Showing posts with label Bronx. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bronx. Show all posts

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Those Places Thursday: My Mahler Ancestors in Jewish Harlem

Professor Jeffrey Gurock recently published his authoritative The Jews of Harlem, with additional research and updates to his earlier book on the subject, When Harlem Was Jewish, 1870-1930. I got my hands on a copy of the new book after reading about it in the New York Times.

My Mahler ancestors lived in that area of upper Manhattan, during the period Prof. Gurock describes. This book gave me a window into their Jewish immigrant experience, arriving and living in the Lower East Side, then moving uptown to Harlem.

Prof. Gurock writes that the opening of the elevated subway (1904) brought many immigrants to Harlem, escaping the teeming crowds and cramped tenements of the Lower East Side. He also notes that the move allowed many to find work locally in Harlem rather than commuting to jobs in midtown or, more commonly, in lower Manhattan.

Interestingly, Prof. Gurock points out that the density of population in Jewish Harlem tenement neighborhoods was, in fact, quite intense. Later, as families had a bit more money, they moved to the "subway suburbs," including the Bronx.

My Mahler family followed this pattern. Great-grandpa Meyer E. Mahler (1861-1910) and great-grandma Tillie Jacobs Mahler (185?-1952) originally lived in the Lower East Side when they arrived from "Russia" (really Eastern Europe). Around the turn of the 20th century, they lived on Chrystie Street and a bit later at Allen Street. Then the "el" opened and life changed.

By 1905, the NY Census shows the Mahler family at 1956 Third Avenue, between 107th and 108th Streets--a walkup tenement in Jewish Harlem. Meyer Mahler worked as a tailor in 1909 at 63 E. 117th Street. I can imagine him walking to work there, half a mile north of his residence (in a building no longer standing).  

By 1910, the family was living at 7 E. 105th Street, a much less crowded area of Jewish Harlem, as I understand Prof. Gurock's explanation. Poor Meyer died of stomach cancer that year, but his widow and children remained at that address until well after WWI. The younger son, Morris Mahler, seems to have been the main breadwinner at that point, and he commuted to work outside Jewish Harlem.

By 1925, the NY Census shows that the Mahler family had moved to the "subway suburb" of the Bronx, living at 2347 Morris Avenue (the first of a few addresses in and around the Bronx). The timing corresponds with what Prof. Gurock writes in his chapter, "The Scattering of the Harlem Jewish Community, 1917-1930." 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sorting Saturday: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Family's Story?

Tillie Jacobs Mahler
Watching the Hamilton documentary on PBS, I couldn't get one of Lin-Manuel Miranda's songs out of my mind: "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?" Who, the characters sang, would keep their stories alive?

As the genealogists of our generation, we're stepping up to tell our family's stories, and keeping the stories alive for future generations.

But we can't always sort out what the true story actually is. And I wonder, what story would our ancestors themselves tell if they could reach across time to us?

My family has two versions of a story about great-grandma Tillie Rose Jacobs (185_?-1952), born in Telsiai and married in Latvia to Meyer Elias Mahler (1861-1910) before coming to America before the turn of the 20th century.

In one version, Tillie lives to the age of 99. In the other, she is actually 100 when she passes away, but hasn't admitted her real age.

Which is the real story? Which way would she want to tell it to her descendants?

Either way, I know Tillie was a strong matriarch who outlived her husband by more than 40 years. The family often gathered at her Bronx apartment for holidays and other occasions.

Tillie had 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren at the time of her death--a large family to remember her and keep her memory alive through the ages.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Those Places Thursday: The Bronx of my Burk family

On this day 107 years ago, my father (Harold Burk) was born at home, 77 E. 109th Street in Manhattan, the second of four children of Isaac Burk and Henrietta Mahler Burk.

Until the mid-1920s, the Burk family lived in a series of tenements in upper Manhattan. Dad used to tell stories of how, on a summer's day, the family would pack a big picnic lunch and take a street car to the top edge of Manhattan. There, they would pick up a horse-drawn conveyance for crossing into the Bronx.

It was a full-day outing, between the slow transportation and then enjoying lunch and a stroll or nap in the park. A welcome change from the heat, noise, and bustle of Manhattan, he remembered fondly decades later.

