17 April 2020

Published April 15, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Click the Frog to Play Along!

Word Count: 100

Genre: Historical Fiction

I told myself I was going to give Historical Fiction a rest, but this story found me and begged to be shared. For those across the sea, let me introduce you to an American icon. (she should be) 


The sun rose on New York’s horizon, Lena’s adopted city since immigrating from Lithuania in 1895, as a 16-year-old orphan. The baby on her soaking hip crammed his fist into his mouth and whimpered.

            “Oy. My little pisher needs his vikileh changed.”

            Once the deed was done she sat at her sewing machine, sleeping infant on her lap. She yawned. “No rest for weary Widow Bryant. Miss Feingold needs her wedding dress.”

            Four years later, Lena opened her own shop. Thanks to the bank’s misspell on her loan, we now remember the designer of fashionable plus-size dresses as Lane Bryant.


  • Pisher is a Yiddish word for someone who can’t keep his drawers dry. Vikeleh is diaper or nappie depending on which side of the pond you’re on. 😉 







99 comments on “17 April 2020

  • Another interesting bit of history. With a plus-sized wife, I’ve accompanied her into several Lane Bryant stores, including one in Detroit, where an envious clerk described her co-worker as “half the woman she was a year ago.”
    She had gone on a diet, and reduced her weight from 240 pounds, down to 120. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  • I love this story.
    Do you always base your historical fiction on real people? I read and thought that it’s funny how Yiddish is used differently in the Us and in Israel.
    I’ll try to participate although now in later stages of editing my own (Tel Aviv based) novella and really need to finish that already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • מיכל יקרה

      I don’t always base historical fictions on real people, but pretty often. When I find interesting historical figures I’m often compelled to write about them…or at least imagine a scene from their lives based on what I’ve read. Here’s one I wrote last week that is based on history but no one person: https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/04/11/hallel/
      My Yiddish vocabulary is even more minimal than my Hebrew. 😉 My mother, the daughter of Polish immigrants, used a few words here and there. A lot of words I find online. The internet is a great place for that.
      I understand about editing your novella. I’m currently writing a novel which often diverts my full attention from Friday Fictioneers. Join in when you can.
      Re my story, תודה




    • Dear Neil,

      They say success is part inspiration and part perspiration. The lady worked hard for her place in history. Obviously the Lane Bryant chain is an American institution–a constant throughout my lifetime. Happy to introduce her.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      I worked for a company that took good care of their employees…at least when I first started. Somewhere along the line it became slick and corporate and care for employees slid right down the drain. Thank you re my story.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Well, I’m very glad you decided to wander into the past again! What an inspiring tale. Bless Lena and her hard graft and determination. There must have been thousands of women, grateful for her skills.Another grand tale and a fine introduction to a pioneering woman.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Those who continually give, will most likely continually be successful. She was a great inspiration to many and another success story of a poor immigrant who worked hard and became a household name throughout America. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I love this. Not only did she create an enterprise, she did so while caring for her employees. I wonder if the Lane Bryant stores of today are still as generous as she was? I like to think that legacy was passed down. Such a wonderful story! I love how you do this.

    Shalom and lotsa well-fitting love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Björn,

      Lane Bryant has been, in my lifetime, an American fixture. Most shopping malls have a shop. I didn’t realize the chain never made is across the pond. Thank you for reading and commenting.




  • This is fantastic! I didn’t know this story, and now I’ve learned something new! YAY, Rochelle! 🙂 You did it again.
    Here’s to women who did it all, and to those who found success and kept heart and soul throughout it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wonderful, as always. I did actually finally write something this week. It far, far exceeds the word limits so I did an independent post. I’ve found a way to get on for a few minutes. YEAH!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I love this! I’m guessing it’s based on a true story? I’ve not heard of Lane Bryant but I’m going to look it up. I do enjoy your stories Rochelle.x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cathryn,

      It seems this widely known American chain never made it across the pond. Sadly tinned Spam did. Apologies for that. 😉 Yes, it’s based on fact. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. 😀




  • Not familiar with the name over here, but a another tale of hard work and determination against the odds winning through in the end. And I loved the maternity dress – those were the days of subtlety. Nicely done, Rochelle, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      I loved the maternity dress, too. They were the epitome of femininity, not to mention comfortable. I don’t get current fashions, guess that’s showing my age. 😉 Where’s the justice? You don’t have Lane Bryant over there, but you have Spam. 😉 Thank you.




  • Your story brought up a memory of the first time I wandered into “Lane Bryant” at the mall. It took me some moments of browsing to realize why the clerks were looking at me oddly. At the time, l was 5’1′, 105 lbs, measuring 32-32-32! I always assumed the names were two men who started the corporation! Thank you for straightening me out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Genia,

      I never really gave much thought to where the name of the chain came from. I only went into one with a plus-size friend when we were shopping at the mall. It was an experience. 😉 Thank you.




  • Rochelle, I’ve been having people say that when I commented on their story, clicking the link of my name took them to my Amazon page, even though it always SAYS I’m using my WordPress blog link. So, I’ve been checking and so far, you and Dale are the only Fictioneers where this was happening. I think I’ve successfully changed it, but I’m really wondering why some linked to my Amazon author’s page while most linked to my blog. I mean, I want to sell my books, but as I said to Dale, this isn’t the place!


    • Very strange. But I clicked on your name in both of your comments and the first one did send me to your Amazon page. This one sends me to your WP site. At any rate, I really don’t have to the answer to that one. So I guess you fixed it between the comments. No harm done.




  • Querida Rochelle,
    A misspelled word can change everything in a person’s life. In this case, for the better.
    I had a friend that was a plus size. She’s passed now but I can recall going into the shop with her and thinking there was a great deal of fabric used for each garment. Why??? I don’t have a clue. hehe
    I’ve posted a repeat with edits since the 1st time around wasn’t a hit. Let’s see what happens this time. Woo – Hoo … I’m early!!!
    Hasta la proxima … abrazos, mi amiga.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      I once accompanied a stout friend when she shopped at Lane Bryant. Only time I’ve ever been inside one. I wonder if a shop called Lena Bryant would’ve had the same success. As a couple of others have said, they thought the founder was either a man or two men. Perhaps that was one of Lena’s secrets. 😉

      Buen fin de semana, amiga.

      Shalom y abrazos,


      Liked by 1 person

      • Querida Rochelle,
        I’m slithering my way around WP. I can only cleave comments on my comment board on my blog : ( too weird.
        Well, that’s an interesting thought. Men were very big in the garment business. I remember taking things to a sewing store for my mother. It was a man. Perhaps, it was a man’s name: such as – leonard. Mmmmm …
        Anyway, Have a super peaceful week ….
        Isadora 😎

        Liked by 1 person

    • He he. Pisher was one of my mother’s favorite words. Thank you for the five out of five Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the shrimp cocktail on your way out.


      Queen Shelley.

      PS Russell will be sorry he missed you. 😉


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