This is December 9, 1997. We’re at Tifereth Israel Synagogue at 1354 E.
Broad Street. We’re going to be recording the program for a Sisterhood meeting
tonight and this is dealing with life in small cities around Columbus.

Hinden: My father decided to take a job as a professor at the University of
Illinois. Incidentally my parents had also both been born in Chicago. He’d
really never been out of the city. It was such a change. I mean I went from an
area of a big city and there are other Jewish people and also very ethnically
diverse and it was just a very interesting place to live. And Champaign was
just, I mean, I have another friend here who lived in Champaign for a little
while. Just very, it was a little more diverse because it is a university town,
but primarily all white, all Christian. We did have a little Temple which is…
and I’m pleased to say my parents were very active in the Temple there but
I know when I was confirmed, it was a Reform Temple, there were ten of us and
after that to continue, there was one boy and I, we decided to continue. I
always liked Hebrew and continued Hebrew and I just hear, I was talking with my
mom. He decided, he became very Orthodox and made aliyah and went to
Israel with his family and then I went actually myself, then I lived in Israel,
came back to Champaign, met my husband there.

So that was a different
experience. They have a very active Hillel there because of the large Jewish
population from Chicago so…I met him there. But…in my
experience, I can’t really describe it, it was just, I don’t know what…
I guess I was just…it was just so goyish. I just don’t know
what else to say coming from Chicago. It was just, it was so different and
everyone would always say, those people who haven’t heard my accent or,
“Where are you from?” or whatever, this is what really typical Chicago
accent…Fortunately, most of…but it was interesting so at this
time, I would like to ask…to come up and I’ll introduce each of you.
If there’s anyone else that feels that they’d like to speak this evening, I
will definitely call for them to…themself.

Okay. Oh and for the tape, my
name is Emily Hinden and we’ve lived here also in Columbus for 15 years
previous to everything. I…this out because afterwards I’m speaking of
course, we’re open for discussion and want people to come up. I thought to
make it starting here and then we’ll branch out. We’ll start with our Ohio
people. We have Harriet Burnstecker and Ruth Rosenthal, right from Warren, grew
up in Warren in an Orthodox family in Warren, Ohio. And would you both want to
come up and speak together?


Voice: And after them speaking…a question.

Voice: Warren, Ohio, is in the northeastern part of the State of Ohio where
it comes up like this. It’s right between Cleveland and it’s down about 13
miles from the Pennsylvania border. It’s where we grew up. It was an
Orthodox shul at the time. There were about 45,000 in the city of Warren
and about 100-150 maybe even 100 Jewish families and it was very
Jewish-oriented. Most of the things we did were with Jewish kids. Young Judea.
At shul of course we had a rabbi and a cantor and a shochet which
they don’t have…now. A kosher butcher shop where anything you wanted.
I remember one of the things that I used to like to do was after Shabbos
was over, everybody went to Schultz’s Butcher Shop to get meat and we met
there and…

Voice: I kind of invited myself into this because being older, I look at it
from a different viewpoint and I think we’re the only sisters here and our
father was very Orthodox and there was a shul that we went to. Our
grandfather gave the very first Torah in honor of my father coming home safely
from World War I because he was only one of maybe four or five that were left
alive in his Infantry group. And our parents were married in 1920 and there were
three of us.

And I was fortunate because I had, there were three of us Jewish
girls in my class which was, you know, that was a lot. And there was one Jewish
boy but he was a nerd and nobody paid any attention and we had, I remember
having a lot of fun growing up in Warren and we didn’t have any place to go to
like, you know, like, we had Young Judea and things like that but as far as the
social life went, I think we danced holes in my one girlfriend’s living room
carpet because they were orphans, these girls, brought up by their Bubbe
and their aunts and uncles and they had a record player and all the kids used to
gather there and Bubbe would sit in the corner and just smile ’cause
she liked to have all the kids there.