By 1930, the Burk family had managed to move uptown, with three of the four children working and contributing to the household coffers. They lived at 1580 Crotona Park East in the Bronx, a leafy, "suburban" part of the city.

Today, a single family home sits on the site. But 80 years ago, 20 families lived in a tenement at that address. Looking at the 1930 Census, every family in the building was either headed by an immigrant or included an immigrant (sometimes as a boarder). Most were from Russia, Poland, Romania, or thereabouts.

The Burk family's next-door neighbor in the apartment building became a character reference for Dad in 1931. He was applying for a "fidelity bond" as the first step toward his dream of becoming a travel agent.

Two other character references shown on the bond were, in reality, family members: Louis Volk was married to his aunt, Ida Mahler; Joseph Markell was married to another aunt, Mary Mahler. Both lived on Rochambeau Avenue in the Bronx, 3 miles uptown from the Burk family.

Except for the years he served in World War II, Dad lived the rest of his life in the Bronx, where I was born and spent my early years.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Those Places Thursday: 50 Years Ago in the Bronx

Fifty years ago, in the spring of 1966, this was what the Bronx looked like after a light dusting of snow, in a snapshot taken taken from the high ground of Paulding Avenue and the Esplanade. Thank you to Sis for rediscovering this photo!*

In the foreground is the subway stop known as Morris Park-Esplanade, one stop further into the Bronx from 180th Street on the Dyre Avenue subway line.

The street heading upward in the photo is Lydig Avenue, lined with attached homes and apartment buildings. Lydig Avenue held all manner of delis and bakeries, among other retail businesses. Walk up Lydig toward the top of this photo and within not too many blocks is White Plains Road, a main street where the elevated subway can be heard rumbling overhead.

Taking a subway to Manhattan from the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens was known as going "downtown."

*Even though the photo is dated May '66, it's clearly from earlier that spring. Once upon a time, in the last century, people used cameras and physical film. Nobody had a roll of film developed until every shot was taken. The film cost money, the developing cost money, each print cost money. So we often waited several months or more, snapping a photo here or there and waiting until after we used up all 24 or 36 shots. Then the roll was sent out for developing, either at a local drug store or by mail. Wait a brief week (7 days!) and the prints would be back, along with negatives. Remember negatives?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Those Places Thursday: Off Tremont Avenue in the Bronx




Because I had a professional photography studio make proof sheets of faint black-and-white negatives that were part of my parents' snapshot collection, I was able to isolate and scan individual images to add contrast and view them more clearly.

That's how I saw enough detail to identify the Bronx, NY apartment building where my grandparents (Teddy Schwartz and Minnie Farkas Schwartz) lived from the 1940s until the mid-1960s. The address is 600 East 178th Street in the Bronx, just steps from the busy shopping street of Tremont Avenue.

Above left, the photo of my mother (Daisy Schwartz) in front of that apartment building during the summer of 1946. She has her suitcase, ready to go with my father (Harold Burk) to visit his favorite aunt and uncle (Ida and Louis Volk).

Notice the distinctive architectural details around the doorway behind my mother? Now compare them with the Google photo at right of the same building, taken 70 years later.

In the old days, the front door had decorative wrought-iron trim over glass, and the lobby had upholstered furniture that gradually became shabbier and finally disappeared. Today, the entrance is a solid door, although the masonry details remain from the way the building looked decades earlier.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Travel Tuesday: City Grandpa Visits the Country

After Grandpa Theodore (Tivador) Schwartz (1887-1965) left his home in Ungvar, Hungary (now Uzhorod, Ukraine), he settled in New York City.

Except for a handful of vacations to the bungalow belt of New York State and one honeymoon trip to Florida decades after his 1911 wedding to Hermina Farkas (1886-1964), Teddy stuck to city life.

He never had a car and never learned to drive--why would he, with trolleys, buses, and subways steps away from his business and apartment in the Bronx?

Here are two photos from the late 1920s and 1930s, contrasting Teddy's usual daily life (below, in his Bronx grocery store, Teddy's Dairy) with two of his rare visits to the country (above).

In the country we see Grandpa Teddy with John, his assistant at the grocery. Where were they? At that time, the Bronx still had some very rural areas, so it could have been within a trolley or subway ride--or possibly in Westchester? John obviously had a car, so they may have taken a day trip even further.

