…. the Columbus Jewish Historical Society is being recorded on August 10, 2009 as part of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society’s Oral History Project. This interview is being recorded at the Melton Building, the headquarters of the Jewish Historical Society. I’m Marvin Bonowitz and today I’m honored to be interviewing Marc Polster. Marc, the Polsters are a significant family and have been for a long time. The one thing that my family has in common with your family might be that we both, our families came through Circleville when they came to this country. What we’d like to, do you know anything about the migration of your family into this country, why they came and why they came to Circleville if you know?
Polster: Well I have some theories, some based on information I received from my grandfather. The, of course the Jews in eastern Europe where my family came from were, migrated to this country because of opportunity, to avoid the draft in Russia and escape pogroms and just the general destitution of the Jewish people there. Why Circleville? I traveled back to Slovakia where my great-grandfather hailed from, which he used to know as Austria-Hungary back in those days and it’s since then become the country of Slovakia. And it struck me when I was there in his hometown that the topography of that area is very much similar to that of Circleville and the surrounding area, gentle rolling hills and streams and trees and I wonder if maybe that had something to do with why the Jews from that area of eastern Europe migrated to Circleville. But it’s, I also understand from some of my reading of Jewish history that a lot of Jews went to the big cities but many, many went to small towns all over the nation in places that, you know, you wouldn’t ordinarily think of the Jews as going. Of course we all think of them going to Brooklyn and the Bronx and the lower east side of Manhattan but also to, you know, the coast of Texas and small towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kansas, all over the country. Part of my family went to York, Pennsylvania which is the original stop when my great-grandfather, before he went to Circleville, he arrived through Baltimore at Locust Point and he traveled to York, Pennsylvania where his sister lived with her family. And then eventually made it to Cleveland where he lived with his half-brother Charles’ family, Charles and Etta Polster in Cleveland. He went briefly to New York City and worked. I’ve got some old photographs of him with a delivery truck, well at that time it was a horse and carriage with the truck. And then finally he ended up in Circleville where Abraham Polster and I think Moses Polster were already there. And they came because people from their area I think went to Circleville and that’s just sort of why they originally went there I can only assume was there was some opportunity to make a living. Most of them were peddlers, you know, they had a horse and a carriage and they went around the countryside selling needles and buttons and pots and pans and, you know, things to the people.
Interviewer: Was this from Poland or from Russia and do you have the name of the cities that they …
Polster: Sure I do and I’ve actually got information that I can refer to for more detail in my files. But before I move there, I want to say that, before I forget, my grandfather actually grew up in Tarleton, Ohio which is an even smaller town than Circleville. It’s in the northeast of Circleville on the county line where Harry Polster and his father grew up. And my great-grandfather Morris Polster came to the country when he was 13, all by himself. He peeled potatoes in the kitchen of, in the galley of a ship to kind of earn his keep on the ship and was just a young boy when he came over. But he finally settled in with Harry Polster and his family in Tarleton and went to school with them and I’ve got some stories about my great-grandfather pulling the wagon with Harry’s disabled sister to school every day. So Tarleton was an important family place and my grandfather Leo and I made pilgrimages down there occasionally to just see the family homestead. I’ve got photos of where it was. It’s a very nondescript place in the world and you wonder why, you know, how people end up in these places. But that’s just where people end up or just all over the place inhabiting this small planet of ours. But the town in Eastern Europe, back in the old days when my family came over in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the whole region was called Austria-Hungary and then there was Poland and then there was Russia. Part of my family was in Poland, part of it was in Austria-Hungary and more specifically the country of Slovakia nowadays near the border of Poland. That’s the Polster side of the family. My, Morris my great-grandfather married Lena Niebloom who came from Odessa, came through Odessa in Russia and the story there is that her father was escaping, you