Good afternoon. This is November 20, 2002, and my name is Naomi Schottenstein, I’m an interviewer with the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. I’m at the residence of Irv and Flo Chasin, and we’re at 1441 Sherbrook Place in Columbus at their home.
Irv, I’m going to start by just asking you if you know your Jewish name?
Chasin: Yitzhak ben Herschel.
Interviewer: Yitzhak ben Herschel. Okay. Do you know whom you were named
Chasin: Frankly I don’t.
Interviewer: What is your full English name?
Chasin: Irving Chasin.
Interviewer: Okay, and people call you by Irv?
Interviewer: Was Chasin your original family name?
Chasin: As far as I know.
Interviewer: Tell us where you were born, Irv.
Chasin: I was born in Logan, Ohio.
Interviewer: Where was this?
Chasin: Logan, Ohio.
Interviewer: I know Logan.
Chasin: It’s not too far away from here.
Interviewer: When did you come to Columbus?
Chasin: I didn’t come to Columbus until 1949.
Interviewer: So, what year were you born? What’s your birthdate?
Chasin: I was February 14, 1914 in Logan, Ohio. Should I go on?
Chasin: When I was two or three years old our family moved to Marysville, Ohio.
Interviewer: What took them to Marysville?
Chasin: My father went into a junk business that was previously owned by
a brother-in-law of his who moved to Texas. That’s the Wolfson family.
Chasin: Louis Wolfson, right. My father moved to Marysville and I lived
there until I was 13 years old.
Interviewer: And then where did you…
Chasin: My mother was killed in an accident in 1924; I was 10 years old.
It kind of broke the family up, so when I was 13 years old I moved to Cleveland,
Ohio with my older brother.
Interviewer: What did you do in Cleveland? Just you and your brother
moved to Cleveland?
Chasin: My brother and I, he was 16 years old, a senior in high school;
he went to night school to finish up his high school in Cleveland, and he got a
job. The two of us were more or less supported ourselves from then on.
Interviewer: Did the two of you know anybody in Cleveland?
Chasin: Not really.
Interviewer: You went there cold?
Chasin: More or less cold. My father had a cousin there but I never heard
of before, Zaner family. We were on our own more or less. We boarded out with
different families until later on we got married.
Interviewer: Did you have other siblings, brothers, sisters?
Chasin: I had an older brother and a younger brother and a younger
sister. Had an older brother David; he was like three years older than I was. I
had a younger sister who was about two and half years younger than I was. And a
little brother who was, Sammy, was five years younger than I was.
Interviewer: And who was the brother who went with you to Cleveland?
Chasin: My brother David.
Interviewer: Bring us up to date with your siblings. Tell us where David
is and tell us about his family.
Chasin: My brother Dave left Cleveland where we were living in 1936, I
think it was. He moved to Texas and got a job there in a town where the Wilson
family lived and after years he decided to move to Los Angeles where he got
married later on and had his family there. He went into the restaurant supply
business. He had two sons.
Interviewer: Who was his wife?
Chasin: His wife was a girl out of Chicago.
Interviewer: What was her name?
Chasin: I’ll have to think about it. Her name was Ethel but I don’t
recall the last name of her family right now.
Interviewer: And he had how many children?
Chasin: He had two sons, Gil, and, I’m terrible.
Interviewer: Do you know where Gil is living?
Chasin: He’s still living in Los Angeles. He was in the restaurant
business; he had a real nice restaurant for a while and then it went out. What’s
his name? You know my nephew there.
Interviewer: David’s other son? Gil and …
Chasin: As I tell you, I get these blocks.
Interviewer: It will come to you. We’ll come back to it. When you think
of it just tell me. So, are you in touch with David?
Chasin: My brother died about 15 years ago. He died young, in his 60s.
Interviewer: Do you know what he passed away from?
Chasin: Alzheimer’s; it was terrible.
Interviewer: But you visited with him probably?
Chasin: I saw him but he lived there and I lived here. We used to go out
there twice a year to visit him.
Interviewer: What about your sister?
Chasin: Well, when my mother died she stayed with my aunt, the Losin
family here in town. When she graduated high school, she came to stay with my
brother and I. After my brother went out to California, she more or less
followed him a year later; she went out there too.
Interviewer: Where did she complete her schooling?
Chasin: She graduated here in Columbus. She was, let see, 1916, she was
eight years old when my mother passed away; from then she lived with my aunt.
Interviewer: Was that your mother’s sister?
Chasin: She didn’t live with the Losin family; she lived with the
Interviewer: The Mendel family; I remember them.
Chasin: My brother lived, my younger brother lived with the Losin family.
Interviewer: Was that Sam?
Chasin: Sam, yeah. After he graduated high school he came to live with us
too. Now when the war broke out, he was drafted; he was the first one to be
drafted. He went to camp. When the war broke out he was sent to New Guinea right
away. He stayed there for four and half years, and when the war was over he was
released, he went to California.
Interviewer: Now we’re talking about World War II?
Chasin: World War II; that was back in 1945. So I lost all three kids;
all three of my siblings wound up in California.
Interviewer: Well, I can understand wanting to go to California.
Chasin: I think they just wanted to get away from me.
Interviewer: I don’t think so, Irv. It’s a beautiful place to live.
Chasin: Subsequently when you talk about my children, three of the four
of my children went out to California as soon as they got out of school.
Interviewer: We’re going to talk about them in a minute. Your sister,
did she get married?
Chasin: My sister got married and had three children. Her husband died
when they were practically babies. So she kind of raised the kids on her own.
She never remarried.
Interviewer: Tell me about her children.
Chasin: She had three children; three boys. One of them worked with
computers; worked for some big computer company; went to San Jose. He died
young. He had two or three children that I lost track of.
