November 12, 1995
I dedicate this oral history of the Gurevitz family to my great aunt, Minnie Gurevitz Goldberg. I had always been interested in the Gurevitz family history, but had never recorded it. By 1978, I decided it was important that someone record that history. On two mornings, I think in 1978, Aunt Minnie sat with me and shared stories and answered my questions about the Gurevitz family. She had an incredible memory for names and stories. Her storehouse of knowledge was especially impressive considering the large size of the family in those days. She was proud of her family heritage and conveyed that pride to me. Without her help, reconstructing that history would have extremely difficult. Certainly many of the stories would have been lost.
I originally transcribed the taped interviews with Aunt Minne onto an old typewriter. I transcribed the interviews exactly as they were recorded except that I did not to put them into an interview, i.e., question and answer, format. Aunt Minnie’s communication style comes through loud and clear. I haven’t replayed the tape recording for some time. The question marks, literally “?” in the test, signify words in the conversation that I could not identify. Until this week (November, 1995) I had not taken the time to retype them using word processing software.
Dedicated by Carol Shkolnik
Should I start to tell you from Europe about Your Grandma? I remember my
grandfather. but I don’t remember my grandmother. My grandfather’s name was Moishe, that’s
what I’m named after him. They changed the name to Musha. This was my mother’s parents. I
remember on my father’s side my grandfather and his name was I can’t remember his name, it’s been years, but I remember him, see.
That’s my father’s father. My father’s name was Yitchak Reuven, that’s who your father is
named after. I’m by the second marriage, I don’t know if you ever know that, but her
mother’s name I wouldn’t know. My mother’s name was Chaya Elks. My son Hy was named after
Your grandmother’s mother died and left, let’s count how many children. Stisha, Bertha,
your grandmother, Harry, and one in Europe, Basha, left with five children. My mother was
a niece to the Mums. Rina, that’s Dora’s mother. I don’t remember my mother’s second name
but after she married my father her name was Gurevitz. She was very young when she married
him to your grandmother’s family.
The town in Russia where I was born is Minsk. The other relatives living there at that
time were from my mother’s side and don’t have anything to do with this side. My mother
had two brothers living there yet and a sister, but this had nothing to do with this side.
on my father’s side the only relatives was all those kids but they didn’t come at the same
time, Stisha came before, that’s Mary’s mother, and after Stisha in a short time your
grandfather came here. You see we had a couple of cousins, Meyer Gurevitz and Dave
Gurevitz. and that’s why your grandfather came here because he had those cousins here.
Meyer and David Gurevitz, their father and my father were two brothers, first cousins to
your grandfather. Their father’s name was Herschel. He died in this county, you know; he
died here. They both died here; his wife sent for me. I’m a niece to my aunt double. My
mother when your grandfather, when my father got married a second time and my aunt the
Mums. Rina was married, your grandfather and the Mums. Rine’s husband was two brothers.
What else do you want to know? It’s very hard to remember all that stuff.
My father peddled things in Europe, like dry goods and things like that, and that’s the
way they didn’t need too much in Europe, whatever he made we were satisfied. I want to
tell you this about my father. When he got married the second marriage all the kids, and I
wasn’t born yet, I am from the second mother. We are from one father, your grandma and
Harry and I but we didn’t know the difference when I grew up. But they separate and
Stisha was already of age and she took care of Bertha, Bertha was a little girl when her
mother died, see, and she kept her in when she got married and she had Bertha at her
place.’ Stisha was married to Arianka when my father got married. You remember Arianka?
Stisha, you remember her because she and your grandma was like this (Minnie held two
fingers close together). This I can’t remember what happened to all the kids when my
father got married the second marriage. Harry already was a big boy and then he went to
Minsk, I don’t know if you know where it is, anyway you heard about it. He was in a place
where they taught him how to sew, he was a tailor. They he came here already he already
knew everything about sewing he got together with Meyer Gurevitz, with Dave Gurevitz, and
a couple of (?) like Schlonskys and that’s how he got started. He got married in Europe
also, before he came to this County. His first wife’s name was Pasha. Preston is named
Your grandfather and I and Bertha were left. Stisha and Harry were here in this country
when my father died. He did on Passover of appendicitis, and he couldn’t get no doctor. He
was in his fifties. I was about sixteen or so, but I remember very well. Your grandma was
still home, and Bertha, and they all stayed by him before he died. The appendix busted on
him. it was a very sad thing when my aunt came to this country she promised my mother she
would send after me first because she knew that Bertha was coming here. Harry when he left
said he would send after Bertha. You remember Bertha. So she didn’t want me to be left
alone there. She got a ship’s care or whatever they call it and she sent for me, so I came
the same time with Bertha. My mother, I left her there and I left my Younger brother, I
still got a picture of him. In Yiddish we called him Mattis but his name really is Max. He
got married I couldn’t send for him, because when I came to this country I made maybe six
or seven dollars a week. I used to be very good in sewing. I worked for one of my
brothers-in-law, that’s the way I met my husband, you know, at my brother-in-law’s place.
