Admirers of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continued to make the pilgrimage to her former home in Midwood, Brooklyn on Sunday, where some laid flowers, others left messages and some just came to see where she lived so many years ago.
Ginsburg was born and raised in Brooklyn. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother died shortly before Ginsburg graduated from Madison High School.
She lived at 1584 East 9th St. in a mostly Orthodox Jewish community, before moving from there while attending college and then moving to Connecticut with her husband Martin Ginsburg, then returning and attending Columbia Law School when he landed a major position in a Manhattan law firm.
Even though she hadn’t lived at the Midwood address since about 1950, residents of the block expressed pride that the “notorious RBG,” as she was affectionately referred, had roots in this quiet community.
“She was a woman, she was a mom, a mother of two children, and she was Jewish,” said Jean Marotta, a first grade teacher at P.S. 104 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. She held a children’s book entitled, “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark,” by Debbie Levy, which gives a children’s version of the late Justice life and accomplishments.
“Everyone in the country was rooting for her,” she remembered.
“I’m here because I had to come,” Marotta sighed. “I just pray that we can wait for another election before someone could be nominated and appointed to fill her position. And I pray that what happened to Thurgood Marshal’s seat doesn’t happen to her seat. I was a teenager when Marshal’s seat was replaced with Clarence Thomas and I remember those confirmation hearings.”
Mazie Isay, 9, laid flowers at the base of a tree where RGB memorabilia was left in her honor.
“She was on the Supreme Court or something. She made some laws, and she was the second lady on the court . She was a great lady,” Isay said.
Beth Saidel, of Soho, came to the house with her husband Joe and son Oliver. She said her aunt and Ginsburg had been writing letters to each other for 17 years.
Saidel said her aunt Lois and Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been corresponding notes and letters over the last 17 years – her uncle and Marty Ginsburg were fraternity brothers.”
“When my uncle died in 2003, Ruth and Marty sent a letter of condolence to my aunt – my aunt the hippie aunt in St. Louis and they had a lovely back and forth all these years, and so now we have a box full of notes,” Saidel said.
“I came all the way here, and I will go see the high school where my mother in law went to high school – she was a great person and a great loss for us all,” she added.
One of the neighbors, who preferred not to give his name arrived at his own home after Rosh Hashanah services at his synagogue. Ginsburg died on Friday, Sept. 18, the first night of the Jewish new year.
“She was a great woman and to die right before the high holiday is very honorable – she was extraordinary,” he said.