The second boy is still in Los Angeles; still kind of close to him. And the
younger boy got married but he never had children.
So, details, I can’t give you.
Interviewer: Flo came through here with Gil’s brother, your brother
David’s second son.
Chasin: Yeah, he’s the youngest; his name is Alan.
Interviewer: Where’s Alan now?
Chasin: Alan’s in LA; he’s still in LA. He took over his father’s
business and he finally closed that out and he’s in the restaurant supply
business as a salesman by now.
Interviewer: As a salesman?
Chasin: He has two daughters; twin daughters, very nice kids. I don’t
see too much of his children. One of them is in New Jersey I think and the other
is in California. I went to their weddings.
Interviewer: Yeah, when they start growing…
Chasin: They live far away.
Interviewer: …and geographically spread apart, it’s hard to keep in
Chasin: That’s right.
Interviewer: What about Sam’s family?
Chasin: Sam never had any children.
Interviewer: Did he ever get married though?
Chasin: He got married twice. He died just, what, about three years ago.
He died of cancer.
Interviewer: So you’re the one who’s left.
Chasin: My sister died of cancer. I’m the only one left in the whole
Interviewer: Well, not in the whole world.
Chasin: As far as my family is concerned. I’m the eldest.
Interviewer: Well, it sounds like you had a great family core established
Chasin: Well, my brother and I were real close. I had just gotten married
when he went away. I was just 21, 22 years old when he left. Since then he’s
there and I’m here. We saw each other for a while, once every couple of years.
Interviewer: Sure, it’s a long distance.
Chasin: We weren’t what you would call that close because just on
occasion go out and visit him. When he married we went out there. When he had
his bar mitzvahs I went out there.
Interviewer: Do you remember any stories, did your dad talk about, where
did your dad come from?
Chasin: My mother and father probably came from Russia, Vidisk. They came
over to this country, I think; they got married in 1907 in New York.
Interviewer: You remember a lot of dates.
Chasin: Well, no, I found that out here lately. I never knew anything about it until someone told me they looked up the history of the family. Sol Maggied; do you know Sol Maggied?
Interviewer: Sol? Yeah.
Chasin: He’s very good at that. He wrote to me and said he found my
parents birth, or marriage certificate in New York, date 1907. I don’t know
too much about their history except that my brother was born in 1910 in Logan,
Ohio. But there was some of the family, I don’t know, started I out. There was
the Yenkin family was here; I think they were in Nelsonville. I don’t know,
that’s what happened in those days. One family followed another. I imagine if
you checked the Yenkin family history you’d run into my… my mother was a
cousin of theirs. They were the only relatives my mother had that I knew about
in this country.
Interviewer: They were the only ones?
Chasin: Yes. See, my mother died when I was 10 years old and I don’t know have too much recollection of any stories of my mother’s family. I don’t know if she had any brothers or sisters or anything, you know. When I was a kid I didn’t know, didn’t hear about it.
Interviewer: They were too busy raising families.
Chasin: The only thing I knew here was that the Yenkin family was cousins
of hers and the Mellmans.
Interviewer: Which Mellman?
Chasin: Sam and Dora Mellman, and I became very close to Dora Mellman
until she passed away. We were very, very close family. She was the closest one
to my mother that I knew about. And the Maggied family too was a cousin.
Interviewer: Was there a Harold Maggied also?
Chasin: Yeah, Hal, Hal, Harold. He’s out in Florida now. He does family…if you want to know anything about a lot of the family, you get a hold of him.
Interviewer: Yeah, he’s sent me some email information and he befriended my sister and brother-in-law who have a place in Florida, so we hear about them.
Chasin: I get email from him every once in a while.
Interviewer: How is Howie related to the Yenkins? How are you all tied together?
Chasin: His parents and somebody in the Yenkin family and in the Mellman family; those three, there were three brothers or sisters. I don’t recall exactly. And they spread out from that.
Interviewer: And that would be on your mother’s side?
Chasin: My mother’s side. But I never heard anything about her parents or any brothers or sisters or anything like that.
Chasin: I guess when I was a kid I just didn’t think about things like
that. Then later on we got all spread out and I lost track of everybody in
Columbus until I was 35 years old when I came back here. I had a cousin, uncle,
Abe Mendel who was in the pawn business, and he had a son-in-law who was in the
pawn business. We became good friends and when I was 35 years old, do you want
to hear the story?
Interviewer: Yes, go on.
Chasin: When I was in Cleveland going to high school I worked for Halle
Brothers after school.
Interviewer: Halle Brothers was a big…
Chasin: …department store. I used to be in the mail department licking
stamps. We use to lick them in those days. And after I graduated high school I
got a job in different places in the store. Then I met Bertha, my wife; we got
married when I was 21.
Interviewer: She was in Cleveland?
Chasin: She was in Cleveland. Her parents had come from Poland. We were
friends all the way through high school. Any way we got married when I was 21. A
little funny story…
Interviewer: Wait, before we go on what was Bertha’s maiden name?
Chasin: Kleinman. She was born in 1915, and we had a good marriage for 60 some years.
Interviewer: Well, that’s a nice long marriage.
Chasin: Yeah. So, any way when I got married I wanted to get a better job
and I was doing some shipping; I was a shipping clerk for a while. I went up to
the school and asked them if they could find me a job.
Interviewer: What school was that?
Chasin: Donahue High School in Cleveland. So they sent me to a place over
a garage; a place where a family was selling greeting cards. The family’s name
was Saperstein. Ever hear of that name in Cleveland?
Interviewer: Uh huh.
Chasin: So I got a job there for $20 a week which I thought was pretty
Interviewer: What did you do there?
Chasin: Shipping clerk. I would pack up the cards and ship them out.
Interviewer: What was the name of their company?