I had to pay my aunt for my ship’s card. At that time it cost $50 to come over. I gave her
and then I had to send to my mother just a little nothing but my aunt with me used to send
her money. And then I think it was a pogrom they called it and they killed off everybody
there, they killed my mother, but my brother was alive, Carol, and he got married and he
had five children. Handsome boy. He sent me a picture, I still got a picture. I gave it to
Git after Hy died I took all my pictures and I gave them to her, I didn’t want to look at
any pictures. The last time I heard from him, God knows, maybe forty or forty-five years
ago. And I never heard from him anymore. So I guess he’s dead. When Ethel’s two children
was born and I want to give a name after my brother and I asked the rabbi and he said you
don’t know you shouldn’t name after. Who knows what became of him. I named Jan after my
aunt, the Muma Rina, Dora’s mother. She was a very religious woman and Jan is named after.
Dora was the daughter of the Mums. Rina, and you heard about Martha Gurevitz? She’s
Meyer’s daughter. Meyer and Dave was my first cousins. Their fatherland my father was
brothers. Your grandfather’s father you was a little girl yet, used to teach Jewish. His
name was Sloimka. He died in New York. Your grandfather had two or three sisters in New
York. One name was YentI, she was a very attractive looking girl I remember, in fact, she
came here before we did and the other names, in fact, when your grandfather died one of
them came for the funeral from New York. I never would know their married names. One of
them was Chay Dwosha and that was a sister to your grandfather. Mary in Akron was your
grandfather’s younger sister.
My family began to come here because they had a family here. We had one of the biggest
families here in Columbus from the Gurevitz family. Meyer Gurevitz and Dave Gurevitz were
the first ones to come to this country. You know Hank Gurevitz and Iz Gurevitz, well
that’s their children, that’s Dave’s two sons. It was a tremendous big family years ago.
My aunt was just like a rebbitzan, a rabbi’s wife. She brought me to this country but I
couldn’t keep up with her, I was too young. She wanted me to bentsh candies, and every
time I turned around she wanted me to wash my hands. Dave Gurevitz lived right across. I
had to move away from her. I couldn’t stand her ways, so I moved to your grandmother’s, I
slept on the sofa there.
Your grandfather was here without your grandmother, I can’t remember exactly, it’s too
far to remember, but let’s-say a couple years anyway. They were married in Europe. He had
to get away because they wanted to take him in the army, so he ran away from the army, you
understand. She had Katie there, I don’t know how old Katie was when your Grandmother
brought her to this country. Well she was there for let’s say a couple Years. She didn’t
know that your grandfather had a terrible accident. Years ago what did the Jewish people
do? They peddled so I don’t know what kind he used to the country he had a horse and wagon
and he went over the railroad tracks and one of those cars that are connected together.
And I don’t know how far they took off his leg and he never let your grandma know about
it. She didn’t know anything till she came to this country. They wanted to pay him off.
No, they wanted to give him a lifetime pension, but he didn’t want it. He needed the
money, so I know how much they paid him, and he sent after your grandma. He was here
already a couple years. And when she came here then she find out. She had to live with
that. Then she had another girl here I don’t know if your father used to talk about her.
Her name was Bally. She had rheumatic fever. She did when she was about thirteen years
old. She was a beautify girl. I don’t know if you ever saw the picture, a real light
complexioned girl. I don’t have the pictures. Bertha had a bunch of them and I don’t know
what became of it. You know your grandfather was a handsome man in his days. He was built
like a million dollars. He was the only son, you know. He had four sisters; three in New
York and Mary. You remember Mary? What a good hearted girl she was.
I don’t know how old Katie was when your grandfather came over to this country. I want
you to know, Carol, that Katie and I and Bally she felt towards me like I was the mother
and not Grandma. I was very close with those girls. She was a baby when I lived there. But
when I came after my husband died Katie was a big girl already. They used to be at my
house all the time. Katie was over twenty when she died. Her sickness was something in her
bones. She used to do like that with her eyes and she used to when she walked she scraped
her feet; she couldn’t walk. You know before she died I went with her to one of the
biggest doctors here, a specialist for that kind of sickness she had. But she didn’t want
Grandma to go, she wanted me to go, I was very close with her. And I went with her. and he
examined her and then he wanted to talk to me by myself, she should wait in the other
room. And I remember she didn’t like that. She said I want to hear what the doctor is
going to say. I said, Katie, I will tell you everything. Well he took me in and he told
me, “I hate to tell you this, Mrs. Goldberg, but no hope is for her. I’ll tell you
what your Grandma had a habit she didn’t want anybody to know how sick Katie was. You know
how a mother is she thought maybe in time she wanted to see her married. Katie had a lot
of chances to get married, she was a beautiful girl. When she was sick she didn’t have no
chances but before she got sick like that she had plenty chances. She was sick plenty
long. Your Grandma, she took it so hard. I remember Your Grandfather brought her a
beautiful diamond. She never wanted to put it on. I don’t know who has got that ring. He
wanted to make her happy, and he bought her this ring, but she wouldn’t wear it. For that
reason, she said, I don’t want a diamond. I lost my best diamond I had. You know what I
mean? She lost such a dear thing. The whole family knew that she would never make it. But
she didn’t want the family to know. She used to hide it all the time. But Bally was sick,
I can’t remember how long, but she died before Katie. Look how many people died in the
family. You know what they said, when you marry a cousin, you know they were first
cousins, it goes to the children. And that’s what happened with Grandma. Look she lost
five of them: Katie, Bally, your father, Louie, Sam. Katie was a big girls already when
your father was born. I can’t remember how old. Your father was the third one. Your
grandma had your father very shortly when she here in this country yet, but I can’t
remember the difference between those two.