And it was a very nice life growing up in
Warren and now they don’t have anything like that. They don’t even have,
they still have the shul but it’s a different shul and they, the
kids, they don’t even have a Sunday School or Hebrew School.

Voice: They go to Youngstown.

Voice: Yeah, so it really has changed, unfortunately, I don’t think for the

Voice: I don’t think there’s any young people living there any more.

Voice: Yes there are…

Voice: Yeah, sure. We don’t know them.

Voice: We don’t know them. We’ve been away too long. But I have to add
that our father’s family founded the shul in Warren, like the
Schlezingers and the Polsters did. The Zuravskys were one of the first families
that they got together and formed the shul in 1917 or 1918. My
grandfather came in the early 1900s and daddy came in 1911 so we were there a
long time.


Hinden: Thank you Harriet and Ruth. Moving through Ohio I think next I’ll
introduce Thelma Gerson a member of our own Sisterhood who raised her family in
Ashland, Ohio.

Gerson: I may have raised my family in Ashland, Ohio, but I honestly think I
got my background for doing it where I was born. I was born in a suburb city
south of Dayton, Ohio, and when my parents moved there, everyone said,
“They don’t allow Jews in that city,” and so therefore I was the
only Jewish person from kindergarten through high school.

Now I can’t say that
I had any problems with it and of course we did belong to a congregation on the
other side of Dayton and it took me an hour to get there every Sunday morning
and we would go to services. I think the strongest influence was my parents’
desire and their own belief. You were a Jew, you live as a Jew, these are the
things that you do. So therefore I guess I had this background that when Fred
and I moved to Ashland, Ohio, which is I think you probably know, Mansfield, is
15 miles northeast of Mansfield, a community of 22,000 and when we moved there;
there were 16 Jewish families. These families all belonged, as we did too, to
the synagogue in Mansfield.

Our Jewish social activities and so forth were there
and when the girls got old enough, every Sunday I drove them over to Sunday
School. I was a teacher in the Religious School. I even was Principal for a
few years at one time. But that’s the Jewish end of it. Gradually the Jewish
community, when we first moved there, those of you who know Wendy Cohen, her
grandfather had the store next door to ours and her grandmother had formed a
club, actually Council of Jewish Women, and we would meet twice a month: once a
month for business and once a month for social.

However the 16 families
gradually dwindled down and when we left 7 years ago, there were only 4 Jewish
families. As our girls were growing up and going through high school, we never
made a point of telling anybody that we were Jewish. I mean, if they knew it,
fine. The girls didn’t make a point of it. My oldest daughter said,
“Mother, don’t worry, I’m dating Gentile boys now but when I go to
college, I’ll date the Jewish boys.” That’s another story but Gut se
, she moved to New York and she married a nice Jewish fellow. We, at the
time they were growing through school, I guess the teachers realized that they
were Jewish and so they would ask me to come in and speak to the various classes
about the holidays and explain.

I spoke to many church groups, women’s groups
about the holidays. We never pushed it; we never denied it. We knew basically
that there were certain groups that had anti-Semitic feelings and some of them
were very good customers of ours in the store. But we lived with it and learned
to adapt to it. I don’t think we suffered from it. We still have some very
close Gentile friends like in Ashland. It is an experience though and moving to
the small town of Bexley in Columbus, Ohio, has been a thrill.


Hinden: Thank you Thelma. Let’s see, why don’t we move south in Ohio and
I will introduce Ruth Shatz, also a member of our Sisterhood, who raised her
children in Logan, Ohio.

Shatz: You probably never knew anyone lived down there. Well I was born in
Canton and a lot of people in Columbus left Canton. But it’s not a
small town compared to Logan. When I moved there, I think there still were
between 6 or 7,000 people. Everybody knows where Logan is, right? Do you know
where Logan is? It’s 60 miles south, right near Lancaster where the hills are,
the caves. But ’cause Canton was small but we had I think four or five
Jewish families when we moved there and my children grew up and I was probably a
little…because they knew they were Jewish.