Chasin: Just Sapersteins, greeting cards. I worked there a few weeks and I had previously taken an examination for the postal service. I had a cousin Sam Rosen who was a railway mail clerk. He had talked me into taking an examination. All of a sudden after I was at this place for six weeks and I was making $18 a week and now I’m making $20 a week; so I get a telegram “report to Pittsburgh you’ve been appointed a railway mail clerk.”
Interviewer: Railway mail clerk?
Chasin: Railway mail clerk at a salary of $1850 dollars a year.
Interviewer: Wow, big time.
Chasin: That was to me big time. I’m making $20 a week at this card
place and here I figured out $35 a week in the mail service. So I went up to Mr.
Saperstein and I told him and he agreed. Well, Saperstein became American
Interviewer: American Greeting, well, what an opportunity.
Chasin: And I often think what would have happened if I had stayed there
because at that time there was his father, he had a brother who was more or less
the office clerk and Irv Saperstein said to me just the day before I got this
telegram, “I want you take over my sales route. I go to Akron and different
places in Cleveland. I’ll give you a car” which I didn’t own at that
time. I could have a car. And I often think if I had stayed there I’d have
been like third or fourth in command. If I would have stayed there and if I
would have developed into, you know, I could have been…
Any way I took this job and I had to leave Cleveland; I had to go to
Pittsburgh and I stayed there for about, I brought my wife after I got settled.
We rented a place; my wife was pregnant and we had our first child there, Gary.
Then I put a transfer back to Cleveland, and a year after that I was transferred
back to Cleveland. We rented a house in Cleveland. I worked there all the way
from, oh, this was back in ’49, no, no, ’39 and the war broke out. In the
meantime I had my second son in 1942 and I stayed out of the army because I had
a job and I had children. I wasn’t called up until the war was over.
Interviewer: Where you called then?
Chasin: I was called up then but I had a ulcer problem and they didn’t
take me on account of that which I was glad of because it was 1945 and it was
Interviewer: Well, they didn’t need you then.
Chasin: They stamped me 4-F real quick.
Interviewer: How did that job work out when you went back to Cleveland?
Chasin: Well, okay, I worked on the trains all during the war; used to go
into Chicago. I had a steady job from Cleveland to Chicago; worked four days,
off eight. I think I delivered telegrams the days I was off. Interesting? Right?
Interviewer: Um huh. That was an extra job delivering telegrams?
Chasin: Yeah, because I worked on the trains on two round trips, long
hours. I was off eight days; four and eight. Well, the job was six and eight; I
worked six and off eight.
Interviewer: The four days you were working was round the clock.
Chasin: Almost round the clock. I’d get up six in the evening, go
downtown, get on a train, get into Chicago 6:30 in the morning.
Interviewer: What did you do in the night?
Chasin: Worked on the train; used to sort the mail on the train in those days. Don’t do it any more.
Interviewer: That was like a traveling post office.
Chasin: Yeah, that’s right. That were some trains that had two or three
cars and maybe 20, 30 clerks on them sorting the mail. We would pick up the mail
in Cleveland coming out of New York and we’d open up the bags and sort the
mail going into Chicago so when the train got to Chicago it was already sorted
out into the different post offices. We’d sort out Illinois mail and Iowa mail
and Kansas mail to the different towns. So it was a big operation.
Any way I worked into a day job. When the war was over I had met a cousin of
mine, the Wolfson family had a son named Izzy. I met him in Chicago one time and
said the war is over. While the war was on our town was Wichita Falls Texas;
they had a big air force base there. They just voted to go back wet. They’re
opening up a bunch of liquor stores; he says this is good, we could make a lot
of money. I went ahead and quit my job and went out to Texas with my wife and
two kids and opened up a liquor store which did not turn out good.
Interviewer: Were you in that on your own?
Chasin: Well, he was a silent partner. We were partners but I ran the store because his family was in the oil business.
Interviewer: So you blew your investment then?
Chasin: So, I figured out, I don’t know the store was open a year, a
year and a quarter, something like that and we decided to go out of business
because the big chains had come in there. They were selling some whiskeys
cheaper than I could buy it wholesale. Big chains came in there.
So then I got a job with a used car dealer; kept that for a couple of years.
In those days the car business was real good right after the war. Then in a
couple of years it slowed down and I was let go. I went back to Cleveland.
Interviewer: Irv, do you remember what cars sold for? What cars did you sell and what they sell for?
Chasin: Okay. A new car, like a Chevrolet was fixed at about $800. In those days they had price fixing. So what would happen a guy would go and buy a car, a new car dealer, and they would take it over to the place where I worked for and they would probably give him $2000 for it.
Interviewer: For the $800 car.
Chasin: For the $800 car.
Interviewer: Just as it was?
Chasin: Just as it was. And then they’d turn around and sell it for 27,
28 hundred dollars.
Interviewer: Oh, my goodness. There was lot of profit in there.
Chasin: See what I mean? So that went for a couple of years, and when that slowed down, when they started to make enough cars to meet the demand then that kind of business went out.
Interviewer: Tell what price fixing means?
Chasin: Well, back in those days everything was fixed. The government
Interviewer: Locked it in?
Chasin: Locked it in; absolutely, on a lot of things. Any way, I was out
of a job and decided to go back to Cleveland. I went back to where I used to
work, the office back there, told them I’d like my job back. It was civil
service. So, I had a cousin here in the pawn business, I told you that.
Interviewer: Abe Mendel?
Chasin: Abe Mendel had a son-in-law in there, a guy who helped me with again got lost.
Interviewer: It will come up. So he was already established?
Chasin: He was established and he decided he’d like to open up a pawn
shop on Main Street and wanted to know if I wanted to go in with him.
Interviewer: But he already was in another pawn shop?
