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Whether it’s Magazines or Funny Stories...

...Rica's delivery is perfect.

On Wednesday afternoon, May 1, three piles of ESRAmagazines were delivered to Rica Goldin at her central Tel Aviv apartment.

On Thursday morning, May 2, at 7.00am, I retrieved my ESRAmagazine from my mailbox.

As far as I know, Rica delivers far more magazines than any other volunteer. She is given between 35 to 40 magazines of each new issue, and carries up them up four flights of stairs to her apartment with the help of her son, Aryeh. She sorts them into Tel Aviv area groups and starts her deliveries.

When did Rica begin delivering ESRA magazines? She doesn't remember. Let's say some time in the 20th century. At first, she delivered magazines only in her neighborhood – Allenby Street and surroundings. Then Shenkin and Ben-Zion streets were added, followed by the sea front and some of the streets off Herbert Samuel - of course, Gordon and Frishman streets; along Arlozorov to the sea; Dizengoff street to the municipality, Ben Gurion street and numerous side streets.

Is it easy to make deliveries? On one occasion, at a newly-built apartment block in Balfour Street, Rica couldn't get to the mailbox slots to make her delivery. She tried this entrance and that, pressed this button and that. Nothing worked. She posted the magazine.

At last, after contacting the ESRA member directly, she learned how to get to the mail boxes.

Sometimes Rica finds someone has been taken off her delivery list. No explanation. Often the person's name reappears. For example, a member living near the Hilton Hotel was on and off and on again. "I'm on familiar terms with my delivery addresses," said Rica. "I always miss one if it is no longer on the list."

Rica has good stories to tell about delivering to Melchett, Ben Gurion, Frishman and Malkhey Israel streets. She had difficulties at the latter address, and the female occupant, an ESRA member, came to Rica's flat to get the magazine, had tea, and gave a careful explanation of how to obtain entry to her building.

There was one unpleasant experience. Two or three years ago Rica had a magazine to deliver to a large building behind the municipality. There was no apartment number in the address. Rica contacted the ESRA office and got a phone number. She phoned the person in the apartment and asked how to find her mailbox slot. "There is no number," said the person in a sharp tone. "Go in through one of the doors and ask the doorman. There's no need to phone me," she told Rica, as if talking to a servant. Rica promptly delivered the magazine with the help of a doorman.

What annoys Rica? To deliver magazines to people who are not paid-up members of ESRA. What pleases her? The thanks she receives when, by chance, she comes into contact with the occupant of an apartment to whom she's delivering.

At the ESRA Tel Aviv monthly meeting in April, Rica told the hilarious story of one particular delivery. She calls it 'Optical Illusion?' and has written it out for the magazine readers. Of course, readers don't get the full force of Rica's storytelling abilities: her straight face while the audience laughs, her pauses, her easy manner.

In spite of the fact that deliveries of ESRA magazines keep her busy for many days, Rica is a member of the poetry group, Voices Israel, the ESRA Short Story Discussion Group, and the Oppenheimers Storytelling Group.

Rica has a marvelous sense of humor. Not only that – she is always appreciative of other peoples' jokes, and cackles at the slightest provocation. Certainly Rica is a remarkable person. 



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