Interviewer: Good afternoon, my name is Naomi Schottenstein; I’m an
Interviewer with The Columbus Jewish Historical Society. This is March 17, 2003
and we’re doing this interview at The Federation Building where the Historical
Society is housed at 1175 College Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. I’m interviewing
Marty Greenberg. Marty, I’m going to start by asking you what your Jewish name
Greenberg: Mordechai. Mordchai Mate, in Yiddish is more commonly
Interviewer: Do you know who you were named after?
Greenberg: No, I don’t think I do. Probably some uncle…
Interviewer: What is your full name?
Greenberg: Martin Louis Greenberg. I live on South Virginia Lee, on
the Circle, 333 South Virginia Lee.
Interviewer: I’m going to start by just getting a little bit of
background from you. Tell us the date of your birth.
Greenberg: December 16, 1931.
Interviewer: Do you have any artifacts that you’d be willing to
Greenberg: Possibly. I’ve never really looked to see if there were
artifacts you might want.
Interviewer: It might be something
that you might want to think about that might be valuable in our archives…
even pictures of family and places important in Columbus. Was Greenberg your
original family name?
Greenberg: Yes, it was. I was born in Columbus. Both parents were
born in Russia in different areas – my mother was born in a small town outside
of Minsk called B O R I S O V. My father was born I think it’s in Ukraine,
called T U L C H I N.
Interviewer: Can you tell us when them came, how they came to the
Greenberg: They both came before World War I at different times. My
father was drafted into the Russian Army and they stopped for water. He got off
the train and never came back.
Interviewer: He didn’t want to be in the Russian Army.
Greenberg: Jews were not very favorably looked upon in the Russian
Army. Not very favorably looked upon in Russia, `til the time to leave. And my
mother came here because her sister lived here and brought her here. That was
Interviewer: That was probably after your father… Did your father
ever talk about his family?
Greenberg: Not a lot – my mother, more. Both my
mother and father had step-mothers and the story about what my mother’s mother
died from was that lightning came down the chimney and struck her. Her
biological mother, not her stepmother. I don’t know how my father’s mother died
but they both had “wicked stepmothers.”
Interviewer: Do you know who your grandparents were?
Greenberg: I know who they were, I never met them. My mother’s father
was David Itkind and her mother was – you know, the Hebrew was Miriam but the
Russian was probably Marioshka which is probably closer to Mary than to Miriam.
My father’s father was alive when I was a kid. They stayed in Russia and during
the war – until the early forties my father was in communication with his father
who I know, and they were also in communication with my mother’s family because
they sent money and clothes and things of that nature.
Interviewer: How did he get here and where did he get to?
Greenberg: He walked out of Russia, basically, travelling mostly at
night by himself He must have had some money and he took a train to Germany and
he didn’t come in through Ellis Island, he came in through Baltimore. He came to
Columbus because Abe Mendel, who was his friend in Russia, was here already. So
he knew someone who would sign for him and so forth.
Interviewer: Do you know what your father did in Russia to make a
Greenberg: He was fairly young. I know what his father did basically
he was a dealer in agricultural products. He would buy them and resell them and
he was fairly well-to-do. My father actually went to a Gymnasia which was fairly
unusual for a Jew.
Interviewer: So he had an education.
Greenberg: He spoke several languages. And my mother’s
father – my mother always said that her father was quite tall and he was a very
religious guy, he led the Jewish services, but basically
he was a well digger which I thought was a pretty neat occupation. Of course
if you didn’t hit water you didn’t get paid. I think my mother’s family was
really quite poor.
Interviewer: How did your father get established when he got to
Greenberg: His first job, he told me, was selling brooms door to door
and he learned English by going to the movies. It had to be reading English,
because it was silent movies. He was bright! Really bright!
Interviewer: Do you know how he met your mother?
Greenberg: My story is that she picked him up in an ice cream store
which is where they met.
Interviewer: How did your mother get to
Greenberg: Her sister brought her here: Rose Schlansky who was
already here and married. I don’t know how all the money was worked out… my
mother came by herself- she was in her teens. My mother, when she came here, was
basically a tailor. She worked at Lazarus – got a job right away because she was
really quite talented in terms of selling.
Interviewer: Did any of her siblings come at that time?
Greenberg: Not at the same time but they all came eventually.There
were four sisters and they all came. The one brother never came. He was a
half-brother. The sisters all wound up in Columbus all coming at different
Interviewer: Tell me about your mother’s sisters and about their
Greenberg: Okay. Rose Schlansky was my mother’s oldest sister. She
was married to Israel Shlansky who was a tailor also, lived on Gilbert Street,
she had three sons and a daughter: Max, the oldest, and Sam and Harry, who are both still alive and Miriam who
became Miriam Steele who just died in the last few months.
Interviewer: Your aunt’s name was Schlansky and her son’s name …
Greenberg: They’re all Shell at this point.
Interviewer: They changed their name.
Greenberg: Right, and Miriam’s name was Steele because she was
married to Bernie Steele. And Tanta Alta – I think she was named Alta to fool
the Angel of Death – there was apparently a miscarriage first. Anyway, he came here, she was married to Julius Gussacoff. Julius had a stand on Market and he had a truck and he used to go around and
pick up produce and so forth and take it around and sell it to grocery stores or
whatever and he also had a stand on Market. He had five children: Ida, Dorothy,
Andy, Mary and David.
Schottenstein: Are any of them still living?
Greenberg: Yeah… Annie’s still living – her name’s Levine… She’s
married to Dave Levine. Davie’s still living. His name is David Gussacoff, he
lives in Columbus. Mary Gordon, she was married to Leon Gordon, lives in
Heritage House and the other two are dead.
Interviewer: What were the last names of the other two?
Greenberg: Dorothy Levine and Ida Ruth Gussacoff- she never married.
Actually I think she was married, for about a month and then it was over and it
was Gussacoff again. She and David lived together in a house on something like
Harding? They all stayed in Columbus and Dory and Annie married brothers… one
was a dentist and one was a dermatologist.. And Tanta Mollie – She was the youngest and she was the only one who came through Japan… World War I was on and it was safer going through Japan. She actually stayed there for
several months apparently…
They each travelled alone. She had three children: David, Mary, now known as
Maitzie, and Rosie, Rose; David is Myers, Mary is now married to Ed Stan and
Rose is married to Stanley Vogel.
Interviewer: About your father’s occupation?
Greenberg: My father knew how to read and write very quickly. He was
very good with numbers and they came to him and they asked him to help this
store on Long Street because he needed somebody who could read and write and do
numbers so my father didn’t want to because it was a cut in pay, actually but he
took the job – it was some sort of obligation or whatever but… I think his
father was a pawnbroker, too, but eventually he and W. Mendel, who Dad came here
to join, opened up their own Pawn shop on North Third Street.
