This is Carol Shkolnik about to interview Mary Michaelson.

Interviewer: Okay, that’s good. Okay, Mary, I thought we would just get started by maybe asking you to tell me what you knew about your parents. First of all if you give each of their names and where they’re from and then just tell me things about their . . . . life that you’d like to talk about.

Michaelson: Uh huh. Well my mother’s name was Anna Freedman and she came
here when she was 12 years old with her parents. And there were eight children
that came with them. The three eldest children had already gone to the United
States on their own before the rest of the family came with eight children and I
think this was, it had to be 1907.

Interviewer: And where were they from Mary?

Michaelson: They were from Pilveshok, Lithuania.

Interviewer: Okay. Do you know how to spell that?

Michaelson: Do I have a what?

Interviewer: Do you know how to spell Pilveshok or do you have it written

Michaelson: What Pilveshok?

Interviewer: Yes.

Michaelson: Ummmm. (Shuffling of papers.)

Interviewer: She’s looking for it.

Michaelson: It’s, no, but I’ll tell you, it’s spelled P—, I can get
you some more information. You see, my grandfather’s sister was the Old Lady

Interviewer: And what was her first name?

Michaelson: Her first name was Sarah.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Sarah.

Interviewer: Was Schottenstein then her married name?

Michaelson: Well yes, she took Schottenstein. That wasn’t really their real
name. But yeah, her name was Sarah and she was my grandfather’s sister. And
they came to Columbus first, the Schottensteins did and that’s why the
Freedmans also came to Columbus.

Interviewer: So are you saying that your grandfather’s name was

Michaelson: No, my grandfather’s name was Freedman. Well they changed it at
Ellis Island. His name was Zamaitis and they couldn’t understand it at Ellis
Island and they said, told him Freedman was a good American name and he changed
his name to Freedman at Ellis Island. But the name was really Zamaitis.

Interviewer: Do you have it written down so the transcriber will have access
to that?

Michaelson: Well I have two spellings for Vamaitis. I have it spelled
Z-A-M-A-I-T-I-S and then also, the Schottensteins, in Morris Schottenstein’d
book, he spelled it with a J, J-A-M-A-T-I-S.

Interviewer: Okay.

Michaelson: And so I don’t know of course which one was correct because
Bruce, whose mother was my first cousin, he, he’s the one that sent this.

Interviewer: Okay. From what Mary is talking about, it looks like an E-mail
from this Bruce . . . .

Michaelson: It’s from Carol. Carol was in contact with Bruce.

Interviewer: Okay. Between Bruce and Carol . . . .

Michaelson: Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: Okay.

Michaelson: So my grandfather’s name in Europe was Zamaitis and they came
to this country, well they were, my grandmother wanted to come. The three eldest
children had already come and when the Bolsheviks marched through their town,
that’s when my grandfather finally agreed to come. Originally he did not want
to leave. He wanted to stay. But when the Bolsheviks marched through, he changed
his mind. And then the remaining eight children and the parents came in 1907.
Now this man, this brother came in 1905. He was an older brother. But that’s
what his grandson says.

Interviewer: Okay. Now are you now talking about your mother’s father?

Michaelson: Yes.

Interviewer: Okay. I had to remember who you were talking about.

Michaelson: I’m talking about my mother’s father, Ben.

Interviewer: And so they all came directly to Columbus because of the

Michaelson: That’s right.

Interviewer: Okay. Do you have any idea what your relatives did in the Old

Michaelson: Yes, my grandfather, he would go around to the, he had a horse
and wagon and he would go around to the countryside and buy up flax from the

Interviewer: Flax?

Michaelson: Flax, to make linen out of, you know? And he would sort of
semi-process it and sell it to a dealer in somewhere else. That’s what he did.
He went around to the farmers and collected flax and brought it in and sort of
processed it more or less and sold it again.

Interviewer: I see. Did he make a pretty good living?

Michaelson: No he didn’t. They were quite poor and that’s one reason they
came. The three eldest ones had left already. There were no decent jobs for the
boys and there was no money for dowries for the girls and they sold out
everything and when they got to Columbus they had $l,000 and they thought they
had a lot of money.

Interviewer: For all of them put together, at a thousand?

Michaelson: They had a thousand, the whole family, after selling everything
in Pilveshok, Lith- uania, and they did come through Antwerp, Belgium, and they
came. That was the reason for coming to Columbus, because the Schottensteins
were here and that was my grandfather’s sister, Sarah Schottenstein.