The photos are undated, but judging by the amount of hair that Teddy has and his face, the one at top left looks like it was taken around the same time as the photo at bottom, where Teddy is standing with John in front of the grocery store in 1934. The photo with Teddy and John and John's car is clearly earlier, judging by the age of the car.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Those Places Thursday: The Bronx

The Bronx was where my grandparents brought up their children and where my parents (Harold Burk and Daisy Schwartz) settled with my sisters and me.

Teddy's Dairy (owned by Grandpa Theodore Schwartz and Grandma Hermina Farkas) was in several locations around Fox Street and Beck Street in Bronx, NY.




Above, Teddy behind the counter. At right, Teddy and his assistant John in front of Teddy's Dairy, 1934. John eventually bought the business from Teddy.

The Bronx has a legendary mystique worldwide, it seems . . . in Japan, as well.



When hubby, Sis, friend Laurie, and I were in Kyoto in 2007, we passed a bar entrance named for our hometown.

Left, a photo of us waiting for The Bronx to open :)



We also went to a baseball game where Marc Jason Kroon, a star relief pitcher from the Bronx who made it big in Japan, saved the game for the Yokohama Bay Stars.

Right, I'm helping Marc get his pitch ready. He was driven to the mound in a brand-new tricked-out Toyota and treated to cheers from the Yokohama fans before striking out the Yakult Swallows to earn yet another win.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy: PS 103 in the Bronx

My elementary school, Public School 103 in the Bronx, NY, thoughtfully provided this b/w photo at the front of the official autograph album I bought for my 6th grade graduation.

You can guess the approximate year by looking at the vehicles parked near my school!

Thankfully, I saved the album and can now list my teachers from kindergarten through 6th grade. See the photo of my teachers' names, above, written in my favorite turquoise ink. Yes, I had the same teacher in 4th and 5th grade, and no, she was no relation because my marriage into the Wood family was decades in the future!

Mr. Zantell, my 6th grade teacher, was a jovial, easy-going, smart guy and a favorite teacher too. Sis and I were in that class together, one of the rare times in our school careers when we shared a classroom. Because Mom was a twin, she understood first-hand the need to develop separate personalities and avoid too-intense rivalry over school achievements. That's why she put Sis and me in separate classes most of the time. That didn't always work out well, but in 6th grade, we had a good time (and occasionally fooled teacher and classmates).

PS 103, located at 4125 Carpenter Avenue, was a 10-block walk from the apartment building where my family lived. We (and later our younger sister) walked to and from school twice a day: In the morning, we walked there; for lunch, we walked home; after lunch, we walked back to school; and after school, we walked home again. Only when my twin took guitar lessons and I took accordion (!) lessons did we get a ride to school from a kind neighbor. Otherwise, we crossed streets ourselves, sauntered home past the candy store, and got a lot of fresh air and exercise using our feet as transportation.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

52 Weeks of Genealogy: Bedroom (Three's Company)

My two sisters and I shared a bedroom in our family's 2-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. (At that time, everybody we knew--everybody--lived in an apartment.)

Three's company in one crowded bedroom: Three beds, a standing closet, a bureau, and three active girls.

On a rainy day, we'd push all the beds against the walls and march around to the music of "Zulu Warrior" blasting from the record player. Stomp, stomp, stomp, it's a wonder our downstairs neighbors didn't go ballistic!

On summer nights, the windows would be wide open to let in the breeze. This also let in night-time sounds, such as the distant rattle of trains on the elevated subway line, one l-o-n-g block to the east. Although there was a bit of street noise from the occasional car driving along Carpenter Avenue, where our windows faced, traffic was pretty sparse in those days.

Our bedroom was painted one of two colors: Landlord beige or landlord green. Every three years, the landlord was required to repaint, and those were the "standard" colors for everybody. (Want something different? Tip the painter privately for paint and special treatment.)

