By Christopher Andersen
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Extra resources for Barbra: The Way She Is
On August 4, 1943—less than twenty-four hours after he was admitted to the hospital—Manny was pronounced dead. He was just thirty-ﬁve. Diana sat in the waiting room in stunned disbelief. “He was such a healthy, strapping man—an athlete,” she said. ” Since Manny had to be buried within twentyfour hours in accordance with Jewish tradition, Diana called her grieving father-in-law in Brooklyn and asked him to make the necessary arrangements. Then, with Barbara perched on one hip and Shelly holding on tight to her hand, Diana boarded the train that would carry her husband’s body home.
While Manny devoted nights and weekends to studying for his doctorate in education at Columbia University Teachers College, Diana supplemented her husband’s $2,000-a-year salary by working as a ﬁle clerk. “We worked hard in those days,” she later said, “but who didn’t? Everyone did what they had to do to survive—ﬁrst the Depression, and then, of course, the war . ” Mom, was I pretty as a baby? All babies are pretty. No, I mean me: Was I pretty? What's pretty, anyway? Look at what good it did your sister.
With fourteen-month-old Barbara and big brother “Shelly” in tow, Manny and Diana arrived at Camp Cascade in Highmount, New York, toward the end of June and moved into a cabin with no heat and no hot water. It quickly became clear that this would not be the working vacation Manny had originally envisioned. They had been at Camp Cascade only ten days when two of the other counselors, overwhelmed by the task of supervising 150 unruly boys and girls, abruptly quit, leaving Manny and Nate to ﬁll the void.