Interviewer: I see. Does anybody have copies of their naturalization, do you

Michaelson: My grandfather never bothered to get naturalized. He was very
Orthodox and all he wanted to do was go to the shul and pray or stay home
and pray. He did not really want to become Americanized.

Interviewer: I see. Did you know them?

Michaelson: Oh I knew them all very well. Oh yes, and my, oh yeah, and so we,
so the children, they got naturalized on their own or, like my mother married my
father who was a citizen. So, you know, they married citizens or they became
natural- ized on their own.

Interviewer: I see. So you parents, your mother’s side, came here somewhere
around the very early 1900s.

Michaelson: Yeah, yeah. My mother said she was 12. She was born in 1895 so
that would make it 1907. But the three eldest children were already here. And
they did have some relatives in New York where they came, too. But then they
came to Columbus because the family, the parents and the eight children came
here. Yeah.

Interviewer: I see. So what kind of business, we’ll talk a little bit more
about your mother’s side and then we can talk about your father’s side. What
kind of business did they get into? Was your, did your grandfather, was he like
of retirement age then?

Michaelson: My grandfather when he got here, he got a horse and wagon and he
went out and he peddled and he would buy up things from the farmers, bring them
to town and sell them. I don’t know what.

Interviewer: And, okay. So did your mother ever tell you where she went to
school when she first came here?

Michaelson: She went to Fulton Street School.

Interviewer: Uh huh. A lot of people did.

Michaelson: And so did my father. They both went to Fulton Street School and
she must have been pretty big to start in. But I guess she wasn’t alone. I
guess there were probably quite a few of them that way. ‘Cause she was 12
years old, yeah. Uh huh. And of course in Europe they didn’t have much
education. Only Jewish edu- cation, that’s all they got.

Interviewer: So what about your father’s family?

Michaelson: My father’s family, well they were the Schneiders. Now Judy,
Judy Yenkin Brachman’s mother, was my first cousin. And her mother and my
father were brother and sister.

Interviewer: Okay.

Michaelson: What happened to Judy? Is she still in town?

Interviewer: Oh I believe so. I’ve seen her a few times.

Michaelson: Have you?

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Well that grandfather, well the name was Schneider but when he
got here his name was, well all anybody knew was Fred Schneider. But his name
was Freidel Schneiderman.

Interviewer: Ah, okay.

Michaelson: And he said that he left the “man” off because it was
too long. Schneiderman was too long.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: He left the “man” off and he was, instead of Freidel
Schneiderman, he became Fred Schneider and that’s all anybody ever knew. This
information I got from Judy Brachman’s sister who lives in California.

Interviewer: I see.

Michaelson: Her mother was the last living one of the Schneiders and she was
next. Oh my father was the oldest and then Aunt Bert, Lillian and Evy’s mother
(Evy Groban, grandmother of Josh Groban) was the next child. And she gave me
this information. They were from here. Katherine is, I can’t even . . . .

Interviewer: Katherine is Laba in, it says “Pavolia” but I
think it’s Cavolia. I’ll write down what it is so . . . .

Michaelson: That’s what Evy gave me.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Very interesting

Michaelson: Then she told me everything that her mother had told her.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that’s good.

Michaelson: And her mother was Judy’s mother, Judy Brachman’s mother,

Interviewer: Sure. Okay. So what did that grandfather do?

Michaelson: He was a cabinetmaker.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Okay and . . . .

Michaelson: When he got here to Columbus he worked in a factory someplace, in
a cabinet- making factory.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Okay. And you knew all of your grandparents?

Michaelson: I knew all four of them very well. And the Schneiders were quite
talented. They were musically talented. You know Judy’s mother, Lillian Yenkin,
played in the Columbus Philharmonic Orchestra.

Interviewer: Did she really? And her name again was . . . .

Michaelson: Lillian Yenkin.

Interviewer: Okay.

Michaelson: And they were all musically inclined. My grandfather used to play
the violin at Jewish weddings. And my father played the violin and a trumpet
both and one uncle played a drum and Aunt Bert played the piano and they were
all musically inclined. Bubbe Schneider used to complain because their living
room, it didn’t look like a living room because it was full of musical

Interviewer: Oh that’s nice.

Michaelson: They lived on Beck Street, 497 E. Beck Street.

Interviewer: I see, I see. So you have fond memories of going over there and
hearing lots of music?

Michaelson: Oh yeah, yeah. Oh yes indeed.

