My years at Davis were great. Here are some of the things that I remember:
There was a big hickory nut tree just outside of the “side door” entrance to the school. We would collect the nuts in the fall when they fell on the ground and put them in brown paper bags. As they were not ripe yet, my Mom would put them in the “warm closet,” (the heat duct ran up through the closet, so that closet was always warm when the heat was on), and in the winter, on a Sunday afternoon, my Mom, Dad and I would take out the bags of nuts/light the fireplace/sit on the floor, crack and eat them and enjoy the Funny Papers. It was a special time for all of us as my Mother was a fastidious housekeeper, and to allow us to have the nuts in the living room was a very special time. We did this year after year.
The fireplace was a unique spot in our home.
I also remember my “Hanukkah Lights”.
Mom hung Christmas lights over the fireplace at Hanukkah/Christmas time. We celebrated both holidays in our home.
Lighting the Menorah 8 nights and 8 presents. Then Christmas morning with all the presents. Exciting and happy times.
I remember my grandfather questioning Mom about the lights and she telling him that they were Hanukkah lights. Zade, being the smart man that he was, never questioned her further. Keep in mind that he was a very religious man.
He was a Rag Man. Collecting thrown out stuff from people’s basements and selling it for whatever he could get. He was always very poor. And always very loving. I was so proud of him—with his horse, Charlie, and wagon. Both in need of repair.
When he would come to visit us he would bring his own food as we were not Kosher. Spread newspapers on the kitchen table, then brown paper bag on the table, then his food and thermos would come out. He always had a bag of Hershey’s Kisses (Silverbells) for me. He had whiskers and mustache. I remember how prickly they were when he kissed me and how I would giggle. Now that I am thinking about him, I remember, he smelled funny (not bad–different) then we did. I loved being with him.
I also remember the excitement, May 1937, when The Hindenburg flew over the schoolyard on its way to NJ. The entire school was let-out into the school yard to watch it. Little were we aware of the terrible disaster that was to happen while landing in NJ.
I remember almost all of my teaches names from Davis Street School. My best friends; Marilyn Reback, Dorothy Shapiro, Mary-Lou Bouvey. And Richard Podoloff–my first love. As I look at the graduation picture, 1937, I can remember almost everyone’s name.
We grew up together, played: hopscotch, jumping rope, base-ball, walking, gossip, bouncing the ball, reading books. Forming Clubs. All after school activities. I don’t remember ever being afraid when walking in the neighborhood. I always felt safe. And I knew that Mr. Shapiro, Dorothy’s Dad, was keeping an eye on us. My nickel for ice-cream after school and every now and then 2-3 pennies to buy candy. Mint leaves/Maryjane/Wax lips/Button candy/Malt balls, etc etc. usually 2 or three of each for a penny. You can believe that we always stopped to pick up a penny if we saw one on the ground. Think of the treasures it could buy us!
I must talk about my dear cousin Lorraine Kellert.
My mother’s brother Frank was married to Aunt Raye. A very beautiful, tall lady. Lorraine was there first daughter. One year younger than I. Mom, Dad, Uncle Frank and Aunt Raye were best friends and did everything together. Raye was my Mother’s best friend. Consequently Lorraine and I were brought up like sisters. We spent every weekend together. Either I went to Lorraine’s house, or she would come to mine. We always protected each other. More about Lorraine another time.
My next post will be my memories at Davis Street School.
I just reached out to the current principal at Davis to offer her the 1937 graduation picture that I have and requested that we arrange to meet in July.