We came to Columbus for about
10 years, 100 miles every Sunday to Sunday School. And many times we’d come
here in the winter when if it happened, if it snowed, the people here didn’t
show…it is true and we…a few things there. There were just the
five, or four families; I think there were four.

And we started to play Maj, the
four of us. One moved away so we had to teach one of the other women, a
neighbor, to play Maj. But when the girls went to school, there weren’t any
Jewish students in this school. I was active because I subbed occasionally when
I was available and…in the school and they were off for all the holidays
which was eleven days, if I remember, and I went to the superintendent who knew
everybody there, children and holidays, “I don’t think they should be
counted absent.” Well they weren’t for several years. Then we got a
different the superintendent in. He came in from one of the cities…So it
changed ’cause they still stayed out…And I guess I was strict with
their not going…non-Jews.

And they both were, there were various things
that happened in the school. They used to have before…a lot of Christmas
…especially in the cities when I was a kid. When we had Easter, they
always had some minister or preacher come in and…and the two girls…
they were in school, one of them was in high school and they didn’t know
much about it so I went to talk to the principal and she said, “They could
stay outside if they wanted to,” and I said, “That’s worse, to be

Anyway, the following year, they didn’t have the assembly. It
wasn’t easy. I think it was harder for me than for them. But as far as
anti-Semitism, I can say I never witnessed or had any problems with that. They
went, my one daughter went to Miami…Cincinnati. But I know that they
keep kosher, that’s what we do. They follow…I’m really pleased with
what they do.

The one daughter in particular is very involved. Children are
going through high school, Hebrew high school, all of them in both families and
we did have a synagogue in Lancaster and we had oh maybe 25 families from the
area there. Now there are no Jews in Logan and hardly any Jews in Lancaster. We
were the…Rabbi Baker, do any of you remember him? He was the shochet
there. He was the Rabbi; he would come down every week. There were quite a few
people who were Orthodox, I mean to the extent of what they kept.

And he came down to kill the chickens down there…and again…Then we were
without a rabbi many years….We sold the shul there…In
fact now there’s hardly anyone there and if you ever go to many of the things
inside the shul were just…to the synagogues in Columbus to give…
the best around…the Ahavas Shalom has our metal plaque which
acknowledges all the names of the Yahrzeits which they agreed to put…to
find someone to take it and every year they do the same thing other synagogues
do, you know…sending out notices. But I think it wasn’t the best thing
for them but I think it…no anti-Semitism in the school. Any questions
anyone wants to…


Shatz:Shatz: Well they didn’t do anything…also from Canton incidentally.
The…way back and there were quite a few families, couples that we knew
with young children that used to come down to Logan Saturday nights when we had
the ice cream festivals. You know how small towns are. And I still hear from
some of them. Their children will tell me, “Remember when we came
down?” and I say, “Yeah, I remember.” But we really, my husband
kept…but I’ll be honest about that. But we observed it, the girls and
myself. Is there anything else? I don’t know if…I became very active…
my children because I was Chairman for Polio back in ’52 when polio was
very prevalent…gave the shots and President of the National Business
Club and I never had problems. Every Monday, every week, month, there was a
luncheon or a dinner. Never had a problem. Everybody knew what I could eat and
what I couldn’t eat. So it’s not as difficult as some people think.


Hinden: Thank you very much Ruth. I think maybe now we’ll move over to the
East Coast. Rhoda Munder’s joining us this evening. You grew up in Pittsfield,

Munder: For those of you who’ve heard of Pittsfield or met someone…
because no one hardly ever stayed in Pittsfield. So they’re all over the
place. In fact, 10-15 years ago we met someone and we were talking about how
Billy and I went to Pittsfield High School and he said, “Oh yeah, me
too.” He wasn’t in our class or anything but then he sang our alma mater
song. Oh my God. No one knows the Pittsfield High School alma mater unless they
were from Pittsfield.

