August 21, 2013

Song of life

PLATTSBURGH — Jacqueline “Jackie” Nisoff starts a new chapter in her life by crossing Lake Champlain to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Heather and John Bullock, in North Bennington, Vt. 

“My daughter in Bennington built an apartment on the back of her house for me,” said Nisoff, 90, of the Town of Plattsburgh.

“It has all big windows looking over her big back yard, French doors leading onto a deck. I can sit out in the summer. She’s got everything there for me. She wanted me down here.”

For two years before the death of her late husband, David, Nisoff took care of him.

“Not knowing I was sick,” she said. “I had two bleeding ulcers. So, they had to ship me off to the hospital for quite awhile. After he died, I started going down. Right now, I’m fine. I’m fairly healthy except I broke my hip, and that was stupid. I get these terrible headaches, and no one seems to know what to do. They’re excruciating.”


She was born May 19, 1923, in Brisbane, Australia. Her parents were John Herbert James and Dorothy Florence Radcliffe.

“He was 39 when he got married, and my mother was 22. They was married until they died,” she said.

Nisoff’s parents met when her mother was engaged to a man whose parents owned the Henslars Hotel in Goodwindie. Radcliffe was visiting, and James was a guest.

“She happened to be walking across the property. And Dad saw her and just looked at her, and he said, ‘I’m going to marry her.’ Just like that. My mother was disgusted by the way he was looking at her. She was married six weeks later to my father. He knew she was the one.”

James was a horse trainer.

“He used to go to India to buy horses and train them for the circus. I think they were Arabian horses. He was very good at breaking the horses and trick riding,” Nisoff said. 

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