know, conscription in Russia. You know, he could be sent off to war for years, I mean, twenty years sometimes I’m told. And so they escaped that and before that I’m told that they came from Turkey. How they got to Turkey I’m not sure but I suspect like many Jews in that area they started out in Spain back in, you know, before the first and second expulsion in 1391 and then in 1492 and I’ve got some anecdotal evidence from my great Aunt Edith that the Bolsters were in Spain under the name of Cabazall which was translated into, I think, pillow in Spanish. I’d have to check my…on that but then centuries later, you know, after they migrated through Europe and ended up in Austria-Hungary, they took the name Polster because in German that means pillow. So that’s sort of a tie-in with my Great Aunt Thala’s significant, and of course the Jews in the late 1500s were instructed to take surnames. Before that, you know, they didn’t have surnames. They were, you know, Moisha ben Aryeh and they didn’t have last names. But my family took that surname Polster I think probably because they were in the pillow business or, you know, making furniture or whatnot. That’s one of the theories. So where was I? So part of my family on my father’s side came from Russia, part of it came from Poland and part of it came from Slovakia or Austria-Hungary. Kazakovcha was the town that my great-grandfather came, Morris Polster. He was born in 1878 I think, came to this country in 1891 through Baltimore, as I said. I traveled to Kazakovcha in the mid-908 and met some townspeople who took me around to various Jewish cemeteries and when I left did a little bit of research for me in the Prushov Archives and whatnot. Metzinaborst was another family town. Strobkov was, you know, more of a Circleville-type town I guess back then whereas Kazakovcha was more of a Tarleton-type town in size. Prushov was another regional capital back then that housed the archives. Book-ovch, there’s lots of different towns there that were important to the Polsters. The other thing about my family was that back in eastern Europe, my great-grandfather had four siblings, full siblings, and then some number, I’m thinking 11 perhaps, half-siblings because his father Leopold Polster was married twice and his first wife Sarah Rosenbaum I think died of childbirth because one of her child’s names was Sarah. And then Leopold married Hannah Gutter, another big Columbus family the Gutters, and then Hannah and Leopold has five kids, my great-grandfather Morris one of them. And then Louis R. Polster, whose family still maintains his Restaurant Supply Company was another, Lena Polster and Pearl Polster who married I. H. Schlezinger who was one of the founders of Tifereth Israel along with Felar and Morris. So but it was a fairly large extended family back then and they were kind of all over the place and like many people at that time, you know, they intermarried second-, third-, sometimes first cousins and so it’s kind of a complex family tree. But just to summarize, some came from Poland, some came from Slovakia and others came from, actually the Polsters came from Poland and Slovakia, Austria-Hungary and the Nieblooms and Hermans came from Russia.
Interviewer: Did they speak about how they happened to get to the ocean or the ships that brought them here?
Polster: Well, I’ve got a story here that was passed down, these are, the direct story from my great-grandfather Morris that tells that story if I can find the place in, this is a transcript of an interview with Morris and I’ll just read it until we get, we’ve had enough. He says, and I think this was, I think, probably back in the 50s or 60s, he says,
Well you know the tax collector was in a town about 30 miles away from home. They called them tax collectors but he had other official duties too. I ran into him one day and he said, “Hello Moishel. What are you doing over here? Aren’t you Hannah’s boy?” And I said, “Yes,” and I told him I was looking for him though that wasn’t really true. And Morris goes on to say, “I want to go to America,” I told him and I wanted to borrow some money. Joseph Schildkraut who later became an important movie industry executive in the United States was standing there. “I won’t give you the money,” the tax collector said, “but Schildkraut, you give it to him”. “I’ll pay you back as soon as I get to America,” I told him, that’s Morris. Schildkraut gave me 11 guilden. “Whom shall I send it to,” I asked the tax collector, “you or Mr. Schildkraut?” “Just send it to your mother,” he answered. “We’ll get ours from her.” Someone had already given me a ticket to America which they were not going to use so I needed only money to Bremen and the 11 guilden were enough. When I got on the boat I went down to the galley and asked if I could do any work for them. The cooks all agreed and I peeled apples and potatoes. Well you know they had good food for the cabin passengers and the cooks were not going to eat anything less than