Interviewer: Oh that’s very nice. That’s very nice.

Michaelson: Yes indeed. And Evy, the only one that’s living, that I spoke,
that gave me this information, she plays piano. She was three years old, she
could play the piano.

Interviewer: Oh wow, child prodigy.

Michaelson: She was. Yeah she graduated from the Juilliard School of Music.

Interviewer: Oh that’s exciting.

Michaelson: Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: So you told me . . . .

Michaelson: You know her sister-in-law, do you know Sis Groban?

Interviewer: I think so, I know who she is.

Michaelson: That’s Evy’s sister-in-law. Evy’s husband was Joe Groban
but he’s been gone for many years.

Interviewer: Oh I see, I see. So when we were talking earlier you mentioned
that your parents met here, is that right?

Michaelson: They met here. He was at the Jewish community. There used to be a
dance every Sunday night there was a dance at a hall and that’s where my
parents met, when they were both attending this Jewish dance.

Interviewer: How old were they, do you know?

Michaelson: They weren’t very old. Mom was about 18-19 when she got
married. My dad was about five years older.

Interviewer: So was it love at first sight?

Michaelson: I think so. My mother, yeah I think so. I don’t know but that
was it. That’s where they met at a Jewish dance right here in Columbus at a
hall someplace.

Interviewer: So they got married fairly quickly?

Michaelson: I don’t know how quickly they got married. I suppose possibly.
Uh huh.

Interviewer: I see. What did your father do for a living?

Michaelson: He was a tailor.

Interviewer: He was a tailor. His whole working career?

Michaelson: His whole working career he was a tailor.

Interviewer: Who did he work for?

Michaelson: He worked for the most expensive, the most high-priced tailor in
town, J. C., I forget the name of it.

Interviewer: That’s okay.

Michaelson: But at Broad and Fourth and, oh he was a perfectionist.
Everything he did had to be just so and my grandfather was the same way. He was
a perfectionist too but he was a cabinetmaker and if you wanted, my grandfather,
that’s Schneider, that’s Fred Schneider, oh if anybody called him a

“carpenter,” that was an insult because he was a cabinetmaker. He didn’t
like being called a carpenter.

Interviewer: . . . . A cabinetmaker was more of an artist then?

Michaelson: Oh yes, yes. Oh yes. Well the Schneiders were, they were, yeah.

Interviewer: Where was your father’s family from?

Michaelson: My father’s family? Well that’s this.

Interviewer: Okay, that’s . . . .

Michaelson: That’s his father. This was my grandfather, my father’s
father. That’s them.

Interviewer: From?

Michaelson: That’s in the Ukraine but I have no idea what the map of
Ukraine or Russia looks like but that’s from the Ukraine. They weren’t too
far from Odessa, he said.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Okay. All right. So did your father have a big family in
Columbus also?

Michaelson: Well he had three sisters and one brother. The one sister was
Judy Brachman’s mother and the Rosenthals. I don’t think if you, they’re
gone mostly, Yetta and Herman Rosenthal: Mimi Balshone’s parents, also Bert
and . . . .

Interviewer: Oh I recognize that name.

Michaelson: That, she was my father’s sister. And then there was Lena
Hassel who was my father’s sister. And there’s a Pat Hassel here in town who
is a relative of her husband. I just found that out not long ago.

Interviewer: She comes to our genealogy group meetings.

Michaelson: Does she?

Interviewer: Uh huh. I think she went to the Old Country with I think
someone, the Ukraine, was Skip Yassenoff.

Michaelson: Oh but that might be her husband’s family. I don’t know that
that was, well her fa–, her, Lena Hassel married Harry Hassel who I believe was
an uncle of Pat’s. Tell her Harry or Aaron. I think his name was Aaron.
Everybody called him Harry, I don’t know why, Hassel. But I think that was
this girl’s uncle.

Interviewer: I see.

Michaelson: Hassel. He was married to Lena who was my aunt, who was my father’s

Interviewer: Okay. I ought to sit down and draw out a family tree to get that

Michaelson: Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: To get that straight. Tell me about your family, what it was
like for you growing up and your brothers and sisters and that kind of thing.

Michaelson: Well I had, my sister Lina, you know Lina, Lina Kress?

Interviewer: I know the name.

Michaelson: Lina Schneider Kress, she’s my sister. And my brother is Sam

Interviewer: I see. And he’s still living?

Michaelson: He is still living but he’s got Parkinson’s. He’s very bad.
And then my cousin is Harold Schneider.

