Steady Ender

As a way of launching a periodic display of Leslie Zurla’s “Steady Enders”, I first want to introduce her. That’s because Les is one of the most multi-talented people I know. A gifted artist, and a delightful cartoonist, she also devotes her energy and talents to working with adults in a Memory Care facility, as well as older folks who have all their faculties, but like Les, just enjoy creating art.

Les also spent a long time as a TV commercial producer, and got much of her early training on the New York stage. She’s also a devoted jazz fan, and in her spare time, used to work at the famous Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Plus she was the producer on my film, “For the Life of Me“.

But Les is also an extremely gifted writer, and the reason for this introduction. Even though some of her stories have already appeared in my blog, this will be the first of her series of anthologies that she has dubbed, “Steady Ender”. Stories that she continues to write when some memory touches her, or something simply strikes her fancy.

But let Leslie describe the origin of “Steady Ender” :

A happily surprised leslie zurla, dressed in black hightop tennis shoes, white leotard top and pink tutu as three cartoon wise men present gifts of gold and incense at her door.

The Meaning of . . .

Of all the games we played, Jump Rope had more transitions than any other. Our rope was frayed, and each time it would swing around and hit the ground, you could see tiny threads fly up in the air. One end of the rope was tied to a banister or tree, depending on where you were playing.

But then a Steady Ender had to be chosen to turn the other end of the rope. This position is assumed for the duration of the rope games.

A Steady Ender was usually the least skilled at jumping, or the youngest, or the one who can’t do a cartwheel. I was overwhelmingly qualified. So, I was always the Steady Ender.

But it wasn’t a bad thing at all. As a Steady Ender my imagination was free to roam as I turned the rope for the jumpers. Plus I avoided ridicule for a sub-par jumping performance, as well as the stress of a precise entry in the “Double Dutch” round.

As a Steady Ender, I could be an observer of all things, real and imagined. In later years my observations continued, and I began to write them down in what I began to call my “Steady Ender”.

— Leslie Zurla

Steady Enders

Smiling leslie zurla in her home office with her large sleepy cat looking over her shoulder.


Line drawing illustration movie cameraman and sound recordist on set.

My Brilliant Career –The Beginnings

Pen and ink drawing of nervous high school girl in graduation gown and mortar board standing with high-heeled shoes awkwardly pressed together.


“Jews in the Choir”