Previous | Next
1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738 of 592
One thing I confused, when you said they didn't read or write
English. But they spoke?
Oh, yes, they spoke English.
From when you were a small child?
At home they spoke Yiddish. They spoke Yiddish, but later on
they spoke English. We conversed with them in English.
What became of them?
Well, my father retired from the garage business. He was very
ill with emphysema, a heavy smoker, and for many years he suffered
enormously. There's a whole history in my family in the relationships
not between my mother and my father, but between my mother and
TR, Tante Rosie, as Sammy Levenson used to call her, TR. The
mother of the Jeffers, the Jeffer Funeral Home in Brooklyn and in
Jamaica, their mother, a real matriarch. My mother grew up in her
household in Flushing. As a child, we used to come to Flushing for the
summer just to have a vacation in the country. My aunt, Tante Rosie,
and Uncle Hersh owned a general store five minutes from here. I
know exactly where it was. We used to come here.
What would that current intersection be?
It's at Fresh Meadow, it's the Booth Memorial Drive and where
-- what is the lane that intersects? I know where it is, but we used to
come here by taking the elevated train to Jamaica and then take a
trolley that went on 164th Street and then walk over there, and we'd
come from time to time to visit, and in the summertime we'd come
and stay a month in the country. Sometimes my brothers came, and
sometimes they were not there.
This is in the Twenties and early Thirties.
We have pictures of Henry and me in cowboy and Indian suits,
and I couldn't be any older than six years old or seven years old, plus
Henry looks like he's three or four, something like that. But we were
in the country.
What was it like?
It was real country. There was just fields there, fields and
farms, big farms, and there was nothing there, goats and cows and
everything. It was country. Where am I?
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help