This interview with Harriet Korn and Roselyn Margulies was conducted by
Marvin Bonowitz at his home, 3150 Broadmoor Avenue in Columbus in 1994. It is
part of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society’s Oral History Project.
Interviewer: I’m Marvin. Roselyn’s here and we’re going to talk to our
Aunt Harriet. She’s starting to tell us about the first things she remembers as she was growing
up. Harriet is four years older than Roselyn.
Harriet: Well, I was born at 807 Parsons Avenue, September 3, 1916. I
remember the black painted fence around the house and my father’s tinshop in the
back. And I know that I was not allowed out of that gate, because if I
did, I felt it for a week. I used to love to watch the streetcars go by,
and I was six years old and in Beck Street School before I really knew my
name! I thought my name was die kleina (the baby,) because that’s
what I was always called! If my mother wanted me, she would call, “Kleina!”
And I was in Beck Street School when I first found out my name was
Harriet. I had a new teacher and she wouldn’t believe my name was Die
Marvin: Who else lived in the house?
Harriet: Bobby and Cec. Mollie was still at home, because I was the flower
girl in her wedding. I remember her mother-in-law cooked for the wedding, but I ate
all the nuts. They couldn’t understand why I was so sick.
Marvin: I grew up on Parsons Avenue, too, at 860, and I was five years old
before I found out what my name was, because everybody called me “Sonny.” I remember the
streetcars, too. Nowadays everyone lives in a house, has a bedroom, there’s
a family room, and I was asking my Aunt Doris where everybody slept. She
lived in the other side of our double and with three bedrooms there were
Doris, Bertha, Esther, and Benny all living at home.
Harriet: I slept in the middle, between Mollie and Bobby. Then when Mollie
got married and I was about six or seven years old…
Roselyn: I was in the wedding. I carried the bridal train.
Harriet: I strewed the flowers.
Roselyn: I remember.
Harriet: And I had a purple dress.
Roselyn: It was at Jewish Hall.
Harriet: It was at Jewish Hall and I had a purple dress that hung from the
shoulders. It had petals at the bottom. I had exzema on my body because when
Mrs. Schwartz went to make the mandel bread, there was no mandlin. I had eaten
them all. No one asked my about it but I knew where they had gone, I had
eaten them all. They couldn’t figure out where they had gone, and I had
exzema all over. I was about seven or eight.
Roselyn: I must have been about four, or three. I remember I carried the
train, and in the middle, halfway down the aisle, I looked around and saw so
many people, I dropped the train and ran to my mommie! I know I was very
Marvin: I always impressed me as I grew older and realized the difference
of how people lived in the South End and the house that you (Harriet) lived in, because
that was some house. I mean it had stained glass windows, it had two
toilets, a finished attic.
Harriet: No! Not on Parsons Avenue!
Marvin: No, when you moved to 895 South Ohio Avenue!
Harriet: We’re talking about Parsons Avenue.
Marvin: I never knew your house on Parsons Avenue.
Harriet: Oh, I remember Parsons Avenue very vividly. I used to go back in
the (tin) shop and Mr. Rosenthal, Marty Hoffman’s grandfather, worked for my
father, and he used to take me back there in the shop and sit me on a bench and make me
dolls and toys out of tin. And he made groggers out of tin, and Marty Hoffman
has a grogger that his grandfather made. But I remember Parsons Avenue.
Roselyn and I used to have tea parties under the grape arbor! And our dog! We
had a dog and I used to push him in the baby carriage.
Marvin: The chow dog?
Harriet: No, the chow dog was on Ohio Avenue. This was a little black and
Marvin: How did you happen to have a dog?
Roselyn: Do you remember the cat, Harriet?
Harriet: We had the cat, and the chicken. We had a little chicken! Do you
remember the chicken? You don’t remember the chicken?
Roselyn: I remember that we had a chicken.
