About the Author
Norma Sarah Grosken was born in 1932 in Newark, New Jersey. She attended Avon Avenue School, South Side High School (now Malcolm X Shabazz High School) class of 1950 and New Jersey College for Women (now Douglass College) class of 1954 majoring in English and Dramatic Arts. Next came a work study program at Newark Public Library and the Rutgers Graduate School of Library Science (now the School of Communication and Information). After graduation she worked as a children's librarian at the Newark Public Library. In 1958, she married Alvin Hass, a chemical engineer at W. R. Grace. "They made the plastic for the original hula hoop" says Norma. "When we got engaged, Alvin gave me a hula hoop and his college ring to wear on a ribbon around my neck. All the teenage girls at the library thought that was very romantic. This year is our 54th wedding anniversary" In 1959, she left the library to become a full-time housewife and stay-at-home mom. Norma and Alvin have two daughters and a grand-daughter. Norma has had haiku published in Frogwood, Wind Chimes, and Dragonfly, and a rhyme about a pirate birthday cake in No Quarter Given. Having learned to use a tape recorder and play 9 guitar chords, she began writing neo-folk ballads, political protest songs, and not-for-children ditties. Many of these were performed at Al's Café in Elgin, Illinois. Most of her writings and song lyrics have appeared in The Iron Bridge, published by the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.