This photo of we three sisters in the summer of 1960 is unusual because my twin and I (I'm on left, she's on right) are wearing matching dresses, and our younger sis is in a special dress, as well. Usually we all wore pants so our tomboy antics wouldn't ruin our clothes. Plus, my mother--a fraternal twin who, as a child, was often dressed exactly like her sister--was determined to dress us as individuals. That's why I think this was some occasion when matching twin dresses were in order. Wonder what it was...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

52 Weeks - Spring: Playgrounds, Blue Grass, and Earrings

The Bronx was suburbia in the 1950s, believe it or not. We lived in an apartment building 1 block from Bronx Park adjacent to the Bronx River in the Northeast Bronx. This park district is now known as "Shoelace Park." By the 1980s, it had become known informally as "Needle Park" and wasn't safe day or night, I understand. (I had moved away long before.)

But back in my day, it was pretty and green and a world apart from the bustle of the city that was a subway ride away.

In the spring, my mom, Daisy Burk, would pull out the baby buggy, tuck my baby sister Harriet in with a hand-crocheted afghan, and take my twin Isabel and me for a stroll in the park. She wore the fragrance Blue Grass, by Arden, her favorite. (My sister Harriet especially loved that fragrance and the childhood memories it evoked.)

First stop on our Bronx Park spring stroll was "The Circle" aka "The Horse Shoe," a group of benches arranged inside a horse-shoe-shaped stone fence within the park. The moms would sit on benches under the trees while we kids played. Sometimes we'd ride our bikes round and round the circle. Sometimes we'd explore the "woods" outside the bench area.

Another favorite stop was the playground, shown at top, at E. 227th Street in Bronx Park. In the summer, this playground had free arts 'n' crafts activities for kids and bug-juice (colored sugar water, it tasted like) for a snack. Here's a pair of earrings that one of we twins made for our mom. Unfortunately, these were for pierced ears and hers weren't pierced, but she kept them forever and now I have them in my jewelry box, a treasured memento of Mom and those crafty days.

My twin Izzi just reminded me of one more favorite activity in the playground above--playing King/Queen (a kind of street handball) against one of the retaining walls. Each box was a lower rank, starting from the left. I remember our personal twist on this game. King, Queen, Jack, 10, and then . . . Toilet Bowl, the lowest rank :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

52 Weeks - WINS, WMCA, WABC & Orchard Beach in the 1960s

Nostalgia today: New York City was (and probably is) a cut-throat radio town, and in the 1960s, rock 'n roll loving teens had their pick of some great stations and DJs. With our pocket-sized transistor radios, we could "spin the dial" and listen to:
  • WMCA 570 AM, the home of the Good Guys. If I had a penny for every time my sister and I dialed in to answer a rock trivia question for a shot at winning a bright yellow Good Guy sweatshirt or 45 rpm record, I'd be a gazillionaire right now. Believe it or not, we did win a few times and until it fell apart, we had one of the sweatshirts (alas, long gone in the pre-eBay era). Of course our parents weren't thrilled about our monopolizing the phone with our dialing antics for an hour or too, but it was pretty tame fun. DJs I remember vividly include Harry Harrison and Jack Spector.

  • WABC 770 AM, producer of the Silver Dollar Survey (countdown of top 40 songs) and the radio home of some of the most legendary rock 'n' roll DJs ever: Cousin Brucie; Dan Ingram; Scott Muni; Ron Lundy; the list goes on and on, too long to include here. The wattage of this AM station was so high that it could be heard quite a distance from New York, and was always clear and static-free when we tuned in at Orchard Beach. More below on the beach scene. No matter what top 40 song you wanted to hear, chances are you'd hear it more often on WABC, especially during "teen time" on weekends.

  • WINS 1010 AM, which featured, among other DJs, Murray the K (and his famous submarine race-watching music--that's "make out" music for the uninitiated). Murray the K appointed himself "the Fifth Beatle" and rode the Fab Four's coattails during the early-to-mid 1960s. WINS, like its competitors, vied to be first to air the new single from some hot group like Dion & the Belmonts (from the Bronx, natch) or the Tokens (The Lion Sleeps Tonight, remember?).
Orchard Beach, in the Bronx, is a man-made beach only 30 minutes or so away from where my family lived at the time. (The beautiful and expansive Jones Beach on Long Island was a lot further away from our apartment and required the use of a car, which we didn't own. My aunt would drive us there once or twice every summer as a treat.)