Harriet: They had a chicken, and it disappeared one day, and you came over
to the house one day for Friday night dinner, and you said, “Where’s the britzele
_________?” And your mother brought a chicken out and put it on the table. One might
Marvin: Harriet, did your mother and father talk about how they happened to
come to America, why they came to Columbus, because I notice that of my grandmother’s
brothers and sisters, all of them except one, came to the United States. Your
father had two sisters, and one sister came to The United States. Did they all come together?
Harriet: No, I recollect that my Aunt Goldberg (Clara Shustick Goldberg,
also recalled in a CJHS Oral History tape by her daughter, Frances Goldberg) was here first.
My father landed in Philadelphia (Harriet’s sister, Fannie Shustick Bonowitz,
claimed that the port of entry was Baltimore) because he had landsleit there.
I remember that he always said that some day he was going to Philadelphia to see so –
and-so, the name I can’t recall now. But he came to Columbus because his
sister Clara was here. He was an apprentice in Russia, but he was afraid he would be conscripted
into the army, even though he was an only son.
Marvin: They were a close – knit family in Boguslav – did he ever mention
the town they came from? My mother told me they came from Ekaterinoslav, which is now
Dnepropetrovsk, but in talking to (cousin ) Ethel (Rosen) or (cousin) Joann
(Schwartz, who lives in Canton, Ohio,) they have family photographs taken
by a photographer in Boguslav, a nearby city, all in the neighborhood of Kiev.
Harriet: I remember my mother used to talk about growing up in Kieva
Gubernie. My father left my mother, sisters Fannie and Mollie and brother Abe, in
Europe to come here later. His father’s name was Labe. Lawrence (Goldberg) is
named for him. The czar’s army was not supposed to conscript only
sons, but I think they may have been making exceptions for the Jews.
My mother left one sister in Europe. She never talked about her childhood.
She spoke mostly about her trials and tribulations upon arriving here,
being overcome by gas – there was gas seeping into the house. She often spoke
about a Mrs. Stiefel, who was one of the early social workers. She is Alan Meyer’s
grandmother. Jack Meyers? She was his grandmother. She took immigrant
women under her wing, explained money, showed them how to shop. I remember
my mother a number of times mentioned that she didn’t know how she would
have managed if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Stiefel. I think they lived on
Mound Street. My mother and sisters Fannie and Mollie were found in the house by
Mrs. Stiefel. My mother often said that the reason she couldn’t
comprehend a lot of things was because the gas did a lot of damage.
Marvin: Did she talk about having the three children in Europe?
Harriet: No, but she mentioned arriving in this country on Thanksgiving
Day. Her brother, Shloime was a short, bald, guy – smiled all the time, changed
his name, Chandrish, to Chandler and settled in Cleveland. Younger brother
Jacob used the same name and built a men’s outerware manufacturing business in
Buffalo. I think Shloime worked for Jake for a short time. He was a tailor.
Marvin: Let’s talk about your growing up.
Harriet: I went to Beck Street School. Zelda Schwartz and I were the only
two Jewish kids in the school. I had a terrible teacher who slapped my hand
because I couldn’t write well, the mean old bitch -(laughs). I got the chicken pox and I gave
it to Zelda Schwartz. Her mother came to our house and really laid my mother out
because I gave her daughter chicken pox, and I shouldn’t have gone to
school. There was a big, red sign on our door that I had chicken pox.
Parsons Avenue – it was a happier time when I was alone. I played with
Julian Barnett when he lived across the street. There weren’t many kids
to play with. There was a Strauss girl that lived in the neighborhood. I
played with her sometimes.
Marvin: After the time you were four years old, you had a niece.
Harriet: Why, yes – Roselyn used to come over and play.
Roselyn: Once I came arrived the scene I was there a lot. When you started
school I stayed with Grandma because Mother worked every day. I remember being in the kitchen all day.
Harriet: She was always in the kitchen. We didn’t go into the living
Roselyn: And when I went into the living room it was like going into a
palace. I remember when my little brother was born and how happy – Grandma and I were dancing.
I was in the dining room when the telephone call came. We had two different
telephone systems, the Citizens and the Bell. When she got the call that
the baby had died two days later – it was a boy. He did have a bris but he never
Marvin: There was another child before me?
