Mr. Levy presents some recollections of his family and life in the Jewish Community for the Columbus Jewish Historical Society Oral History Project, recorded in his home on December 6, 1984.
He describes his family responsibilities, his careers in the shoe business, jewelry stores, the military, and aspects of life in the Columbus Jewish Community between the 1920’s and the 1980’s.
Today’s date is December the sixth, 1984. Today I am interviewing Arthur B. Levy – it may sound funny, but let me give you a little background as to what brought this about. For the past six months I have been trying to get an interview with a man who is about as visible in the everyday Columbus Jewish life as anybody I know. I have known this man for over fifty years and I have tried once a week for approximately the last five months to set up an interview with him – he’s very cordial, very agreeable, but – no interview!
About a month and a half ago I went to the Historical Society Office – I wanted to toss in the towel, but I was tossed out of it, so I gave it another try. Tried a few more times, still no success, so I went back to the office, and I ended up with the name of one of my contemporaries who is now living at the Heritage House. I thought this would be a great
idea for this interview, because this woman was a neighbor of mine many years ago, and I thought I knew her reasonably well, and would be comfortable interviewing him – her.
I went home that night and thought about it and thought about it, and the bright idea struck me – so far as being comfortable with anybody, I think I would be as comfortable with myself as anyone, so therein lies the tale. I am a lifelong resident of Columbus – I attended a miniseries sponsored by the society at the Jewish Center about three weeks ago – it
was chaired by Dr. Zubatsky, who has written a book on genealogy. It was very interesting and one of the points he brought out was that when anybody interviews anyone, they don’t start back far enough. They don’t go back to their parents, or anything, so I thought I would start with my father.
My father was born in Latvia and spent many years of his youth in England. His family that were left after World War II had all gone to Africa. In fact, they had gone to Africa before the turn of the century. My father had intended going there about that time, but the Boer War was on and he decided to go to Canada, instead.
I found out a few years ago through the immigration department, that
my father entered the United States from Canada into North Dakota,
driving a horse and buggy in November of 1903. He had always told me
that he had homesteaded in Canada and what brought him into the United
States and down here into Columbus, Ohio, I’ll never know.
All of the papers that he had had were lost in some of our moves
along the way. I haven’t moved that many times – I am 67 years old and
I think this is the fifth house that I have lived in and I have been
married for 34 years, and this is the second house that I have lived in
since I have been married.
My father was – well, I won’t say he was a “metal
dealer,” my father was a junk man! He had a little plot of
ground up at Westerville, Ohio, he had a truck – a dilapidated truck
that he drove, he was very well respected in the community of
Westerville, in fact, in 1933, there was a human interest story written
about him and it was printed on the front page of the Columbus
Dispatch. I gave the Society a Xerox copy of that article yesterday.
My father never had much. He was happy in his life. His children – we
didn’t know any better – we were real happy – but we didn’t have the
material things in life. We had a good, warm house to live in, good
food, adequate clothing, plenty of love, but I guess we weren’t very
smart because we did without a lot of the finer things of life (what
some people would call “finer.”)
When my father was killed in a tragic accident in 1937, the most
important thing he left me was a good reputation. His estate valued less
than $500. I had to drop out of the Engineering College at Ohio State
University, and go to work to become one-half of the support of a mother
and younger brother. But life has been good to me through the years, so
I’m very happy with the way things turned out.
Many of the discussions I’ve heard at committee meetings at the
Historical Society led me to believe that everybody on the committee
came from a family – an old, old reputable family in Columbus, but very
wealthy. I came from the “other side of the tracks.” I’ve
been told that Jewish – or I listened to the fact that the Jewish people
of Columbus were living around Bryden Road, Franklin Avenue, and through
there – I came from the ghetto. We lived about a half a block from
Washington Avenue, and the street I lived in was a block north of Fulton
Street. In my estimation, the ghetto in Columbus – the crossroads was
the corner of Washington and Fulton.
In my youth I can remember the following establishments clustered
around that corner. Number one was Levin’s Fish Market. In addition to
fresh fish they sold chickens. The chickens were live, the shochet
was in a little house about three doors south of Levin’s Fish Market.
The chicken flickers were in the basement. I’d been down there once or
twice, and oh, what a mess!
Across the street was the barber shop. The owner was the father of
Lou Robins, who is now president of Heritage House (I believe he is
president,) another son of his just passed away – he was Max Robins, a
prominent attorney in town. Just south of the barber shop was Kroll’s
delicatessen. It was at the corner of Fulton and Washington. Catty –
corner from Kroll’s was a little run down store by the name of
Bornsteins. The sons of the old woman that ran it and the grandsons of
this same woman now run a rather large restaurant / food supply that is
called The Restaurant Food Supply. They have two huge warehouses that I
know of, and are very successful.
Next to them was Harry Center. Harry Center was the kosher
butcher in the city and there were a few other little places. There was
a bakery on Fulton Street, there was a bakery on Mound which was two
streets north and another fish market on Mound Street – it was just the
hub of all activities. As you went two blocks south of Washington and
Fulton, the shuls were clustered – the orthodox shuls.
Agudas Achim was on the corner of Donaldson and Washington; Ahavas
Sholom and the Beth Jacob – one was a half a block north, the other a
half a block south. I can remember in my youth there were about twenty
steps up into the synagogue – the Agudas Achim synagogue, and it was the
custom on all the holidays that everybody would congregate on these
steps. I think there were more of the younger people on the steps than
there were older people inside praying.
In my youth, I can remember playing a game where we tossed nuts or
pennies up against the wall of the shul, and whoever got the closest to
the wall won the pennies.
My earliest recollection of Sunday School was Sunday School in the
basement. I can remember they gave us chocolate – coated coconut candy –
it was called Mountain Top. That was our reward for coming to Sunday
School. I can also remember when I was very, very young, that my father
used to take me on a sled over to Schonthal Center, which was located at
555 East Rich Street, for Sunday School.
Schonthal Center was a big, brownstone building that had been donated
by “Pop” Schonthal – he was a very, very wealthy man. I can
remember him driving up to the Center on Sundays. He had an electric car
powered by a number of batteries in the trunk. He would come in – there
was an entry way room about ten by ten. I remember a beautiful
Grandfather’s clock on the floor opposite the door, and he would sit
down on the chair in front of that Grandfather’s clock, and all the
children would climb up on his knees. There must have been twenty of ’em
– they’d crawl all over him and he just loved it.
Just to the west of there was an orphanage. There was a Jewish
orphanage which later became the 571 Shop, which was the address. It
seems to me that the refugees used the building in later years to bake
pastries and sell them.
