The photo above was snapped in Algiers during World War II. The attractive young woman is a French Jewish refugee, had fled the Nazis with her family in 1940. She would soon marry the serviceman shown and move with him to the United States.
Three-quarters of a century later, I met her online.
Edith is ninety-seven now, and a regular participant in the Spanish-English language exchange I host through Zoom. A more recent shot is below.
Edith joined our group in early June. I guessed when she logged in that she wouldn’t have to show ID to qualify for a seniors’ discount, but also never imagined that she was much older than, say, eighty. I function in the online events as an on-screen usher, rarely can offer more than a quick greeting to participants before transferring them to virtual chat rooms. I knew that Edith always logged in with clean video and audio and that others seemed happy to chat with her. That was about all.
A few weeks ago, she happened to mention her age before logging off. Many, many years have passed since I last interviewed anyone¹, but I thought I could dust off old skills to produce a video. A ninety-seven year old Zoom user deserves the attention.
¹ Edit, a few hours later: since I last interviewed anyone professionally, I should have written. Sorry. Didn´t I interview Ximena for this very blog in 2018? …