Interviewer: Ah, that name’s familiar too.

Michaelson: Harold and Judy Schneider. They go to our Temple.

Interviewer: She used to live across the street from me, I think, on

Michaelson: Yeah.

Interviewer: And I hadn’t seen her for many years but she recently
reintroduced herself to me at Temple.

Michaelson: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Tifereth Israel, right?

Michaelson: Yeah that’s right.

Interviewer: Okay.

Michaelson: Yeah her husband was my cousin. But his father was the youngest
and my father was the oldest and the three girls were in the middle there.

Interviewer: I see. Boy, everybody’s connected, aren’t they?

Michaelson: Yeah.

Interviewer: So you just have one sister?

Michaelson: I have one sister and one brother.

Interviewer: I see. All right. What was it like for you growing up? Can you
tell me about it?

Michaelson: Oh it was okay. We lived on Stanley Avenue.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What was the address?

Michaelson: 494.

Interviewer: I see.

Michaelson: We were just West of Parsons.

Interviewer: Uh huh. That must have been near where my former mother-in-law
grew up. She was a Levy. They lived on Stanley.

Michaelson: They might have lived a few blocks down. I didn’t know them
then. But we were 494. We were just west of Parsons.

Interviewer: Okay. I’m not exactly sure of the address. I see. So you lived
on Stanley? Where did you go to elementary school?

Michaelson: I went to Siebert Street Elementary School because the streets go
Stanley, Whittier, Siebert, just two streets down. And I went to Barrett Junior
High School and South High School. And believe it or not, my South High School
class is having its 67th reunion.

Interviewer: That’s wonderful. Have you been going to the reunions all

Michaelson: I haven’t been going because I used to play bridge on Friday
and then I’ve been going to the Center on Friday but I’m going back now. I
started going back.

Interviewer: Well good, very good.

Michaelson: But there’s hardly any Jewish people show up. There were a lot
in South High School in those days.

Interviewer: Aww. Well then you’ve got to drum up some interest and try to
get more of them to come.

Michaelson: Well I was working on Marian Soomsky and I got nowhere with her.

Interviewer: Oh really?

Michaelson: Yeah. And a lot of them are gone. Bessie Beckman’s gone, Abby
Solomon’s gone. You know, there’s not many of them left. But it was nice.

Interviewer: Yeah. Were you real involved in things in high school?

Michaelson: Yes. Oh yeah.

Interviewer: You want to talk about that a little bit?

Michaelson: What?

Interviewer: Would you like to talk about that a little bit?

Michaelson: Oh not particularly.

Interviewer: Okay.

Michaelson: I was active in a lot of clubs and things and a lot of clubs that
met after school. I was always busy after school.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did you walk to school?

Michaelson: Oh yeah, oh yeah. None of them were too far from where we lived.
Siebert wasn’t too far. Barrett Junior High School wasn’t too far and South
High School, well we walked. That was the only way. That was it.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Tell me about your religious upbringing and practices.

Michaelson: Well my mother’s family were quite Orthodox and my grand—,
that grandfather, he was too Orthodox. He sort of turned me the other way. He
was so strict.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: We’d come over there on Saturday afternoon. They lived on
Livingston Avenue, we lived on Stanley. He’s say, “Did you walk or ride
the street car?” Well by gosh you said you walked whether you rode the
street car or not because he would absolutely have hit the ceiling if he thought
we rode on the Sabbath. He was extremely Orthodox. The other grandfather was not
at all Orthodox. But he observed, you know, they went to shul on the
holidays and my grand—, that grandmother was a wonderful cook. She made all
kind of things nobody would make today like kishke . . . . I had some kishke
at Sammy’s the other day and it reminded me of my grandmother and the way she
used to cook.

Interviewer: Well they must have pretty good kishke then?

Michaelson: Uh huh. Uh huh.

Interviewer: I see. Uh huh. So that’s your grandparents. What about your
family, with your parents and your brother and sister.

Michaelson: Oh well, my mother observed everything. Matter of fact, that
grandmother taught Mom how to make kishke. And Mom, she kept everything.
But my father, he let her do what she wanted to do. But he did not care. He was
not religious.

Interviewer: Uh huh. How did your family celebrate the holidays?

Michaelson: We went to shul always. Had to get new clothes. Had to get
all dressed up. And we had wonderful times with our cousins. We had a lot of
cousins our age and they lived in Delaware, some of them did, and they’d come
in for the holidays. Oh yes, we had wonderful times.