All the Jews that were in the pawn shop then as they are now – all the
Russian Jews – And they were in the business 54 years or so G & M – Greenberg and Mendel
and they also had A & B Loans, that was Abe and Ben, two or three doors
down. So they had two stores. Entrepreneurial.
Interviewer: Tell us about your siblings.
Greenberg: I have two brothers and a sister. My oldest brother was
Reuben who just died in the past year. He married Julie Robins, A. W. Robins’
daughter, and they had two sons and a daughter. They lived in Texas originally
but then they moved to Elmhurst, Illinois and they lived there for a lot of
years. Still live there. The house is still there. They had three children:
Joel, Danny and Sharon. Joel was a teacher and is now a defense attorney working
for the State of Oregon. Danny is an author – one of the few people in the world
who makes a living writing books. He’s married to a lovely woman who is a
professor of chemistry at Sarah Lawrence. They have two children. Joel never got
married. He had a lot of women, he just never married `em, and Sharon has three
children- two with her first husband – they are Jake and Leah, and the third
child now, who’s only six years old with her second husband. Her name is Sara.
Sharon has a Ph.D. in something to do with Education and she’s at the University
of Chicago on the staff/faculty there.
Interviewer: What did Reuven do?
Greenberg: Reuven was a physiologist a Ph. D. and he did research
most of his life plus did some teaching at the University of Illinois.
Interviewer: Did he have a very successful career?
Greenberg: Well, you don’t make much money being a research scientist
at a university but it was very satisfying. It was what he wanted all his life
Interviewer: He was a great intellect, I know. Tell us about your
Greenberg: David became a rabbi and he had five children. His wife
was Marilyn who died a few years ago very young. She was from Spring Valley, New
York. At the end they were living at Sagapawnack, Long Island, New York. Before
that they were in Scarsdale where he was a rabbi. And then he became a rabbi in
East Hampton. His oldest child was Rachel who also has a Ph.D., I think. She has
a Master’s in some Croation language or something of that nature and she
has an MBA from NYU. She’s married to Jcel Levenberg who has a Ph. D. in
Croation languages. They have three children and live in New Jersey – right across the river from
New York. His job is with some bank in New York. His second child was Ruth Sara
in Swamscott, Massachusetts. She is an attorney. Her husband is a doctor – his
name is Ed Gogol and she has two children. The eldest is Hannah and the youngest
Rachel’s children are Ruth Sara, Aaron and Julia and then
they have Ethan who has never married. He is an attorney, graduated from
Columbia and he was a partner in a law practice for a long time but about three
years ago he couldn’t stand it and he became a judge. He didn’t like the
pressure of being in a practice. He was a partner in a big law firm but he made
money. And the fourth child is Adam who is a physician and he just had his first child. He’s
married to Stacy and the youngest is Susanna Greenberg who is married to Robert
– I forget his last name – Robert graduated M I T. I don’t remember where
Susanna went to school – they all went to really good schools because they were
all really good students.
Interviewer: A big difference from when your family first came to
Greenberg: Rachel went to Brandeis, Ruthie, their daughter went to
Berkeley, and Harvard then back to Berkeley. Ethan went to Columbia Law School
and was a Yale undergraduate. I don’t know where – Adam spent a lot of years
being a sculptor before he went back and became a doctor about ten years ago. I
don’t know where he became a doctor from. Ruthy, the youngest one, Susanna, has
an interesting thing. She places people – authors and so forth, on talk shows
and things like this, she promotes them.. That’s what she does.
Interviewer: They all sound like they’re all very bright and
Greenberg: They’re all very bright kids.
Interviewer: That covers your brothers. And your sister –
Greenberg: Miriam Kayne – she married Harold Kayne who was a Columbus
native – formerly Kotosky – he changed it to Kayne. She had two children: Barry
is in Wilmington, Delaware – he’s a dentist, a rather specialized one, his wife
is Reiko – she’s Japanese – he met while he was in the Service in the Navy in
Japan and the second child is Deborah – Debbie, and her name remains Kane to
this point. She’s married to Ira Kane who was a successful attorney who then
became a successful witness person and then a CEO in several large
corporations and the youngest one…
Interviewer: Wait a minute. Let’s step back a little. Barry has –
Greenberg: …one son whose name is Ari and he is at the Air Force
Academy in Colorado.
Interviewer: and Debbie’s children?
Greenberg: She has two daughters, Lauren and Cynthia. Cynthia just
graduated and Lauren’s been out for several years. Let’s see: Cynthia’s now in
Manhattan and Lauren’s in Washington, D. C., working for the Kennedy Center. She
is brand new and she’s got like three part-time jobs.
Interviewer: If she’s got three part-time jobs that’ll keep her
Greenberg: Danny has three children, also. He lives here in Columbus.
His wife’s name is Naomi. Naomi’s father was a rabbi also. Danny’s an attorney
and Naomi’s a Ph.D in Psychology. I guess she’s a doctor and whatever. They’ve
got three children. The oldest is Benjy and he’s at Ohio U and he’s a senior
this year or a junior in Communications. Next is Abra who graduated high school
less than a year ago and just made aliyah to Israel. Now she’s working at a Torah parts factory in the morning and Ulpan in the afternoon. The youngest, Atalia is still in high school.
Interviewer: Now tell us about your immediate family, your
children. Start with the oldest one.
Greenberg: My oldest son is Sam. Sam is about forty-eight and he
lives in Highland Park, Illinois. Wife Marilyn with two children. He is in the
record/cd business – he has several stores in the Chicago area. He used to have
some in other areas but he’s closed them all. Music business is not what it used
to be and he also is a real estate owner, I guess. He owns an apartment building
or two, but that’s his business.
His wife is Marilyn. Marilyn was a teacher, still is! She’s no longer
teaching in the Chicago schools, though, she’s teaching in the pre-school at
their temple. She’s been doing that for the last several years. Two children,
both in high school. Ben’s a junior this year, good student; Alice is five foot
nine, beautiful though still in high school. Highland Park High School, I guess
that’s what it’s called. Next is Ellen who lives in Cincinnati or a suburb of
Cincinnati and she’s never married. She runs a rather large, or she works for a
very large what-would-you-call-it, I don’t know, they place temp workers, but it’s not temp workers but it’s
temp workers who are programmers or things of this nature. In other words, they
place people who make a hundred or two hundred thousand a year. She manages the
Cincinnati branch. Probably makes more money than any of my kids right now. It’s
been up and down. All of them have made more money than the others at one time
Third child is Josh. Josh lives in Columbus. He has three childlren. His wife
is Amy Schildhouse, whose parents are Ruth and Bert, both very prominent in the
community. She is a writer. I don’t know about books, but she has written many
articles for magazines and she is also a translator of Spanish books, novels,
whatever or technical books. She is bilingual. She was actually married before
Josh to a Mexican artist of sorts. Their first son is not Josh’s son, he’s from
Mexico… he lives with them. It’s an interesting dis- I’ve never met him, but
her father-in-law would be one of the foremost architects in Mexico. He’s built
all sorts of amphitheaters, museums and so forth. He was well-connected. His
brother was the Dan Rather of Mexico.