In the back, which had once been the coach house, was our
“gym.” The coach house room was just big enough for basketball
courts with about a foot on the outside of the foul lines and the walls
were all padded with wrestling matting to keep us from injuring
ourselves as we played basketball there. But we thought it was the world’s
I attended Boy Scout meetings there, AZA meetings – I worked my way
up to where I was Aleph Gadol – that’s the big Aleph – president of
our chapter, the “Pop” Dworkin chapter – they had printing
shops, craft shops there in the basement. The third floor was a
ballroom. I remember we did have a few dances there. Across the street
was the cheder (the Columbus Hebrew School). The president was
Mr. Metchnik, who lived across the street from us – I lived in those
days on Gilbert Street – Jewish community. Mrs. Schlonsky lived there,
Harold Marks lived there, the Polsters lived there, the Rosens lived
there, the Brandts lived there, William Callif and his family lived
there. It was a real nice Jewish community.
Hebrew School was quite the thing. There were times when the
principal and the teachers had trouble maintaining decorum in the class
– I even remember there were times when a student was rapped across the
knuckles with a ruler by Mr. Sam Yablok, who was our teacher – that goes
back many, many years, I’d say roughly 62 years, give or take a few.
As I say, in those days we were very happy. We had food, warm
housing, had a loving family. I can remember my father taking me on his
lap when he would come home from work. He worked very, very hard. He’d
leave at sunup and he was back, usually way after sundown. He would take
me up on his knee and read the funny papers to me.
We never had air conditioning. I remember sitting in the screen door
of the back door. As I say, we didn’t have a whole lot of anything.
The house itself was half of a double, very similar to the homes that
you now find in German Village. We had a kitchen, a living room and a
bedroom up on the second floor. It was actually about half a room – the
wall was slanty – it wasn’t a full room. My mother, father, my
brother, two sisters and I lived in that house. As my sister got older,
she was able to move into the living room and sleep by herself. The
living room was a room that was always closed off, and we never went
into it unless there was company. I can remember it was a great day when
I would get three or four cents and I would run over to a little deli
there on Fulton Street. It wasn’t a deli, it was a confectionery run
by a Mrs. Cunix. If I had enough money I would buy chocolate milk. If I
only had a penny I would buy – I can’t remember if it’s two or three
chocolate soldiers we got for a penny. And that made my day.
Later on in life my mother and father would give me a dime, and my
buddy would get twenty cents. No, he would get fifteen cents – a dime
for the movie and a nickel for a roll of Life Savers, and we were living
high. The movies – there were two of them we went to. One was at the
corner of Main and Washington called The Hollywood, and there was one a
half a block east, called The New. There was also one on Livingston over
around Sixth Street, over around Julius Margulies’s father’s
department store – it was called The Victor.
I can remember the holidays when I was very, very young. It was the
only time my father would really get dressed up. All he did outside of
that was work. Incidentally, this house that I was describing – there
was no hot water, no electricity, and the bathroom was at the back of
I can remember the holidays when I was very, very young, when I was
perhaps six or seven. It may have been five or six – my brother is seven
years younger than I am, and he was not around at the time. We would sit
downstairs in the main part of the chapel, and I would look up and my
two older sisters and my mother would be sitting upstairs in the
balcony, and I remember making myself a promise, that when I grew up and
married, I would not go to a synagogue where (I can’t come up with the
Hebrew name for what they call the curtain, but where they keep the
sexes segregated.) I must give Rabbi Rubenstein credit for being far –
sighted enough and modern enough to make the change when we moved to the
new Agudas Achim on Broad Street. Now there’s a section for the males
on the left – hand side, a section for the females on the right – hand
side, and the Center larger section is for the entire family.
My father must have been one of the early members of the Agudas Achim.
I imagine he joined. If it was here in 1904 or 1905 I am sure he was a
member. My father was killed in a collision in 1937. I belonged to
Agudas Achim until 1979. I left for personal reasons. I am now a member
of Tifereth Israel and I am extremely happy there.
I have two sons. This is 1984. My older boy is a practicing attorney
in Washington, D.C. He is married to the daughter of David Goldsmith,
the man who was my Boy Scout leader. A very fine gentleman, he was
interested in law. I am very, very sorry he did not live long enough to
meet my son. I am sure they would have made a great team.
My younger boy is 30. He was just 30. He is a practicing dentist here
in Columbus, married only a year. His wife is taking her finals this
week for her Master’s degree in – she’s a dietitian. My other
daughter- in – law has her Master’s degree in special education. The
older boy has given me a beautiful granddaughter. She is now three. Her
name is Cara Beth – she was named after her two grandmothers – my wife’s
mother and my daughter – in – law’s mother. They’ve also given me a
son. He’s seven months old. He is David Asher. He is named after the
man I just mentioned, who was my daughter – in – law’s father, David
Goldsmith. His wife, Janet, is still living here in Bexley.
When my boys were growing up, I tried to give them all the love I
could. My father did that for me. We always tried to give them items of
equal value, give them equal attention, equal love, so that no one ever
felt left out. When my boys were very, very young, they’re twenty
months apart – I can remember taking my older son by the hand and
carrying my younger boy as an infant and going out to the airport. Every
Sunday we went out to watch the airplanes come in. We became acquainted
with one of the redcaps. He was our “buddy.” He was a black
man, and he was at the airport as a bellhop, as a redcap until about two
years ago. He watched these boys grow from an infant in arms until they
went away to school, became professional people, married and had
children. He retired about two years ago. I haven’t seen him for about
the last year and a half, but every time we meet we are great, great
friends. We’re real happy to see each other.
As my boys got older, we would go to the Minyanaire services at
Agudas Achim, one of the greatest things Rabbi Rubenstein ever
instituted. Some of the other rabbis in town have more or less copied
it. The Minyanaire service was a Sunday morning service for the fathers
and sons. The boys were taught to lay tefillin, (phylacteries)
they were taught to daven(pray). After davenning
we all went in and sat down to breakfast. They had scrambled eggs and
bacon. (Bacon! You should excuse the expression, tch, tch, tch.) They had
scrambled eggs and bagels, cream cheese and hot chocolate. We were
served by the sisters of the young fellows who were Minyonnaires. It was
a very, very rewarding morning. After breakfast we davenned
together again, and then the boys went off to Sunday School.
