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Andrea "Andi" Adelman

Andrea "Andi" Adelman

North Minneapolis Native and Mother of Paul Adelman

Born: St. Paul, MN, United States
Heritage: Jewish-American

Make the most of everyday. You never can tell what will happen. Be grateful for whatever you have instead of thinking of what you don’t have. If things happen in the family, like your parents getting divorced, it’s important to know that life goes on and you can still be happy. If Grandpa dies you can still be happy even though it doesn’t make sense and life doesn’t seem fair all the time.

Andrea "Andi" Adelman

North Minneapolis Native and Mother of Paul Adelman

My name is Andrea Adelman. I was born in 1947, in St. Paul, Minnesota. My nickname is Andi because my father wanted a boy. I am what you call a baby boomer. That means people born between 1946-1951, because all the men came home from the war and everybody had babies and I was one of many born.

I was born in St. Paul but lived in Minneapolis in Grandma’s house for two or three years. We bought a house in St. Paul but always came back to Minneapolis. My mother came from a family of eight kids. We were very social, people coming and going all the time. I’m Jewish. Some of my nicest memories were on the Northside in the 1950’s. It was a very close-knit community where everybody had the same values. You knew all the neighbors and they all went to the synagogue together. There was a lot of trust.

My father had pool halls. Bilbo’s was the name of the hall. It was in the heart of downtown St. Paul. He made his money in pinball machines. He closed the pool halls because the policemen took all the pinball machines out because they started to regulate them. He then started into real estate. He would never spend a day not doing what he didn’t love doing. He was always happy and never complained about things.

We grew up in Highland Park. I was a good student. When I graduated I went to the University of Minnesota. I graduated from there in three and a half years. Then I went to Europe by myself for a couple of months. Everywhere I went I met interesting people. I stayed in youth hostels. I still have one real good friend after all these years.

When I came back from Europe I fell into a job in an employment agency. I would get people jobs. It was sales, similar to dad’s business. I won a lot of awards and did it for 20 years. I got married in 1980, to a wonderful man named Floyd. He’s very supportive of me. We always got a long well together. We loved to travel. We had two children.

When I was 41 I had a bat mitzvah. In Judaism it’s very common for a boy to have a bar mitzvah when they’re 13-years-old. Girls have them too. I never had one. I had to learn Hebrew and how to read it. I was a good role model for children at the time.

My son Paul had a brain tumor when he was five. He died in 1996, when he was twelve. When Paul got sick my husband and I relied on each other to help each other through it. We started a fund where we do a lot of things for handicapped kids. We would pay for the sign language classes because we wanted students to learn about diversity and inclusion.

When Paul died, I decided I was going to do something else. About three years ago, I went back to school to get my license for counseling drug addicts and alcoholics. I’m working in a place where I talk to people for drug addiction and counsel families with drug addiction.

Notation: Download PDF

Every Time a Child Is Born

Honoring Andrea "Andi" Adelman

Every Time A Child Is Born
(Honoring Andi Adelman in memory of her son, Paul)

Every time a child is born
We make a new star
And hang it up in the sky
To remind us how lucky we are

The star that hangs from the solstice room
Reminds us of Paul
Who went to school here
From the time he was small
Few thought he could make it
Beyond the age of five
But after his operation
Paul he survived

Paul loved chocolate
And having fun
Though he was frail with a crooked smile
Not one to be outdone
His friends would all start laughing
When Paul got bored
He turned off his hearing aid
So he couldn’t hear any more

The old kids told the new kids
Always be kind to Paul
If somebody teased him
It stopped! That is all
Everybody loved him
With a love that grows
Deep within your heart and mind
Where no one is alone

No one knows how long they’ll live
So make the best of life
Be careful with what you choose
To do and please don’t fight
Within his heart Paul knew
He would not live long
His passion was his legacy
May it live within this song

Words & music by Larry Long with Jill Swanson’s 3rd grade class of Eisenhower Elementary School in Hopkins, Minnesota.

© Larry Long 2008 /BMI