You’ll laugh if I tell you about the ship ride over here. I was a baby, honey, I was
terrible. My sister Bertha, she was about three or four years older than I am and I really
was safe to go with her because I would never come here by myself. So I came with Bertha.
She was engaged to be married in Europe, but he was no good when she came to this country.
In fact, she sent for him after she here a year she sent after him. When we got on the ship I got sick right away. I was so sick that I couldn’t keep no food in my stomach at all and I was just laying down all the time. My sister Bertha had to feed me.
And they had a heck of a time to keep me up for twenty-one days I was sick. And she was so
peppy, she was so strong, she used to go up on the deck and dance and carry on there, she
was a devil. It’s so many years I don’t remember the name of the ship. It was 1911 when I
came here. When I came here Bally was already born. She lived to her thirteenth year. So
my sister Bertha took care of me, and I was so sick she didn’t know what to do with me.
And every time she came down to see how I am, I said, “don’t leave me alone. I know
I’m not going to make it.” And she used to bring me down herring to make me feel
good. So she was? She was that kind of a person. I was never like her. She used to feed
me and I used to get so made at her because she used to leave me along and she used to go
up there and dance and carry on.
So twenty-one days I was on ship and I was very sick, and
that was it till we came to stop at the harbor near New York some place where all the
greenhorns come there. Ant then my brother had to send us money, otherwise they wouldn’t
let us come here, so much for each of us to be sure there was someone taking care of us.
So when we came I remember on the train and I was scared to death to sit near anybody.
They used to say that they grab them here in this country, and it’s terrible. I was scared
to death. I used to say to Bertha, don’t leave me alone, and she had a fit. When we came,
we stopped at Harry’s Ahavos Shalom, I remember he lived on Livingston Avenue. He came
about two o’clock in the morning for both of us. Then she started to tell him things about
me, and they laughed and carried on.
Well, I couldn’t help it, it was just the way I was,
I was afraid, see. So this is the way I came to this country. And then I was on my own
already. I stayed with Harry (Harry was already married from in Europe. Hammel and Aaron
was born in Europe.) Aaron is the one that died. Hammel was the oldest one, and Aaron was
the next one. They lost a sister. Katie was the third one, they had a Katie, too,
my brother had a daughter Katie. She died in oxford, Tenn. She died of cancer, too; she
died just like that. She was a young woman. She’d buried there, too. She’s got a daughter
that’s very well-do-do that lives in Oxford, Tenn. I met him at the wedding. Her married
name (Katie) was Culler. Abe Culler was her husband. The old man died in a home not too
long ago; he was about ninety years; that was her father-in-law. He got married again, I
don’t know who she is; she’s a Columbus woman. I met her daughter at a wedding, and she
looked just like her mother. And then Mrs. Zipser is another daughter. She is a sister to
Hammel and to Aaron.
There is another sister who lives in Oxford, Tenn. The baby sister’s
name is Rave. She’s a beautiful woman. I never asked her married name, isn’t that funny?
Some day if I run into Bess Zipser, you know when I last saw Bessie? When Hy died, they
all came up to me, Hamfnel, otherwise I never see them. I don’t care and it doesn’t bother
me, let them be well. I’ll find out. Ether knows. Ethel went to her son’s wedding. You ask
Ethel. Ask about Reva. Reva is her first name. Hammel’s sister.
Everybody made a living. At that time we didn’t need too much like we do now. Your
grandfather carried ice, you know at that time we didn’t have frigidaires, we had ice
boxes. Did you have an ice box for your time, at your mother’s house? No? I had a great
big ice box and so did Grandma. So he used to peddle ice from house to house and that’s
the way he made a living. I don’t know how much they paid for a hunk of ice like that he
used to carry on his back I’ll never forget the way he used to walk with his leg, but he
made a living. And then they started on the market. And your grandma, it was before your
time already, your grandma helped him on market all the time, she had to work right with
him. He wasn’t peddling very long before he started on market. The market made a nice
living for them. Three times a week, and then what he used to do some time when stuff was
left over he used to go house to house to get rid of the rest of the stuff. He made a nice
living that way. And then let’s see your father was born already and Louie I can’t
remember how old Sam was, they all helped him out. Your father didn’t. Your father went to
school right along, but I think he had a stand also. My brother Harry was a tailor, and he worked with Meyer
Gurevitz and Dave Gurevitz and by the name of Schlonsky. There
was four of them together, they had a shop. Schlonsky’s dead a
long time ago.- He worked with them. He made a nice living
there. And my brother-in law, that’s Bertha’s husband, he was a
contractor, see, a builder. His name was Sam Cohn. We called him
meshiach in Yiddish. They have two children in Dayton, one’s
name is Eddie Kahn, one is Sam Kahn, he looks just like the
father, handsome. He lives in Dayton and he’s a very well-to-do man.
