What touched the California Goldstein family, who did not know Steven
and was not related to him, was that he
was only 22 when he died, and had been in Vietnam less than a week. Coincidentally,his birthday was Aug. 10th,
as is their anniversary. They returned to the wall and left a rose and said a prayer. Then Ms. Goldstein, whose first
name is Sybil, thought that Steven's family might like to know that someone had paid their respects to Steven. Well, she
read that he was from Far Rockaway, and sent off letters to several families named Goldstein. One woman who received
a letter didn't know the family, but read the letter at a board meeting of the Bayswater Jewish Center Sisterhood.
This wasin August of 1999. I was at the meeting, and said
that I could place a notice on the FRHS site, since he probably
went to Far Rock if he livedhere at 22. I sent in a notice, and we received LOTS of responses. Of course, there were
many different reports of wherehe lived, what his father did, and what he looked like. You were able to have a copy of his
yearbook photo e-mailed to me.
This search really took on a life of its own. Someone had
written that Steven was buried in New Montefiore cemetery, and
I rode out and visited his grave, leaving stones for myself and the California Goldsteins, as is the Jewish tradition. Now, the
interesting part is that during this time, Mrs.Goldstein (Sybil) in California and I, kept up an e-mail correspondence.
We exchanged family info and photos, and wroteat least once a week. They had plans to come to NY on 9/15/01. Naturally,
that trip never happened. We continued writingto each other, and we continued to get responses regarding Steven. A lot
of people knew of him, especially the fact thathe had been killed in the war, but no one knew where Steven's family was
living now. One graduate sent the e-mail addressof a cousin of Steven's, but he never replied to us. About a year ago, I
saw this woman's picture on the website, and wrote heragain, to fill her in on the story. She wrote back, and included the
phone number of Steven's sister, who lives in Florida, asdoes their mother. Well, I sent the number to Sybil, since she was
the one who initiated this search. When she called Steven's sister, it seems that she really didn't want to discuss much. Of
course, that was a terrible time for the family, and they wantedto put it behind them.
All during this time, Sybil and I kept saying that this young man,
who died before he really could accomplish too much, had
lefta legacy; our friendship. After e-mailing busily for over 5 years, we did finally meet this fall. When I had mentioned that
I might be going to Las Vegas,Sybil said that she and her husband would meet me there. I don't have to tell you that it was
an emotional meeting, right in thelobby of the Tropicana! We knew what each other looked like after all the exchanges of
pictures, and we hit it off in person aswe did over the web. We spent two days together, and really enjoyed it.
Sybil Goldstein & Carole Waxman Cohen
Sybil put everything together in a binder: our letters, Steven's picture and responses from many FRHS alumni who took the
time to write about a young man whom they had known many years ago.
You can contact Carole at email@example.com