My sons did this until they each went away to college. I think it was
part of the bringing up experience that made them such fantastic sons. I
won’t brag for a moment. I have two sons that have never given us one
moment’s unhappiness or problem of any kind. People say, “Well,
you did the right things.” I think it took more than that. I think
Somebody Up There likes me.
As I look back upon my sons’ growing up in the Sunday School and
all, they went to Sunday School until they were eighteen. I look back
and think of some of the problems that my friends had with their
children, trying to force them to go to Sunday School, trying to bribe
them to go to Sunday School. I never had that. It just taken as part of
their life. They knew that when Sunday came along we would go to
Minyanaires, we would daven, we would have breakfast and off to
Sunday School. I think that’s part of togetherness that helped my sons
turn out the way that they did.
I have written out a little guide for me to follow, but I never do. I
do that all the time. One of the things I have missed here – I have
mentioned the fact that Mr. Center was the kosher butcher near
Washington and Fulton Street. In my youth there were other kosher
butchers. Some of them came along in later years. There were Katz’s,
which was on Livingston Avenue between Ohio Avenue and Champion. On
Parsons Avenue, there was Mr. Godofsky. In later years his son, Martin,
opened a butcher shop at around Ellsworth and Livingston, pretty close
to the Driving Park.
The Driving Park was an oval where around the time of World War I,
give or take, men like Barney Oldfield actually raced cars there. In
later years, just before and after World War II, it was built up with
apartments and doubles and four – family apartment buildings and it was
inhabited mostly by young Jewish couples. Marty Godofsky, as the Jewish
population moved farther east, he opened a kosher butcher shop on Broad
Street, just west of Eastmoor on the north side of the street, and
through the years that became too small for him, so he moved out into
Whitehall across from Town & Country.
Today he has the only kosher butcher shop in the city. There is a
deli run by Aaron Kahn, his wife Ruth. The Kahn family are an old, old
Columbus family. The sons – the boys at one time owned a very, very well
– known jewelry store on High Street by the name of Kahn’s, on High
Street between Broad and Gay. They have since retired from the jewelry
business and they’re active in charity work and they do other things
Marty Godofsky, the kosher butcher, has retired within the last
several years. His son – in – law, Mike Singer, now runs the kosher
butcher shop. Mike is a clone of Martin. Martin has the kosher butcher
business in Columbus tied up tight. He doesn’t have to do this, but to
this day he will stand and greet customers as they come in. When I
walked in, he used to ask me how my mother was. In later years he asked
me how both my boys were doing, how my wife is, and he was a very, very
nice – he is a very, very nice person.
Marty married the daughter of the Hebrew School principal, Mr.
Metchnik. Daughters name is Leah. Mr. Metchnik had a son whose name is
Joe, who to this day helps out at the grocery store – at the butcher
When I was about thirteen, we moved to Gilbert Street, across the
street from Mr. Metchnik, where, as I say, there were a lot of Jewish
I went to East High School, graduating in 1935. I had worked – my
folks didn’t have any money – for spending money and had put some
money away for college. I worked for a year to get enough money to go to
college. In 1936 I started into the Engineering College at the Ohio
State University, only to have to withdraw in January of 1930 when my
father was killed.
I then went to work for Shoe Corp. of America, as it’s known today.
In those days it was Schiff’s Shoe Company. It had been founded by Mr.
Robert W. Schiff. Today, the chairman of the board is the son, Mr.
When World War II broke out, they started an airplane manufacturing
plant here at the airport, called Curtiss-Wright. War was on, so I went
to work in the aircraft plant. I worked on the first seven hell –
divers. I was in the Complaint Department. After seeing the complaints
that came through by the navy inspectors on these airplanes, I don’t
know how we ever managed to win World War II. On top of that, I was
stupid enough to decide I didn’t want to build them any more. I
decided I wanted to fly them.
So being the support of my mother and brother, I enlisted in the Air
Force and ended up – I couldn’t pass the color test. The sergeant
giving the color test took me to the recruiting captain who reached into
his desk and pulled out some bright colored yarns. I’m color blind to
pastel shades, and he asked me the colors. I named them off – red,
green, blue, brown, yellow, and I remember him saying to me, “You’re
not color blind, you’re lazy,” and he passed me on.
Well, I ended up at Wichita Falls, Texas, for basic training, and
then they sent us to Texas A & M where I flew for ten hours, then
came another physical, and they grounded me. They said I was color
blind. A few months later they came along and they put me on orders to
go to Laredo, Texas, to gunnery school. When I complained that I couldn’t
fly, they said, “Well, we need you to fill a quota. Go down to
Laredo, talk to the Flight Surgeon, get yourself grounded.”
Well, then I realized the reason why they had passed me in the first
place was that they had a quota to fill. That’s another reason why I
say I don’t see how we ever won World War II. I guess God was on our
side and we were just lucky.
So I was down at Laredo. I’d been interested in photography and
never had any money to buy anything – I had a little folding camera –
and I belonged to the camera club at the YMCA and I became friendly with
the sergeant in charge of the public relations office. I was trying to
get into the photography department in the worst way, and I guess none
of the enlisted men could get along with the public relation officer,
and the captain in charge of the photo department decided that since I
was friendly with somebody in the department, I would be a good one to
be the public relations photographer.
They sent me to an advanced school even though I had never been to a
basic camera school. Another reason why I say, “I’m surprised we
ever won this war.” I spent the war down in Laredo taking pictures
for the newspaper and for publicity releases. I shot every celebrity who
came onto the field. Every week it was my duty – it was a hard job, but
I had to take pictures of all the pretty girls on the post, get their
pictures into the papers. It was a hard job, but somebody had to do it,
and I guess I was the one.
After I had been down there for about six months I was called in and
I was told that I was to be shipped out to go back to cadet school
because they found out I could see camouflage. Because of my color
blindness I could see camouflage better than the person who was not
color blind. And I had heard a little story on the Mexican border, that
this little old Mexican man once told me about those little fighter
planes up there and his expression was, mahn kin gehargefehren,
(a guy could get himself killed,) so I got myself out of the shipments
and I stayed on at Laredo. Little did I know that every time my name
would appear on a shipping order to ship out overseas, the captain in
charge of the photo lab would have me crossed off of the orders, and
just before V-J Day I got a furlough while I was home on furlough, they
came through and took everybody out of the photo lab who had not been
overseas, put ’em on a boat heading towards Japan. They were on the
high seas on V-J Day, and I used to get letters from them telling me
about how they were just laying around, they couldn’t find anything to
do on this little island they were on, and they were just mad as blazes
they had to lay over there and had nothing to do.
