If every picture tells a story, then two photographs in the new book A Pony in the Picture by Victoria Randall, published by Ten Speed Press, tells an amazing tale about one pony and the destiny of two women. In 1936, Roberta Hozier Lurie at age one in New Haven, Connecticut (page 88) and Judith Willensky Siperstein, age three in Bayone, New Jersey (page 89), both residing in different states and without any knowledge of each other’s existence had their photos taken as children by the same photographer on the same pony. Fifty years later in 1986 Roberta’s son Steven Lurie met Judy’s daughter Bonnie Siperstein, Steven and Bonnie were married in 1988. Were these two women on kismet pony rides as youngsters or is it pure chance that fifty years later their children would marry and they would meet?
Curiosity at Animal Fair peaked and we had to know more about how this coincidence, or fate, came to light and contacted author Victoria Randall to find out. Randall saddled up and explained, “I told my dear friend Dale Siperstein about the book project and she said what a lot of people say when they heard about it: ‘I think I have a picture of my mom on a pony!’ So she called her sister Bonnie (Siperstein Lurie) who lives in Connecticut, to ask her to send the picture of their mother Judy (Willensky Siperstein), and Bonnie said, ‘You know we have a picture of (Bonnie’s husband) Steven’s mom on a pony too. Why don’t I send both pictures?’ Both photographs had been taken in same year, 1936. My sister, also my editor, looked at the two photos very carefully and realized that it was the same pony in both pictures! It was amazing enough to realize that I had two photos that had definitely been taken by the same traveling photographer with the same pony in the same year, but what are the odds that some fifty years later the children of those two little girls would meet and marry and bring them together? Today they are good friends, who both live in Connecticut and see each other often.”
The next time you put a new photograph in a photo album – give it a long second look – you never know what intriguing story it may have to tell fifty years down the road.