Roselyn: Yes, I think so. And there were two miscarriages. I remember going
with Mother to visit her cousins in Ashtabula when she was pregnant. I was sleeping
with her and I woke up when there was an ambulance there to take her to the hospital
and the bed was full of blood.
Harriet: One of the things I can remember about that living room. I often
think of (my future brothers -in-law) Sigmund and Jack – how they put up with that.
When they were courting I would go and sit in the living room. I don’t know
why, and no one would say, “Take her out, what’s she doing here?” I
would sit there, on the sofa, and they would sit here with Sigmund or Jack, or Bobby or Mollie. I
can’t recall why I would sit there or what they did with me, but I remember
sitting on that hard sofa, just sitting there. Of course I remember your father
always saying, when he went to court your mother, that he couldn’t go for a walk unless they took me along. He
always reminded me of that.
Roselyn: Dad was always embarrassed pushing a baby buggy.
Harriet: He was courting, pushing a baby buggy. But Parsons Avenue – that
was a different lifetime.
Roselyn: It really was.
Marvin: Do you remember how it was when you moved?
Harriet: Bobby was still at home, and Cec…
Roselyn: He lived on the third floor. I remember when he was studying to be
a dentist, he had a real skull on his desk. And he practiced his saxophone, but the piano
was downstairs in the entrance hallway.
Harriet: I took the piano lessons.
Roselyn: At one end of the room there was the cedar chest.
Harriet: That’s at Margie’s house now.
Marvin: We have at our house the cedar chest that Uncle Abe made.
Harriet: We didn’t have two bathrooms, but we had a second toilet in the
basement with a shower for my father to clean up after coming home from work in the tinshop
and roofing. And we had a sleeping porch. That sleeping porch was wonderful.
Marvin: In that house, Grandpa put the motor of the refrigerator below it
in the basement, so that kitchen was quiet.
Roselyn: I remember that house. I loved it there. When Mother was pregnant
with you I lived with Grandma and Grandpa. The evening before Thanksgiving Mother was
in the kitchen cleaning strawberries. I went to Livingston Avenue School
and Harriet took me there until I was in the second grade – the two – A. I slept
with Aunt Bobby. Aunt Bobby was always wonderful to me. She really took care of me.
Harriet: She was really a caregiver to everybody else.
Roselyn: I remember at Confirmation my Mother was in the hospital and Aunt
Bobby took me to Greiner’s and got me shoes, my first heels. I’ll never forget
the shoes – my first silk stockings – my mother was sick and Aunt Bobby did so many
Marvin: That’s what I remember about Aunt Bobby, too. She was just
different and very loving and always had time and some small gift or something for me and for
other kids too.
Roselyn: Aunt Bobby worked in Grandpa’s shop, in the office.
Harriet: Harold and I were married in the living room of that house at 895
S. Ohio Avenue in front of the fireplace, and we had a big to – do because Harold’s
uncle had died on the fourth of July and we were married on July 6. So I
couldn’t have music. Rose Stetelman was supposed to play the piano and she couldn’t
play the piano so she whispered to me, “I’ll play it very softly no one
will know, we have to have music, without calling it off.” So that’s what she did.
We had Rabbi Taxon, Rabbi Greenwald and Mechal. Mechal Goodman. He was the shammus.
I used to walk to school by myself – I picked up Betty Fish on my way to
Livingston Avenue School. I had a chow dog – who was mean – I think my teen-
age years. I was never a great student in school, it was always a
Roselyn: I always wondered why they sent me to Hebrew School but they never
sent you to Hebrew School.
Harriet: Sure they sent me to Hebrew School.
Roselyn: I don’t remember you going.
Harriet: Of course I went to Hebrew School. One of the saddest things in my
life when I was a child and I’ve carried the hurt with me – I was in the Livingston
Avenue School and Betty Timen, of blessed memory, had a birthday party and
everybody was invited to the birthday party but me. Even the non – Jewish kids. We
used to get the bus for Hebrew School in front of Mendel’s house on 18th Street
and everybody would congregate there.