Interviewer: I see. Did you always stay home from school or go to shul

for the holidays?

Michaelson: Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur, yes. And it was a question of
whether to stay home or not, things like Shabuot and minor holidays. Should we
or shouldn’t we? We wanted to go and this, that, and the other.

Interviewer: To school or go to shul?

Michaelson: We wanted to go to school. And I was too busy with after-school
clubs to go to Hebrew School.

Interviewer: I see.

Michaelson: And my parents, my brother went to Hebrew School of course ’cause
he had to be Bar Mitzvah but Lina and I did not go to Hebrew School
because we sort of had our choices and we chose to stay with our friends and go
to, belong to clubs rather than go to Hebrew School. So I don’t know any

Interviewer: Did you go to Sunday School?

Michaelson: Yes, we went to Sunday School always. That we did.

Interviewer: Where did you go?

Michaelson: Schonthal Center.

Interviewer: Oh, for Sunday School?

Michaelson: They had a Sunday School there.

Interviewer: I see, I see. What synagogue did your family belong to?

Michaelson: Well they belonged to Agudas Achim but when I got married, we
went to Tifereth Israel.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: We didn’t like the location of Agudas Achim. It was down there
on Donaldson and . . . . And when Carol was old enough for Sunday School, we
joined Tifereth Israel and I’ve been there ever since.

Interviewer: Uh huh. I see, I see.

Michaelson: I like it very much. I go every Saturday.

Interviewer: Well we’re there a lot too. I’ve seen you there I think.
Okay. Can you think of any special stories about your family that, you know, we’d
like to have on this tape so people can know about them?

Michaelson: Hmmm. Special stories? No. I wish I knew more about the
Schneiders because this is very sketchy. Is there any way to get any more
information on them?

Interviewer: Yeah. That would be the subject for another thing. I could give
you some infor- mation on how to get started. I could even ma—, if we’re not
late I could even show you some things on the Internet.

Michaelson: Oh good. Oh that’d be great..

Interviewer: Okay. Well I’m glad you’re interested. And you could come to
our Genealogy Group meetings too. We talk about some of that stuff there.

Michaelson: Uh huh. Uh huh.

Interviewer: So anyway. So all right. So you, go ahead.

Michaelson: All I know is that my grandfather, Schneider that is, well he was
drafted in the Russian army and he was not supposed to be. He was an only child
and they weren’t supposed to draft an only child.

Interviewer: Right.

Michaelson: But they drafted him anyway and he was gone for five years. So
when he came back, that’s when they made plans to come to the United States.
My grandma, that grandmother, had a brother here in Columbus. His name was
Brenner but his children all left Columbus. I don’t believe there’s any
record of those Brenners any more. And so that’s why they came to Columbus
because that grandmother had a brother here.

Interviewer: I see.

Michaelson: So it just happened both families came to Columbus and my mother
and father happened to meet at a Jewish dance.

Interviewer: Well that’s good. So what did you do when you finished high

Michaelson: I went to work at the Farm Bureau. I worked there for seven

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: I worked and then I was pregnant and I quit. And then I went back
and I worked at DSCC for 23 years.

Interviewer: Did you really? While your kids were in school?

Michaelson: Well yes, they were, Brian was 12 and Carol was 15 when I went
back to work so they weren’t, you know, that wasn’t too bad.

Interviewer: Tell me about how you met your husband.

Michaelson: (laughs) My cousin, they lived on Carpenter Street and Al’s
family lived on Car- penter Street, and my cousin fixed Lina up with Al. Well he
took, he went over, he came over to the house to pick up Lina and he met me ’cause
I was home. So he took Lina out that first date because he was fixed up with
her. But after that he called me and I went with him.

Interviewer: How did that feel with your sister?

Michaelson: Well he and Lina didn’t hit it off. It was all right.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: We’ve been good friends all these years. They just didn’t hit
it off.

Interviewer: I see. But you did?

Michaelson: We did.

Interviewer: So tell me about your courtship.

Michaelson: Oh I don’t know. We lived on Stanley Avenue which was a little
bit out of the way and the, but the boys used to find our house anyway. And we’d
have lawn parties and everything.

Interviewer: At your house?

Michaelson: At the house, oh yes. We rolled up the rug in the living room and
we danced. Oh yes.

Interviewer: What kind of dancing?

Michaelson: Ballroom dancing.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did you take dance lessons?

Michaelson: Huh?

Interviewer: Did you take dance lessons?

