Saturday, September 19, 2020

Still Life with Robin: RBG's Opera Date


by Peggy Robin

I was privileged to meet Ruth Bader Ginsburg a couple of times. She and her husband Marty were friends of my mother and stepfather, going back many, many years. My mother used to be the Associate Director of the ACLU in the mid 1970s, back when Ruth Bader Ginsburg headed up the Women’s Rights Project. But their friendship really blossomed when both couples were living in Washington, and both my stepfather and Ruth were great opera fans, while each of their spouses was somewhat less enthusiastic. There were a number of occasions when either Marty Ginsburg or my mother might be called away on a business trip on a night when one couple or the other had booked a pair of tickets for a performance at the Kennedy Center. Whenever this occurred, my stepfather would escort Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the opera. She would enjoy her “dates” with my stepfather, getting a lot more out of the show, I'm sure, than my mother ever did.

I remember once asking my mother ever worried about her husband so frequently taking out “another woman.” My mother, now 97 years old and a widow for nearly a decade, laughed at the thought of it. Ruth and Marty adored each other, and there was never any reason for anyone to doubt it. She was absolutely the sort of person you could trust with your husband – never any doubt about that either. And, my mother added, a lovely person – quiet – but fun to be around.

If you value Justice Ginsburg for her wisdom and opinions, you might want to know what operas she judged to be the best – and you can hear it in her own words – here:

If you would like to see a short clip of her IN an opera (non-singing role), you can watch at: 

If you would like to honor her tonight, there’s a candlelight vigil in front of the Supreme Court, starting at 8 pm.

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays. 

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant, Peggy, thanks so much for posting this bit of shared family history. I had no idea, but I love the story.