I was not invited to that birthday party, and for an eight or ten year
old kid, that was very traumatic, and I’ll never, ever forget the next day or
whatever the bus schedule was, her mother came out of the house and offered me a
piece of that birthday cake. And from that time, I’m such a nut – that whenever my children or my
grandchildren have a birthday party, you either invite everybody or you don’t
invite anybody, because I can remember the terrible hurt that I felt. And
you know what I did? It was the end of the semester, and the following September,
when school started, I didn’t tell Bobby, because Bobby was in charge, because
Mother didn’t know what was going on in school, I walked myself over to Heyl
Avenue School and tried to enroll myself in the third or fourth grade, whatever it
was, because I didn’t want to go back to that school because I was so
devastated. ay she rest in peace, I never forgave her. I couldn’t talk to her.
Never. If I saw her on the street I walked away from her. I couldn’t talk to her, I
remember that hurt.
Roselyn: The Mendels lived right across Eighteenth Street from the
Canowitzs. Moe, Nettie, and Izzie. Izzie is a doctor in Youngstown now.
Harriet: Can you imagine the nerve of an eight – year – old kid trying to
enroll herself in another school? I don’t know how I thought I could ever get away with it.
Marvin: You were a nervy kid.
Roselyn: I’ll tell you about Ohio Avenue School. They had a kindergarten
and I went to Siebert Street School and they didn’t have a kindergarten. Aunt Anna
asked my mother, “Why don’t just bring Roselyn, they won’t care.” We
were right on the border, close to Ohio Avenue School. So my mother took me to the
kindergarten. They had a sandbox, and Sylvia and I were so excited – we were going to
school together – for about five minutes, until they took the roll, and I wasn’t
on the list, they wouldn’t let me go to kindergarten. I missed a year of education, so
I don’t do blocks very well.
Marvin: That house on Ohio Avenue. It was different from…it was a really
Harriet: The Brials lived across the street.
Marvin: There were Ruth, Barbara, Carol Brial. Then the Beims lived cate-corner at Ohio
and Kossuth Street, and Ahavas Sholom bought the house at Ohio and Columbus
and converted it into their synagogue. But your house had a nice dining
room with window seats, a back yard. Grandma used to grow beautiful peonies and
roses. Remember how she used to go out? But she was in the kitchen a lot.
Roselyn: She had a nice garage, too. I used to ride my bicycle there.
Marvin: And a cherry tree. Across the alley on 22nd Street lived the (Ben)
Greenbergs (home of Miriam Kayne, Marty Greenberg, and their brothers,) and the (Harry)
Zisenwines with their daughters Thelma (_________) Miriam (_______) and Cyril Duga.
And the bathroom was tiled with etched glass windows and a shower. I never
had seen a shower before. It was the only house I knew of that had a shower
with a white shower curtain. It never occurred to me – Grandpa was a successful
business man. He did pretty well – he dressed well, he was president of his shul
(Beth Jacob,) he sat down in his beautiful wing – backed chair, read the
Yiddish newspaper, The Forverts, lit up a Chesterfield cigarette.
Roselyn: Grandpa used to take Harriet and me every Shabbos after
shul to the Champion (the neighborhood cinema on the north side of Livingston Avenue between
Champion and Oakwood – the building still stands intact in 1999, used as a
workshop for Bartholomew Plumbing Company. The light fixtures covered with
stained glass are still there. M. B.) to see a movie, or he took us
downtown on the streetcar. We went to Schriek’s photo studio to have our picture taken,
or to The Broad…
Marvin: That’s a movie theater-
Harriet: And the one on the other corner – The James was across the street
from the Lincoln-Levecque Tower, or the Palace. We went to Foersters and had
cheese sandwiches on cheese bread, then we got on the streetcar and went home.
That was a wonderful ritual every Saturday. I remember going to the circus.
Marvin: Did you have any interactions with your older brothers, Abe or Cec?
Harriet: I had more interaction with Abe. He used to take me along with him
when he went on dates! He and Esther used to go roller skating with Justin Sillman
at Mound and Eighteenth. He used to take me horseback riding.