Michaelson: Not too much but my husband and I, we always loved to dance. We
went dancing always. Every Saturday night wherever we could find anyplace to
dance, we went. Up until he died, this will be two years that he died, this
August. And we went to Milano’s every Saturday night and I still go there when
I can.

Interviewer: Good for you. That’s great. What were your favorite dances?

Michaelson: Oh Al and I used to do things like the Cha-Cha and all kind of,
everything, Swing, Cha-Cha, everything. And even Saturday night, I did a line
dance, Electric Slide, Slide. I got out there and did it.

Interviewer: Wow, I’m impressed.

Michaelson: We were at Milano’s too. You know, Al and I went there every
Saturday night for about 15-20 years.

Interviewer: Did you really?

Michaelson: I had some friends that I worked with. She and her husband went.
And Abe Pollock and Edith Mellman, they went. We were a standard fixture for
years, six of us, for years.

Interviewer: Well that probably kept you young and healthy.

Michaelson: Oh I don’t know.

Interviewer: Well you seem to be doing pretty well.

Michaelson: Well I’m still going to water aerobics three times a week.

Interviewer: Well that’s fabulous.

Michaelson: And I don’t know, I’m playing bridge a couple times a week.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: And here I am. And of course I can’t get used to it. I can’t
believe my husband’s been gone almost two years. I just can’t believe it.

Interviewer: How long were you married?

Michaelson: Sixty-two and a half years.

Interviewer: Oh wonderful.

Michaelson: Sixty-two?

Interviewer: Awww. You were very lucky.

Michaelson: So, yes. So now, I’m wandering around and half the time I’ll
just feel like he’s in the next room. I don’t know whether that’s normal
or not, I don’t know.

Interviewer: Well I think everybody’s different that way. I think you were
lucky to be together for that long.

Michaelson: Yeah.

Interviewer: That didn’t make it any easier losing him, I know.

Michaelson: No.

Interviewer: Right.

Michaelson: It made it worse because we were together so much. Especially
since I retired. I can’t believe that I retired 20 years ago from DSCC, but I

Interviewer: Uh huh. But so we mostly did everything or went everywhere

Interviewer: How common was it back then for women to be working?

Michaelson: I don’t know but he’d had a lot of tough luck in business and
I went over there and got a job and it was great.

Interviewer: That’s good.

Michaelson: I made some wonderful friends that I still have, over there.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What kind of work did you do?

Michaelson: I was a procurement agent.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: I spent the government’s money.

Interviewer: That must have been fun.

Michaelson: It was interesting, yes.

Interviewer: What kinds of things did you have to buy?

Michaelson: All kind of supply items for aircraft and mostly parts. So it’s
hard to say what I was buying because, mostly parts.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Aircraft parts.

Interviewer: And what kind of business was your husband in? You mentioned
some difficult . . . .

Michaelson: He was in the bag and burlap business first. And then he was in
the insurance business. And then he was in real estate. He had some tough times
and that was why I went back to work. But he built this house.

Interviewer: Really?

Michaelson: Of course he built it here in Bexley so the kids could go to the
Bexley schools.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So how long have you lived here then?

Michaelson: Huh?

Interviewer: How long have you lived here?

Michaelson: He built it in ’55.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Forty-six years.

Interviewer: Wow. And where did you live before he built this house?

Michaelson: We lived in South Bexley. And he was building houses then and he
really built this one to sell and it didn’t sell so we moved in it and we sold
the one on Grandon Avenue. And before that we lived on Wilson Avenue.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did your children, any of them, go to school in the
south end or did you move before then?

Michaelson: We moved, we were in Bexley when Carol was in kindergarten. Carol
started kindergarten in Bexley. Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: What was your family life like when your children were growing

Michaelson: Oh it was okay. It was fine.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What kinds of, were there family vacations or, you know,
what kind of kids were they?

Michaelson: Well we were too poor to take many vacations. But we had
relatives in Delaware, Ohio, and that was a big deal to get in, we had a Ford,
get in my father’s Ford and go to Delaware for the afternoon. That was a big

Interviewer: Did you go to the beach?

Michaelson: Buckeye Lake (laughs).

Interviewer: Yeah there’s a beach in Delaware but maybe it wasn’t there .
. . .

Michaelson: It wasn’t there then.

Interviewer: I see.

Michaelson: It’s a state park now but in those years, there wasn’t any.
There was a lake a couple of miles out of town we used to go to in Delaware.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Yeah. But, you know Barbie Dowell?

