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Your father was very sick from emphysema, and you were talking
about your mother and Aunt Rosie.
See, Aunt Rosie, my parents were always concerned about
money, saving money. As I am, I guess. I remember, see. You left
the light on, my mother would say, “What's the matter? Edison
doesn't make enough money?” That kind of thing.
This is very familiar sounding.
So they were concerned about money, so when we left the
house gradually, Phil was the first one to leave, then Jack left, and
then I left. Henry remained, and it became a question of, “Why do
you have this big house in Boro Park?” Upstairs it's a two-family
house, downstairs was Tante Rosie. Tante Rosie was always saying,
“Why don't you come down and talk?” Over my father's objections,
my mother and father moved down to share the house and rent out
the upstairs. Tante Rosie used to have chickens in the basement who
laid eggs. So the relationship, my father hated her. It was a terrible
thing for him. It was also a sign of -- to share a house with someone
you didn't like was a terrible thing. He was unhappy and miserable,
and he was suffering from emphysema.
One Sunday the whole family got together in Long Beach, where Jack
and Lisa lived, and on the way home my father, who drove, lost his
way and he drove -- and Tante Rosie and my mother were in the car --
into the channel. They fished the car out. My mother and Tante Rosie
were okay, and my father was badly hurt, a leg was broken and his
chest badly mauled. I remember going out to St. Joseph's Hospital in
Rockaway every night to see him, and he virtually had lost the will to
live. He died. He was about seventy-four when he died.
When was that?
It was about the early Sixties. We had gone through a lot of
stuff by that time. Then my mother lived with Tante Rosie for a while,
then we convinced her to go into a home in Long Beach, and she was
there about two years. She was not very happy there. I don't why
she should be. We would see her from time to time, we'd talk on the
phone regularly. And then she had a stroke and died. Everything has
a grim gallows humor about it. At her death, both of the sons, the
Jeffers, had competing funeral parlors, and I remember outside the
street where she died, they came, and there was this big debate of
who's going to get the funeral. They were saying it was not for the
job, but for the honor. So I remember we decided that one would
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