self-destructs almost before our eyes. In this large, anonymous city, others have stumbled: Michael Joseph Gallagher was evicted and froze to death in a Bronx park in 1996; Joseph Stiletto froze to death in his Greenwich Village apartment in 1988; Eleanor Bumpurs was shot to death by the police in an attempted eviction in 1984; the so-called Wild Man of 96th Street terrorized the Upper West Side for years. Still more will fall.
All are casualties of New York's imperfect network of social services. All are consequences of America's deeply held belief in personal freedom.
Ms. Dickson was born in 1941 in the city of Mainz, Germany, where she worked as a pharmacist's assistant. In 1960, at 19, she married a G.I. who carried her off to Tennessee. There they had two daughters, Sandra and Grace.
In 1971 Ms. Dickson left Tennessee. ''She dropped us off with our grandparents and ran away to New York,'' said Sandra, 2 at the time.
Ms. Dickson landed in Park Slope. Soon, she found an apartment on Union Street and a boyfriend, Gerald Schaubman, a pharmacist who owned Jarret Drugs and was separated from his wife. With Mr. Schaubman, Ms. Dickson had a third daughter, Sherry, who was born in 1974. But they never married, and by 1980 they were no longer a couple.
When Jarret changed ownership in 1982, Ms. Dickson, who had worked at pink-collar jobs most of her life, went on welfare. In 1985, she had a tumor removed from her jaw. Soon after, Sandra Dickson went to live with her mother. (Grace remained in Tennessee.)
''My mother helped me run away,'' said Sandra Dickson, who was 17 at the time. ''She sent me airline money. She was going to be my happily ever after.''
Happily ever after lasted seven and a half months. In October of that year, a week before the daughter's 18th birthday, her mother kicked her out.
Five years later, also at 17, Sherry Dickson left her mother's house, too. ''She started throwing things at me and started accusing me of being crazy,'' she said. ''So I called my dad and moved out.''
By the early 90's, Karin Dickson had disconnected her telephone. Sandra Dickson no longer spoke with her mother. Sherry Dickson and her father maintained only sporadic contact with her.
''I would go over to see her a couple of times on holidays,'' Mr. Schaubman said. ''But the relationship just shriveled up.'' He last saw her at home about five years ago, when he learned that she had turned off her electricity and was using only candles to illuminate her apartment.
The half-sisters moved on. Sandra Dickson, who lives on the Upper East Side, is preparing to be married and is seeking work as a paralegal. Sherry Dickson, who lives in North Brunswick, N.J., works as a temp. Every few months, she said, she called a neighbor or the landlord to see how her mother was holding up.
But except for their long, straight hair, the sisters have little in common. In 1999 a petty argument got out of control, and the two stopped speaking with each other.
Then, on March 7 of last year, city marshals came to Ms. Dickson's apartment to evict her for being a nuisance and nonpayment of rent. Movers were seen taking her possessions to put them in storage. Two mental health workers tried to persuade her to get treatment, but she refused.
''She just walked away,'' said Janet Jackson, Ms. Dickson's longtime friend and neighbor. ''I don't know what she took with her besides her purse.''