Chasin: Yeah, he had a pawn shop on Third Street. His name was Sandy
Timmins; Sandford Timmins. He was married to Nettie Mendel.
Interviewer: I remember Sandy.
Chasin: You probably know Nettie.
Interviewer: Nettie? She was friend of ours.
Chasin: I said okay. I was broke but the cousin in Texas loaned me a little bit of money so I could open up. So we opened up a pawn shop and that’s how I got started.
Interviewer: Is that where you’re at now?
Chasin: No, it was 314 East Main and then, I opened up in 1950, then they
came in with the Market Exchange, what do they call it where they tore
Interviewer: Market Exchange, is that the area?
Chasin: Yeah, yeah; so they tore out that whole area there, rebuilt it and I had to move out of there. There was a vacancy on the next block, so I got 214 East Main; I opened up there.
Interviewer: What year was that?
Chasin: 1958; I kept both of them running until I had to get out which was ’60 I think, something like that.
Interviewer: And that’s where you’re at today?
Chasin: And that’s where I’m at today. I had a partner but after a
couple of years I bought him out, my cousin.
Interviewer: Who was your partner?
Chasin: Sandy Timmins. And that was it.
Interviewer: Did Sandy remain in the other?
Chasin: Yeah, he closed it out and then he moved down to Parsons Avenue.
Then he sold that out.
Interviewer: You said his place was on Third. Tell us a little about what
Third looked like at that time.
Chasin: Third and Long there were seven or eight pawn shops there, right
there on Third Street there were three of them; four of them right in a row
there, if I can remember. His father, Abe Mendel, and then Ben Greenberg had a
place there called G & M. Sandy’s place was called A & B for Abe and
Interviewer: How original.
Chasin: A & B and G & M, and Goldsmith, what was his name, had a place right on the alley there. And, can’t think of his name, lives right across the street here, there was a place on the corner. So there was four in a row there.
Interviewer: You all did business?
Chasin: In those days always had a man on the sidewalk pulling people in.
Interviewer: Trying to get them in your store?
Chasin: Yeah. After a while my son at that time was out of college and I bought this other pawnshop, and I put him in to run that store. That’s how Gary got started in the pawn business. He could go into the G & M operation. Then a couple of years later they tore down that whole section there and he came into the store with me. He decided not to open another store.
Interviewer: You only had one store all that time?
Chasin: Gary worked for me all those years.
Interviewer: Of course, that store expanded over the years?
Chasin: Oh sure. I had one room, one store room and I have six now
Interviewer: Did you build the other stores?
Chasin: No; as they became available we bought them. We kept breaking
walls so they’re altogether now. Inside they’re altogether.
Interviewer: Before we get too far along, tell me about each of your
children, the year they were born and about their education and about their
Chasin: Well, Gary was born in 1938; incidentally when he was bar
mitzvahed he was the first one bar mitzvahed in the new Agundas Achim.
Interviewer: Oh, where was this located?
Chasin: You know where it is now Broad and Roosevelt, in September ’51
he was 13 years old, he was the first bar mitzvah there.
Interviewer: I think ’51 was when they opened.
Chasin: Yeah, they opened in ’51. My second son…
Interviewer: Wait, let’s finish with Gary. Tell us about his life.
Chasin: Well, Gary went to Ohio State and graduated. What can I tell you?
Interviewer: He married eventually.
Chasin: He married eventually. I don’t know if I should say here.
Interviewer: It’s part of the record. Who were his children?
Chasin: Let me think a minute now.
Interviewer: He had two daughters?
Chasin: He has two daughters, Betty Jane and Cathy.
Interviewer: Where are Betty Jane and Cathy living now?
Chasin: Betty Jane lives in New Albany now; she has triplet children,
three and half years old. What does that make it?
Chasin: ’99 I guess. Three lovely, lovely triplets.
Interviewer: Tell us what their names are.
Chasin: Don’t ask me.
Interviewer: Two boys and a girl. They are cute; I have run into them a
Chasin: Presley’s the little girl.
Interviewer: Presley’s the little girl. That’s okay, we’ll come
back to it. Who’s she married to?
Chasin: She’s married to Andrew Klinger, a New York boy. When she got
out of high school she went to some kind of design school in Atlanta, Georgia
and then she went to New York to some kind of school there. She met Andrew there
and they got married. Andrew was a stockbroker and they moved to Columbus and he’s
Interviewer: They’re a handsome couple.
Chasin: They’re a good looking couple.
Interviewer: With three beautiful kids. Thank G-d. What about the other
Chasin: Cathy, she married a boy from Cleveland who also is a
Interviewer: What is his name?
Chasin: Michael, Michael Zwize.
Interviewer: I remember talking to him; he’s lovely.
Chasin: They’re doing real good. They live in Solon, Ohio right now.
They have three children.
Interviewer: Not triplets though.
Chasin: Not triplets.
Interviewer: She had them the hard way, one at a time.
Chasin: One at a time. There’s two little girls and a boy. They’re doing real good.
Interviewer: Do you get to see them real often?
Chasin: Yeah, they come up here pretty regular. The two girls are very
close, and they’re driving back and forth all the time. I think a week doesn’t
go by that one of them goes either there or one comes here.
Interviewer: That’s good; that’s beautiful. You did something right
keeping those girls together.
Chasin: Gary’s been a very, very good father to those girls; very
devote, very devoted. He’s that way with the grandchildren too.
Interviewer: That’s great, nice guy. Your second child?
Chasin: Kenneth, he got out of college and he went to the Coast Guard in
Interviewer: Did he go to Ohio State?
Chasin: He went to Miami University.
Interviewer: Miami U?
Chasin: Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and graduated there. If I recall
after he graduated he went to the New York World’s Fair and he had a job with
Frigidaire, a temporary job. Then he got a job with across from the airport,
what was the name of that?