But anyhow, I have some very fond memories of my early
years at Pittsfield. I think you can say in a little town, I don’t know if you
all agree with me or not, but they kind of try harder. They really have to try
very hard to get things, you know, get Hanukkah parties together and Seders
together, and group things of that type and I remember that Pittsfield did a
really good job of getting people in the surrounding area to Pittsfield so that
we felt that there was quite a large bunch of us.

And we thought we were in fact
the mecca of western Massachusetts because people came from little towns like
North Adams and Adams and Stockbridge and there were like just a handfull in
each of these places. But there were only a few Jewish kids in my high school
class and we were all very, very close and I remember wonderful things like at
the JCC the game room and the cards that we played and we were running around
the halls and our favorite Hebrew School teachers and throwing spit balls, you
know, stuff like that.

But one last thing I’d like to share with you, I can’t
really share this well. My cousin had a really interesting experience about six
weeks ago in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Somebody in Pittsfield who stayed in
Pittsfield surprisingly, organized a reunion and as you know, there are no
Jewish day schools in Pittsfield. And she invited all of her school, very, very
close people that grew up together there in ’49 through ’55. My cousin was
included in that group. And about 25 from that group showed up for this reunion.
And my cousin Sandra said it was so amazing, these people coming back to
Pittsfield, sharing memories of their days growing up there, bringing pictures,
you know, USY and the organizations…But anyway it was, she said it was
the most wonderful, wonderful experience and it happened in Pittsfield. Thank


Hinden: Thank you Rhoda. Now we’re moving down to the southern part of our
country. Way down south from Hempstead, Texas, or something I’ve never heard
of. Helena Schlam is joining us this evening as our guest and she is the Program
Director for the Melton Center for Jewish Studies.


Schlam: It’s very nice to be able to share some of my experiences.
Hempstead, Texas, is 50 miles northwest of Houston. I received my grandfather
who came over as part of the Galveston plan, was not the luckiest man in the
world. He was a peddler and he settled in Hempstead and opened a grocery store
there and Hempstead which now has a population of about 2000 people, was about
the same size as Houston as I say in 1907. So it was not such a bad choice. They
actually established a Jewish cemetery and there are graves there from the late
19th century and they even had a synagogue at one time. But when I grew up,
there was not a synagogue there.

And the scene in the town of 1500 people was
that there were 5 Jewish families, there were 2 Stein families, 2 Frankel
families, that’s my maiden name, and one Schwartz family. And none of the men
spoke to each other. Only the women talked to each other. And as much as I can
determine, that goes back to some feud that was perhaps started by my
grandfather. I’ve gotten different stories about that.

But in any case, my family owned a grocery store which had been my grandfather’s and my father’s
brother opened a dry goods store and it was referred to, and the Schwartzs had a
dry goods store and the Steins also had a dry goods store. But I was, curiously
enough though, I was the only Jew in the high school which was quite small. But
that was because James Stein, my contemporary, was sent off to military
academy, even though his father was on the school board. But actually it was my
parents who were very concerned that I have a Jewish education and they drove me
every Sunday to Houston to a very large Conservative Synagogue, Beth Jeshurun,
and I was confirmed but did not attend Hebrew School because they could not get
me to Hebrew School. But my uncle tried to tutor me in Hebrew. He wasn’t very
successful and one of my favorite stories as a Jewish educator and I did go back
and tell the cantor who was still around not so long ago, the same cantor that I
knew, but when I was confirmed I had to pass the Hebrew test. And I didn’t
quite make it. But he said to me, “Promise, promise,” he said,
“you will study Hebrew and we’ll let you be confirmed.”

And so they let me and I have to admit at the time I really don’t think that I intended to
keep my promise but one never knows because I certainly did learn Hebrew and I
have rather bittersweet memories because it was very important to me since it
was so important to my parents to go to…school but I had a difficult
time. The kids were not especially welcoming. I wasn’t in school with them, I
didn’t share the same social life. It became somewhat better in high school
because I joined BBG and then I had a circle of friends and that did help but my
great aspiration was to be able to live in a Jewish community. I found it a
great strain being in this small town and in truth I expected my mother to leave
once my father died.