Interviewer: That’s interesting – there’s more talent… it’s who
Greenberg: You obviously have to have talent to be
Interviewer: …to be an architect, also… some training…
Greenberg: I’ve read a couple of monographs on him – pretty boring
Interviewer: Tell us about Danny.
Greenberg: Daniel’s the oldest son, he’s in middle school in Bexley,
he’s fourteen… and there’s Bess, about to be six and she’s in kindergarten at
Torah Academy. And Jake is about 4 and is in pre-school at Temple Israel.
Interviewer: Well, you get to see them.
Greenberg: Often! Yeah. They tire you out!
Interviewer: Well as you get older they get more energy. You can
love `em and leave `em
Greenberg: Actually, they were never lacking in energy. I am now
lacking in energy.
Interviewer: I can appreciate that. We’ve pretty much covered
family relationships and family members. Tell us about your background, your
business background – I know you’ve been retired… from business…
Greenberg: I retired quite young. Yeah. When I got out of the army I
was already married to Pauli – we got married while I was in the army, had a
wonderful, wonderful one-year honeymoon in Austria with absolutely no family. I
was in the Army.
Interviewer: Tell us about your education. Where you went to
Greenberg: I started at Ohio State in 1949- a product of Columbus
School System: Livingston, Roosevelt and then to Bexley High School and to OSU.
It started in 1949 and I’m still going.
Interviewer: Still in college.
Greenberg: I took two cowses last quarter and I… it’s the cheapest
entertainment in the world.
Interviewer: Are you auditing, or
are you getting credit?
Greenberg: No more. Now that I’m over 60 it’s free. I don’t take for
Interviewer: What courses are you taking now?
Greenberg: Very diverse. I take a lot of Theory courses. Last quarter
it was basically French Theory and I’ve taken a lot of Jewish Studies cowses.
Last quarter I took Italian Jewry During the Renaissance and my major has been
Art History. I’ve taken most of the Art History coursesoffered at OSU.
Interviewer: Did you get a degree as a younger man before you went
into the service?
Interviewer: But you were in college-
Greenberg: I was in college until I got drafted. I think it was 1951
Interviewer: What was going on in the world at that
Greenberg: Korean War!
Interviewer: That’s important. Because you know I’m a docent at the
(Columbus Art) Museum and when I ask the children about World War II, they’re
kind of in a spacey…
Greenberg: I was drafted in the Korean War and I went to Europe. (Laughs)
Interviewer: There’s no Korean War in Europe.
Greenberg: That’s the nicest part about it. We – Pauli and I had a
year in Austria, Salzburg, which is possibly the most beautiful city I’ve ever
been in and it was really.
Interviewer: What did you do in the Army?
Greenberg: I was a stenographer! The Army sent me to school to become
a stenographer. Didn’t do much of it but that’s what I did.
Interviewer: Let’s go back a little bit and tell me how you met
Greenberg: She was going to OSU, I was going to OSU. She asked me to
take her to a Stan Kenton concert. I said yes, but then I didn’t because I
wrecked the car that day. My parents were out of town.
Interviewer: So you got into a little bit of trouble?
Greenberg: No, I didn’t get into trouble.
Interviewer: That was your parents’ car?
Greenberg: Of course!
Interviewer: But to continue your relationship with Pauli.
Greenberg: We met at OSU and it was a very good relationship. We
liked each other from the get-go… Pauli was from Wheeling, West Virginia. She
went to a couple colleges before OSU. She went to West Liberty, then to Bethany and then she came to OSU. She’s a
couple of years older than me. It was a budding romance. We had several periods
when we weren’t together but after a few years we got married.
Interviewer: What about your wedding?
Greenberg: We got married in Wheeling, West Virginia in a little
orthodox shul which was mostly a converted house and like most orthodox shuls,
dinner was in the basement. It was a lovely little shul. I was already in the
army and I was being shipped overseas so I wanted her to come too. I knew where
I was going. So we got married on my way to Camp Meade, Maryland where we were
going to be shipped from. We spent a week’s honeymoon, I went overseas and then
she joined me. We were in Europe for a year or a year and a half. It was great! We lived
above a beer hall! Honestly!
Interviewer: And that was okay, too, huh? Not noisy –
Greenberg: It was really great! Those places were really built! It
was a wonderful enclave and there was this gorgeous little church next door with
all sorts of symbolic figurines which were sort of mystic looking, like devils
or something. And then there was a schloss which was basically a
small castle or palace or whatever you want to call it – it was there, too. It
was built in by civilians. Every Sunday morning guns would go off, blunderbusses
would fire and periodically they would carry their priests down the streets just
like the pictures you saw.
Greenberg: This area – if you ever saw “The Sound of Music”
that is where we lived. Not approximate, that is where we lived! This
area was called Aigen, it was actually not in Salzburg, it was like a
little suburb which had this church as a center point – a little area with some
houses around it at the foot of a small mountain. And that really is where it
was shot! And when we walked back there the miniature golf course was…
Interviewer: Were you able to take advantage of what there was in
Europe? Were you able to travel?
Greenberg: I was there a little over a year, Pauli was there a little
less than a year. We took two thirty-day leaves. We did one in Italy and one in
London, Paris and the south of France.
Interviewer: You probably did not have a car when you were in
Greenberg: Oh, yes, we did. We bought a car. We bought
a little Fiat for $400. It was terrific. In the end it was a problem. If you
hit the brake too hard it locked. I think I sold it for three hundred some. We
needed a car. We didn’t live in the middle of Salzburg, we lived in the
Interviewer: Were you able to travel by train?
Greenberg: Oh, all of our travel was by train.
Interviewer: They have a wonderful train system there. Let me go
back to Pauli- you said she was from Wheeling. Did she have any siblings?
Greenberg: No, she was an only child. She was actually born in
Washington, Pennsylvania but her mother’s family was from Wheeling. Her name was
Zawitz – z-a-w-i-t-z. Her mother’s family was from Wheeling. They came back when
her mother got sick and I guess her father had been a terror. When he came back
to Wheeling he was sort of like a junk dealer. He had a horse
and wagon. They picked up scrap and took it to the scrap yard. And her
grandfather had the scrapyard except her mother was running it rather than he.
He didn’t talk much English, he wasn’t very smart or whatever. Anyhow, her
mother ran it and then her grandmother had a little store like a confectionery
or something and that’s where they lived. And whatever! By the time Pauli was
fourteen both her mother and father had died.
Interviewer: Then who raised her?