Interviewer: It was a complicated name, defense, DCAD or something like
Chasin: No, no that one. They made airplanes there. He went out to
California after he graduated; he got a job with that company. Then he went into
the real estate business. He’s got three boys, no girls, three boys. David is
a junior in college, University of Southern California. Second son just
graduated from Calibasis High School and he’s got a three son still in high
Interviewer: And Kenneth is still married?
Chasin: Kenneth is married to a Jewish girl from Cuba.
Interviewer: And her name?
Chasin: Judy. Can’t think of her mother’s last name.
Interviewer: Well, you got her first name.
Chasin: I’m so bad with names. I get so embarrassed.
Interviewer: We all go through this at times; it’s not unusual.
Chasin: Any more, just like those triplets, have a good time trying to
think of their names. One of them was in the store this morning.
Well, let’s go.
Interviewer: We got through Kenneth.
Chasin: Now Sam also when he got out of the service like I said went out
to California and he married a girl that didn’t last. He married another lady
but they never have children. They lived in Los Angeles and he worked for my
brother Dave who had this grocery supply business, restaurant supply business.
He retired from that and they went to a retirement community in Southern
California and got sick and died about three years ago. They never had children.
Interviewer: That’s Sam, and you had a fourth child? Four children or
Chasin: You’re talking about my brother. Wait a minute what am I
talking about? I went from my sons to my brother. After Kenneth I had Deborah.
Interviewer: Okay, Deborah. I thought you had a daughter. We got you back
Chasin: Oh, shoot. Are you going to edit this?
Interviewer: Okay, I’m going to correct this. After Kenneth then you
had Deborah and she was born?
Chasin: She was born in Columbus about three months after we got here.
When we moved here my wife was pregnant and we moved in on Kelton Avenue in
December 1949, and she was born in March. So three months later Deborah was
Interviewer: You just got into town and almost got settled?
Chasin: Almost settled and my wife was six months pregnant when we lived
Interviewer: Where on Kelton did you live?
Chasin: 797, right next door to the Meyers family.
Interviewer: Tell us about the Meyers family.
Chasin: They were…Macie Stan’s mother, Macie Stan.
Interviewer: Oh, right, Rosie Vogel.
Chasin: I knew them when I think Rosie was still in high school. So we
lived there for three years and then we moved to Roosevelt in Bexley.
Interviewer: What was your address there?
Chasin: 1441 Roosevelt and we were there 10 years and then we moved to
where I’m at now.
Interviewer: You moved to Sherbrook.
Chasin: So, any way, I was talking about Deborah. She went to school, she
worked for book stores while she was in school. Then she decided to go out to
California like I told you my brothers and sister went out there and now all my
children are out there. As soon as she was able to she moved out to California.
She dated a real nice boy from; he was living in San Diego just out of medical
school. He was from Zimbabwe, a nice Jewish boy from Zimbabwe. Simon Richkind is
his name, Simon Richkind. He’s a doctor there. They are very happy together
and they have a daughter, Zoey who is a senior in high school and an aspiring
actress. And they have a boy named Zack.
Interviewer: They like those “Zs” don’t they?
Chasin: He’s getting ready to go to high school; a nice boy. They’re very happy together. They live in Del Mar which is a town just north of San Diego. They’re very happy.
Interviewer: Nice, nice. Okay that takes care of your children.
Chasin: I have one more, Julian is my youngest son. Julian graduated
Eastmoor, a bright little boy.
Interviewer: When was Julian born?
Chasin: Julian was born in ’55, 1955 and went to Eastmoor. He was on
that team that used to go on television; I forget what they called it. Used to
ask all sorts of questions.
Interviewer: “In the Know” or something like that?
Chasin: “In the Know” I think it was. Isn’t that what the
Interviewer: I think so.
Chasin: A nice, bright boy, and then he went out to California.
Interviewer: It’s that sunshine that drew them out.
Chasin: And then he married a Japanese girl; a nice girl. He got a job
with Boeing. He’s a computer whiz and he got a nice job with Boeing. They have
a daughter who’s about nine years old.
Interviewer: What’s her name? What’s Julian’s wife name, did we get
Chasin: I don’t remember anybody’s name.
Interviewer: Well, you told me she was Japanese, I thought you’d
remember her name.
Chasin: Chiyoko, Chiyoko.
Interviewer: I’m not even going to try and spell that.
Interviewer: They have a daughter? How old is she?
Chasin: She’s nine years old.
Interviewer: Well, when you think about it, it will come back. I know you
go to California, you and Flo go out there and visit.
Chasin: Yeah, we were out there in September and my grandson Zack had a bar
mitzvah. That was just this last…
Interviewer: Not too long ago. I think we got all your children, yeah,
identified here. What year was it that Bert passed away, your wife, your first
Interviewer: ’96? Okay, I thought that would be important for the
record. Okay, tell us about your life after that. I know you married my friend
Chasin: Well, I met Flo one day on the golf course. I was looking for, I
was out there by myself and I saw a young guy and a lady walking. I thought they
were getting ready to tee off, so I said, “Do you mind if I play along with
Interviewer: Where was this?
Chasin: At Groveport; the Willows now. “No, we just got
through.” And they walked away and Flo turned around and she said something
about if I wanted someone to play with just to let her know. I wasn’t too sure
who she was because I didn’t remember her. But evidently I did because several
weeks later I decided to call her. So I called her and we hit it off right away.
I was lonesome and she was lonesome and she’s a great woman.
Interviewer: So, when were you married to Flo?
Chasin: We got married three years ago, that would be ’99, October 17th,
Interviewer: That’s almost my birthday.
Interviewer: The 18th is my birthday. We can celebrate
together. And who are her children?