On a hot summer day, my sister and I would hop two buses and walk down the hot sand of Orchard Beach until we got to THE section where teens hung out, Section 10. Nearly every transistor radio in the place was tuned to WABC by design: As you walked the length and breadth of Section 10, you'd never miss a note of your favorite Paul Revere & the Raiders song or the Rolling Stones ordering people off their cloud. The aroma of Coppertone was everywhere and summer seemed to fly by too quickly.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy - Home is where the elevator is


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My parents Daisy Schwartz Burk and Harold Burk lived their entire lives in New York City apartments and I was brought up here, one of twin apartment buildings just a block from a huge park in the Bronx. Getting into an elevator every day (many times a day) was part of the experience. 


In the summer, when we were playing in front of the building and the Bungalow Bar ice cream truck came around, we'd yell up to my mother to ask for money. She'd tie two dimes in a handkerchief and float it out the living room window to the street below, where we picked up the bundle and bought choco-covered pops. (Mister Softee trucks came later.)


When my mother tried her hand at writing children's stories, she wrote about children going to visit their grandparents and vying to push the elevator button for the right floor . . . exactly how we visited our maternal grandparents (Teddy and Minnie Farkas Schwartz) every other Sunday for dinner. They lived in an apartment building near Tremont Avenue in the Bronx.


My paternal grandmother Henrietta Burk lived just a few apartments away on the same floor where we lived here on Carpenter Avenue in the Bronx. In fact, as I've noted elsewhere in this blog, most of my father's family lived in this apartment building: His older sister Millie Lang lived on the top floor with her husband and my cousin Elliot, his brother Sidney Burk lived with their mother Henrietta on our floor. (Grandfather Isaac Burk had died 7 years before my birth, so I never knew him, but my cousin Ira is named after him.) Only my father's younger sister lived elsewhere, in Queens.


When I was growing up, this part of the northeast Bronx was a "suburban" area, where one-family homes dotted the side streets and apartment buildings dominated many of the corners and avenues. Because the elevated subway line was just a few blocks away, it was an especially convenient location for commuters (like my father) going to work an hour away in Manhattan. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Winter

Week #2's challenge is to write about winter. Growing up in the Bronx, NY, nearly every December our parents took me, my twin, and our younger sister on the subway downtown to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and walk along Fifth Avenue gawking at the holiday displays.

Many years we went to Radio City Music Hall to see whatever blockbuster movie was opening and the main attraction, the Rockettes' Christmas show. (I think I recall seeing "The Sundowners" there.) It was thrilling to see the organ slide into view as the deep chords started the show. At intermission, the luxe bathrooms were a big attraction.

A real treat was going to the elegant Savoy Plaza (later the Savoy Hilton) Hotel, above, where my father Harold BURK and his brother Sidney Burk maintained their travel agency (see my father at his desk, below). The hotel had a Trader Vic's restaurant and we loved tiki meals! But once the GM building was built, it was goodbye to the hotel and the restaurant . . . and my father's travel agency. That's a story for another day.


In those days, we kids would drag our sleds over to Bronx Park after a big snowfall, spend an entire day going down the gentle hills, and return home positively encrusted with snow. I don't remember many times when snow forced schools to close, but this must have happened more than a few times.

The elementary school was 10 blocks away, no school bus, so yes, we really did walk 1/2 mile each way in all kinds of weather (and often we walked home for lunch and back again!). No wonder fitness wasn't an issue. No school cafeteria*, so anyone who brought a lunch (which we usually did during heavy rains or very cold weather) ate in the school basement, sitting on benches. *My sister says there was a cafeteria in the basement, and the food was (stereotypically) terrible and she preferred the bag lunches!

And who could forget my mother's beloved Persian Lamb coat? She's wearing in the above photo from her wedding day in November, 1946. For years, she'd wear that when the temperature dropped. We kids loved to run our hands through it, another winter memory.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Bronx, Then and Now


Today's New York Times has an article (and online slide show) about the Wakefield section of the Bronx, where my family grew up many decades ago.

The caption for this contemporary photo says it's on "Carpenter Street" but I bet it's really on Carpenter Avenue, which runs from 233 Street to 222 Street.

PS 103, mentioned in the article, is on Carpenter Avenue, a residential street (as you can see) with homes and apartment houses. From the school it was possible to watch the construction of Misericordia Hospital, which was built in the late 1950s. In those days, a school field trip to a local dairy was a treat.