Greenberg: Her aunt and her grandmother and then her grandmother died
and it was her aunt.
Interviewer: Was that her mother’s sister?
Greenberg: Yes. Her name was Frances Braverman. She was colorful –
she was a teacher in the school systems in Wheeling. Had a time travelled
always, never got married, made a lot of money in the stock market.
Interviewer: Not today! You can’t do that today!
Greenberg: Well, she was buying that in the thirties. What would an
old-maid school teacher do with her money?
Interviewer: Invest it!
Greenberg: …and travel.
Schottenstein: She took good care of Pauli then.
Greenberg: Ahhh – I don’t know what good care is -.Pauli went to
college, she had some money from her father and from her grandmother, actually.
They both left her a little money.
Interviewer: Talking about money, I know you had to make a living
when you came back from the army. Fill us in on that part of your life.
Greenberg: I came back from that part of the army a very unproven
young man and my father said, “What are we going to do with you – you’ve
got a wife, your wife’s pregnant… “
got to make a living…”
Greenberg: Yeh, so we shopped around –
Interviewer: You weren’t interested in the pawn shop business…
Greenberg: I don’t know that he ever wanted me to be in the pawnshop.
There was something about how you made a living and he never really liked it, he
said. Like the people you dealt with – whatever – who knows? Whatever. So we
looked around. My brother-in-law Harold (Kayne) was in the building business and
he knew of this fellow who was looking for somebody to invest
some money. So actually I met this fellow named Jerry Lawson and he has a
silent partner who I bought out and we went into business together – a company
called Able Builders Supply – and basically we sold windows and doors to the
builder. And that’s what I did for twenty-five years!
Interviewer: So that’s what you did for twenty-five years. And during that period of time your
Interviewer: was born and you were able to take care of them them
– So you’ve been retired how many years?
Greenberg: How old am I, let’s see!
Interviewer: How old were you when you retired?
Greenberg: How old am I?
Interviewer: What year did you retire?
Greenberg: I’m seventy-one so let’s see: 25 and 46 are what?
Seventy-one? I’ve been retired for twenty-five years. Not really retired
– I sold the business 25 years ago then Pauli and I did a lot of things. First
we sold art and antiques and we travelled around the country. We did about a
dozen shows a year, so that was sort of business.
Interviewer: Where’d you travel to?
Greenberg: We did Toronto, we did Miami, Miami Beach and Miami. We
did Chicago, we did Washington, D.C. and we did New York City. That was the only
city we went to.
Interviewer: So your children were out of the
Greenberg: After 25 years all my kids were grown and in college or
gone out of college. We bought a van and we travelled all around.
Interviewer: Did you specialize in any particular kind of art?
Greenberg: Well, initially we were general and then eventually we
came into an artist named Louis Icart and he did basically bedroom etchings. He
was French and he did bedroom etchings and he’d been very popular in the teens
and twenties. You’ve seen `em all over. Even if you’d have recognized them he
was all over, all the movies hanging on the walls and so forth. Anyhow it was
Pauli’s idea because she said, “I can sell that.” So we started
selling it and we did that very successfully. We had our own newsletter which we
put out and we did it very successfully for a number of years and then we took
time out and we started being in school. Then I’d be doing it
for credit – and I had to do it because I needed the insurance. Medical
insurance is so expensive and if you went to school it was the cheapest in the
world and the best.
Interviewer: You mean you were able to arrange medical insurance
Greenberg: …by being a student! You only have to go to school one
quarter a year. So you went to school one quarter then the other quarter would
cost more, but even then it was costing from over ten thousand dollars a year I
was down to about two thousand. So really, – and I was having a good time going
to school, too.
Interviewer: You were telling about the business that you and Pauli
had… how long were you involved in that?
Greenberg: Seriously, for about four years. Then when Pauli got sick
– we had to take some time off and then the market had gone to hell – we still
did it some after that. We always did the shows in Chicago because our kids were
there and we could write it off and we always did Miami because we wanted to
spend the winter in Miami. Then all those things became tax deductible.
Interviewer: What was Pauli’s medical problem?
Greenberg: God knows, at that time – we had so many surgeries I don’t
remember which one at that time.
Interviewer: It doesn’t matter – I know she’s gone through a lot,
still perking and…
Greenberg: Whatever. She’s fine now. One
other thing that really set us back we went to Europe. I went to take a course
on Paris to Ohio State in the eighties. She went with me and we spent over two
months in France – in Paris, basically.
Interviewer: Did you go with a professor?
Greenberg: Yeh, with Matt Herban – he was a professor at OSU. It was
a good two months. It was a fun place. Ruth went with us.
Interviewer: I remember her telling us about that.
Greenberg: She lived in a nice place. We lived in a
place where you had to run from the first floor to the second floor before the
light went out. The first day it got warm she turned off the
Tape side 2, measure 004:
Interviewer: Now we’re starting Side B of Tape 1 and you were
talking about your art experience in Europe.
Greenberg: We were taking our Art History course. Here we were, the
two of us…
Interviewer: Where did you live, I mean what city were you in?
Greenberg: Paris, right near the Sorbonne (University) and they had
the marching down the street with the police with the big shields and the
students – it was really sort of an exciting era.
Interviewer: What was the time, the period of time?
Greenberg: The early eighties.
Interviewer: What time of year were you there?
Greenberg: Spring. It wasn’t quite Spring. It was cold! Colder than
hell! It’s as far north as Montreal. It was cold. April in Paris is cold,
usually. Whoever that movie was, every once in a while you get 70 degree days.
Most of the days it’s in the 40’s or 50’s. We walked all over Paris. We were
with a bunch of kids around 20 years old, it was really a lot of fun. Whenever
we wanted we went out to good restaurants. Basically we were living in a rooming house. We had this – she was a very conservative person – the first that we
had – the landlady – it came with meals. We had rabbit -it’s not kosher. The
next night we’d have rabbit stew and then we’d have gedempte rabbit- it
was funny… and we were buying wine in deposit bottles. I thought that was fun.
I didn’t know – it was the only time I ever experienced it. Deposit bottles! You
took your bottle back and they sold you a liter of wine for a dollar.
Interviewer: It was good wine, too!
Greenberg: No, but it was good enough.
Interviewer: I know that was a good experience. I know you and
Pauli developed a tremendous interest in art and Pauli being a docent at the
Greenberg: …and I being an Art History major at Ohio State – we
were selling art, we were writing an art newsletter. You’re familiar with it –
when we came back one day Heritage asked Pauli and to be the what, art chairmen
Interviewer: Tell us about that. It was a wonderful experience for
Greenberg: They asked us to be art chairmen and we
said yes. We went down, and you know the horrible part about Heritage at that
time which is still sort of true – they didn’t have any walls!
Greenberg: Yeah – there weren’t any walls to hang things on.