My sister Bertha lived on Livingston Ave. right near your Uncle Harry. We all
lived there, the whole family, all the Gurevitzes lived there. Your Grandma lived on
Elmwood Ave., I don’t know if that’s for your time, that was her own home, You know, a
single home. Remember I stayed there, I don’t know for how long, I think till I got
married. My sister Bertha got married in that house. Eddie has two adopted children, one’s
name is Robbie. He lives in Dayton and has a jewelry store, and doesn’t have no children
yet. He’s been married five years, and I was at their wedding. He married a Louisville
girl. When he saw me, Aunt Minnie, he didn’t know what to do with me because I came to the
wedding. A lovely fellow; I guess he married into a very wealthy family. He wants to take
him in the business, he wants to give up the jewelry store and take him in, the
fatherin-law. He’s got two or three places where they make hats, caps, and he wants to
take him in as a partner, he was telling me all this here. And I said, Robbie, don’t let
go there, it’s a good break for you. You know he’s so young he got married when he was about
nineteen or twenty years. He got married when he was in the army yet. So that’s my
Sister’s children. Sam has two boys, but I don’t know their names, honey. His wife’s name
is Jonie; very attractive looking woman.
Stisha’s children are Mary, Don, and two children in New York. Mary’s older sister is
Fanny and she lives near York in a small city, what’s the name of that place where she
lives, well she’s in Florida now, she goes there every year. Her married name is, now wait
a minute. His first name is Mo. It’s Kahn also. It’s her second marriage. I’ve a
nephew by the name of Sam Charme, that’s Mary’s younger brother, lives in New York. Mary
lost a sister last year. Her name was Katie. She was the oldest one, older than Don. I
can’t remember her last name. I knew it but I can’t remember. First was Fanny, and then is
Don. One of Don’s children’s name is Larry and one is Alvin. One is an optometrist and one
is a doctor. Larry is a doctor and the other one is the optometrist. Larry has two
children. I went to the Bar Mitzvah for one of his children. Mary’s children Phillis is so
far away you have to go to California to get to her, Portland Oregon. Phillis Bernstein’s
children are Susan and I can’t remember the other one’s name. Sandra lives in Washington
and has three children. She has two girls and one boy. Did you ever see Sandy? She is an
attractive girl. Phyllis is the real dark one. This is Sandra’s family.
Sam’s family, I never saw his children. Mary’s younger brother. He’s a handsome fellow.
He lives in New York; very wealthy man. And this is our family.
Stanley Dolinger has two girls. How do you like about his divorce? You ought to see the
home he’s got, and with her he’s like this. You never saw a relationship for two divorced
people. You don’t want to know about this here. This is Mary’s children, and she still has
a single boy Ronnie.
My oldest child is Isadore. His wife’s name is Regina. They have three daughters. All
are married and one lives in Youngstown. Her name is Judy Roth she has two children, a boy
and a girl. In fact, next year I’m going to have a Bar Mitzvah there. One child is Stevie
and the girl’s name, it’s laying on my tongue, isn’t that something, I know but I forgot.
The next daughter is Terry, she lives here in Columbus. She’s married and has a child. Her
name is Terry. Isn’t it funny? His name is Terry and her name is Terry, so they call him
Terry he and her they call Terry she. But I can’t remember her second name. She teaches at
the university here the both of them. He’s a professor at the university and I don’t know
what subject she teaches. They have one child. Sandra is the next daughter. She married Is
Gurvis son and his name is Ronnie. That’s a fourth or fifth cousin to her. When she became
engaged I really was worrying about it and my son said, Mom we’re going to find out the
relationship with them and we’ve got nothing to worry about. He’s either a fourth or fifth
cousin to Sandra. She works at the Depot for the government, right there in the back of
me, and that’s my family.
My Git’s children, one lives in Chicago, and his name is Billy Tarsky. Her name is
Eileen, and the little boy’s name is Josh. He’s a year old and he’s adorable, I want you
to know it. And the boy who works for the government, his name is Bobby, he’s in New York
and he’s not married. He’s been going with a girl and something happened and they broke up
and this is it. He’s going to be 27 Years old. And the girl, her name is Shelly,
she’s in Cincinnati in school in her last year. She’s adorable. That’s Git’s children. So
I got a nice big family. I got nothing to be ashamed of.
Your father went to school and he stayed on the market at the same time and he made it;
he didn’t even bother your Grandmother and your Grandfather; he made it on his own, honey.
What are you talking about? Of course they were proud of him -why wouldn’t they be? This
is the way my son went to school. Why wouldn’t I be proud on it? You know when the
families can’t afford to do it and they do it on their own — aren’t you proud of your
father and the way he was? Look what happened to Lou who didn’t go to school. And look
what happened to Sam. They struggled for a living. That’s right. Your father didn’t. Your
father could get a job any place he wanted to.
I lived in Cleveland for about four or five years. My husband’s buried in Cleveland.
And Hy was born in Cleveland. I lived in Cleveland when my husband died. He had a
commission house there. Hy was eleven months old when his father died. Iz remembered him
very well. He still does, he says. He said, Mom, I remember everything. Iz was about five
years old. And Git was – there’s a difference of about two years between Git and Iz. She
was three and Hy was eleven months old. Uncle Harry and my brother-in-law Sam Kahn came
after me. So when my husband died, they had such a terrible epidemic of influenza and I
caught it with my three children. He died from double pneumonia, and that’s how he died
and got buried up like that. And then I caught it after they buried him. They took me and
the two children to the hospital. And I was in the hospital I don’t remember for how long.