At the time, the neighborhood was filled with small businesses such as bakeries, butcher shops, delis, pizza places, dress shops, drug stores, and ice cream parlors, all of which beckoned to commuters walking home from the elevated subway after a long day working in Manhattan, an hour's train ride away. Commuters in the know tried to catch the "through express," subway trains that skipped certain stations during the morning and evening rush hours to cut 10-15 minutes off the ride to and from "the city." Remember?!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Teddy's Dairy

Hidden among 1970s photos (stored in a Clairol electric roller box) was a large brown envelope with a Macy's logo and the address "New York 1, New York."

Inside that pre-Zip code envelope was the above photo of my grandfather Teddy (right) in front of his grocery store, Teddy's Dairy, in the Bronx. He was 47 at the time, since the back of the photo includes a hand-written date of 1934. I didn't realize he was a notary (see window). At the left margin of the photo is a bit of dress, which it's tempting to think is being worn by my grandmother Minnie.

This is a wonderful find; we suspect my aunt put the photo into one of her friend's envelopes (the friend worked at Macy's) and stashed it away. What else is hiding in the boxes in my sister's house?!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Bronx, 100 years ago

The Bronx...my hometown and the place where my immigrant grandparents settled to raise their family and establish a grocery store. Mom went to Morris H.S., the first public high school in the Bronx (decades later, notable Bronxite Colin Powell graduated from the same high school). In fact, the Bronx Historical Society has an entire book about the creation of this high school and what it meant to the borough.

The Bronx Board has a nostalgic series of narratives about life in the Bronx "back in the day." It also has photos, b/w and color, of Bronx people and places of the past. Very helpful as I try to reconstruct the world that my grandparents lived in and what it felt like to be a Bronxite early in the 20th century.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Letters to my Mom

I'm transcribing letters written to my mother in the late 1930s and into the 1940s, by one of her closest friends and, later, by the friend's husband as well and a few other folks. What an incredible way to learn about my Bronx-born mother's thoughts, feelings, dreams, hopes, disappointments, and fears.

Thank goodness for Google--I can look at the streets where Mom once lived, where her correspondents lived, and find out about places where they vacationed, such as Scaroon Manor on Schroon Lake, NY. That was pretty far from the Bronx, in distance and in other ways as well.

Mom's alma mater was JHS 60 in Bronx, NY and James Monroe HS in Bronx, NY. The JHS is no longer there, apparently, and James Monroe isn't a high school any longer. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, this was a busy and crowded area of the Bronx; it wasn't the "South Bronx" that today is so notorious for high crime, etc.

One letter, dated August 1941, refers to the good men already being "with Uncle Sam"--an eye-opener because I was under the impression that the movement to join the armed services didn't happen till after Pearl Harbor, not before.

How lucky I am that Mom saved this treasure trove of letters for decades.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seeking Classmates?

Nostalgia ... I searched for photos of my home town, the Bronx, and came across a number of sites that have, of all things, class photos scanned from yearbooks. The Bronx Board has a photo of me from my Jr High days (back when that's what middle school was called). Most photos come with names of those pictured, so if you're searching for class mates whose full names have become fuzzy in your mind over the years, this kind of search might help.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Daniel Gluck in the Bronx

My cousin remembers that my great-aunt Mary Schwartz boarded with her 2d cousin Daniel Gluck and family in a Bronx apartment after arriving in NYC from Ungvar, about 1911-1912. Daniel had two daughters: Beatrice (a buyer for a lingerie firm?) and Ruth. The family started a furniture store in or near Paramus NJ in one of America's first shopping centers, perhaps during the mid-1930s. So far no luck tracing them but it's some kind of lead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Farewell to House That Ruth Built

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Watching last night's emotional farewell to Yankee Stadium brought back many childhood memories of going there with my father and sisters. We never saw a World Series game in person, but we did see many Yankee greats play--Maris and Mantle and other legends of this once mighty baseball team.

Mounting the stairs to the subway station as the final inning drew to a close, we'd peer over and see the last out(s) from the platform and then slip into a subway car and be gone before the crowds surged out of the stadium. Babe Ruth would (should) be angry that the house he built is being torn down.

Farewell to an era. I doubt the new stadium will inspire the strong feelings that this grand old stadium has inspired over its 85 years.