23 January 2008

Genealogist's Parade: The Talalay Float

Bill West at West in New England has challenged us to join the Genealogist's Parade and design a family float.

Here's a chance for me to describe, but on a much bigger scale, what our Talalay family has always maintained would be the table centerpieces at our reunion: Large green foam rubber heads of broccoli.

Our Talalay cousins were involved in the production of latex foam rubber. Google "Talalay Process," and you'll see what I mean. You can't sell a mattress or pillow in Europe without those words somewhere on the item.

Another cousin, Johns Hopkins Medical School biochemist Dr. Paul Talalay, discovered anti-cancer enzymes in broccoli sprouts. He was on all the morning talk shows about 10 years ago, and is still very involved in the field. His father and brothers were the latex foam rubber people.

The green foam rubber float with large broccoli-head shapes, at front and rear, would also feature a made-for-the-event Talalay family coat of arms. As the use of a flutaphone (read Bill's posting) seems mandatory, a dozen or so golden flutaphones would be affixed around the float's perimeter - the horns filled with broccoli sprouts. No music, but very healthy!

For our coat of arms, let's start with a few green broccoli heads rampant on a field of gold in one quadrant.

As we believe our family originated in Spain and is Sephardi, I'll take a cue from the historic coats of arms of Jewish families or those descended from formerly Jewish families and add several six-pointed gold stars on a field of green in the second quadrant.

In the third quadrant, there'll be two golden lions on a field of blue, representing our famous ancestor Rabbi Leib, son of Rabbi Mikhael. One for the Rabbi, whose name means "lion," and another for the many descendants named for him through the generations - Yehuda Leib, Aryeh Leib, Leo, Leo, Leon, Louis and others.

In the fourth quadrant, a stylized view of the Ten Commandments tablets, in silver on a field of blue, as Rabbi Leib was a Talmudic scholar.

The green also represents the fields of Vorotinschtina, an agricultural colony near Mogilev, Belarus, that was organized in 1832 by some 30 families, including our Talalay.

I'm still working on adding the other family elements of music and artistic talent. For those interested in more Jewish heraldry (coats of arms and such), click here.

Unfortunately, the Talalay are also known for a genetic tendency toward procrastination, which might mean that our entry won't be ready for the actual parade!


  1. Wow,Schelly, that's a great description.Love the rubber broccoli
    heads! And the creative use of

    You should have plenty of time to
    add any finishing touches as I'm going to set the deadline for Feb3
    and post "the parade" on the 6th.

    Thanks for contributing!

  2. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Pretty funny, Schelly!
    I can *see* it!

    Also, am glad to find out where my deplorable habit of procrastination comes from (my sister will be happy to know where hers comes from, too)
    - all the way from the "Old Country" by way of my great-grandfather...Yankel TALALAY!
    It's genetic...it's not my fault! ; )

    All the Best, Always,

  3. Hi, Bill.

    Loved that challenge!


  4. Hi, Alicia,

    Good to hear from you again!

    The procrastination gene seems rather ingrained in all branches.

    Would you like to be the Queen of the float? We'll make you a special broccoli crown!


  5. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Well, I *do* love broccoli!

    Okay...I'll do it!

    : }

    Though, I wouldn't consider myself Queen of Anything!

    Hope things have been well for you!