I didn’t have anybody there anymore — I had friends, but that didn’t mean nothing. So my
brother Harry and my brother-in-law Sam Kahn came after me, and they brought me to
Stisha’s house. I stayed there with Stisha and the three children till they found me a
place to live. My house from the Board of Health they closed it up because the flu was so
bad. Uncle Harry and Sam Kahn — San Kahn was Bertha’s husband — and they had to send
back everything after they opened up the house. And when they found a place, they found by
the name of Stauring Street – it wasn’t for your time — it was right by Washington Ave.
they had a small street there, and stisha lived there, your Grandma lived there at that
time before she bought that house -I had my whole family live there — and ‘they got me a four room house, and everyone in the family
moved me in there. I struggled, honey, till my kids got real big. I don’t mind what I did
— I’m not ashamed — I know you’re going to repeat all this. My husband had very good
friends here in Columbus and I had a brother-in-law — two brothers-in-law, in fact, and
they made men’s trousers. One had a big factory on Long Street where I worked when I was a girl. They used to bring me work at home, After I got through with my children, put them
to bed and everything and I used to stay sometimes till twelve or one o’clock and do all
the sewing. And at that time my rent was about twelve dollars a month. That’s right,
Carol. And I don’t remember but I think I had a coal stove in the kitchen but I don’t
remember what I used for gas. And they had little lanterns and they had the gasoline in
that or something. This is the way they used to burn the light, and we was very happy.
When my kids started to go to school — then — don’t cry now — I had a friend, her name
was Rose, Rose Robbins, in fact, I helped her make a living when I started on the market,
see. I worked with her together. I got a stand on market and I stayed three times a week
on the market and the Robbins’ didn’t have no children. I was girl friends with her from
before. They got a big stand on the market and we both worked together. He used to buy the
stuff for us and he really helped me make a living for my kids. Then I bought my home from
Washington Avenue. I had six rooms. They I was all right — I was rich already. I bought my
own home. Not too long ago Iz comes over and he said, Mom, I’m going to tell you
something. I went by our old neighborhood and the house was still there. But now I never
go to Main Street. I lived between Main and Mound, right there. I raised my children
there, my Iz graduated from there, graduated college, and then after 12 graduated a few
colored people moved in so I had to get rid of it. But I had a very happy life in that
house. My house was always packed with children. The boy friends used to come, to get the girl friends. My house was like an open house. And I really had a happy life.
So I didn’t miss anything. I was very busy. I was so busy with my life. I didn’t have any
time for nothing. Your Grandma used to worry about me all the time. She used to worry
about me, why are you wasting your life like this. I used to say to her, don’t talk to me
about it. I’m too busy and I’ve got to finish up my life the way it is. That’s it, and I
Your Grandmother and Grandfather were very happy, but Katie made them very unhappy.
Katie and Bally, because of the sickness they both had. And that was very bad for Grandma.
Grandma, she couldn’t face it — she didn’t want the family to know anything about what
Katie had. After they died, she didn’t want to go no place, she didn’t want to face
anybody for quite a while till she snapped out of it. If you lose a girl like that, in her
twenties, and she was beautiful. Did you ever see her picture? I think your father had her
picture, didn’t he? Beautiful — she had coal black hair, big coal black eyes — she was a beautiful girl. She was really my
favorite from all my nephews and nieces. I was very close to her.
I don’t know what else I could remember — it was so long already.
Your grandfather used to love to play cards. I’ll never forget it. And my sister Bertha used to love to play cards. So whenever I used to
come here, he would say, why don’t you bring Bertha, I’d like to play cards. She’d say, Meyer. He liked me so much, your
grandfather. Well, look, he was a brother-in-law to me and a cousin. Double. He used to
have a kick on it when I used to come to the house. He didn’t know what to do for me. I
was very close to Grandma and to Grandpa — very close. Look at the relationships there.
When Bertha used to come over, and Harry and they all used to get together over at your
grandmother’s house -my brother Harry, stisha used to come over, and Bertha — I had a
cousin by the name of Rivka Rosenbloom, if you remember. He (Rivka’s husband) was my
cousin through my mother’s side, and through my Muma Rina. His mother and the Muma which
sent after me were two sisters. His name was Hillel. They used to get together at your
Grandfather’s house. Don’t ask what a picnic we had there. But your Grandmother didn’t
like it. she didn’t like for Grandpa to play cards. He used to love to play cards. I
really don’t know if he lost any money. How much money could you lose at a time? Because money was so scarce at that time. And when you come from market so I guess she always made
a nice living down on market. They used to sell a lot of stuff. Your grandfather had a big
place down there -I don’t know if you remember that big stand on the corner bench there. I
told you he used to go peddle a little big. So he made a nice living. really. But she
didn’t like the idea to play cards. And he loved it. Any time he got together. But she
used to love it because the family got together like that and she was crazy about Bertha. I don’t know if he ever sneaked out as you say, but he always
played at home. Always — how often would he plan — whenever my sister used to come, and
my cousin Rosenbloom. You know, some of the men played pinochle. So he used to get — was
it before your time — Flax, who lived next to your Grandma on Wager Street. Well Mr. Flax
used to like to play cares, too. He used to get together with Grandpa but he played
pinochle. It was an enjoyment, you know. That she didn’t mind. But she didn’t like when he
played poker. I used to say to her, Sara Mara, what do you care? I don’t want him to play,
she used to say. But he liked it. He used to say to me, you talk to her. I said, I wish I
could help you but I can’t. I didn’t want to be in the middle there. So she had a nice
life. He was crazy about her. They really had a nice life together, I want you to know
that. She didn’t work on market very long on Saturdays, on account of being so religious,
see. She hated to do it. I can’t remember how long she worked on Saturdays, not very long,
Carol. You know what she used to say. When she used to go on the bus? When somebody drives
the bus, you’re allowed to go. But I never know that, see. She used to say it to me. But
then she quit very shortly. So she stayed away Tuesday and Thursday.