Interviewer: Heritage House – fill us in on that. Somebody will be
listening to this and might
Greenberg: Well, Heritage House is the Jewish Nursing Home and this
is Heritage House before the remodeling job that is now existent but it
literally had very few walls to hang things on. The wings go coming up about
thirty inches and whatever – it was not conducive to hanging art. What Heritage
House did have and what the community did have was about a hundred acres of land
between that and the sand and the pond on the other side of the creek, so we
figured we could do a sculpture show. And we did.
Interviewer: And you did it very well.
Greenberg: Actually we went to the Center and we
said, “Would you help us?” and they said, “You can’t do it.”
So we did it without the Center. They said it can’t be done this quickly and
Interviewer: How did you arrange the funding? The logistics and…
Greenberg: The first year there really wasn’t any funding involved.
What we did is we put an ad in a couple of newspapers that were free – Dialogue,
and the Chicago Art Examiner and so forth, advertising for guys who wanted to do
site specific works on the grounds, who wanted to perform, who wanted to place a
piece of art. People always want to do that, especially emerging artists and
sometimes people who aren’t emerging. We just advertised and people applied and
we formed a jury: we had two juries actually. We had a jury of local people who
were familiar with the arts one way or another, art dealers, art lovers or
something… they would select their people; then we also used the residents of
Heritage House – residents of the nursing home – because it was gonna be on
their grounds, it was gonna be theirs.
Interviewer: They would have to look at it…
Greenberg: Not just look at it, they had to be actively
participating. So that’s how Tibor got in every time because no art expert ever
picked him. Never. He got turned down every time but the residents always liked
him. So anyhow, we just did a juried – and the (Jewish) Center said we could use
their grounds, too and we agreed to cut their grass. And the artists said, I
said, “What d’ya need, I’ll go around…” and Bernie Yenkin gave us
paint, somebody else gave us lumber and stuff like that, we got people to
contribute things. And that’s what we could do for the artists. We didn’t have
any money but we did have a prize. I think the first year it was $500. Anyhow,
that first year was just successful as all heck!
Interviewer: So where did these artists come from? Were they just
Ohio artists, or…
Greenberg: The first year, they would have been mostly all Ohio
artists; mostly Central Ohio, although we did have one from Chicago, a
couple from Cleveland, we had `em from elsewhere – from the midwest, right
around here. The first year we have about 25 people, and one guy, a fellow by
the name of Rick Merritt did a gigantic trapeze scaffold.
Interviewer: I remember that.
Greenberg: Right. The first year and we found out – it was very
Interviewer: You’re talking about performance art.
Greenberg: It wasn’t designed to be performance art! It was designed
to be a sculpture show. But anyhow he got this thing and he got a few of his
friends and they would climb on it and do tricks on it and so forth, and we
found out – when you have a show that’s running for three months during the
summer, how do you renew that show? If we advertised performance, people came
every time to see the show. And then we got publicity from The
Dispatch because there wasn’t very much happening in the summer back
then. Right? And we were in the forefront of the avant
garde – because there was no avant
Interviewer: There was a lot of excitement – I remember that.
Greenberg: Right! By the end of the year everybody was calling us and
said, “You ought to apply for a grant! So Bonnie Walson showed me how to
write a grant (proposal) and after that every year we got grants! Prizes got
bigger and we had artists from Canada, artists from California, the show got
bigger each year and we used the other side of the creek and we incorporated
performance because we had the money to do it now with the grants so we’d do
three or four performances – some of the people have since been at the Wexner
Center, like Kojo Kamau, Yoshika Chuma, they were fairly big time artists. We
joined this thing called the National – they asked us to join. Everybody was
asking us – I mean the fact that we were serving an underserved audience which
is so important – who in the heck worked with a senior citizen? We opened a new
avenue for the city.
Greenberg: Right!.and we also had built into it a large
African-American community who had worked there so each year we had about four
performances after that, of various kinds and we’d always have one local
performance group, too. It really worked very well. I mean we were probably the
biggest what? grass roots sculpture show in America. We got all kinds of
notoriety. It wasn’t that grass roots anymore. We became fairly
Interviewer: How many years did this go on?
Greenberg: I think we had about five years on Heritage grounds and
then we did two years when Heritage was building we did it downtown which didn’t
have the same impact at all, but we had the grant money so we just did it
Interviewer: Where did you have it downtown?
Greenberg: What’s the name of that park, across from the Cultural
Greenberg: Bicentennial – we started – actually we did the
other one, too. We went all the way from Broad Street, that park on Broad, to
the railroad viaducts down by the bicycle trails along the Scioto River, so we
would stretch out all that way, but there were only about six or seven – It was
a whole different world. But anyhow, we continued then but the big time that
really worked was at Heritage.
Interviewer: You didn’t go back to Heritage. Why was that?
Greenberg: Well, (sighing) we were older. We had stopped doing it. It
was time… and also the Wexner Center was now open. What we were doing the
Wexner Center was doing now. We were bringing in what you might call the avant
garde. So you have the Wexner Center taking its place. We could have done
it again, but you know, we weren’t making any money out of it and nobody was
making any money out of it but it was terrific publicity. I mean we got front
page two or three times a summer, of the Arts Section.
Interviewer: It brought interest to a lot of people who never would
have been subjected to avant garde art-
Greenberg: It brought thousands of people to the campus every year.
Interviewer: A lot of people that I know,
they wouldn’t go out of their way to look for it but it seemed to be
right under their noses.
Greenberg: But it was all free! One year we sort of did a take
on fifteen thousand people visited the campus and then we had one of the best
times of all art. And then we had the gala every year in conjunction with
– and to help raise money every year and brought money in to sponsor it. They
were nice. We always got somebody to be the Chairs (chairmen),
Interviewer: That was a satisfying venture in your life, too.
Greenberg: We had a ball!
Interviewer: You did a lot for the community, too. Marty, is there
anything else you can tell us about your life – from the service, from your
marriage, to this period of time? I’m gonna go back because we haven’t talked about your youth, but let’s go forward… is there
any other information you can share with us? And then we’re going back to you as
a young man.
Greenberg: As a young man? I never said it. I think that Pauli was a
teacher. She was a graduate and she taught for a couple years before we got
married and she was very active in the community in a lot of different things, a
lot of them with youth, she was a docent at the Museum, there was Hadassah,
limping through, – Raanana, in the early years they had that really vital group
of Raanana and we had a really vital group of parents – all our kids went to
Torah Academy and we had this really vital group of people of parents – that
were part of Torah Academy Centers. The only one of our children that graduated
from Torah Academy was Sam but all the other kids left at the end of the sixth.
Interviewer: Tell about some of the houses you lived in starting
when you were a kid.