But she is still there and the sense of community that she
feels, even though as I mentioned at the table, she refers to the people in
Hempstead as the “local yokels” but she did have a very nice group of
Jewish women and there aren’t many in the town any longer but they had a
Jewish Ladies Aid Society in several small towns in the vicinity, 20-25 miles
apart, Nabasoda, Grenome, Belleville, not names that you would know. They’re
still small towns in Texas but the Ladies Aid Society met once a month at their
houses. They always had the blue box and collected money and had a very Jewish,
well I have to say…and continually gave each other support. I think that
despite everything, I have good memories. I never felt comfortable with my
friends because their parents rode horses and did the sort of things that my
immigrant Jewish parents had no experience with and I had no experience, but it
was all right.

As far as the issue of anti-Semitism, I have a very strong memory
of being in the third grade and having been absent for the Jewish holidays and
my teacher said, “Oh,” in front of the whole class, “I take my
hat off to you. I never knew a Jew before and Jesus was a Jew.” And I of
course wanted to crawl under my desk but it wasn’t so bad after all and I felt
that my parents, who constantly warned me and said that I needed to be careful,
were being too suspicious and I’m not sure that’s the care, but at least I
can say that their experience was so different than mine in the time that they
had gone through.

And I know that when my father, and he would tell me many
stories, but he did tell me a story that he and his brother had been
threatened by the Klu Klux Klan in town and you know, it was the “Jew boys
who loved the nig—” and the language goes and so there was nothing
overt in my experience but your story of the prayer service was certainly
something that I experienced. We had a monthly service in which a minister came
and gave a prayer session. At least I wasn’t singled out and I suppose that I
had a very good friend and I did sometimes go to church with her, I did learn
something about other religions and I think that I have had a different Jewish
experience. I think in some ways I feel that I cherish it in a way that I would
say my husband, who grew up in New York, did not because he didn’t understand
why…in a Jewish atmosphere that was…


Hinden: Thank you Helena and our last speaker on the panel, before I
introduce her, I have to say after we’re done we’ll have some question time
for everyone and discussion if you like and I just want to ask the panelists if
you could just stay for a minute, I’ll get your picture also when we’re all
done. Our last speaker is Merry Lynn Lincove who is from our own Sisterhood here
and on the staff at Tifereth Israel and also teaches Religious School here. And
she is going to tell us a little bit about life in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Lincove: I’m asked often if I’m Jewish because of being from Pine Bluff,
Arkansas, and my name is Merry, M-E-R-R-Y. But I am Jewish, my parents are
Jewish, their grand-parents came over from Europe and everything that’s…
in our minds, I really am, you know. I had a few influences on my life growing
up and who I remained Jewish while many people, other people in my community my
age did not remain Jewish.

And one is my mother’s grandfather, actually all my
grandparents. But particularly my mother’s grandfather, I can remember in 1967
he was in Israel for the first time after the Six Day War and the Pine Bluff
, there was this newspaper that had a big article about my
grandfather going to you know, the Holy Land, and a picture of him and
everything and one of the quotes that I’ll never forget is that he said that
when he was there riding on a bus…the country, he started screaming out
of the window, “I’m home, I’m home,” and I still remember that
newspaper article in 1967.

I was young, I must have been, I was probably 13,
something like that, I guess. I was young. But the big question: how did my
family get down there. They didn’t come through…maybe from Galveston.
But my mother’s family, my mother’s father came over around 1907 from
Russia. He came over by himself. He was about 14 years old. None of his brothers
or sisters would come with him and for whatever reason, he decided to come

He went to New York first ’cause he knew he had cousins there. And then
he found that he had a cousin in Arkansas that he wanted to meet. And this
cousin, the only thing we know about why he moved to Arkansas is that a doctor
in New York told him that his health would be better down there. We don’t know
what was wrong with him. So my grandfather was still very young, 16 years old at
this time, could not speak English so they put a sign on my grandfather that
said “Direct this man to Arkansas” and he went train station to train
station until he finally made it to Arkansas and how he found the little town…
where his cousin was, I don’t know but he found him and decided to stay
down there. He eventually opened up a business in a small town called Risen,
Arkansas, with someone he had met and closed…and moved to the big city
of Pine Bluff which is about 54,000 people, maybe 50,000. I don’t know.