the best. So I ate well all the way to America. We landed at Locust Point, Maryland in August, near Baltimore, about 3 p.m. I walked to the station and took a train to York, Pennsylvania. I talked to the baggage man there. He spoke German. I told him I was looking for a man who was my brother-in-law named Lichtenberg. He said he knows of Lichtenberg but it probably was not the one I wanted. He lives about two miles out into the town. So I walked along to the address he gave me. I arrived just about daybreak and saw a stark man with a beard down the middle of his skirt smoking his pipe in front of the house, in front of his house. “That’s not the man I said to myself.” The man said to me, “Whom are you looking for young man?” And this was, Marvin, this was in York. Pennsylvania at this time. And Morris goes on to say, I told him I was looking for a Herr Lichtenberg but that I didn’t think that he was the right one. He looked at me and said, “I know of another one. I’m not Jewish. You look at me as if you want the Lichtenberg who has a clothing store.” So I walked back to the station and told the baggage man I had not found the person I wanted. Then I told him about the clothing store. Though he knew the place on Market Street and said he’d take me there when he got off work. Then he asked me if I was hungry. I told him, “Yes”. When he urged me to share his food, he gave me a tremendous sandwich on good broad bread all wrapped neatly in paper and he offered me a cup of coffee. I went outside to eat the sandwich and saw it was ham. It looked like good ham. Of course I did not eat it but put it back in my pocket. After a while I went in and he offered me some more food and a cup of coffee but I told him I had had a drink of water and wanted nothing else. He asked me how the sandwich was and I told him it was very good. And then we walked over to Lichtenberg’s store. Lichtenberg was hanging the suits out on the front of the store for display. He was just opening up. “Here is a guest for you,” said the baggage man. Lichtenberg looked at me and he didn’t recognize me. I thanked the baggage man and then I told Lichtenberg who I was. He called upstairs where he lived to my half-sister Gittel. “Gittel,” he called, “I have a guest here for you.” He had to repeat it. Finally she came to the window. She hadn’t seen me for years and didn’t recognize me but she knew I was a relative. “Which one are you? she asked. I told her I was Moisha. She cried and she put her arms around me. I stayed there for five weeks but then it was time for me to go to work so I left York and went to Cleveland, Ohio. My half-brother Charlie was in the saloon business there. Soon I found a job in the beer bottling works. One day I was working there and Mr. Spencer came in and said he wanted me to come to the office. He was a “spender,” a man who went from saloon to saloon for the brewers. The breweries in those days bought saloon licenses, furnished equipment and set men up in saloon business. The spenders made the rounds generally to supervise and to spread good will by buying drinks. By the way, Morris at this point was 13 years old so he was basically being set up in the bar business in Cleveland near his half-brother Charlie by this gentleman. “Spencer,” he says, “took me in the office and told the manager that he wanted to set me up in the saloon business.” “But he’s just a child,” protested the manager. But Spencer insisted and he took me away out to Clark Street on the west side in the Hungarian district. He showed me the place and asked me if I thought I could take care of it. I said, “Yes”. “When do you think you can open?” he said. It was on a Monday afternoon. I told him I could get it open by Saturday. On Friday afternoon they unloaded six kegs of beer, whiskey, gin, all the hard liquor supplies, cigars and tobacco and everything I needed to run a saloon. There were two pool tables. When the driver delivered the beer I had to ask him how to tap a keg. He showed me by tapping the first one. In a few minutes the first customers came in. I had an old colored fellow there to help me. He had done the cleaning up and had worked to get the place open. I ran this place all by myself until 12:00 Friday night. I had done a tremendous business and was too tired to take the electric streetcar the hour-and-a-half ride back to Etta’s house, who was Charlie’s wife. I put my coat on a pool table, used my hat for a pillow and went to sleep. I felt I was too tired to walk to a streetcar. The next morning a man came in and asked me if I was a Polster. I told him “Yes” and asked who he was. He said he was a friend of Etta’s and I asked him if he would have a cigar and a drink. Then I told him to tell Etta that I’d been too tired to go home but that I would be home that night and for her not to worry. Well early the next afternoon I tapped the last keg. I ordered six more. They were amazed at the brewery but the six came and pretty nearly got rid of them that day.