Of course, I had to work. I had to take pictures of those beautiful
girls that we had down there on the border. But that’s the way it
A couple other things that were very hard about this job I had as
p.r.o. photographer, I had to stand in no formation except at pay call
once a month I had to stand in line to get my pay. We didn’t sleep in
the regular barracks. We had this fellow who was with the public
relations office and myself, we had a bunk in the supply room. We used
to hear ’em once in a while in the mornings going through, whistling,
getting the recruits up, getting them out in formation. We didn’t even
have to stand in line for food. Whenever I got hungry I’d pick up my
camera and go into the kitchen at the mess hall and say, “I was out
on the job. Feed me.”
I had my own vehicle. I had two of ’em, matter of fact. I had
something like a station wagon with a platform across the top that I
could stand on and shoot pictures from, and I also had a little Cushman
three – wheeled scooter with a box on the front of it to hold my
equipment, and I just had free run of the base and the town, and as I
say, I had the best job in the army. I don’t think there’s anybody
else that could come close to having as good a job as I did.
I served thirty-five months in the air force. It wasn’t the Air
Force. In those days it was part of the Army Air Corps. I was discharged
in 1945. I had wrecked a jeep the day before my quota came through for
discharge. I’m surprised they never charged me for it. As I sit here
today dictating this interview, I can feel it. I’m on constant
medication but I’m very thankful to God because some of my friends
didn’t make it. Some who did make it came back battered and patched. I
consider myself very lucky in every respect.
When I returned home I went back to my old job at Schiff’s – SCOA –
Shoe Corp of America. They were very generous with me. They offered my
old job back. I can’t remember if the offer was $30 a week or $32 a
week. I still had the family to help support, so I thanked them and I
went to work for Lazarus. I worked my way up to head of stock, and there
was a man here who passed away about two weeks ago, a man by the name of
Sammy Grossman, who ran a store called “The Shoe Box.” He came
to me one day and says, “Art, my friend, Manny Block, needs some
help. Are you interested in learning the jewelry business?”
I didn’t care what I was selling. The only thing was it paid me
about $5 a week more than I’d been making in quite a long time at
Lazarus, so I went to work for Manny Block at Kay Jewelers.
I eventually ended up managing a store for them at Town &
Country. About 1959 I left them to open my own store. I opened a little
store on High Street, half way between Main and Rich Street. It is now
gone. All those buildings in there have been torn down for Capital
South. I was there for about three years when I teamed up with another
I won’t tell this other man’s name, because he took advantage of
me when I finally decided to sell out and I’m trying to ease off of
cursing him under my breath because I’m afraid it’ll make me bitter.
But it was good for us. We were at Main and High for a number of years
and then we got a chance to get into the Union Department Store.
The Union Department Store was a very fine specialty shop/ department
store. My older sister, Yetta had worked for The Fashion, she had worked
for the founder of The Union,, Mr. Levy, when they were at Long and
High. Eventually we moved up into the block between Town Street and
State Street across from Lazarus, and we put a fine jewelry department
in there. My partner managed that department and I ran the store at Main
and High, because it was the type of store I had been trained in. It was
a full service jewelry credit store.
I had a severe whiplash and ended up having three vertebrae fused in
my neck. The pain got so bad in September of that year I couldn’t
stand it. The surgeon told me I would be off work for three months,
which took us through the Christmas season, so we sold the store to Leo
Lurie and after I recuperated I went into The Union and I was there
The Union had been founded by S. M. Levy and later taken over by his
two sons, Herb and Robert Levy, Sr. When I went to work there it was the
grandson of the founder who was running it. His name was Bobby Levy. The
store (The Fashion, across High Street from Lazarus,) was eventually
sold to a Schottenstein group, and then closed. The building, I’m
sure, will be torn down to make way for Capital South. It has been
vacant about two years.
Before World War II, we lived on Gilbert Street. On the next street
east of us, about three blocks south was a family by the name of Rosen.
There were Harry and Blanche, the parents, Edith, the older sister, Al…
…During World War II, I think, they had sold their home and
they eventually ended up in an apartment in Driving Park at the
northwest corner of Lilley and Forest. When I came back from the
service, the landlord came to us. He had tried to evict my mother while
my younger brother and I were in the service, because we had a low –
rent ceiling. We had half of a nice double – six rooms – coal furnace,
of course, and the rent was $25 a month. When we came back from the
service, he came to us and said, “Fellas, either you move or I will
see that you’re evicted, because I want to move into the house, live
there for six months, and that takes the rent ceiling off and I can
charge whatever I want. ”
In those days apartments were very hard to get. We eventually moved
into the four family unit that the Rosen family was living in. At that
time there was the mother and the two daughters. The father had passed
away. Al had gotten married. They lived in one of the two apartments on
the second floor. When we came back, we were able to finally get an
apartment across the hall from them on the second floor.
I guess that was my undoing. I had been chasing my wife for I don’t
know how long. I chased her and chased her until she finally caught me
and we were married in 1950 at the Southern Hotel by was it Rabbi
Zelizer, or was it Rubenstein? I would be afraid to say. I’d have to
go back and look at the papers and look at the pictures and see. The
reception was there at the Southern Hotel. The orchestra singer Jerry
Grodin was the vocalist who sang for us.
The first apartment we were able to get – apartments were still very,
very hard to get your hands on – was 600 East Town Street. It was a
fairly new apartment building. Three stories – we had an apartment on
the third floor, which meant carrying our laundry and everything up
three flights of steps. There weren’t any laundry units in the
basement or anything, we had to take them out to a Laundromat. But we
When they built I-71, they ran I-71 right through where this
apartment building was, and even though it was a new one and a nice one,
it was torn down. I don’t remember who all lived there. Mr. and Mrs.
Ed Stan lived there, Ed is controller for R. G. Barry Shoes. Joel and
Annette Schwartz lived there. Annette’s maiden name was Morgan. I can’t
remember who else lived there, but we were real happy there until we
purchased our first home at 532 S. Everett Avenue.
I had wanted to go out and buy some acreage out around Gahanna
someplace, but my wife wanted to get close to a school so that when the
boys grew up they wouldn’t have very far to go. We bought the house
that was the second house south of Fairmoor School. In those days,
Fairmoor in our estimation was the finest school ever. The teachers, the
principal, were truly dedicated, compassionate educators. I’m sorry to
say that in ensuing years things have changed. When the boys got out of
there and our house got too small for us, we looked around to move. We
fought to stay in the same school area because we were so impressed with
the elementary school that we eventually ended up buying a house at 191
South Napoleon Avenue, where we live to this day. I didn’t know it at
the time my son – my older boy mentioned it to me, never realized how
inadequate his public school education was until he went away to school.
