Nettie Shulman
July 28, 1922 – November 23, 2020
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Thoughts and Words by Nettie Shulman

These are pieces of writing by Nettie Shulman, illuminating a marvelous window into her expressions and experiences of the world. This small selection represents choice passages dear to both herself and impactful to those around her.

A Day of Promise

A Moment of Oneness


Scrabble on the Beach

Self Awareness

True To Oneself



Emergency Room


To the NYC Labor Chorus

Self Awareness

My refuge, my haven, my sense of well being is behind the front door of my apartment. It greets me as I turn the key and see home. Of late the little spot of dirt in the middle of the carpeted floor contrasts homecoming with a knawing and nagging feeling. This will change when Ms. Smith the domestic worker, comes and removes it.

8 AM sharp Ms. Smith arrives on the appointed day. She is focused on her organized task of completing her work at l2PM. When made aware of the spot she reacted with her usual bristle of resistance. A couple of hours pass and I walk to the area of conflict. Lo and behold, what was a spot is now an orange circle deforming the appearance of the carpet. An involuntary shreik escapes from me. Ms. Smith Is not the cowering type; rather, she becomes aggressive in her attack. When confronted with having used the wrong cleaner, she defends the final outcome, when dry.

When leaving, Ms. Smith took the bag of garbage for recycling to dispose of for me. I asked her to leave it and I would do it. She angrily said, “I am not stupid. I know it has to be recycled.”

I am alone. The incident leaves me with the acknowledgment that I am the same person as those I accuse of dehumanization. After twenty two years of stable servicing, I offended this woman. The material object transcended my sensitivity to her sense of failure.

Reality; one is what they live in.