And that’s the end of that particular interview. After that at some point, I’m not sure how long my great-grandfather Morris was in the bar business but I think that experience probably impacted him enough so that later when he was in Columbus on Fourth Street he and his brother opened a restaurant supply store, kitchen supply store. And so Morris was already familiar then with stuff that was in a saloon and so I think that impacted him.
Interviewer: And then the restaurant supply company came from there in an indirect way?
Polster: Right. In the early, after they left Circleville in the early 1900s, actually 1900 and 1901, I’ve got photos from that era. Morris, my great-grandfather opened a store on, where was it? Grandpa always told me. It was at Fourth at Main maybe. And they owned that block essentially. My great-grandfather, before he lost everything a lot in the Depression, he owned the land where the Holiday Inn now stands downtown. And so he opened a restaurant supply business and then his brother, Louie R., Louis R. Polster opened one next to him and I think their brother Max also had a store. So here these guys are on Fourth Street with competing restaurant stores. Eventually my great-grandfather moved more into real estate and then later on owned a pharmacy on, what is that street over there, not Long Street, but….
Interviewer: Mt. Vernon Avenue?
Polster: Mt. Vernon Avenue. That’s right. And so he was in the pharmacy business which
inspired my grandfather Leo to become a pharmacist at Ohio State and then Leo worked in the pharmacy and then later went into the steel business which is the same business that many other Polsters were in, I. H. Schlezinger, who was Pearl Polster’s husband and the Schlezinger’s of course had a business and ….
Interviewer: They were in steel, scrap.
Polster: I think that came from, these peddlers, they were selling stuff but they also collected stuff in the countryside and then they found that they were able to make a little money by selling scrap and so a lot of Polsters and many other Jews apparently went into the scrap business, scrap steel, which was a booming business, you know, between the wars and leading up to World War II and afterwards. So, but in 1901 they came to, I think in 1900-1901 they came to Columbus. I’m not sure of the exact time but I know they were in Columbus because this is around the time that they founded, they were ….
Interviewer: Tifereth Israel?
Polster: Yeah they were at the joint celebration ofSimchat Torah and the birth of J. Nathan Polster on October 6,1901, that they were kind of insulted by some of the Jews in the …
Interviewer: In the synagogue?
Polster: in that synagogue.
Interviewer: They wanted a little decorum outside.
Polster: Right, right. And they insulted them by calling them “Hunkies”, the story goes. And the guys were a little miffed by that and I presume that even before that they had some reason, you know, to separate and so they decided to found their own Temple. And they started discussing it that October and talking about the first Hungarian-Hebrew Congregation of Columbus which later became Tifereth Israel.
Interviewer: Was their first home in the neighborhood of the, what was called “the Big Shul” that’s Agudas Achim and “the Little Shul” Beth Jacob and then they had Tifereth Israel had its roots in that same area at 330 Parsons Avenue?
Interviewer: And I. H. Schlezinger was a pillar of that Congregation. He served as President for many years and he was a great leader in that Congregation and it hasn’t been forgotten.
Polster: He was as were his sons Louis and Edward and my great-grandfather was one of the first Presidents as well and he served typically during very difficult times. My great-grandfather served as President of the Congregation and was, I’m told, sort of was an important figure in finding the land and purchasing the land that the Temple now resides on. And he, my grandfather, he always tells me about how dedicated his father Morris was to the Temple, so much so that Morris spent most of his time with the Temple and to some extent my grandfather didn’t get to see him that much and his sisters didn’t get to see him that much and he was one of these guys that, when people died, you know, he would stand watch over the Chevra Kadisha—————————————– I don’t know if I’m saying that correctly.
