Sisters Stafford and Tyla swept into our Foley Square StoryBooth Thursday evening to share breezy reminiscences of their Brooklyn childhood. Tyla, a staff person with New York City Community Partner Brooklyn College Student Center, was a veteran having previously brought in her husband for an interview and thus urged her sister to occupy the storyteller seat for a fun forty minutes.
Spirited doesn’t even begin to describe the tight twosome. When presented with an opportunity to remember their adolescent escapades, the two volleyed back and forth like Venus and Serena, never with more intensity than when recalling the antics of their bold mother Virginia.
As the two told it, and they claimed their old Brooklyn neighborhood as collective witness, Virginia once embarked on a mundane trip to the grocery store and, so overloaded on her way out, hailed and easily hitched a ride home with a Wonder Bread delivery truck driver to the awe and amusement of her fellow shoppers. Neither Tyla nor Stafford heard the end of it but by then were quite used to the fruits of their mother’s hard sell and even managed to learn a few lessons. Years later, Tyla followed in her mother’s footsteps hitching a ride with a New York Post truck one icky city day and, most recently, successfully shooed a drug dealer from her Brooklyn corner with measured admonitions. By the conversation’s end, the sisters who had difficulty pin-pointing a family tradition recognized it as their mother’s intentionality and self possession and they fondly elaborated, her good nature.