Ice Cream & Pretzels is Cynthia’s second book in a year. Her first book, An Orchid Sari: The Personal Diary of an American Mom in 1960s India, published in July 2017, recounted her nine-week trip to London and India in 1968-69 with her Indian husband and their two-year-old son.
Cynthia and her two younger sisters grew up as the daughters of two physicians in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the setting for most of the stories in Ice Cream & Pretzels. In this memoir in 17 short stories and a poem, Cynthia concentrates primarily on her childhood years in the 1940s and ’50s, her parents’ lives and their relationship, family dynamics, and a look back on some life-changing experiences. Vintage personal photographs of the characters and locations add texture to the narratives.
Cynthia received her B.A. degree in English from Temple University in Philadelphia.
After working for a neighborhood organizing group and at an alternative school, Cynthia served as the administrative assistant to the president for publications at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia for many years, being responsible for all printed materials. In that role, she was editor of the quarterly alumni/ae journal, and served as managing editor of two other journals.
After retirement, Cynthia spent 14 years as a volunteer teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) in Philadelphia, in settings ranging from the classroom to conversation groups to one-on-one tutoring
Since 2005, she has been an avid blogger, sharing her travel and cultural experiences, punctuated with her photographs, in places like Alaska, Morocco, South Africa, and Mexico, particularly after moving to San Miguel de Allende in 2012. For over 10 years, she has taken Spanish grammar and conversation classes. She assists Mexicans taking English classes with pronunciation and vocabulary development.
Over the years, Cynthia has taken many writing courses that resulted in short stories, some of which are in this collection. She has been and is a dedicated correspondent with dozens of friends throughout the world.