Roselyn: His car had a running board, it was beautiful. Uncle Abe was
older. I remember my first tricycle. He came over with a box and sat on the kitchen floor
with all those pieces and put it together.
Harriet: When Abe had his airplane he used to come over on Saturday and
take Chuck to Urbana for lunch. When he was landing once he ran into a gasoline pump.
When I stop to think about that now…
Roselyn: He had several accidents in that plane.
Harriet: How he survived and I allowed a four year old child to go with
him, it boggles my mind now. I never got into the plane.
Marvin: Where did he meet Aunt Esther?
Harriet: Here. She was from Columbus. They had a club, but I don’t think
Esther was in the Club. I’ll have to ask Eve (Byer – Esther Smith Shustick’s
cousin) about that. In the club were Morris and Fannie Skilken, Mollie and Abe, Ethel Glassman.
Esther lived on the other side of the tracks, so to speak
(Harriet’s remark refers to the right side of the tracks.)
Marvin: Still does.
Harriet: Still does.
Marvin: Very classy lady. She came from a better…
Harriet: No she didn’t. She really didn’t. She came from a poor family.
Marvin: Was her father a motorman.
Harriet: Her father, ________ Smith, was a streetcar motorman on the
Parsons Avenue line, as a matter of fact. He was a very handsome man, I remember him.
Marvin: And very well spoken.
Roselyn: So was her mother. A very nice lady. She was Christian Science. I
don’know about her father. I think that was one objection to the marriage.
Harriet: He was not. When we used to go to the cemetery Abe always went to
his grave. He was buried in the old Agudas Achim Cemetery.
Marvin: But he was from a Jewish background?
Harriet: And so was she!
Marvin: With my limited experience to the outside world in the community,
they were very un – Jewish. The way they spoke, the way they dressed, the culture
that they had – that special radio they had in the carved wood cabinet – it seemed a
different way of living. And Big Boy, they had a Scotch Terrier.
Roselyn: Do you remember that radio? I forgot about that.
Marvin: (to Harriet) At your house you had a special radio. It had push
buttons on that radio thirty years before radios had push button tuning. You had to push
down a lever and thin concealed cables pulled the tuning cylinder to the
station. I was the only one, I think, that ever knew about that feature or used it. I
opened up those doors and there were those things, you pushed them down and they
would land on the station.
Harriet: I remember that cabinet and I wanted that cabinet, and when she
moved I think she sold it for — Esther was like that. When she was through with it, she
was through with it. David (Korn) in his house, has the chest that she was
going to give to the Salvation Army. David had just graduated from Law School and
was setting up his own apartment. I said, “I’d like to buy that
chest,” and I bought that chest for $150. It had been refinished, and now Beth would like to
have that chest, and they asked me if I would sell it back to them, and I said,
“No, I bought that for David, he knows the history of it, and it belongs to him.”
And he has it at his house. It’s just beautiful. But the carved one, I wonder whatever
happened to it, it was just gorgeous. I remember Mollie coming home from work as a Comptometer
operator when she was 15. Bobby, too. Bobby didn’t graduate from high school. When
my father started his business on Parsons Avenue, Bobby was going to Central
High, and she quit to become the bookkeeper and run my father’s office.
Marvin: She could really type. I remember watching those flying fingers.
Our mother went to Beck Street School, but she said she had to quit school
and go to work. Where did you meet Harold?
Harriet: Hebrew School. That was where I first met him.
Roselyn: Yes, but that was many years before you ever dated him.
Harriet: He went to East, I went to South, and they had these little
cliques. The boys from East came over to South… I worked at Lazarus when
I was in high school. I worked at Dunn – Taft, I
worked at Morehouse – Martens. Then I took a course at IBM and became a key-punch
operator and worked for the Godman Shoe Company. Then I went to the WPA as a key-punch
operator, then to Curtiss-Wright. I worked in the children’s department at Morehouse-Martins
until I was married and Harold wouldn’t
let me go back to work because it didn’t look nice.
Roselyn: Aunt Bobby worked at Schiff’s Shoes, and then in the Children’s
Department at a department store while Jack was in the service.