And they used to go away to eat. Somebody had to be there. And then when Sam got
married, Sam got together with them, but she still worked though. She worked right along.
You remember that. She always did work. And listen, she had roomers in her time, you know. She worked hard, but if that wouldn’t happen to her she would be very
happy because Your grandfather was very close with her. Being a cousin and a husband, they
were very, very close. He just loved her, really. He used to call her in Yiddish Sara
Markila. Sara Mary was her name, you know. So he used to call her Sara Markila, being as
close to her. He had a very good life with her. I want you to know that, honey.
He was not as religious as she. He was the other way around. In Europe, they were all
religious. But your grandfather had a mother nobody lived like her. I can’t remember her
name. I remember Bertha and I we used to go there on Saturday to visit her. That was your
Grandfather’s mother, honey. His father’s name was Sloimek. He was kind of funny. He was
an old-fashioned man. He used to teach Jewish to the children. He used to charge a dollar
a visit. One dollar. I remember he used to teach my HY, too. And then I don’t know why or
what happened but Grandma I don’t think liked — he stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for a
while. And then he went back to New York. Why, I don’t know. He had three children there.
I don’t know what happened to him. I know the last that I know he died there.
Maryka and I were very close cousins. We was about the same age. Mary Schiff. You know
Sol — you know her son Sol. He used to come in very often here. I don’t know if he’s
married again. He’s divorced. I don’t know what happened to him. I
don’t think he had children by his first marriage. Florence has another sister some
place in New York. There were three children Maryka had. She had a younger sister. I don’t
know her name. Sol, Florence, and another one. But Sol used to love to come here and see
Grandma and Grandpa. But Maryka used to come here a lot. That Mary was a doll. You
remember her? What a wonderful person she was. She used to be crazy about Grandma and
Grandpa. She died so young. When she died, she was a diabetic. She died very young. Mary
died before and then Jake died afterwards. They’re both buried in Akron. I don’t know if
Florence lives there or not. You know they used to come here and we used to know about but
Sam used to talk about his sisters, and Louie. They used to go to the cemetery, too —
they told me that. Your Grandmother’s grave is right in the front, honey. There are a lot
of Gurevitzes in the old cemetery but your Grandmother and your Grandfather, when they go
sometimes to that neighborhood they’re right in front.
The Muma Rina was his mother and Herzl was his father. His oldest brother was Dave
Gurevitz. The next one was Meyer Gurevitz. His sister was Basha Kahn. You know from the
jewelry store. That was their sister. She was next to the boys. Then the other sister was
Mrs. Zuckerman. Her name was Cheyenna. She’s been dead for yours. I don’t know if you know
Aaron Zuckerman and Lou Zuckerman We never went to school. You know who taught me to write
Jewish? Your Grandma. I write a pretty good Yiddish. Honey, I worked for a living there. I
worked and my sister Bertha worked. He worked in a match factory, honey, where they make
matches. You know what I used to do? I hate for you to record ail this here. You every buy
those little matches honey in the boxes? I used to put the sandpaper on. I was very young,
They used to put a stool to get higher because they didn’t hire that young girls but I had
to work to help out my family. Your Grandmother worked for a place, She was away where I
was. I was in Borisov. It was near Minsk. And your Grandma, I was a little girl at that
time, your Grandma was in Minsk with a family — I can’t remember who she wag with. So was my brother Harry at that time in Minsk. I
didn’t go away but your Grandma went. I was too young. She worked there with somebody. And
my brother Harry was at a place where they sew, tailors, and that’s where he learned his
trade. Then he became a tailor, from Europe yet. Nobody went to school. Stisha was married
when I wasn’t even born yet. She was the first one got married in the family. And she
raised Bertha when my father got married again. See Bertha was a very young girl when my
father got married. I didn’t go to school there. I couldn’t. I had to help to make a
living. God knows I was maybe about thirteen or fourteen years old. And I’ll never forget
it. You remember things like that. They put a stool there because they wasn’t allowed to
hire young kids like that. They didn’t have school there. But I learned Jewish and my
brother learned very good in Jewish but maybe they had we lived in a small town Borisov —
they didn’t have no school there. And I didn’t need no school there in Europe. Here they
needed it, but I couldn’t make it. I came here so young, got to work right away, so I went
to night school as little as I know I just went to night school at night. My husband —
and I made a living without schooling, honey. You have to use your head and I did.