Interviewer: Chevra Kadisha.
Interviewer: That’s preparing the body for burial.
Interviewer: Jewish cemetery.
Polster: And grandpa was always, missed his dad because he was always at Tifereth Israel.
Interviewer: That’s, it comes from several generations and I guess one of the latest ones was Eugene Polster who unfortunately passed away last year. But he and his sons carried on his leadership to some extent and Jeanette was Leo’s wife, no Jeanette was Eugene’s wife, no, okay.
Polster: Antoinette, who passed away tragically. But Gene’s mother, Jennie Polster, they were, I have to look at my tree but they were related, Jennie and Toby, Toby Polster, married. I remember meeting Jennie at Gene’s house and, in the 90s, and at that point she was almost 100. She lived to 1001 think as many of the folks in the family did and she was just a beautiful, elegant lady and even at that age had a, just a brilliant, beautiful smile and a sense of humor and it was quite an honor to meet her at that time. But Gene was a pillar of the community and, you know, his sons carry on and of course Dr. Bob Polster, the Pediatrician, has been the Past President of Tifereth Israel and I guess relatives have been integrally tied up with Tifereth Israel. When I take my kids there, Lee and Anna who, Lee was BatMitzvahed several years ago and Ethan’s going to be BarMitzvahed this coming November there. He’ll be the fifth generation to be Bar Mitzvahed there with the sixth generation to belong there, and then they see their relatives names all over the walls, I. H. Schlezinger and L. R and Morris and many other people in the family and we’re quite proud of what Tifereth Israel has become.
Interviewer: Marc, while we’re on the subject of historical leadership, you’ve been very helpful in
your work with the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. How did you become interested in that, when did it take place, and what, let me start by asking what was the award that you were presented at the Annual Meeting two months ago?
Interviewer: Was it the Balshone Award?
Polster: No it was a special award for service. And I was very honored by that. And that was in recognition of my creating and nurturing and maintaining the Columbus Jewish Historical Society Website for many years.
Interviewer: How did that begin, do you remember ….
Interviewer: what inspired you ….
Polster: I’ll start at the beginning. I remember, and I told this story at that meeting, my grandfather and I were pretty close and we, towards the end of his life we would have lunch every Thursday. At that time I worked out on East Broad Street at Bell Laboratories and he lived close by and we would go to lunch every Thursday and we would talk and (tape fades out and is not legible because the sound is muffled)
Interviewer: Can you give me a year approximately?
Polster: This would have been the early 90s, 1890 …. Luckily there are several people in the family that had already done some great work. Mildred Simpson who was descended from R. R. Polster…. So I started mapping out the family tree and then Grandpa told me about the Columbus Jewish Historical Society of which he was a life member I guess at that point.
Interviewer: …. about what year was that or how long ago?
Polster: Maybe ’94 or ’95 …. And then I got connected with them and I met Peggy, Peggy
Kaplan and Peggy and I worked very closely to, you know, preserve some of the artifacts that I had come across and also to, Peggy was very interested in technology and at that point there …. computers in the offices and so they found me to be quite handy when I would come to visit and helped fix the computers and helped them use the computers and…
Interviewer: You have a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering?
Polster: Right, I’ve been in the computer business for 25 years now. My father was a Musical Professor at Wittenberg. He was one of the first professors to use computers in the teaching of, at Wittenberg oddly enough. But Peggy was …. and she heard me …. and so I was already working with a number of genealogy groups of the Hungarian special interest group of Jewish…. up until recently when Michael and the organization decided to use a different technology pathway and I have been …. but I wished I had to be full time and I was very …. to help with some computer …. the Website because, right now I think the Website …. the way it is now, the, one of the most important things besides the oral histories which are a tremendous resource for people around the world, just a remarkable, remarkable and valuable resource. Besides the oral histories are the Ohio Jewish Chronicles that have been digitized and searchable, amazingly searchable in a very nice way…. So the website is …. bigger and better and …. So anyway … my contributions to the website.
