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Afternoon with the Barkovitzes
By Eve
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Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the TV program "Big Valley" are the creations of Four Star/Republic Pictures and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. No infringement is intended in any part by the author, however, the ideas expressed within this story are copyrighted to the author.

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A Barkley parody
AN AFTERNOON WITH THE BARKOWITZES "Nu Aviva? What are you doing there?" Valera asked her youngest child who sat on the sofa busily sewing. Aviva looked up.

"See, Mother?" the peroxided platinum blond girl beamed, showing her handiwork. "It's a yamakah! I'm using the wedding ring pattern Susan showed me at the quilting bee last summer. I just wanted to put on some last minute touches before tonight. Do you think he'll like it?"

"I'm sure he'll love it, Dear," her mother reassured her. The elderly black servant entered the room. "Silas," the matriarch called, "how are the preparations going?"

"Just fine, Mrs. Barkowitz, just fine. All the decorations are up, those tiny matzoh ball hors d'oeuvres are laid out on the platters with Miss Aviva's prize winning gefilte fish, and I'm about to put the kugel into the oven."

"And the wine, Silas? We can't forget the wine-"

"No, Ma'am, Mrs. Berkowitz. Mr. Jonah is down in the wine cellar just now pickin' out something special for the occasion. Did you hear anything about Mr.'s Nathan and Heath while you were in town?"

"No, Silas, and I'm starting to get worried. They should have been back from that cattle drive yesterday. I wonder what could be keeping them? You'd think they would have at least written me. Would it have been so difficult for them to send their own mother a telegram? Oy veyizmir, Aviva ! If your father, may he rest in peace, were alive today..."

"Oh, Mother, do you think something could have happened to them?" Aviva asked.

"Happened to whom?" Jonah asked waltzing into the living room.

"Nathan and Heath," the two women answered at once. Valera glared at her daughter who blushed and returned to her sewing. Valera continued. "Those two will be the death of me. What have you picked out for the celebration, Jonah?"

"I have a nice sweet red for the ceremony, and naturally some champagne for the festivities. I think Reb Saunders will approve."

"I certainly hope so. Speaking of Reb Saunders, the train from St. Louis should be here before long. I was going to have Nathan pick him up at the station, but he hasn't gotten back yet. Jonah, do you think you could..."

"I would be honored, Mother."

"You're such a good boy, Jonah. Too bad your brother didn't get an education like you. I'm afraid he takes after your father's side of the family. Now go and get the Rebbe. The guests will be here soon."

Just at that moment the door opened and in walked the two delinquent sons. "Hello, Mother, Aviva, Jonah! I'm sorry we're late," Nathan called out. "We had some trouble bargaining over the price. Before we knew it it was sundown Friday night and we had to stay in town all weekend."

"That's right, Mother," Heath nodded. "We had to, uh, rest all day."

"Are you sure you didn't spend any of that time playing craps, Nathan?" Jonah asked. "You know, technically gambling is considered work, at least as far as the Sabbath is concerned."

"Now don't you go citin' Talmudic Law to me, Big Brother," Nathan fumed.

Wanting to avoid a fight, Heath changed the subject. "Boy, Howdy! Looks like you all are gettin' ready for a party. Is it some kinda special occasion?"

Valera beamed. "Yes, Heath, a very special occasion." She put her arm around Heath and guided him to the center of the room. "We're having a sort of welcoming ceremony for you. I know we've had a rocky beginning, but now I feel its time you were truly one of the family, and so I've sent out to St. Louis for Reb Saunders."

"St. Louis, huh? You've really gone out of your way. Couldn't you get Rabbi Silverstein?"

"Oh Rabbi Silverstein will be here too, of course, but Reb Saunders is a very special kind of Rabbi. You see he's a doctor as well."

"What do we need a doctor for, Mother?" Heath asked, puzzled.

"I'm so happy, Mother, I could burst!" Aviva suddenly cried out. "If only Eugene were here to see."


"I'm so sorry, Mother. I didn't mean to upset you," Aviva reached out to hug her mother.

Valera rested her head on her daughter's shoulder. "It's OK, Dear. But promise me, promise me you'll marry a nice Jewish boy."

"Of course I will, Mother. Of course I will."

"Then I forgive you," Valera brightened immediately. "Besides, I have a new son now."

Nathan smirked. "And by this time tomorrow, all the girls in Stockton will know he is really and truly a member of the Barkowitz family!"

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