Marvin: Your first home was with Grandma and Grandpa on Bulen Avenue.
Harold was in the Service and I lived there with Chuck. When Harold came home our
first house was on Kelton Avenue.
Roselyn: And on New Year’s Eve, you took Castor oil and ran up and down
the stairs. There were 12 war brides and all of us were either pregnant or had new
Harriet: Last year was Chuck’s fiftieth birthday, and that’s one of the
things I told him about New Year’s Eve, 50 years ago. A lot of guests at the party were
physicians, obstetricians and so forth, and after the party was over I mentioned the
fact that I had taken castor oil, and more of the professional people came over to me
and asked, “Why did you take the castor oil?” They’d never heard of
Marvin: Well, it didn’t help. Chuck wasn’t born until the fourth!
Harriet: Gladys Herwald was pregnant, and you had Cheryl. Annette Kaplan
was expecting. I don’t know how I got home. Did I sleep at your house?
Roselyn: I think so.
Harriet: I got home the following day.
Marvin: You were going to talk about your children.
Harriet: Chuck was a little boy and we lived in Buffalo. There were about
twelve people in a three – bedroom house and everybody went to work and I took care of
Chuck. The nicest thing was to have Aunt Ella and Uncle Jake there, because I used
to walk over to their house. When everybody came home at night, the child got
confused because he had so many grandparents and so many aunts and uncles.
Harold’s parents wanted him to remain there, but Harold said as long as
he had a profession he’d come back to Columbus, and if he didn’t “make
it” he’d have someplace to go.
Marvin: When Harold came home from the service he went to Buffalo where all
of his family had moved. What about Judy?
Harriet: Judy was born here in Columbus and we bought our house on Kelton
Avenue. I’m trying to recall my own childhood. I recall living on Parsons Avenue
and standing at the gate and Cec’s friends would walk by, and point out
“that’s Cec’s home.” He was quite a lady’s man in those days. He must have been in
high school when we moved to Ohio Avenue, because I was eight years old, and he’s
eight years older than I, and he was in junior high or high school at that
time. I can’t remember my mother really taking an active part in my growing up other than the fact that she was there. But Bobby really did the bulk. She’d
take me to dancing lessons from Jorg Fasting, and I was really the cock of the
walk dancing on my toes. Saturday I took dancing lessons and Sunday I went to Hebrew School. And we’d all meet at Mr. J_________’s grocery store
across the street. I was in “such pain,” I wanted everybody to know that
I had been on my toes and my toes hurt. I remember Jake Louis let me work in his grocery
store when I was little-behind the counter-and sell the penny candy.
Marvin: You had a cousin that studied dance, too?
Harriet: Yes, Mahlee (Goldberg.) She was instrumental in taking up dance. I
had a lot of advantages in that stage of my life. A lot of my girlfriends and other
children didn’t have. My father was an entrepreneur and we were able to move
out of the Parsons Avenue neighborhood.
Marvin: There was quite a difference in the new neighborhood just five
Harriet: The difference being the air was more rarefied. It was up on a
hill and it was much different. I’ve thought about going back to look at that house again.
Marvin: So have I, but I’ve looked at the house and it’s run down.
Harriet: You know what’s left on Parsons Avenue? One night we went down
to Plank’s and I found an old man who remembered Abe and Cec. But the building where
my father had his shop at 756 Parsons Avenue the tenants are now Columbus’s Native American Center.
Marvin: If you look up high at the wall on the south side you can still
read, “George Shustick & Son Roofing.”.
Harriet: My parents didn’t tell me too much about Europe. They were too
busy working. All I remember is “Shloft mir, mein kind,” and “Aufn
pripichok.” (Yiddish songs, “Sleep, my child,” and “On the Fireplace.”
Marvin: Those continue down. Roselyn’s granddaughter, Alana, sings “Sloft
mir, mein kind” to her dolls.