Of course, I’m sure he’s aware of the fact that he went to the
finest school in the country. I’m glad he did. I know that at the time
he was five or six years old he knew where he wanted to go to college
and what he wanted to do in later life. He wanted to become a lawyer,
and today he is a very successful practicing attorney in private
practice in Washington, D. C.
* * *
This is several days later. I replayed that last few minutes of the
tape to get myself back on line, and I’m sitting here laughing. As I
mentioned, we didn’t come from a very wealthy family. I had to drop
out of college when my father was killed and left me with a family, and
it was always a struggle to keep paying the bills, because I was half
the support of a mother, I had a wife and two children. I went into
business for myself, and through the years, thank goodness the business
kept growing and we had to keep putting most of our profits back into
the business so it could grow.
I’m sitting here laughing, I could remember
how many times I used to worry about how I was ever going to
give my sons four years each at Ohio State University, but as I’ve
always said, The Good Lord manages. I promised my older boy I would beg,
borrow and steal to get him to the college he wanted to go to – it is
one of the most expensive in the country. I didn’t have to steal,
because I begged and borrowed and we did get him through. It was worth
Younger son wanted to go through dental school. He wanted to go to
Ohio State University after one year at Ohio University at Oxford, Ohio.
So he spent one year at Oxford and six years at Ohio State University.
Today he’s a practicing dentist here in Columbus on Hamilton Road. He’s
married to a lovely girl, has purchased a home in Bexley and seems to be
well on his road to success.
Like I said, we didn’t have much in the way of money when I was
young. We didn’t come from a wealthy family. We had a lot of
everything else, though. We had a lot of important things.
I can remember when I was very young I didn’t have much in clothes,
but there for a period from about eight to thirteen or fourteen, I was
allowed to pick out a suit every year for the high holidays. I would
walk over to Main Street, get on a trolley, go up to High Street,
transfer, get onto a Mt. Vernon Avenue trolley, get off at around
Eighteenth Street. There was a small department store called The Climax
and it was managed by a landsman of my fathers, by the name of
Mosey Cohen, and he always took care of me, made sure I got the right
I have to laugh at myself when I get to talking about the next
subject. Whenever my sons hear me talking like this they always make
like they’re playing a violin, giving me “hearts and
flowers” about how sad it was when we were young. It wasn’t sad,
we were happy. I guess we were too stupid to know we didn’t have the
finer things in life, but as I say, we had everything else that was
Through my lifetime I developed the same philosophy. My philosophy in
life is, it’s not what you have, it’s what you want out of life. I
know some very, very wealthy people in this city who are not one per
cent as happy as I am, and they are extremely, extremely wealthy.
Anyway, as we grew up, we didn’t have toys. We had a few marbles if
we were lucky. We played marbles, read books. I remember going to the
main library, walking to the main library many times. If we were lucky
and could come up with an old, beat – up skate, we would separate it –
they came in two parts. The front part had two wheels, the back part had
two wheels. We would pound them onto the underside of a board and nail a
wooden orange crate to the top, and then we had to go looking for a
cement sidewalk because most of the sidewalks and the streets in the
area were brick in those days.
So far as bicycles, the only bicycle I ever had in my youth was one
that had been given to me by a landsman of my fathers, a man by the
name of Irving Kray – his maiden name was Irvin Krackowitz. His uncle
was a very wealthy man and he was the big giver at the Agudas Achim in
those days, and he let everybody know it. He was big and had a big bay
window, wore a three – piece suit and always paraded up and down the
aisles of the synagogue with his hands clamped behind him, and his tallis
out over his hands, covering them, and he would make sure everybody was
Occasionally, when the women up in the balcony got a little noisy, he
would stop and look up and yell, “Hey, ladies! Keep kviet up
down there!” And it seems as though it was only yesterday, but it
must have been over fifty-four years ago, but I still remember.
The bicycle had no mud guards. It was just bare wheels, seat, frame,
handlebars, but it was worth its weight in gold to me. If we could
accumulate forty-five cents, which wasn’t very often, in the
summertime, we would take a trolley down Main Street to High, and catch
a High Street bus and go north to the end of the line. In those days,
tickets sold for six for a quarter. At the end of the line, the bus made
a turn – around right at the edge of Olentangy Park.
Olentangy Park was an amusement park with all the rides – they had a
dance floor, used to get name bands, the only name band I remember was
Bob Crosby. Bob was Bing’s brother. He didn’t come close to reaching
the height in the entertainment world that Bing did, but he was fairly
well known in our days.
We always tried to have an extra nickel when we were through swimming
because by that time it was late in the afternoon and we were hungry.
Just where we caught the bus there was a White Castle hamburger
restaurant and White Castles were a nickel. We “shranked” it
down with a drink out of the fountain and we were real happy, but as I
say, I didn’t know any better.
As we got a little older, I worked a few weeks at Gilbert’s Shoe
Store. All the fellas worked at Gilbert’s on Saturdays selling shoes,
but it was a pretty rough and tumble deal in those days, because the
fellas were on commission and they really fought for all the sales.
After a few weeks of it I switched over and went to work at the Schiff
Shoe Store at 144 North High Street. It was managed by a man named Van
Balen. Most of the people working there didn’t care for him. He was
pretty much of a task master, but he and I always got along.
We would go in there about 8, 8:30 in the morning, work until about 8
or 9 o’clock in the evening for a grand total or grand sum of two
dollars. They had what they called p.m. (push money) merchandise. Those
were shoes that they wanted to move out – slow movers or long mark-up
items, and we would make any place from a nickel to a quarter if we sold
a pair of those and we were really happy if we could ever sell one of
those. I don’t think we ever walked out of there with more than two
dollars and fifty cents.
Of course, in those days, there was no social security and we didn’t
have to pay any income tax. If we could save enough money together, five
or six of us would go up to Indian Lake for a week or two, or over to
Buckeye Lake and rent a cottage and spend the time there. With all the
pitching in that way, and we made our own meals, it really didn’t cost
us a whole lot. Buckeye Lake in those days was also an amusement park.
It’s about 25 miles east of Columbus. They had their swimming pools,
ballrooms, in fact I think they had two ballrooms where they had name
band orchestras and as we got a little older and somebody acquired a
car, we would take our dates out there and go dancing in the evening.