Chasin: She has Barry, Randy, Larry and Sandy. She’s very fortunate. I
have all my, I have Gary here, but I have three in California. She got all four
kids living five minutes from here. It’s amazing.
Interviewer: That is lucky and they’re very fine.
Chasin: They’re all great guys. They’re very close to their mother
and very good to her.
Interviewer: They keep an eye on her.
Chasin: I have to behave myself or else.
Interviewer: They make sure you take good care of her.
Chasin: Darn right.
Interviewer: Tell us who Barry is married to, her oldest son. Is Barry
Chasin: Barry is the oldest. Barry is married to Carrie.
Interviewer: And they have two children?
Chasin: And they have a boy and a girl. They have Amy and Brent. Amy is,
I think, third year in college; I think Brent is senior in high school.
Interviewer: And then after Barry is Sandy?
Chasin: I’m not sure. No, I think Sandy is the youngest one.
Interviewer: No, Randy.
Chasin: Randy is the youngest. Okay, Sandy. Sandy is married to Rickie
Interviewer: I can help you with their kids because…
Chasin: You probably know their names better than I could.
Interviewer: And they have three kids.
Chasin: They have three, yeah. What’s his name?
Interviewer: Allison and Matt. I’m helping you. So then we got Sandy
taken care and then Larry. And he’s separated now.
Chasin: Yeah, I guess.
Interviewer: From Lisa. And they have three children too. You can help me with their names.
Chasin: But I can’t. Gail.
Chasin: See, you know more than I do.
Interviewer: Gail, Aaron and Jerry. Then Flo’s youngest is Randy.
Chasin: Yeah, Randy.
Interviewer: Married to? Joanie; I got you. And they have two girls, Sari
and Mara. And you and Flo have a nice life together. That’s fun.
Chasin: It’s worked out for both of us I think, especially me. But I
can’t remember nothing.
Interviewer: You did very well. You remembered a lot. Are you still
Chasin: I go in every day and help out. I let Gary run the business. I go
in every day, because I don’t know, I’ve done it all my life and I just hate
the thought of doing nothing.
Interviewer: Well, it’s healthy for you; gives you a goal.
Chasin: Yeah, I’m getting fat now. Doctor told me to lose weight or
Interviewer: Are you still golfing?
Chasin: Yeah, more or less. This year’s been a bad year for me. First
of all Flo got, you know, she had surgery, so she didn’t play hardly at all
this summer. And for one reason or another I didn’t get out too much. Next
year, I don’t know.
Interviewer: But you both have traveled some.
Chasin: Yeah, we get out. She’s got her sister in Florida that we went
to see last winter. She’s got a lot of relatives in the Detroit area which we
go to. We just got back from last weekend. And we like to go out to Vegas once
in a while. As far as the past is concerned we’ve traveled quite a bit. We
went to Alaska a couple of years ago on a cruise. And we go out to California to
see my kids especially when there’s a mitzvah something to go to.
Interviewer: Sure, when’s there’s a good reason to go.
Chasin: But as we get older it’s less and less I think.
Interviewer: When your children were growing up did you and Bert take
them on trips? Did you travel?
Chasin: Not really. When I looked back at my early years, I worked. I
worked 52 weeks a year; very seldom went on a trip. First thing I remember,
1956, my daughter was six years old and my brother’s boy was bar mitzvahed.
It was the first time I was on an airplane with her. It was the old airport
before they built the new part, over on Fifth Avenue.
Interviewer: Yeah, it looked teeny tiny.
Chasin: I have pictures somewhere in the house of getting on that
airplane, and I remember getting off at Chicago and went inside. In those days
they didn’t serve anything so you had to buy a lunch. I went to Marshall Field’s
had like a restaurant there, Marshall Field’s.
Interviewer: At the airport?
Chasin: At the airport. I ordered a corn beef sandwich and when I got on
the plane it had mayonnaise on it. I couldn’t figure out how in the heck you
could eat a corn beef sandwich with mayonnaise on it; that’s not kosher. That’s
what I remember about the trip. Another thing I remember about the trip, I got a
picture of it too, my daughter is six years old and we were getting near Los
Angeles, there were three, what do you call them the women on there?
Chasin: Stewardesses; and she was sitting there and they were combing her
Interviewer: Your daughter’s hair?
Chasin: Yes; it was so cute.
Interviewer: I’ll bet she remembers that.
Chasin: For some reason that stands out in my mind.
Interviewer: Did you take the boys too?
Chasin: No, no; just my daughter. Couldn’t afford to in those days.
Interviewer: So just you and Deborah.
Chasin: Just me and Deborah went, that’s right.
Interviewer: It was pretty expensive to fly then too, wasn’t it?
Chasin: I don’t recall but I guess it was.
Interviewer: But it was important to go to a mitzvah?
Chasin: Yeah, yeah, my brother’s bar mitzvah, I couldn’t take my whole family.
Chasin: ’56, I was just getting started then.
Interviewer: What do you remember how business was during the war? What were your recollections?
Chasin: I wasn’t in the business in World War II.
Interviewer: But you knew people who went into the service?
Chasin: Well, I was on the trains all that time and you know I remember
meat was rationed and different things were rationed. When my wife and I got
married in 1935 we rented a real nice apartment for 27.50 a month.
Interviewer: Well, that’s interesting.
Chasin: Between the two of us we made less than $30 a week. When you
think about it, a week’s wages was a month’s rent.
Interviewer: That was one-fourth of the income. I just read in today’s
paper where people are paying half of their income for rent.
Chasin: Well, if they want a decent place they do. I remember we bought
our groceries in a place right around the corner from we lived and we’d go in
a week to pay it off, $6, $7 we’d get all the food we eat for the whole week.