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Well you see her mother and I were first cousins.

Interviewer: I see.

Michaelson: And so, Barbie would have some stories to tell too.

Interviewer: Okay.

Michaelson: Some very interesting stories.

Interviewer: I think I knew that her maiden name was Michaelson.

Michaelson: That’s right. We married brothers. I was going with Al and I,
we, Al and I intro- duced his brother Ernie to Anne and then they got married.

Interviewer: How about that?

Michaelson: Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: That’s amazing. That’s amazing.

Michaelson: Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: Was your family, and this is anybody in your family, what was
your involvement or was it in the community, Jewish or otherwise?

Michaelson: Nothing especial or nothing exceptional. My father was a tailor
and he always had a hard time making a living and that seemed to be our biggest
concern was trying to get along and, you know, make ends meet.

Interviewer: And how, what did, how did that effect your family life? I mean,
I understand trying to make things, trying to make ends meet.

Michaelson: Well we got through high school but Lina and I never got to go to
college. We knew we couldn’t.

Interviewer: How did you feel about that?

Michaelson: Oh not too bad. Half of my girlfriends went to college and half
of them didn’t. So I kind of lost track of the ones that went to college at
that point, after I graduated. But then I was going with Al by then. And I was
20 when I was married, so.

Interviewer: Even that’s pretty young.

Michaelson: I wasn’t out of high school, two years.

Interviewer: Would you say that your childhood was, I mean, did you feel

Michaelson: No, no, no. You know, we always knew that, you know, there were
things we couldn’t do and things we couldn’t have. But no, we weren’t
deprived, no.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did you baby-sit or anything like that?

Michaelson: No there wasn’t, I don’t think anybody was baby-sitting in
those days. I went to work at Gilbert’s Shoe Store, yeah, when I was 14 years
old and I used to hate Saturdays for that reason.

Interviewer: My father worked there too.

Michaelson: He did?

Interviewer: Uh huh. Probably earlier than you.

Michaelson: What was his name?

Interviewer: Isadore Gurevitz.

Michaelson: Oh, oh. One of the, there was a lot of Gurevitzes.

Interviewer: Yes, a lot of them.

Michaelson: Oh then you were a Gurevitz?

Interviewer: Yes.

Michaelson: Oh, oh, oh. Yeah I worked there at Gilbert’s but I hated it.

Interviewer: A lot of people worked at Gilbert’s I guess.

Michaelson: Yeah well look, it was the only place where you could earn a few
dollars where you could, and you needed it.

Interviewer: And then what did you do with the money you earned?

Michaelson: I bought my clothes.

Interviewer: Uh huh. How about your brother and sister?

Michaelson: Well Lina did the same thing I did and Sam was five years younger
and by the time Sam was older, Lina and I were working and so we gave Mom money
for room and board and that helped my brother Sam. That helped him.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did your brother go to college?

Michaelson: Yeah he graduated from college.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Yeah and if Lina and I weren’t working, it didn’t cost too
much to go to college then but yeah, Sam, uh huh.

Interviewer: When you graduated from high school, did you stay at home until
you got married?

Michaelson: I stayed at home. Yeah I graduated in ’34 and I was married in

Interviewer: Uh huh. I see.

Michaelson: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Tell me about your wedding.

Michaelson: We had a small wedding in the house and the whole, all the
families came and it was crowded and it was messy. But Lina, my sister Lina, she
was married in September of that year and I was married in December of that
year. Well Lina didn’t want a double wedding. I was, been all right with me.
No, Lina didn’t want a double wedding. She was married in the shul. She
had a very nice wedding.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Yeah.

Interviewer: Who performed your marriage?

Michaelson: Rabbi Hirschsprung.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: Hers and mine also.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Yeah I’ve read about him.

Michaelson: Uh huh.

Interviewer: I’ve read about him. Let me stop just for a second here. When
did you move to Bexley, Mary? I think you might have already said but I want to
make sure.

Michaelson: I’m not really sure.

Interviewer: Were the kids in school yet?

Michaelson: It seems to me Carol was in the first grade, was ready for first

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: However long ago that was, I don’t know.

Interviewer: So she went to school, to kindergarten in the south end

Michaelson: I, we sent her to a private kindergarten.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: And all I remember was she caught chicken pox there and brought
it home . . . .

Interviewer: Awww.

Michaelson: and gave it to Brian and he was awfully sick with the chicken

Interviewer: Awww.

Michaelson: You know, he’s three years younger than she is.