And that’s where he ended up staying and he opened up a business, made money,
started bringing cousins over. Still none of his siblings for whatever reason,
they’re still there as far as we know. But his cousins, many of his first
cousins came over and an aunt came over and an uncle and they became like first
cousins, well aunt and uncle to me and their children were my first cousins to
my mother also and one of those cousins also, even though I never knew her, had
a very profound effect on me. Her name was Daisy Aronoff and the only Jewish
book that I can remember having as a child is this one, this…which Sally
has in the Library, her children reprinted it. But it’s a Jewish Bible and
Holiday Stories
by Daisy Philip Aronoff who was one of my grandfather’s

And so I still have the original edition where she inscribed it to my
grandmother in here. But she, the reason I never, unfortunately, got to meet her
was that while she was in the process of writing another book about teaching
children about God, she passed away. She had cancer and passed away…She
had three very small children. She was also Regional President of Hadassah in
the South so I thought I’d throw that in.

Anyway, even though I never knew
her, I would hear about her throughout my life, this wonderful woman with these
three small children who had run around the south at that time, which wasn’t
easy, collecting money for Israel and writing children’s books and she was in
the midst of one which was not finished when she passed away and her daughter
finished it and…and I thought at the end of this, I would read a portion
of it. Anyway, my father’s family ended up in St. Louis. My mother was born in
Pine Bluff and my father was born in St. Louis and he, his father peddled eggs.
It’s the only…job he could find. He went around, stayed with the
families, gave them eggs and he would peddle the eggs and eventually he found a
job as a traveling salesman but he had to relocate in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

So at the age of 10, my father went from speaking Yiddish to speaking South. And he
spent the rest of his life in Pine Bluff and he and my mother both ended up, you
know going through high school together, they got married and they had me and a
couple of others. I have a brother and a sister who are older. But…
interesting to hear the others talk about very little anti-Semitism. In Pine
Bluff there was anti-Semitism. There are racial events that I remember and I
think all of those had a…on who I am today and the way I believe. One of
the earliest incidences I can remember when I was in elementary school was at
Rosh Hashonah services at night after the evening service and seeing
almost everybody’s tire slashed. It was one tire on each car. So I remember my
father, our car luckily had not been touched. My father took off his suit jacket
and his tie, and all the other men did, and they started changing tires. And we
eventually got home that night. I was very young at the time.

I also remember
handing teachers a note for the High Holydays that I would not be there and
getting not-very-friendly looks from them. They never actually said anything but
their looks, the eyes said it…At the same time, I also noticed the
racial incidences. I can remember my elementary school, the janitor of the
school was a black man. And he was seen one day drinking out of a water
fountain, one of the water fountains, and from that day on, no one would drink
from that water fountain and I was one of these, I wanted to drink from it
because I thought this was so dumb.

Most of these people had blacks raising them
in their families, they were the housekeepers. And I can remember being afraid
to go drink from that water fountain and for the whole year, everyone would line
up behind the other water fountains coming in from recess because of this black
man who had drunk from that water fountain. During middle school, I had pennies
thrown at me constantly to remind me that Jews were cheap. Oh yeah…I
also if I didn’t buy drinks from people at a basketball game or football game,
I was told I was a “cheap Jew” because I was supposed to provide
everybody with a 10-cent drink. I was also…I was one of the…and
I just said, “Well I don’t believe in hell so I’m not worried about

But…schools became integrated, they were fully integrated by
1970 which was when I was a junior which…And a lot of pressure was taken
off of me. Unfortunately, it went toward the black students which I didn’t
like any more than having it hit me. I noticed a lot of teachers who purposely
did things against black students, especially the brighter they were, the more
they were tormented.