Interviewer: Very good…….. valuable and you have a remarkable resemblance to your father Ian who
I was privileged to hear him conduct an orchestra at the University …. speak about Ian and also how it…. in Cleveland or….
Polster: Right, right. Well my dad was the oldest child of Leo and Miriam Polster. My grandfather’s first wife was Miriam Berman and …. the Berman family that I think …. and I think Miriam my grandma died in 2004,1 think.
Interviewer: She was well known as a singer here.
Polster: She had a beautiful angelic voice….and she had a grand piano in her apartment at Heritage Village until the day she died in Heritage House. So Miriam had my father Ian and Uncle …. and my dad went to Ohio State University, so he went to OSU. By the time he graduated as a Music major and an Education major he had two small kids, me and my sister Laura. And so my dad, the day I was born February 19, my dad couldn’t be there because he was conducting the Ohio State Orchestra in a composition that he wrote and I have this program in my bedroom …. one of the first pieces that he wrote …. conducting at Mershon center, Mershon Auditorium …. After he graduated from Ohio State and he and my mother….
Interviewer: What kind of, what did you call it again? What kind of music?
Polster: It was vocals but all the guys played instruments. So it was a cross between jazz and barbershop quartet, very …. and vocalists …. playing the instruments and so my dad . .
………. But they’d play, you know, around Ohio State and around the entire State of Ohio and Indiana and for weddings and …. So my Uncle Ray introduced my dad to my mother, Hene …. and finally got together at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in 1958 or ‘59,1 can’t remember when Ohio State went there. But…. and they married in ’59 and as I said, by the time my dad …. two small, screaming kids …. teenagers. So after that he got a job in Xenia, Ohio teaching, being the band director at the junior high school. He taught there and…………… as far as I remember…. Later on my dad went back to Graduate School…. and he was a student conductor in the Ohio State Marching Band and …. and then after that…. I think off of Fifth Avenue or Third Avenue …. near campus and the next year we moved back to Xenia where Dad became a professor at Central State University …. and my father was, wrote a piece called …. that was performed by the …. And when my dad …. there was a big crowd from Wilberforce and Central State…. Later I think in ’70 or ’71, Dad got a job at Lindberg University . . .. Springfield and I continued my education…. first and second grade. Then I…. air conditioning which was unheard of in those days and I excelled in math and science and really got a head start in math…. And I was there for a couple of years and then we moved to Springfield and my dad taught at Wittenberg and I went to their high school there and Roosevelt Junior High …
Interviewer: And you got an advanced degree. You got a degree in Music as well as Electrical Engineering
Polster: …. Well at Wittenberg I…. My dad started teaching me drums when I was a toddler, got me my first drum set when I was three and started taking lessons in Dayton with Jimmy Lynn when I was eight or nine. And I was playing with bands professionally since I was a teenager, and one of which I was in cut a record album in 1979 and …. and I received …. and I decided I wanted to be a …. studio engineer and producer and so I found myself later, the next year, I nobody did. And I think at that time that experience. And my dad was one of my first…. which was quite an experience. … And when I was in high school in fact, I auditioned …. professional orchestras …. percussion for many years through college and studied music here with my dad, composition and arranging and …. was offered a road job with …. Johnny Idol who was a fairly famous vibraphone player, jazz vibraphone player…. and he invited me to go on the road with him when I was a sophomore at Wittenberg …. deciding whether or not I wanted to go with this jazz musician around the world playing jazz or if I wanted to stay in college, finish my degree and get a real job instead ….
Interviewer: Marc then what brought you back to Columbus?