Harriet: Unfortunately that’s not been handed down to my children, which
I think is very sad. I remember the black iron fence, the street cars going by, going
across the street to play with Julian Barnett, going next door to the Strausses…
Marvin: I remember things my mother told me. She told me how to act – do
you remember that your mother or father told you anything about being a mentsh or
Harriet: Not really. I think most of my growing up behavior was really from
observance or being told by my older sisters, Bobby, in particular. I will say this –
Esther Shustick was a great influence on me as I grew up, because I met her in my
really formative years, as a teen ager. Whether she knows that or not, or feels
any closer to me, I don’t know, but I learned a lot by imitation, but I don’t
recall my mother imbuing me with these things. I was left alone a great deal, to find out
things on my own. Bobby was at the shop. My mother was just a little too old to have
a child at her age.
Marvin: And in a new culture…
Harriet: And she was in a new culture, coping with many new things. A young
baby, I don’t think was in her plans. Sort of an accident. (Harriet’s mother
was only 39 years old when Harriet was born, but Harriet was born into the American
culture of which her mother was not yet a participant.) That’s why I was gutsy
enough to apply at Ohio Avenue School – I knew they wouldn’t take me.
Marvin: Do you remember any of the relatives who came to visit, Tanta
Harriet: Tanta Hennie (Grandma’s sister Henya Martinovsky from Brooklyn,)
came to visit. Cousin Hymie (Mohilewsky, from Youngstown, son of Grandma’s sister
Mariassi Mohilewsky,) was the “man who came to dinner.” He came,
and he stayed.
Marvin: He was divorced. His sisters, Ruth and Tillie visited a lot. The
family was very close. Tillie came because she was going to Ohio State. We had a lot of
company when Bobby was dating – Jack Patricoff was studying law at Ohio State.
My father was president of Ahavas Sholom and we had a lot of activity.
I remember going to Rabbi Greenwald’s house. I sat around and talked with his boys.
One of my nicest memories is going to the Jewish shows, they had wonderful Jewish shows.
Marvin: How old were you when you started to speak English?
Harriet: Probably when I started to go to school. When I went to get my
first passport, I gave them the date and my name, and they said they had no one by that name,
but they did have some one by that date. Well, they had me as “Eva.”
Harriet was a popular name at the time, and they probably just began calling me Harriet.
Marvin: Well, Harriet has a double letter, and all of your sisters have
double letters in their names: Fannie, Bobby and Mollie.
Harriet: I do want my children to know my Jewish name, Yocheved Kayla. I
was named after my mother’s sister, Kayla. Yocheved, I think, was from my father’s
family. Kayla (Grandma’s sister, Kayla Weisenberg, mother of Ethel Rosen,) died
when Ethel was ten months old.
Marvin: Talk about your own children.
Harriet: Chuck – we grew up together. We really did. I didn’t know how to
raise a baby. We did things together. We had to learn, and consequently, he became a very
responsible child – with his brother and sisters. They’re very close. And
Judy, she’s a joy, too. Margie was a challenge. She was 3 pounds, 4 ounces –
full term – David was born two days short of a full year after Margie and he weighed
over nine pounds. Chuck was named after Tanta Clara, _______ Rubin? Judy was
named for my father, George and for Harold’s paternal grandfather, Ben.
Margie was named for Harold’s grandfather, Michel Labe and David, really George David was named for my father.
It was hard growing up being like an only child on Ohio Avenue.
Marvin: Cec was eight years older than you, Bobby is ten years older. That
was a long stretch of time between Cec and me. When I was growing up, he was in high school.
He went to Roosevelt Junior High and then to South. I took piano lessons,
I did all the right things and had all the exposures one could
have. I didn’t go to college because I didn’t think I was college material,
and I had a good excuse – there was a depression on, and it was more important for Cec
to go to college, so I went to business school and had a variety of jobs.
Marvin: You’ve seen a lot of changes; from street cars and outdoor
Harriet: And the Aerodrome, it was at Parsons and Whittier – the first of
the outdoor movie theaters. They had a big screen. I remember going to Heimendale Grove,
a private picnic park. Olentangy Park – we took picnic lunches.
End of taped interview with Harriet Shustick Korn for the Columbus Jewish
Historical Society Oral History Project.