Greenberg I was the last born. I was the
youngest from about fourteen years. I was born – we lived at 890 South 22nd
Street next door to the Zisenwines, across the street from the Sherrys and the
Yahrs, down the street from the Zeldins, around the corner from the
Schottenstein. There were nine Schottenstein –
Interviewer: My husband’s family. And all those kids running around
Greenberg: And eight Gleiches. There were lots
of kids on that block. Everything about it was fun. You stole cherries from
somebody else’s tree then you had cherries on your tree, and we had bellings
which they don’t have anymore.
Interviewer: Tell us about bellings.
Greenberg: When somebody got engaged all the kids in the neighborhood
would come around with pots and pans and bang `em until they gave us something.
It’s a German thing. There were lots of Germans in the neighborhood. In fact we
had one that went back to fight for Hitler. He hated us Jews. Freddie Hoffman’s
father. Freddie hit me over the head with a fire truck. That’s `cause I was
Jewish. I have no idea what happened to Freddie. They moved. They had lots of
Germans in the family. It was a German neighborhood. German and Jewish.
Interviewer: It was during a time when there was a lot of uprising
in the world.
Greenberg: Father Coughlin – he was on the air every
time. There were so many kids – when you played “hide and seek”
there was the whole block. You didn’t play in one yard but from Forest to
Columbus (streets) you could hide anywhere. And when you played “kick the
can” it was always on the corner of Columbus and 22nd. And you could hit
bats. They were always flying around the light poles. You could hear when
something went “boom.” Beryl.
Greenberg: I don’t know what happened to bats.
Interviewer: You scared them out of the neighborhood. That’s what
kept you entertained, you kids.
Greenberg: You played football in the alley – I remember my brother,
Dave, split his head open Mrs.Gurwin said, “Good for him,” I tell you
there were a lot of in the neighborhood. We played right in front of the
Schottenstein house usually.
Interviewer: That was probably half the team right there.
Greenberg: Oh, yeah.
Interviewer: My sister-in-law, Elaine – she was always an avid
sports person and aggressive in everything she does. She was so fast.
Greenberg: And very bright. Say a good, rowdy name and she’d outrun
everybody. Her name was Ettie.
Interviewer: Everybody had a Jewish name.
Greenberg: Not everybody! Bernie never had!
Interviewer: They called him Beryl.
Greenberg: We never did. Leonard didn’t and Shirley didn’t but there
was Yam and Ettie and Peshi and Yittie-and Rochel and William!
Interviewer: Well that’s enough from our family. I already knew
about your family.
Greenberg: Well, we were a good family. That was part of my
upbringing, that family.
Interviewer: Thy provided a lot of
entertainment – you needed those bodies for the games and you didn’t need
Greenberg: I was one of the few kids that had a bike. None of the
Jewish kids – a lot of the Gentiles had bikes. My older brothers and sister
neven had a bicycle because one of my cousins fell down and broke his arm when
he had it so he never got it but since I was the youngest they talked my dad
into giving me a bike. It was just a great big one – and the whole south end –
from Wager Street to Ohio Avenue there were just dozens and dozens of Jewish
Interviewer: And you walked a lot – nobody thought about being out
at night and taking a bus and walking.
Greenberg: First of all, there were no busses. There were street
cars… I took a streetcar downtown by myself when I was six years old. It cost
three cents. I could go to the movies. I could go to Woolworth’s, it was just fun. I knew how to do
it because my mother used to take me. My mother used to take me – every Saturday
we used to go to the Ohio Theater no matter what was playing. We went downtown,
I had to go shopping with her, then we went to Mills for lunch and then we
Interviewer: Tell us about Mills.
Greenberg: Mills Cafeteria was a restaurant. Actually there were two
– there was Mills Buffet which was a fancy restaurant – I don’t think I would go
there very often. Mills Cafeteria was white and you went in there. It was a
cafeteria. I remember getting mashed potatoes, I remember getting Jell-O- I
don’t know what my mother ate… (laughs) We kept kosher food and were limited
to what we could take.
Interviewer: The things you just mentioned were not usually things
that you had at home, either, were they?
Greenberg: Yeah, we had mashed potatoes and Jell-O at home. That’s
why I like them. I couldn’t eat much of anything else there. My parents kept
Interviewer: Did you grow up on 22nd Street? Is that the
first house you remember?
Greenberg: I was born in that house. I lived there until I was
thirteen. Then we moved -we made the move about 1944. I remember Reuben was in
the Army, Miriam was married to Harold Kayne – he was in the Army, they were
both overseas and Miriam had a child in ’44 – she came back to live with us.
Okay? And she had her first child, Barry. The house was crowded and you didn’t
have air conditioning, everybody slept by the front door! By the screen door-
and to make it 70 (degrees) upstairs it was about 100 (degrees) downstairs so my
parents moved to Bexley – 2180 Bryden Road.
Interviewer: That was a big move!
Greenberg: Big move! And it’s interesting – and my nephew bought that
same house – Danny Kayne. I went through school there. Actually, when we moved I
was still going to Roosevelt Junior High School so, for I don’t know how many
months, I rode my bike to Roosevelt every morning and every evening I would come back. In the ninth grade I transferred to Bexley High School. I used to walk to school every morning or rode the bike.
It was a nice time.
Interviewer: So you lived on Bryden until…
Greenberg: Basically until I got drafted. When I came back from the
service my parents had moved onto Broadleigh and we lived there for a short
while before we moved into Virginia Lee Apartments like everybody else, and, I
don’t know, you’d go to work, nobody had kids.
did you and Pauli live then?
Greenberg: On Virginia Lee – the Virginia Lee Apartments! When we
came back at first we stayed with my parents and when I started working we moved
to Virginia Lee Apartments. We had a very lovely one-bedroom apartment, in fact one time we moved we had
a one-bedroom apartment and three kids. They had the bedroom, we slept on the
Interviewer: But you made it work.
Greenberg: It worked fine! The Virginia Lee apartments were great!
They were the whole Jewish community with lots of green grass and we played
croquet every night or football in the back. The kids had all kinds of friends
to grow up in and play with. And then we moved to Berwick. Berwick was
developing and we moved to 1414 Millerdale Road and we lived there for a number
of years. We built the house ourselves – Harold built it. We found a plan,
Harold built it for us and we got enough money we moved to 50 South Parkview –
it was a big old house. We lived there for about thirty years – actually paid
off our mortgage. I think we had a 3% mortgage. They wanted me to pay it off
earlier but I wouldn’t do it. And we moved to where we are now, on Virginia Lee.
Interviewer: Can you tell us some more about the kids you grew up
with? Why don’t we start with your bar mitzvah?.
Greenberg: During the war so I didn’t have much of a party, I
remember that. Both of my brothers had big parties, We belonged to Agudas Achim
– still do – it was at Washington Avenue and Donaldson – it was a very Moorish
looking building with a red dome. It had some lovely, I think, stained glass
windows, there were wonderful relationships with shul. It had steps walking up
to it – I remember Passover, playing nuts – I guess everybody did it.