If we didn’t go out of the city, there was always the Ionian Room
at the Deshler (Deshler-Wallick Hotel) at Broad and High, and the Neil
House, both of which are now gone. They had Saturday afternoon tea
dances which cost us practically nothing. They also had Saturday and
Sunday afternoon dancing up along River Road. One of the night clubs was
the Riviera and the other was The Gloria. We always loved to go to The
Gloria, because they had a Jewish comedian come down from Detroit. His
name was Harry Jarkey. We laughed so hard at that man that we used to
cry. We got so that we couldn’t applaud him. We would either stamp our
feet or pound on the tables because we were just overtaken with all his
I think he is still up in Detroit. The last time I saw him on High
Street he told me he was in charge of a kiddy program on one of their
In those days – that was shortly after the depression, we still had
no money. I had started Ohio State University. My father was killed.
While going to the university we had to ride the trolley up there. It
was about a 45 minute ride.
I was very close to Lou Ackerman in those days and we would always
try to meet for lunch. We would try to buy some cold cuts and a couple
of buns, split a quart of milk and have our lunch that way. Lou’s
father was a bit better off financially than my family. His father was a
tailor and he had a tailor shop on the second floor at the northeast
corner of Rich and High, over what was then an Outdoor Military Store.
After my dad was killed and left me with a family, I went to work in
the main office of the Schiff Shoe Company. I was there until war broke
out. When war broke out I went to help the war effort by going to work
for Curtiss-Wright which was making fighter planes out at Port Columbus,
I was there about eight or nine months, then I made the mistake of
deciding I wanted to fly them rather than build them, so I enlisted in
the Air Force. At that time it was the Army Air Force. I enlisted and
had about three months before the time came for me to go to the service,
I went back to Schiff’s because I had been working the night trick and
didn’t like it.
When I was inducted I went into Fort Hayes which was up at Cleveland
Avenue. I believe it’s gone now. They sent me to Fort Ben Harrison in
Indianapolis. The fellows from Indianapolis were shipped to Fort Hayes
in Columbus and then we all met in Wichita Falls, Texas. I eventually
went to Texas A & M, flew ten hours, took another physical, they
found that I was color blind to pastel shades. They had caught me on the
color blindness when I enlisted, but unbeknownst to me they had a quota
to fill so they passed me through anyway.
The second time they grounded me and sent me back to Wichita Falls
for a second basic training. I was called in one day, they were shipping
me to Laredo Army Air field to become a gunner. I told them that I was
grounded – that I couldn’t fly, so they told me that when I got down
to Laredo go to the Flight Surgeon and get myself grounded again. Noch
a mol or noch ein mol (one more time) they had a quota!
I laid around Wichita Falls for a few months and I decided I would
pursue my hobby of photography, so I started hanging around the photo
lab. One word led to another and I got assigned to the photo lab. They
had a problem there. None of the photographers there could get along
with the public relations officer. I had become friendly with the
sergeant in the office so they sent me to advance school without even
having been to the basic school, and I became the publicity photographer
for the field.
I may have mentioned this – I have been jumping back and forth – but
my job was to interview or rather photograph all the celebrities that
came to the field. I had to shoot pictures of the pretty girls every
week so they could appear in the Post paper, and I’m sure I have told
you all this, but it’s been a week since I started this tape. I had
two vehicles at my disposal. One was like a station wagon with a
platform on top that I could shoot pictures off of, and the other one
was a little Cushman scooter, and I just had the best job in the army.
We stood no formations except pay call. I could eat any time – just
take my camera in and say I’d been on the job and they fed me. I went
to all the parties at the officers’ club and met everybody from the
commanding officer on down. They were all good to me because they all
wanted prints of the party. Their dates, and their wives and everything.
Sometimes they wanted prints of both their dates and their wives!
After the war was over I came back. My younger brother who was seven
years younger than I am, had not been to college at all, so one of us
had to work and help support my mother. I decided I would let him go to
college first and get his education. When he completed his it’ll be my
turn. Well, my turn never came around.
In a way, I’m sorry. The education would have broadened me
intellectually, but I’m happy everything turned out well.
One other night spot that was always real popular was a place called
Valley Dale. It was up on Sunbury Road, just north of what is now called
the Dominican College. They had an indoor and an outdoor dance floor,
and they really had all the big bands there. In the summertime we’d
dance outside and it was just a lovely, lovely experience.
Another great thing we had – we used to consume a fair amount of ice
cream in our late teen years, early twenties, we had two hangouts. At
the beginning, there was a place called The Owl. It was Oakwood and
Livingston. It was a half a block east, and on the other side of the
street from the Champion Theater. Next to the Champion was the Jewish
barber, Mr. Meyer Warsaski. Across the street from Meyer was Dr. Piatt,
Jewish dentist, and Dr. Canowitz whom my wife just worshipped and she
worships him to this day. Of course, he must be about 85 years of age,
and he’s showing his age quite a bit. He’s not a well man at all.
Later on we used to congregate at a drug store that had a soda
fountain and booths at the northwest corner of Main and Ohio. It was run
by Ted Shlonsky. Ted Shlonsky I had known all my life. He was pharmacist
when I was in junior high school, had a place at Studer and Whittier. I
remember I would go in there and people would be waiting and Ted would
be – we called him Sloane – waiting on kids picking out a penny’s
worth of this candy and a penny’s worth of the other candy and I said
to him, one day, “Ted, you’re taking care of these penny sales
and you’re making these customers wait,” and he turned to me and
said, “Art, these are my future customers. If I want to stay in
business, I have to take care of these people.”
He was working for a company – a chain drug company by the name of
Mykrantz. Little did I know the people enjoyed watching him stand there
watching him take care of the little kiddoes. But he went into business
for himself at Sloane’s where we hung out at Main and Ohio and I didn’t
remember that the fellow who lives three doors from me now was the soda
jerk there when we were kids.
But as I say, it was a real, real happy time growing up. I really don’t
think the children today enjoy themselves as much. I think, really, that
they have too much. I sincerely hope that they never see the soup
kitchens that we saw. I can remember the lines at the soup kitchen at
the St. Francis Hospital at the corner of Grant and Sixth. It has since
been torn down and a new Grant Hospital built there. I can also remember
the follows selling apples out of crates in front of the banks. One at
Town and High and one at Gay and High. The big apples were a nickel a
piece. I also remember the week the banks crashed in 1929. I was
ushering part time at the Ohio Theater. The picture there was “Rasputin,”
and every time – I don’t remember who killed who with a poker, every
time he started to beat with a poker, I was tempted to turn around and
watch, but I don’t think I could have stood it, so I didn’t.
