Driving to Browns Lake to look for the resort where Betty and Barry met took on the unexpected feeling of a pilgrimage. Following Betty’s tracks, not in words but in the landscape, suddenly brought to mind the many ways in which Betty's and my family's history overlapped.

I am not sure what I expected, but definitely something grander, a bigger lake. The diminutive scale of the lake made me think of covenant laws and restrictions on public activities for Blacks and Jews. In the 40’s, Betty and Barry may not have known each other, but as Jews their circle of acquaintances would have been tight, if for no other reason than limited social access. Imagining Betty’s life, I suddenly realized it was also my story. My great-grandmother also played weekly Mahjong games. I come from a long line of secular Jews that hold liberal politics. Suddenly, certain historic restrictions that just came with being Jewish, although never mentioned in my family history, became tangible looking out at this very little lake. Betty and Barry's speedy engagement, on the very weekend they met at the lake, began to make much more sense.
-Amber Ginsburg