Polster: Well… I met my wife …. and we got married …. got married in 1989 and we moved back to Columbus in ’87 and …. which at that time was …. Microsoft and …. and stayed with them for 18 years moving after a couple of years to Columbus and then I got married and bought a house and had kids and …. Gahanna and …. Washington, D.C. to suburban New York to …. Philadelphia and then we moved back to Columbus and my wife started her PhD. in Psychology at Ohio State and so …. here in Columbus which we’ve always done and had a lot of family at that time, Grandma was here and uncles and aunts and ….
Interviewer: You were involved in …. office?
Polster: Well my…. working there.
Interviewer: In what capacity?
Polster: …. I was hired by …. Anyway I found myself on a transition team because they needed someone who knew computers and was …. So they found me …. And then I left there and went to a very interesting …. experience …. eventually leading the office and …. after two years, after which……………… Treasurer of State’s Office and so I worked…. from March of ’87 through January ….
Interviewer: …. What are some of the aspects of the book that you would write?
Polster: …. the controversy ….
Polster: we found ourselves embroiled in. … people on the Executive Committee …. and I knew all the people involved in this …. and it was quite an education.
Interviewer: ___ (End of Side 1) Marc,_______ how would you like to continue your history ….
Polster: Let’s see, what have we got? The office…Okay. Well you asked me but I could talk about this forever, a little bit of….
Bonowitz. All right. Well________ talking about it______ but I’d like to tell the listeners——— and talk
about the kids.
Polster: Well my wife_______ Laura is now______ to me back in 2002______ She’ll be 18 in four days
and she’s …. And Anna is 10 and she was just a little, you know,…. Interviewer: I don’t blame you. Polster:
Interviewer: I can understand that. Polster: ….
Interviewer: Uhhuh. Do you have other hobbies?
Polster: Other hobbies? Music, I play my drums …. I’ve had some professional jobs the past few years but not as many as I used to.
Interviewer: …. a group?
Polster: Musicals …. groups with, remember “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Cabaret”. I also have played with…. jazz bands, mostly the special playing I did was with jazz groups …. playing with “Walt Disney World on Ice” and played ….
Interviewer: Did you travel with them?
Polster: No. What they did was …. not the entire orchestra …. but they hire a drummer and brass and saxophone and …. a couple of times and I was in….
Interviewer: Have you met Artie Kane along that way?
Interviewer: Artie Kane conducts …. at various high schools. He was Aaron Cohen when he was in Columbus and….
Polster: …. Part of the reason I had so many jobs when I was younger is because I was a rare drummer who could read music and play jazz and but that was Polster: I had to watch, I had to watch the music, I had to watch the actors and I had to watch the conductor and had to listen like crazy …. I like to compose at the piano and I like to … . I’ve got a couple sisters. One of my sisters, Laura …. is here in town in Gahanna and she got three kids …. He later went on to Ohio State and is now in New York in law school and….Ryan.
Polster: Ryan …. And the middle child Joshua lives and works up near Akron and is soon to be married, this coming September. Another sister Moira…. She lives up in Chicago and she’s got a couple of kids and she is …. theater group called …. which has been around for …. and Moira was a Theater major at Webster College in Missouri and has always been interested in theater and musical drama and she is …. local theaters and libraries and it is a non-profit group and she created that….
Interviewer: Marc the history of the Polsters is remarkable and you have documented your family’s history in various ways and we have some of those in the library of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. Would you like to just briefly …. contents of the documents that you put together.
Polster: Sure. This is …. Esther Lowry, Rosa Polster,…. Schottenstein, Susan Fatt, Edith Hoffman, Gerry Elman …. and other people …. and Gerry Elman was …. information about her side of the family.
Interviewer: A great many of the Polsters have remained part of Central Ohio history.
Polster: That’s right, that’s right________ I’m trying to think of, I’ve stayed in touch with, a lot of Polsters scattered …. are here in Columbus. Lena and …. Lena Polster…. She died early of breast cancer and her family moved to Los Angeles …. and still in California and of course there are the Schlezingers, Pearl Polster’s family …. You mentioned before about some of the …. (list of names) ….