Interviewer: Sure. Okay. So you moved to Bexley and what were you saying
about Carol just a minute ago, your daughter, Carol?

Michaelson: Oh.

Interviewer: Was she a good student?

Michaelson: Carol, oh yeah. She was a great student. They always gave her
extra projects and things to do because she always had everything done. And she
graduated from Ohio State in three years instead of four.

Interviewer: I think that this looks like a good place for me to stop the
tape and turn it over ’cause otherwise I’d probably have to stop you in

Michaelson: Okay.

Interviewer: Okay. We’re continuing at the same point we left off. Carol
graduated from OSU in three years? That’s impressive.

Michaelson: Oh yeah. She had all kind of proficiencies and everything.

Interviewer: What did she graduate in?

Michaelson: Teach, teaching, she was a teacher.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Tell me about that.

Michaelson: Well I guess you have to talk to her about it.

Interviewer: Okay.

Michaelson: She taught until her husband, oh, they went to Israel. Did you
know that, Carol and . . . .

Interviewer: No I didn’t. No. What, her husband now or her first husband?

Michaelson: With her first husband.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: They were there for two years and they came back.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did they have children then?

Michaelson: The children were two and four when they went and four and six
when they came back.

Interviewer: I see, I see. Okay. And tell me about your son Brian.

Michaelson: Well he went to OU and he graduated and he, oh, his senior year
he spent out west in Yellowstone National Park.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: And he made such wonderful friends there. The next year he came
back and stayed in California at the friend’s house, after he graduated.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: And then he came back and he did graduate from Ohio U. But then
he went out west again and he stayed out there. He got into the computer field
when it was new and I think he just kind of grew with the computer field and
that’s what he does now. He’s an Associate Professor at Palomar University
in California.

Interviewer: Wow.

Michaelson: Matter of fact, he’s coming in. He and his wife are coming
tomorrow night.

Interviewer: Yeah that’s what you told me. I bet you’re looking forward
to that?

Michaelson: Oh yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Do you ever go out there to visit him?

Michaelson: Oh yes. Oh yeah.

Interviewer: That’s great.

Michaelson: It’s lovely. He’s got, they have two boys. Their youngest boy
is a sophomore at Ohio State right now. The kid grew up in California and
decided to go to school at Ohio State.

Interviewer: So do you get to see him very often?

Michaelson: No because he doesn’t have a car up there.

Interviewer: I see.

Michaelson: And he’s so busy. He’s very busy.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Michaelson: I’ll see him this weekend though when his folks get here.

Interviewer: How long will they be here?

Michaelson: One week.

Interviewer: Oh, okay. Excellent. That’s excellent. I, you know, I would
like for you to talk about anything else you would like to talk about. We can
continue or we can stop but I’d love to have some interesting stories from you
if you have something you want to tell.

Michaelson: Gee I don’t know what Carol.

Interviewer: And that’s okay.

Michaelson: I don’t know. My mother had some interesting stories to tell
and I have a tape that Brian made. Would you like that tape?

Interviewer: Well why don’t you get it, why don’t we get it copied. I
mean I wouldn’t want to take it, I mean, that belongs to you.

Michaelson: Uh huh.

Interviewer: But can somebody make a copy of it?

Michaelson: Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: In fact, if, you could stop even this stuff and when your, after
your son leaves, maybe make a copy of this at, you know where Cord Camera is on
Main Street or any place that has a copy machine. If you want us to have this I’d
like you to make a copy for us and you keep the original.

Michaelson: Okay.

Interviewer: Because this will be very good to put with your file to have
information about your other family members.

Michaelson: Uh huh, uh huh.

Interviewer: So has anybody done a family tree for your family?

Michaelson: Well that tape is things that my mother told my son.

Interviewer: Okay. Well that would be very interesting. Maybe if they could
get a copy. If they can’t, I will do it for you but I’d feel uncomfortable
taking them from your house since they belong to you, you know. I mean like I
know I make copies at home. We’ve got two, a, I forget what you call it, a
dual tape drive so we can, I can copy from one tape to another. And you know,
Carol may have something like that.

Michaelson: Oh she doesn’t have anything like that but I’d give it to
you. I know I’d get it back.

Interviewer: Well if you decide you want to do that, I’d be glad to make a
copy for you. So why don’t we stop here than unless there’s something else
you want to say. Okay?

Michaelson: Okay let’s just stop.

Interviewer: Okay.

* * *

Transcribed by Honey Abramson