On January 20th, the Southampton Town Democratic Committee (SHDems) and the JP Spata Southampton Democratic Club created a virtual Gala for Democrats everywhere to come together and celebrate the Biden-Harris Inauguration and the end of the Trump presidency. It was a joyous event, featuring Joe Lauro and the HooDoo Loungers broadcast live from the Bay Street Theater. In addition, we honored two members who had just retired, Mike Anthony and Grania Brolin, with awards for their outstanding service to the community.
I reached out to them, requesting interviews, so I could follow up and discuss their work, particularly how they helped grow the Democratic Party here in Southampton. My last blog post was about Mike. This week is about Grania. I had not been lucky enough to work very often with Grania, so I didn’t know as much about her background as I did with Mike, who I had interviewed previously for my book. So, I asked Grania to email me a short biography in preparation for our conversation.
What a life it has been! Imagine my astonishment to learn that Grania’s honorary godmother was Eleanor Roosevelt. Grania told me that, over the years, she has given a presentation about Mrs. Roosevelt and had been scheduled for just such a talk last year at Rogers Memorial Library. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to COVID. This is how that presentation was advertised in the local press: “Grania Brolin first met Mrs. Roosevelt as a shy girl of 7. Her father, David Gurewitsch, had become Mrs. Roosevelt’s doctor shortly after she left Washington to settle in New York City. The two became close friends in 1947, and Mrs. Roosevelt welcomed young Grania into her world, taking on the role of informal godmother. From then on, Mrs. Roosevelt was a strong presence in Ms. Brolin’s life—in New York, Hyde Park and on trips abroad. Join us for a fascinating look at Mrs. Roosevelt through a young person’s eyes.” https://www.27east.com/events/memories-of-mrs-roosevelt-with-grania-brolin/
Her stepmother, Edna Gurewitsch, published a book in 2002 about her husband’s relationship with Mrs. Roosevelt, entitled, Kindred Souls: the friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and David Gurewitsch. When I asked Grania about Mrs. Roosevelt, she said we didn’t have … [more]