I am sure that because I have dictated this biography over so many
days that I have repeated myself several times, I don’t think I
repeated the business part of my life.
When I got out of the service, I went back to my old job at Schiff
Shoe Company. It was there waiting for me. I think they offered me
either 30 or 32 dollars a week. I told them I needed more than that
because I was supporting my mother. I went to work at Lazarus. I was
there for a year. There was a little man named Sammy Grossman that
approached me one day.
Sammy had an outlet shoe store up on North High Street between Long
and Spring Street. He came to me one day and says, “Art, how would
you like to get into the jewelry business? My friend, Manny Block, can
use a man.” The job offered $5 more a week than I was making, so I
I went to work for Manny Block at the Kay Jewelry store in what must
have been 1959. About six or seven years later I left them. I went to
Newark, Ohio and opened a store for Dave Levison. Dave, at this time
owns a pawn shop on Long Street just east of High Street. I was there
just three months when I went to hand in my resignation at Kay’s, the
supervisor was there and he says, “Art, I never thought that you
wanted management, you turned us down once.” I said, “Yes, Mr.
Marks. You offered me a job, but you wanted me to move to Washington,
Pennsylvania at the same salary I’m making here. And if I did that I’d
have to support two houses.”
So he said, “Well, we hate to lose you.” About three or
four months after that I’d been working in Newark, commuting, they
came to me and offered me double what I was making. I didn’t know what
to do, because when I had gone to work for Dave Levison, I thought I was
being clever and I said I wanted a contract and Dave Levison said,
” Go out and get yourself a contract and I’ll sign it.”
Which he did.
I approached him and told him I was in a quandary and didn’t know
what to do, and he turned to me and he said, “Art, you think of
your family first. If that’s more money, a lot more money, you take
it.” I said, “Dave, what about the contract?” He says,
“Let me have it and I’ll tear it up.”
Ever since that day, anything that I have Mr. Dave Levison is
entitled to. I think he is one of the greatest persons that ever was. I
worked for Kay’s – I ran the store out at Town and Country as manager,
for about three years. I then bought the store at 284 South High Street
in the middle of the block between Rich and Town Streets. It was a one –
man operation. There were three six – foot floor cases in the shape of a
U there and that’s about all. There was room for possibly six
customers to stand, and I know many times I kept my customers there with
conversation because I wanted somebody to talk to. I always kept a radio
playing but I couldn’t argue with a radio and I wanted somebody to
talk to so I keep ’em there.
There was a gentleman by the name of Mr. Brestin – I used to date his
daughter – that had a much bigger store up on the corner, and he wasn’t
in good health, so occasionally I would go to him and say, “Mr.
Brestin, did you want somebody to come in and buy in – help you take
some load off your shoulders? I’d be glad to,” and he said to me,
“Art, when the day comes I’ll let you know.”
Instead of letting me know, he went to this other fellow that I was
in partners with for twenty-five years, and offered it to him. Deep in
my heart I feel he was afraid to go into business by himself, so he
invited me in, and we were together for 25 years. I better change the
I just listened to the tape. It sounds like I’m giving a eulogy. I
happen to be down in our rec room – it’s almost midnight. I know my
wife can’t hear me, she’s two floors above and asleep, but I’ve
been talking rather quietly to keep from waking her up.
But this fellow and I were together for 25 years. It was good for
both of us. I trusted him implicitly. About ten years before we split,
the Union Company that had been at the corner of Long and High for two
generations, moved south to a much larger building across the street
from Lazarus, and it has always been a very reputable store, a very high
type men’s and ladies’ specialty store. We opened a fine jewelry
department there and about three years after that a car hit me in the
rear and I had a whiplash when I was dropping my sons off at the Center
where they were working as counselors, and I ended up having to go to
the hospital, having three vertebrae fused in my neck.
I went in September and they told me I wouldn’t be able to return
to work until after Christmas, so we decided to pool our assets and our
efforts into The Union, and we sold the store at Main and High to a
young chap that I had known all my life. We had run an ad in the jeweler’s
circular, “Keystone.” It was a blind ad, and here I get a
letter from one Leo Lurie who I had known all my life, and we ended up
selling him the store.
The partnership with the fellow I was in with was good for both of
us. The only bad thing about it is that he had a son that was absolutely
no good, and it got to the point where it was either the son or me, so
they both stole from me in the settlement, and it cost me quite a bit of
money. I’m sorry because his wife and my wife had grown up together.
They were extremely close friends. She died a horrible death of cancer
about three years ago, and I must say that he was a very good husband as
long as she was alive.
That’s my story about my business ventures. I’m glad I did – I
made another investment with my partner’s brother and my partner and I
bought into an upstairs jewelry operation by the name of Heisman –
Holzer. We changed it to “Diamond Exchange.”
This was a very, very good investment for me. I sold my assets
December the tenth, 1984 and now I’m completely retired.
People ask me about my retirement – how do I find enough to keep
busy. Well, September the first completed five years of retirement, and
it’s aggravating to me because God only gave me seven days a week. I
am so busy, I could use 14 days. My desk right now is just piled, piled
and piled. I love to work with my hands. I have a shop smith, which is
in the garage – a combination table saw, drill press and lathe. I’ve
taken two courses in stained glass. The one course I took at the
university and learned absolutely nothing. I was ashamed of the results.
I decided to take another class at the Martin Janis Senior Citizen
Center at the southeast corner of the fairgrounds. The teacher was a
fellow in his middle thirties. He had a mustache like Charlie Chan. He
always wore jeans, his hair was flopping around, he usually needed a
shave, and I thought, “well, this is going to be a waste of
$15.” But the fellow was just fabulous. He just couldn’t do
enough for everybody. I ended up making a window and he pleaded with me
to enter it into a showing that they had there at the Center, and I
ended up with second prize.
They also asked me if they could show it at the Summerfest that they
had along the Scioto River downtown – a rather large affair – they have
just about everything – crafts, dancing, music and a lot of food, so I
let them show it there.
We walk every morning. I have been very close friends since about
1930 with a fellow by the name of Coleman Thall. He retired about two
years ago and we walked every morning in the summer time because he and
his brother shared a condo down in Naples, Florida, and lo and behold, in
mitten der innen(in the middle of everything, or out of a
clear blue sky) at sixty-four years of age he up and got married
on me. He married a lady we had known all of our lives – maiden name of
Sowalsky – she had been happily married for 25 or 30 years and her
husband passed away. She was a widow, and so all of a sudden he married
her, so I don’t see as much of him as I used to.