Interviewer: What do you mean, playing with nuts?
Greenberg: Table nuts. You never played nuts? Like every holiday had
a somehow symbolic for kids and Passover, the thing that was really symbolic for
me and for most of the kids was nuts. You got hazelnuts which roll good and they played several
games with them. You played “guesses.” You were allowed to have five
in your hand and if you guessed right you got them all and if you were off you
had to pay the difference. But the games where we’d stand up Donaldson (Street)
and we’d roll nuts up against the building. One game was close-ups – whoever got
closer to the wall won it.but the best game was Kisses. You had to roll `em and
until you hit one they just kept accumulating. Then you finally hit when you got
all the nuts. It was a fun game. That’s what you did on Pesach. On Yom Kippur
you always shot girls with rubber bands. You know, Shul was fun. Every Saturday
you got to go and you got a candy bar.
Interviewer: Awful. Who gave you a candy bar?
Greenberg: Maybruck. Harry Maybruck was the leader of the Junior
Congregation. After while his son, Stanley would help him. After that, W.
Solomon would W. Maybruck for us.
Interviewer: So what really brought you to shul was the candy bar.
Greenberg: No, what really brought me to shul was my parents made me
go. It was a …you know the neighborhood – you had kids all over – next to my
age next door was Mickey Zisenwine and across the street was Elsie Yahr (later
Oppenheimer) and we would walk to the Champion Theater where it was a dime to go
to the theater every Saturday. Everybody must have the same story because we all
did the same thing.
Interviewer: Pretty much. Pretty much but it is so nice to hear
about it because it was very comfortable and nobody worried…
Greenberg: It was very comfortable but it wasn’t. We
were just young. It was World War II.
Interviewer: Well, I know – my husband’s family for instance didn’t have much in material stuff but they
speak about a happy childhood. They were poor.
Greenberg: They were really poor. I always thought I was rich.
Compared to other kids around school I thought I was the richest kid in the
Interviewer: Why? What made you….
Greenberg: Cause I had money to buy popcorn fritters and they didn’t.
My father gave me fifty cents a week allowance.
Interviewer: That was unusual.
Greenberg: I know.
Interviewer: Did you earn money as a kid? Did you deliver papers or sell candy or anything like that?
Greenberg: No, never. When I got older, when I was in my teens I
would go down and help my dad in the store. I got paid for that, but –
Interviewer: Who were some of your dad’s associates on the street?
Greenberg: It was on Third Street. They were all Jews. They were all
pawnshops. When I was young, Ruben was there. By Ruben’s Dad. Saul was next to
my dad, then my dad. Saul had two storerooms, my dad had three storerooms.
Interviewer: They didn’t have a pawnshop, did they?
Greenberg: Yeah, they did. They weren’t very good at it but they had
a pawnshop. My dad had three storerooms, then Mr. Amdur. I think he was more
second-hand clothes than pawnshop, then there was A & B and on the corner
was Plotnick, International Loans, I think he called himself. Then Ruben opened
up a department store during the war when the kids were coming into it now.
Interviewer: You talking about Max Ruben? So he had a men’s
Greenberg: Yeah, suits, watches- many more watches than clothing. And
Mr. Goldsmith – Dave Goldsmith moved into the storerooms. It was a colorful
neighborhood. I’ll tell you a wonderful story: We had a number that was one
digit different than Union Station. And we got lots of calls. My dad had a guy
named Lou Young that worked for him. And about the twentieth call he’d start
giving out reservations. “You want an upper berth? Sure! What date?”
And we all just sat there looking at him… It was a wonderful neighborhood. Now
everybody Jewish had a nickname. Whatever your failing was that’s what you were
Interviewer: Like for instance?
Greenberg: If you limped, you were called, “Crip.” If you
had a big nose you were called, “Shnoz.” If you were known to work
real hard you were “the horse.” And a lot of people were called by
their Yiddish names. And so forth. It was just a street – and if you had a
pawnshop you had people out in front to bring people in so you always had
activity on the street…
Interviewer: …to entice customers
Greenberg: You’d drag them in if you had to. And you didn’t want them
to go to the next door, you wanted to get `em on this door.
Interviewer: What were some of the methods that they used, for
Greenberg: Well you grabbed the guy by the arm and you started to
talk to him.
Interviewer: Look him right in the face, huh?
Greenberg: Oh, yeah, “Come in, we got a deal for you,”
whatever… that’s what I did. They never really let me sell but they had guys
who really closed. My dad had an African-American guy – he was cool with
African-American customers. Most of the other guys were all Jewish. But anyhow,
it was a very colorful street and you know, those guys worked unbelievable
hours. My dad was out of the house by seven in the morning and when I was a kid,
when I was very young he didn’t come home until nine at night. And they
worked… my mother stayed home and raised four kids, took care of the house and
Interviewer: Do you remember your parents taking vacations?
Greenberg: Sure. My mother got an allowance, okay? And every year she
saved money from her allowance and they took a vacation with it.
Interviewer: She was enterprising then.
Greenberg: I think she got more than anybody else that would do that
but she always paid for the vacation.
Interviewer: Where’d they go?
Greenberg: Well it depends when, I remember when we went to Buckeye
Lake, then when we went to Cedar Point, then in later years my parents would go
to Florida every year with the Bonowitzes.
Interviewer: Oh! Marvin Bonowitz’s …
Greenberg: His parents and my parents were best friends and they
Interviewer: Did the kids go, too?
Greenberg: No, when we went to Cedar Point, when we went to Buckeye
Lake, we all went. But by then, in later years, we were grown up. I wasn’t but
everybody else was.
Interviewer: I remember hearing stories about Jewish families that
went to Buckeye Lake that had homes there or rented homes.
Greenberg: We rented a cottage every summer and then … we went to
Cedar Point. They were both fun. When you got water it’s fun.
Interviewer: So your dad had a car?
Greenberg: We had a car. Well, his first car he shared with Mr.
Mendel. They bought a car together.
Interviewer: That’s unusual…
Greenberg: They were partners! We lived close to each other.
Interviewer: Tell me about W. Mendel’s family. Who were his
Greenberg: He had three children. His oldest was Nettie and I think
they had a miscarriage somewhere along the line, so there would be four with
those. And there was Moms, or Moe, and the younger was Izzie, who was my
contemporary. He’s a physician, retired, and he lives in Youngstown.
Interviewer: What about some of the other kids you played
around with? How about Schonthal Center? Was that a part of your life?
Greenberg: Yeah. Right across from the Hebrew School. The Hebrew
School was part of our life. Every night you’d get on the Hebrew School bus and
they shlepped you to Hebrew School.
Interviewer: Whether you
liked it or not, huh? Who were some of your teachers at Hebrew School?