We went to the market one time and they had outdoor markets in Cleveland, we
loaded up the car with four or five bushels of stuff; you know, bushels of
apples. In those days we use to can, we’d have hundreds of cans, jars.
Everybody used to do that in those days. And then we spent five or six dollars,
I had a whole carload of food there; enough to last us a year as far as can.
Interviewer: It’s interesting when you talk about that cause it kind of
gives us a perspective of what happens to money over the years. Like water now,
Chasin: Sometimes I look back and I see people come into he store and the
kids want a piece of gum, they give them a quarter for a little gumball. A
quarter! Used to be able to get a meal for a quarter.
Interviewer: And cigarettes.
Chasin: Cigarettes the same way. Cigarettes in those days were like what
15 cents a pack, ten cents? Gasoline, eight gallons for a dollar.
Interviewer: Eight gallons for a dollar.
Chasin: I use to go to one particular gasoline station. I’d pull in
there, three or four guys would run out to the car, and one of them would say,
“What do you want?” Say, “Eight gallons for a dollar.” And
another guy would lift up the hood and check the water; some guy would check the
air in the tires; another guy was washing all the windows.
Interviewer: Not today, not today.
Chasin: I mean service water, oil, the air in your tires and any kind of
dirt you had on the windows and you didn’t even have to tip them. Nobody
thought, you now tips weren’t even thought of in those days; at least not by
Interviewer: Did you eat out very much with the children when they were
Interviewer: You didn’t.
Chasin: My wife cooked at home all the time; very seldom we went out. I
remember, I always talk about this, I remember going out one time with my wife,
I think we had the kids with us, we went to a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland.
We kept a kosher house but we ate out a little bit. We had a full course dinner,
I mean from soup to nuts for 35 cents.
Interviewer: Thirty-five cents for both of you.
Chasin: No, each. Full-course dinner for 35 cents. And in those days when
I started working, 25 cents an hour, all the way through school I had my 25
cents an hour. I supported myself with that, just working after school. Heck
when I graduated I had to go to summer school to graduate. When I was in high
school I use to work in the afternoons; I’d get off, you know, one or two o’clock
to go downtown. Stuff envelopes for Halle Brothers.
Interviewer: I remember getting 25 cents an hour for babysitting.
Chasin: Yeah, when I think now I hear these girls baby sit and get seven,
eight, nine dollars an hour, G-d, it’s mind-boggling to me.
Interviewer: Yeah, that is. You’d be that lucky to get that much money
in a week.
Chasin: In a week. They make as munch in an hour that I made in a week.
Interviewer: Yeah, but you have talk about the relationship.
Chasin: Well, sure, of course you do, of course you do.
Interviewer: It was a lot simpler then wasn’t it?
Chasin: Right. You figure it out this way. If I made 25 cents an hour and
it cost me 35 cents for a gourmet meal; what I considered a gourmet meal almost,
today you work an hour for seven, eight, nine dollars, if you’re low, you can
get a half decent meal for nine, 10, 12 dollars, so it’s the same thing, work
an hour for dinner.
Interviewer: It’s the same relationship. That’s how you have to look
at it. What do you remember about your boys bar mitzvahs? How did you
Chasin: I don’t remember anything outstanding about it, we just did it.
Interviewer: No big deal like it is today, is it?
Chasin: No, no. My basement down here, when my youngest son was bar
mitzvahed, I remember my basement was unfinished. So what did I do? I had
someone come in and put a ceiling in; paint the walls; paint the floor, and we
had the party here for the kids. Sandy didn’t have anything like that.
Interviewer: I’m sure they had a great time.
Chasin: I guess at the shul, I don’t recall exactly, but after
the service, you know. I think they go overboard today.
Interviewer: They go a little crazy.
Chaison: If you’ve got a lot money so what? But a lot of people go in
debt to do it.
Interviewer: Well, they lose, they lose track of what the whole thing is
about. Do you always belong to Agudas Achim?
Chasin: I remember Agudas Achim when I was five years old. We belonged,
my father, we lived in Logan and Marysville, right, I told you?
Chasin: We were members of Agudas Achim on Donaldson Street.
Interviewer: Before they moved?
Chasin: Oh, yeah. I didn’t, my family never even lived in Columbus. We
lived in Logan and we had family here, you know.
Interviewer: Well, Logan certainly didn’t have a synagogue.
Chasin: Marysville, especially Marysville was close by.
Interviewer: Did Marysville have a synagogue?
Chasin: No none of those towns did.
Interviewer: So it was important for Jewish from those little towns.
Interviewer: Somehow they kept kosher and manage.
Chasin: My mother was kosher and back in, a little side story. I’ll
show you something if I can dig it up. My father’s father was in Europe and he
came over, I don’t know what year he came over, but he had a beard and he was
in shul all day long, and he must have, he was old already.
Interviewer: But you remembered him?
Chasin: Yeah, I remember him. And he lived with my aunt, Edith Mendel,
and he had a birthday. I don’t know if they knew when his birthday was but
they figured out the fourth of July to celebrate his birthday. So, we lived in
Marysville and we had a chicken coop in the backyard and my aunt who lives in,
was visiting from Texas, they decided they were going to have a party for my
grandfather at our house in Marysville. So they had to take some chickens to the
schochet in Columbus. So in the afternoon of the third they packed up
some chickens and my father and my mother and my aunt drove to Columbus.
Interviewer: To have them ritually killed?
Chasin: Yeah, right, cause it had to be that way. So they’re driving down Dublin Road on the west side of the river, my father came over a rise and on Fishinger Raod he saw a barrier across the road and he was going too fast and he skidded, went over an embankment, and my mother and my aunt were killed.
Interviewer: Oh, your mother and your aunt?
