One would think there would be no common denominator to speak of with regards to a haunted house, a Hare Krishna Temple and a 100 year old princess but that is what makes sharing people’s stories so fascinating. Here is just the overview.
On Halloween in the year 1914, Ethel Marberger was born and her years have not been dull! Her life on 2nd and South was an advantaged one with her family controlling a large portion of real estate. She grew to be an accomplished artist creating beautiful Chinese watercolor paintings. Ethel met and married a man who was a leading Zionist and had just escaped capture by the Nazis in Europe before coming to the US. They raised four very accomplished children…Aladar was a major art dealer in New York City but unfortunately died of AIDS at a time when it carried a heavy stigma. Their daughter Elaine, now known as Davishakti, has lived over 40 years in India and is held in high esteem in Vrindavan at the Hare Krishna Temple. John became a doctor and Donna is a fashion designer living in California with her own line of yoga and travel wear called “b”.
So here we are, Halloween 2015, and all have come to celebrate 100 years of life with this feisty and loving artist, wife and mother. The nursing home transformed into a haunted house while Ethel was transformed with tiara and feathers into a princess. Her hand was tenderly held by her “boyfriend” Winnie as so many well wishes greeted her. A century of life definitely calls for more than one celebration so the next one was at the local Hare Krishna Temple where Davishakti was asked to teach the devotees. I have had the good fortune to photograph Ethel for the past several years for a piece regarding aging with grace and dignity. I have come to know her immediate family well and am now looking forward to the next celebration this weekend for many other family members and friends. One can never have too many parties for a woman reaching 100 and one can reach 100 by being surrounded by family, friends and love.