Interviewer: Yes I know. That would be in what area of the country?
Polster: This would be in the .
Polster: Eastern and northeast because they …. Ukraine border, eastern border? The border on the east…. and of course all these people came to …. opportunity and they then took full advantage of that and ….
Interviewer: …. the growth of the Jewish community in Columbus, the Jewish community …. based on migrations of one kind or another ….
Polster: Yeah the Jewish history is all about migrations and …. worked in the store and my grandmother …. But most of my family came over in the eastern European migration and…. Circleville.
Interviewer: And your father’s ….
Interviewer: …. and his sister Hannah and they lived on Bryden Road. Tell us about that……………
Polster: Well I don’t know that much about…. But the larger migration, the Jewish migration to Columbus, as you said it started at one place and moved east and Bexley and …. migration in Columbus …. My great-grandfather lived in many places in Columbus … . Circleville in 1878, followed by Charles…. Etta in ’88 …. Anna Polster moved …. in ’91 and Abe in ’93 and my great-grandfather in ’95 …. Max and …. in ’99 …. came over in 1899 and …. to Circleville …. I mentioned a little bit about my greatgrandfather …. in Circleville too on East…. the Circleville ghetto, I think …. Circleville ….…rabbi…. Agudas Achim and I guess that’s how …. came to Columbus. And they were …. Tifereth Israel. But in Circleville there was a Hungarian Jewish ghetto on East —– Street in 1890——– and_____ was there …. Abe Polster and …. was there and Esther Wasserstrom and …. the Rothmans were there, the Bonowitzes were there …. large Jewish …. there and …. But when my grandfather got to Columbus, he first lived at 519 …. Avenue …. Then he moved to Donaldson. …, Washington at Donaldson, the south side of Donaldson …. and then he moved in 1916,1 have a record of 495 Donaldson and then some time later they moved to 17th or 18th Street…. And then they moved to in Bexley where everybody …. And then at some later time went to the____ they moved to the west side of Gilbert Street south of Livingston———– moved to Cincinnati_____ and then his last house was at 811 South Roosevelt. … and restaurant supply store, a bakery and a drug store…. and moved to 156 South Fourth and had a …there____ and moved to 170 South Fourth______ store in 1930 …. And then on the south side of Bryden between Berkeley and Morrison, he had a business in 1930 and then ___ on the north side of the street and then south of Bryden______ I mentioned before the Polsters involved with Tifereth Israel______ 1933 and then again in 1935 and 1941 and Louis was President in 1945 and 1949 and …. 1954 and 1955 and Marvin Katz was President…. So my great-grandfather ….
Interviewer: Yes the Polsters were a young nation and they haven’t gone far from Columbus and Gahanna…. and I want to thank you again for your volunteer activities with the Historical Society. Who transcribed …. before you did?
Polster: Who did what, the transcriptions?
Interviewer: Yes, what you’re doing.
Polster: Well what I do is I…. the website and that’s, the website is …. Nowadays it is very, very easy to record all those oral histories on digital recording and then use those …. and then listen to the people directly on the web without having to go through all the labor of transcribing …. and that’s something we could do on the web …. and I think people would be eager to …. purchase Historical Society books and artifacts …. and photographs of artifacts and …. But I think the most important reason… .Chronicle articles….
Interviewer: Well Marc, also known as …. your efforts in the Oral History Project of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society are unique and incomparable …. effort and energy are very much appreciated and on behalf of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society I want to thank you for contributing to the Oral History Project all these years and this concludes our interview on August 10, 2009, Marvin Bonowitz speaking.
Polster: You’re welcome Marvin and I want to thank you for giving me …. It’s a great honor to be interviewed by you as your contribution to the Society ….
Interviewer: I appreciate that. Thank you very much.