I walk every morning with Julian Barnett. Not every morning – these
past few months he has decided to cut it down to three mornings a week.
His legs are bothering him. We start from McDonald’s. We park our cars
at Weyant and Broad and we walk to Sam Rubenstein’s house which is
catty – corner from Agudas Achim. That is one mile. then we walk back,
which is another mile. That puts us at McDonald’s about 9:15, 9:20,
and then we have a board meeting.
There is a constant flow of people in and out of the booth. Then
about ten o’clock we close the meeting and go our own ways. It is now
about midnight and my day starts at 7:15 and I just can’t keep up.
Things keep piling up on me. I’m trying to do a little genealogy
research on my family. When I retired from my job – this may be
repetitious – I decided to go to South Africa with my wife to meet my
father’s side of the family. While there a cousin of mine pulled a
book off a shelf and she says, “Art, you had a cousin living in
England who was an author,” and besides my side of the family I
took off on his side and it’s been great. A little aggravating, but
great. The reason I say aggravating, is because you can’t go back too
I think I’m back to my great-grandfather, but they were from
Russia, and the Russians aren’t very cooperative when it comes to
divulging any family histories or records that they have, so I’m
pretty much at a standstill there.
I belong to the Columbus Jewish Hysterical (sic) Society, for which I
am making this tape. That doesn’t consume a whole lot of time – a
meeting here and there- I’m going to sit in – we’re having a booth
at the Columbus Technical Institute on “The Jews of Columbus.”
I’ll be there about four hours. I’m doing things now that I like to
do, and I’m doing them when I want to do them, but of course at this
moment I have about six projects about half started, and Heaven knows
when I’ll ever get them finished.
I saw this tape recorder sitting on my desk, and it’s been sitting
here for quite some time – four days, and I thought I’d better get it
off my desk before it gets buried and gets lost. I spend a bit of time
over at the Heritage House. My father – in- law, who I practically didn’t
know – he died during the war – he had a buddy with whom he raised
pigeons. The fellow is one of the most cantankerous gentlemen I’ve
ever known. He had nobody. He and his brother lived together in a little
house about a mile from here. When the brother died, I took the
survivor, a fellow named Nat Radzek, out to the cemetery to pick out a
plot. He turned to me and said, “Art, would you mind if I took a
plot next to your family plot, because we have nobody,” and I felt
so sorry for him at the time.
But he’s cantankerous, very difficult to get along with. I get
very aggravated with him at times. He took ill, he thought he was having
a stroke. I was able to get him into the Heritage House and I go over
there and see him quite often. I do come home aggravated by some of his shtichlach
(little tricks or idiosyncracies) sometimes. My wife, Connie will
say to me, “Why do you bother with him? Why don’t you just let
him be. He’ll turn on you one of these days,” and I keep telling
her, “I don’t think I’m doing for him, I think I’m doing it
for me, because of the fact I know that it feels good to know that I can
do something for somebody.”
The Heritage House in Columbus is the greatest in the country. My
mother was there — I had never set foot in it until my mother took ill.
My mother had lived alone until she was about 90 years of age. She was
an independent sort of person. She was from the old school. She never
had enough money to learn how to enjoy the finer things in life. What
money she did have she spent on the children. She had no income except
for her children. We saw that she was comfortable. My brother and I took
care of her through the years after he graduated from college. When she
got into the Heritage House, I used to go over and see her approximately
four times a week. I would run over quite often on my lunch hour. I’d
stop at Long John Silver’s around the corner from the Heritage House
and get hush puppies because I could eat them while I was driving. And
every time I went out of the place, I felt good. It’s the greatest,
greatest place of that type in the country. It’s an institution – don’t
get me wrong, but it’s just fabulous. And all of the hundreds of times
I’ve been there, I’ve never yet heard a word spoken that I shouldn’t
I use for an example: I was walking down the aisle one day and I
heard a female voice behind me say to someone, “Come on, tataleh
(father dear), we’ll get some juice.” I turned around
and there is the father of the girl that my buddy married, Mr. Sowalsky.
He used to be a big, strapping, muscular man. He’d worked hard all of
his life, and he had withered away to almost nothing, and this big,
black lady was leading him down the hall to the kitchen to get some
juice. To me that personifies the entire attitude of all the employees
there of Heritage House.
There are a few things that are not right, but they are minor,
compared to the good things that they do. It used to shake Connie up
whenever we went there – her brother was there. She has only a brother
and a sister here in the city. She has only a brother and a sister,
She always left there crying, because her brother, who is one of the
greatest persons I have ever known, was felled by a serious stroke,
paralyzed on his right side and he has aphasia – he can’t talk. He’s
crippled, does beautiful, beautiful paintings and makes beautiful
objects with his left hand. But she gets upset when she goes there
because of his condition. His condition was worsened because of the fact
that they were living at the Bexley House on Broad Street and he was
going there for physical therapy and he fell going through the automatic
doors one day and broke a hip. He’s at a place now where he can barely
They replaced a portion of the hip, but it’s worked itself loose
and they’re afraid to operate, so Connie always leaves the place with
a heavy heart. They always try to tell her, “Be thankful that the
place is there.” It could be a lot worse. It’s an institution,
but it’s a great and good institution and we should be very grateful,
thankful and proud that we have it.
I think this is about the end of my little interview, so the
Interviewer will say to the Interviewee, “It’s time to go to
I hope I’ve amused some people and given them some thought – that
it’s been a little interesting for them. I hope I haven’t been too
repetitious. When you get be my age, which is 67, I have to write things
down so I don’t forget them, and this interview was made over the
period of four nights. I think I’ve worked on it three out of the four
nights, so I’m sure I’ve repeated some of the things, so for the
parts I’ve repeated, please forgive me.
It’s been a pleasure. I hope somebody gets as much pleasure out of
hearing and listening to this thing as I have in making it. Thank you.
One Postscript. Like I said, I used to keep my customers in the
store with conversation, to have somebody to talk to. I have found in
the five years that I have been retired, that my vocabulary is
shrinking, because I don’t spend my time with nearly as many people,
talking with nearly as many people as I used to. I have this one buddy I
walk with now, Julian Barnett. We walk for about 45 minutes and then
have coffee with a group and then, usually, any conversations that I do
have, which are few and far between, because I like to work with my
hands, most of the conversations are on a one to one basis and I find
myself groping for words and having trouble placing them, so noch a
mol or noch ein mol (one more time) please forgive me.
This concludes the presentation by Arthur B. Levy for the Columbus Jewish Historical Society Oral History Project.