Chasin: They were both killed. And my father, they found him down there
with a rock in his head but he was alive and they brought him to a hospital. He
was 30 days unconscious. So gradually he got better. In the meantime during that
summer us kids were scattered out, I told you about my aunt taking one of the
Interviewer: Yeah, yeah.
Chasin: We had a cousin on my mother’s side, Rosenbergs, in Athens, Ohio, and I ended up there for the summer. I stayed with them. And then by September my father was well enough to take us, my brother and I, back home. My little brother and sister stayed in Columbus with my two aunts, my aunts took them, raised them. That’s what happened.
Interviewer: That was certainly a traumatic time of your life.
Chasin: From then on I never had what you’d call a home; boarded out,
we boarded out. Even at three years I was alone with my father; didn’t have a
woman in the house.
Interviewer: He had to manage the best he could.
Chasin: Managed the best we could. My father was never well after that;
changed his life completely.
Interviewer: He never remarried either did he?
Chasin: Yeah, Evelyn, when he went out to California after the war, he
went out there too, same as my brother. My brother was more or less the head of
the family already. And he met a real nice woman and got married. I remembered
this one time going out to visit and went over to their house where they were
staying and she was a real nice lady and within months she died.
Interviewer: Oh, your father had a lot of tragedy in his life.
Chasin: So, he was, it was terrible.
Interviewer: But I bet you took care of him though.
Chasin: We use to help him out. As little as my brother and I had we had
to help him out quite a bit.
Interviewer: It wasn’t unusual then.
Chasin: No, in those days that was the way it was.
Interviewer: I remember talking to people who said that when they got
their week’s salary they would take it home to their family; I mean they didn’t
spend it on themselves.
Chasin: It had to be done; we had to do it.
Interviewer: A lot of people were living in hardship financially with the
Chasin: In those days the children would take care of the parents. These
days the parents take care of the children.
Interviewer: Ain’t that the truth.
Chasin: I mean really that’s the way it is; the older we get we’re trying to figure out how much we can leave our kids.
Interviewer: I understand that. Well, Irv, I don’t know if you want to…you’ve
been doing great. You’ve recalled a lot more than you thought you did.
Chasin: I can’t remember anybody’s name.
Interviewer: Well, names are hard. I recognize faces a lot of times. Do
you remember the first television set you got?
Chasin: Yeah. I was working in a store and a guy comes in the store and he’s got a little 10 inch television set and the name was very unfamiliar. I don’t think I can recall the name of it now. And he said he was traveling from California and going east; he ran out of money.
Interviewer: Do you remember when it was, what year it might have been?
Chasin: It was in the early 50s.
Interviewer: When television first came out?
Chasin: Yeah, it was, it could have been 50 or 51. Can’t think of the
name of it. Any way it was a little brown set, brown screen, brown cast to the
screen. And I brought it home and we used it for the first few years.
Interviewer: No color? And it was tiny.
Chasin: No, it was black and white and 10 inch.
Interviewer: And you were thrilled to have it.
Chasin: And I remember, I think Channel 4 use to come on only in the
evening in those days.
Interviewer: I think you’re right.
Chasin: You’re not old enough to remember those days.
Interviewer: I remember the start of television.
Chasin: It seems to me that you had to wait until 6 or 6 o’clock or 5 o’clock
before it would come on. Then gradually more and more stations would come on. I
remember the first one; I think I gave him $20 for it. But the set came from
California and the name of it, doggone, the name is right on the tip of my
Interviewer: Well, the brands have changed so much.
Chasin: Yeah, yeah.
Interviewer: Do you remember your bar mitzvah? You didn’t have
Chasin: I was an orphan; I didn’t have one. I was 13 thirteen years
old, my father was, I guess we were still living in Marysville. I went to
Cleveland in May, when I as 13 years old.
Interviewer: So you really didn’t have a Jewish education.
Chasin: No education.
Interviewer: But it was important to belong to a synagogue.
Chasin: To belong; I was very active. When my kids were in Sunday school
an we had the minyonnaires, I was there every Sunday. I worked every
Sunday for the, how many years, 20 years or so? I was active in the brotherhood;
I was secretary of the brotherhood. I was a member of the board; I think I was
treasurer of the shul for a year or two. I remember one year, I don’t
how I got it it, I was chairman of the rabbinical committee. Can you imagine me
chairman of the rabbinical committee?
Interviewer: Well, you were, showed a lot of interest.
Chasin: Well, there wasn’t nothing to it. Rabbi Rubenstein, he was
Interviewer: In his hey day he was great.
Chasin: He was. He was in it for the kids. He would go on all these
things for the minnoynaires; all these picnics and things we’d went to.
Use to go to the ball games in Cleveland; used to train in those days. There
were still trains; we’d get on the train and have a minyonnaire service
right on the train going up there.
Interviewer: You have fond memories of that and I’m sure the kids did.
Chasin: Oh, yeah. I remember a lot of the picnics we went to.
Interviewer: I want to make sure we have the name of Betty Jane’s
Chasin: Okay, Evan, Ryan and the little girl is Presley.
Interviewer: Okay, now we’ve got them.
Chasin: How can I remember a name like, what was it, Evan?
Interviewer: Well, if you see him, you love him.
Chasin: I saw him this morning and I love him.
Interviewer: Sure you do. I’m going to start signing off unless you’ve
got some more interesting stories; you’re great at telling us about incidents.
It may not sound real important to you now but it is, it’s your life and that’s
how we have our history. On behalf of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society I
want to thank you for your time that we have taken this afternoon. And we’ve
got another history to put in our archives.
Chasin: Okay, I’m sorry that my mind forgets those little things but I suppose tonight I’ll probably remember some of those things I should have told you. Thanks for coming over.
Interviewer: Then we’ll have to interview you again.