Most of my husband’s family is dead. Mrs. Jonas lived here in town, too. Mrs Bernstein,
too. That was not for your time. Sarah Bernstein. She had two lovely sons by the name of
Lye Bernstein and Al Bernstein. He was a high accountant her oldest son. He died years ago. that was one of my sisters-in-law. And the other one was Mrs Jonas, Carey. She lived here, but she died. She had a son, a Bill Jonas, he came to Hy’s funeral, the
It keeps me pretty busy. So now you know the story of my life.
Hammel Gurin is my nephew, my brother’s son. Hammel,
Aaron, may he rest in peace, Bessie Zipser, and Reva, the one who
lives in Oxford, Tennessee. So there are how many children?
Aaron died. It was three sisters and two brothers. So Aaron
died and Katie died, there’s three of them left, honey. Uncle
Harry’s kids. Hammel’s children are Preston and Nancy I think is
the girl’s name. She lives in California, I think. He’s got two
children. No, Nancy is Bess’s daughter. His daughter’s name –
she was married to Dr. Goldberg. Her name is Patty. Look at the
marriage which she had. There you are. I think it’s her third
marriage. You know one time I went into the bank and she looks
of me of her Grandma, Harry’s first wife. And I look at her, and
I said to myself, where did I ever see that face? She looked at
me and I looked at her, and she wouldn’t say anything to me. She
kept on looking at me. I guess she seen me some place in the
family. She wouldn’t stop and ask me who I am. But I felt kind
of funny. One time we went to ? house. Ethel’s family. Hy was
alive. She came with her mother. Patty’s named after her
Grandma. Her grandma’s name was Pasha. So I said to the kids,
look what’s coming in? Jeanette, that’s Hammel’s wife. She said
hello to me, Jeanette she knows me. And she looked at me. I
said to Hy, take a look at that look at that girl. He said, Mom,
she’s a picture of Pesha, her grandma. She never talked to me since. But then, while we were sitting down, I said to Hy, I’d like to go up to them. He said, don’t you dare. You are older than they
are. If they don’t recognize you, you don’t have to go there. He wouldn’t let me go.
Harry died of a heart attack. He had a very quick death. He went in the bathroom, and
— like this. After Pesha died, he married again about four years or so later he married
Edith, and he was married to her for seven years. He had a good life with her. He was a
very good husband. He was a doll. When she came in with her two daughters, Bea and Esther,
I don’t know if you ever know them. Harry had Reva home, the younger daughter. It didn’t
work out so well. They always used to say. Harry worries a lot. And Grandma used to say,
who knows if the children gets along. And in no time the two girls moved out from there. I
guess they didn’t like the idea to live with a step-daughter. Reva was already about
fifteen or sixteen years old. And Bess Zipser was still home. But she got married just in
no time. So she wasn’t with them a long time neither-. Bess Zipser did all right. He’s a
very nice fellow, Al Zipser. You know him, don’t you?
I want you to know, Carol, you have a very big family. We don’t see each other. And a
very lovely family, no one to be ashamed of. That’s right. In my young days, I was very
particular who I went out with. I was a very independent girl. That’s right. I didn’t have
a hard time, honey. I made friends just like that. I still got a few friends who
remember me when I was a girl yet. I was eighteen when I got
married. Well. I’ll tell You, that was no home for me. I stayed with my aunt, I stayed
with my cousin, with Dave Gurevitz, he had a wife, she was to me just like my mother. Dave
Gurevitz’s wife. She my aunt lived in ? Dave Gurevitz and my aunt they had a cousin Becky
Horowitz. She died. She was a cousin, first cousin. Becky’s husband and Becky’s father
were first cousin to me. She married into the family, too.She married an uncle, Becky
Horowitz. Her husband’s name was Hyman. She was more than my cousin. Her father was my
cousin, too. She married her father’s brother, and uncle. Her father was my cousin, his
name was Dave Horowitz. I can’t go back that far. She was my cousin, too, because her
father was my cousin and she married her father’s brother and he was my cousin too, on my
father’s side. They changed their name from Gurevitz to Horowitz. They all lived in New
York and I can’t remember. You know her daughter, Leah. Becky was a cousin to your
Grandfather and to your Grandmother. Her mother’s name … I don’t remember. It’s all in
the family. It’s such a mixed up family. They was all related to one another. Becky lost a
very young son, too. There is one fellow her, I think Stevie should know who he is. I
can’t remember his first name — (Abe) but he belongs to the Brotherhood. He’s related to
us, too. He’s in Becky’s family. when Becky died, we all went to the house, and he didn’t
know who I was. He said to me, everybody talked on Musha Goldberg, but he didn’t
know who I was, then never seen me. See they came from New York.
Somebody from the family brought him over to me and then introduced me to him. He’ll give
you a lot of information. Do you know him? I understand he’s divorcing his wife. She’s a
beautiful woman. It’s his second marriage. He had a brother here was married to one of the
Seff girls and he died just like that and I don’t know what happened to him. He had a
brother here in Columbus. He didn’t want anyone in the family to go to the funeral. You’ll
have to ask him how he’s related. You tell him you talked to me. He knows me. He don’t
know by the name of Minnie, tell him, Musha. Minnie Goldberg. He’s tell you a lot from the
family because he talked about it at Becky’s funeral. In New York they had a bunch of
them. When they came to the country they some of them went to New York. So I think I did
remember a lot.
