The year 1925 marked some paramount events: F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, Americans tuned into the radio broadcast of The Scopes Trial, and Joseph and Hannah Hirsch gave birth to their daughter Emily. The Kensington Park community knows her better as Emily S.: ‘the Brains of Brooklyn.’ As the youngest of five children born during the Great Depression, she quickly learned the value of a loving home over material things. Her most precious possessions were her books, which she began reading at the tender age of six. Voracious reading propelled Emily successfully through school and eventually landed her a secretarial job with the U.S. Army. By this time, World War II raged on and Emily proudly contributed by transcribing letters and confidential documents.

Then, Emily met Milton. “Milt,” as she affectionately refers to him, earned a degree in chemistry, joined the Navy, and married Emily. Together they raised three wonderful children, Jessica, Julia and Richard, and embarked on many memorable, often comic, adventures. “Our Mom and Dad spent a summer in Rome and had a blast. Mom always laughed when she told us about the dense traffic and how treacherous it was to cross the street. Eventually, her ‘hack’ was to look and see if there were any nuns waiting to cross the street because she knew if she stayed close to them,  traffic would stop.”

Emily’s great sense of humor has equipped her with an inspiring outlook on life. Even in a pandemic, she never seems to “sweat the small stuff.” She is quick-witted, down-to-earth and sensible. According to her family, she’s also quite brave! “When Rich was two, the family was at a company picnic at Great Falls. The ball Rich was playing with fell into the Potomac River and Rich went in after it. Mom always said her finest moment was when, despite being terrified and not knowing how to swim, she jumped in and pulled Rich out just as his
head went underwater.”

Emily is truly a beloved resident of Kensington Park. She participates in a variety of activities from trivia and word games to baking and bowling. She is very humble, but if you dig a little, she has incredible insight and extraordinary stories. We are so grateful to have Emily. She is a delight and part of what makes the Greatest Generation so special.

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