Greenberg: Oh, I can remember them all… let’s see- there was W.
Metchnick – he could barely talk English but boy he knew Hebrew like – boy, I
thought he was mean. Sid Furst was a young student at Ohio State. He had gone to
rabbinical school, he went to Yeshiva with my brother. My brother went to
Yeshiva when he was thirteen. When Furst came to Ohio State he taught at the
Hebrew School. Shoshana Kesselman who was an Israeli; my sister and
brother-in-law are in touch with Shoshsana ’til this day… and W. Solomon, he
taught me bar mitzavah and Daniel Harrison was the principal. He had a deformed
right hand – when you shook his hand he offered his left hand. Ya got to Hebrew
School you played football in the back. We always played tackle, don’t ask me
why. I was bigger than everybody else so they always were trying to tackle me
and I’d be shlepping along and then Izzy Mendel figured out if he’d stick a
needle down in front of me I would fall over him. Schonthal Center was across
the street and I was a member of AZA there and I actually joined the Boy Scouts
for a few months. I really didn’t like it. And we played pool and ping-gong in
the basement and played basketball in the back with must have been the former
garage or something like that, whatever it was the ceilings were about 12 feet
high. We were playing basketball.
And on the third floor they had a club – I don’t know what it was – for
Jewish kids to go to. We went there sporadically, okay?
Interviewer: You didn’t have activities from the
synagogue at that point in your life, though?
Greenberg: No, I went to Sunday School. They made you go to Sunday School, too but most of your
games you played in your neighborhood.
Interviewer: What about places where your family shopped?
Greenberg: Lazarus! I think 90% of the retail
business in town was Lazarus! Now – shopping, in terms of my mothers, Katz’s was
on Livingston Avenue- we would go there- a butcher store. That was only if you
needed something quickly. Usually they wanted a heavy sandwich for me. It was a
grocery store but they had deli, too. But Harry Center was my mother’s
“butcher of choice.” He was really mean in that store. He was really nice outside
but he was mean in the store. I used to go in and whistle `cause it irritated
him! Then there was Kroll’s, there was Hepp’s, but every Thursday when I got
older and started to drive I took my mother, my sister did it before me, my
brother did it before me, into Hepp’s.to market. It wasn’t just market, Central
Market and the stuff around Central Market, all those stands.
Interviewer: Where was Central Market located?
Greenberg: It was on Fourth – I would take `em all as I remember, and
Tanta used to buy live chickens. That must be why I didn’t go shopping for
produce there. And then we would go to Levine’s. The shochet was in back.
He’d kill the chicken and chop his head down in front and you’d watch the blood
run out and then downstairs in Levine’s it was where they used to pluck the
chickens. You could smell it coming up. And upstairs they had the fish you could
smell and the lady that sold the fish was named – big heavy-set African-American
lady named Kelly and she was funny! She’d yell at everybody. My mother could
always tell fresh fish by the eyes – they had to be shiny and you got fish for
gefilte fish so you had to go to Central Market and then Levine’s and then you
got to the bakery, to Schwa’s. For a while there was Fulton but that disappeared
– they had a bakery, too. Basically, Thursday morning was in the summertime for
us it was really sort of fun. I realized , “Today I am a man, I drank a
coke in Levine’s.”
Interviewer: You mean…
Greenberg: Oh, man, the odor of that place! But anyhow, that was a
Interviewer: And look at the work, the hard work
the ladies had to go through, to prepare all this food – buying a live chicken,
getting it killed, and then plucking the feathers – then they had to come home
and kosher all that stuff.
Greenberg: True. True.
Interviewer: And now we buy all meats already koshered. Even
prepared, a lot of it.
Greenberg: We did that on Thursday then on
Thursday night we had gefilte fish. My mom made the gefilte fish and we had
blintzes almost every Thursday and salad. Don’t ask me why. That was the Thursday night dinner. And this way we like gefilte fish so much that they made it a specific meal. So Thursday they made it gefilte fish night. You
knew what you were going to eat every day. We had soup almost every meal and we
had pot roast this with this, this with this, I don’t know, I don’t remember.
Interviewer: Do you remember your family ever eating out, like in a
Greenberg: Yes. My mother took me to Mills. My father must have eaten
out every day. At lunch he would go to The Continental (a restaurant with Jewish
ethnic cuisine) which was around the corner on Long Street and when we went to
Cedar Point we would always go across to Sandusky for a fish meal. Martin’s –
There were two kinds of Martin’s and something else but we always went over
there for a fish meal. That we did.
Interviewer: That was a treat, too!
Greenberg: Not for me, I hated fish! (laughter)
Interviewer: Marty, fish is brainfood, remember? We used to tell
the kids when they were little, so they would eat it. What about when your
children were growing up, did you take trips with them?
Interviewer: Where were some of the places you travelled with them?
Greenberg: Well we went to Florida a couple of times. We were always
taking them to Cedar Point because that’s something I’d started when I was about
eight or nine, and we did it every year.. Before it was a park like (it is now)
it was just a little amusement park. We used to canoe on the lagoon, which now
is more of the park; we went to Mexico as a family, we took all the kids – we
got great pictures of it. We went to Nassau, we went to Lake Placid, went to New
York often `cause my brother was there and we could stay with my brother –
that’s basically the ones I remember more than anything else but we always took
Interviewer: Actually, Marty, we’re almost at the end of Side B
on Tape 1, just to summarize your life or some wise thoughts that you can
leave with us, what do you foresee for your grandchildren and as your children
are becoming responsible, …
Greenberg: Acatually, I feel greatly, truly, I thought the world
would be better and it’s not. I don’t perceive another holocaust for Jews but I
do perceive other holocausts what with the advent of weapons of mass destruction
of all sorts – it doesn’t have to be a nuclear bomb but all kinds –
Interviewer: I hate to interrupt you but it is March 17 and we’re
waiting momentarily (to see) if there’s going to be a war within, like hours…
Greenberg: I’m very anti-war. My kids aren’t, necessarily, my son
isn’t. Because it’s good for Israel and I suppose in a way in one sense it is
but I think we will have more terrorism than ever as a result of this war – this
is a personal opinion, of course. I think George W. Bush if not an idiot, is
close. I can’t think anything he’d do right except for Afghanistan but he blew
that afterwards. I really fear for my grandchildren more than my children.
Interviewer: It’s a fearful time, yeah, it is.
Greenberg: I don’t see anyway out. We’ve got a million and a half Muslims that hate America and
hate Jews, not to forget the rest of the world.
Interviewer: Marty, I’m going to wind this up – we’re at the end of
the tape, but on behalf of the Columbus Historical Society I want
to thank you for the time you’ve given us this afternoon. I’ve enjoyed
talking with you and I hope that this was a good experience for you, too.
Greenberg: Yeah. I must thank you!
Transcribed by Marvin Bonowitz