One of the first warm and sunny days of 2015 set the tone for a gala birthday party celebrating 100 years of Granny extraordinaire Lillian Pollak. The spacious and light-filled community room and terrace on West 57th Street held at least 100 happy guests, comprising an impressive diversity of family, friends and comrades in attire ranging from payis and yarmulkes to kaffiyehs and political tee shirts. A large bulletin board was adorned with many photos spanning Lillian’s life, from the early 1920s, through Adolescence, marriage, children and activism. (In one photo, she poses with Trotsky.) A great band played songs popular during Lillian’s youth while guest sampled salmon, spring rolls, and other tasty finger foods, along with an inviting array of assorted desserts and, of course, birthday cake. The Raging Grannies led a singalong of their favorite numbers (including a solo verse by Lillian, performed without wearing glasses!), followed by a rousing “Happy Birthday” toast, “For She’s a Jolly Good Granny” and “Lillian is unstoppable, another world is possible”. Guests mingled and shared “Lillian stories” while the Birthday Girl held court for over three hours until her family had to announce that the party was over and ushered lingerers to the door. It was an exciting day for Lillian, and certainly exhausting.
But there she was the next day, on the corner of 96th and Broadway, protesting the Israeli Occupation with Jews Say No!
Lillian, you are a wonder! You have earned every one of your 100 years!
– Ann Shirazi
for the Granny Peace Brigade