[Your Grandma] didn’t want you to know about her life. She didn’t talk about the two
children before they died. She didn’t want anyone in the family — Uncle Harry, may he
rest in peace -used to be very mad at her sometimes. What are you afraid, he used to say
to her. She never talked about it even to her own sister. Your father was like that. Louie
wasn’t like that and Sam wasn’t like that. Louie was so different. Isn’t that something?
Louie was a poor man, struggled for a living, but he was so much in love with Jeanette,
though. She took everything. Do you ever see Jeanette? Very sweet girl, I’ll tell you
that. I think she struggled a little bit with Lou — who doesn’t when they get married. Years ago they got married, everybody struggled. Not
now — now it’s different altogether. Your father couldn’t help it. That was his nature,
honey. See what I mean? I know for your girls you thought it was terrible.
When your father came back from the war he was very sick because he faced all the
death, because he was there with the dead all the time. I guess he gave them shots and ?
because he was a pharmacist. That I don’t know but I imagine maybe he did. But he was
right by the drugs and know what to give him. He had Yellow jaundice when he came back. He
was afraid of the shadow at night. I remember Grandma used to tell me. He was a very sick
boy when he came back and I guess everything worked on him, Carol. He went through a lot.
He was always comfortable — he always made a nice living, your father did, honey. He
always had a dollar in his pocket, and he wasn’t a poor man at all. He always made good
money when he graduated school. I think he got his first job at Gray’s, if I’m not
mistaken. He worked at Gray’s almost all his life, didn’t he? He quit and came back.
Dora Lakin’s husband name was Harry Lakin. He died years ago. Dora was my first cousin.
Her maiden name was Gurevitz. Her parents were the Muma Rina and Herschel. She’s a sister
to Sam Gurevitz, the big Sam Gurevitz. He’s alive. He’s the only one living. He’s in
Florida. There’s another Sam in the family — the little Sam we call him. He was Meyer
Gurevitz’s son and he’s married to Esther. She’s a beautiful, tall woman. He’s Meyer Gurevitz’s son.
Dora’s children are Doby Lakin and Phil is Dora’s son. Norman Gurevitz is Max
Gurevitz’s son. And Max’s been dead. It’s a cousin. In fact, he’s going to have a big
wedding I understand this June. Norman. I don’t know his kids names. I never see them. I
told Doby that. I said, if Max would be alive my cousin Max I would be invited to the
wedding. That’s the only son he had. There are a lot of them in the family but who could
remember all this, thank God? Let them be. I never see them. When I see them sometimes I
know they’re related to me, that’s all.
On market, your Grandma used to say to me, Minnie, bring me a cup of coffee. She gives
me her cup and her cup was so big that it took three cups from the restaurant to poor the
cup in her cup. I came into the restaurant and I said, Tony, fill up a cup of coffee for
my sister. When he saw that cup, he said, you call that a cup? That’s a tea kettle irr
there. I said, Tony, put some coffee in there. He goes and puts in the coffee in Grandma’s
cup. I’ll bring it to the bench, and I said, Sara Mara, he filled it up for me. She said
to me, what did he do? He took his cup and put it in mine? I said, what else? She took
that cup turned it over, and spilled out the coffee. She said, it’s tref. I don’t remember
if she three away the cup, but I bet she did. She would not drink the coffee because he
poured it in with his cup. And he had a fit. He laughed when he saw that cup I was bringing. I said, charge me as want as you want to. He said, I
know your sister, like that. And when I came to the bench and she saw that cup, Carol …
She wouldn’t drink no coffee, though. She never ate out, honey, never. She used to chew a
lot bread. I don’t know what she had with the bread. She used to chew a lot of bread -rye
bread. Like this — she used to give bite, you know. She was cuts. I missed her plenty,
honey, when she died. I was very close to her. I guess she was strong because she worked
so hard. I guess that’s how she got like that. Who knows? I know me it never bothered me.
My work never bothered me. I was very strong.
Once I went into Tony’s to have something to eat. I never ate out either. I never
touched meat in my life. Well, I’m used to that, see. I never would eat out, except dairy
or something like that. I walked in the restaurant to have a cup of coffee right across
from your Grandma’s stand. There were sitting Hy and Iz eating. When they saw me — oh,
oh, there’s Mom. I guess they ate meat. So I looked at them, and they looked at me. I
didn’t say nothing. I said kids, eat gezunterheat. Iz was already in college. In fact he
had a stand near me, that’s the way he made college money. Iz is an optometrist. go
Your Grandma and I had an Iz because they were named after my father. My father was a
father to your Grandma. There were six named after my father. Your father was the first
one. Donn Charme was the second one. He changed his name. My father was Don’s grandfather. And my son. And Bertha — he calls himself Eddie, but his name was Isadore. And then Zuckerman had a son who had a first name after my father. Zuckerman’s grandfather and my father were brothers. He died very young, that Zuckerman kid. There were five names after may father, as far as I remember.