One thing in high school that I was part of SOFTY which is
Southern Federation of Temple Youth which is part of NIFTY, the Reform movement
youth group, and I used to go to all of these big services in New Orleans and
Memphis for the youth group activity and I became very close to a friend in
Vicksburg and this other friend of mine and I in Dumas, Arkansas, which was
about 30 miles down the road, decided to visit her for a little vacation, a long
week-end or something and we rode the bus…the bus was…and we’d
continue on to Vicksburg.

This one particular bus ride, and by the way of
course, our mother said , “Sit in the front of the bus. Don’t let anybody
bother you. The bus driver will protect you. Blah, blah, blah.” Well this
bus driver did tell a lot of his jokes at the beginning. But then unfortunately,
we had a stop at a town called Brainville, Mississippi, on our way over. And we
wanted to ask the bus driver after…”When are we getting back on the
bus?” And he looked at us and said, we were like 16 years old at the time.
He said, “Are you Jew girls?” And we just, we didn’t know what to
do. We were 16 years old; what do you do?

Later on on that same bus ride, we had
hit a detour because a train had derailed on the way to Vicksburg. And there was
a black woman on the bus who was complaining a lot about the detour and
unfortunately she offered a drinking…But she was complaining,
complaining. The bus driver asked her not to, to just be quiet, settle down, she
was getting to the town she was going to. Well she wouldn’t so we stopped at a
fork in the road where there was an abandoned gas station and nothing else and
he kicked her off the bus. And they came around with a card for us all to sign
saying that he wasn’t at fault for this. So my friend and I looked at each
other, scared to death because of the comment that he had already made to us
about being “Jew girls,” and we signed the paper. And to this day, I
regret it.

But those were things that happened in the south. Christmas trees,
usually the day after New Years, when everyone would take out a tree, some
years, some years not, there would be people who’d discard them on our lawn.
…lawn and I’d ask my father and my father was one of these who just
liked to push everything to the side, not talk about things like that. And he
would say, “Well, with it will come the joy of living that results in maximum
satisfaction and accomplishment. Their heaviest demand intends to a large degree
upon the way that they meet the religious aspects of their lives. Will their
religion be a source of conflict and a burden to them or will it be a wellspring
of happiness and enrichment? The answer is not…We must prepare them for
happiness and must assure them the choice of a spiritual awareness. We must see
that they develop an awareness of the contributions of spiritual people to
civilization. Then they will have an appreciation of their lives as spiritual
beings. For the religious ideals and traditions we have…traditions, we
must pass them on. All this will spell happiness for our children and

So this was written in approximately 1953 by a woman who lived in Clarksdale,
Mississippi. (Indistinct) My grandfather built a business there. My father built
a business there and was buried there. My grandfather, so yeah. I still have, I
have one good friend who is not Jewish that we’re still real close. We talk
every once in a while. Her father is a…He was speaker of the house for
years and years, her father, but, I still do. I have a couple of other friends
that every once in a while when I go home I…actually we all…My,
the people that I was friendly with, they all left for basically the same reason
that I left and whenever we’ve gotten together, we talked about how horrible
it was there, the terrible education, you know the way teachers acted towards
people. It was a small group of us but everyone remembers that it wasn’t good
for me even though they did nothing to help me at the time, but I did nothing to
help the black woman on the bus either. So, it was the age. Wasn’t exactly the
age of the…


Hinden: Thank you very much Merry Lynn and everybody who has spoken. I think
now maybe we’d like to spend a few minutes, take some questions and I’m sure
or add, if you want to add any of your own memories. Anyone like to ask or
contribute anything?

(Indistinct voice and comments)

Hinden: Does anyone else want to add anything?…But I want to thank
all of you for coming.


The end