Dorothy Alessandra

Duration: 57mins 35secs
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Interview with: Dorothy Alessandra
Interviewed by:
Date: October 10, 2010
Archive Number: OH 413

N:        0:00:04 Friday 27th, ________ (??), and we’re doing an oral history here at Seven Acres.

(pause in recording)

N:        00:15  Now, would you like to state your name? We can go around the table this way. You don’t want to, Ms Harris?

H:        I don’t want to be involved anymore.

N:        Alright.

H:        I don’t know—just a bad back. (unintelligible)

N:        Alright. We’ll get you another time, Ms Harris. Alright.

DA:     My name is Dorothy Alessandra.

JN:       Mine is Jenny Novilmenski (??).

RRF:   Mine is Rose Radoff Frenkil.

N:        Alright. Who would like to start to tell me something about when they first came to Houston?

DA:     That I don’t remember. All I remember is what the family has told us of those that were here. We were born in Galveston, with the exception of one sister, who was born in Russia, and she was brought over. Of course I don’t remember any of that.

N:        You were a little baby, in other words.

DA:     Maybe I wasn’t even born at that time. I don’t know. Because of all the storms that they were having, I don’t remember that either, except what they told us, and I’m telling you what I told the other—

N:        Of course.
DA:     --lady that when we came it was after one of the storms of 1915, I think it was. And I’ve been in Houston ever since that time.

N:        01:33  And then your family came to Houston? After they left Galveston?

DA:     The family, sure, the family all came to Houston (background conversation). And I went to school—

N:        Oh, where’d you go to school?

DA:     The name of the school, I think at that time, was ________ (??) School, and I went to school, and I graduated from—at that time I think they called it Central High. I think you went to the same school, didn’t you?

N:        Oh, did you go to the same school?

RRF:   I was born and raised here.

DA:     But she was born and raised—

N:        Oh. What part of the city?

RRF:   Sixth ward.

DA:     That’s—

N:        Tell me something about your family.

RRF:   Well, my mother and daddy came from Russia, but they didn’t know each other. They came, oh, about 1899, 1889, and then they landed in Galveston. My mother was from the Gardins (??). There was a Tanti Gardin (??). Have you been in Houston a long time?

N:        About thirty-something years.

RRF:   Oh, you wouldn’t know her. She’s been dead. But she—everybody knew Tanti Gardin  (??). Tanti Gardin (??) and my mama’s—

JN:       Gardin (??)?

RRF:   Gardin (??). My mother was from the Gardins (??).

JN:       Didn’t the (unintelligible; speaking at same time).
RRF:   You knew Tanti Gardin (??).

JN:       02:45  I think I did. They came from Galveston.

RRF:   Yes.

JN:       They were in the jewelry business, weren’t they?

RRF:   Well, it’s all related. All the Gardins (??) are kin.

JN:       I know mama used to talk about—excuse me for butting in—mama used to talk about a Gardin (??) and they moved to Houston or San Antoine, I don’t know which one.

RRF:   And they brought my—and my Tanti Gardin (??) brought my mama over. She was sixteen years old. See, and my mama’s mama and Ms Gardin (??) were sisters.

JN:       Oh (unintelligible).

RRF:   And then my daddy was a Radoff. You’ve heard of the Radoffs?

N:        Oh, yes.

RRF:   My brother is with the public library here in Houston.

N:        Oh, my—

RRF:   Leonard. Do you know him?

N:        Of course I do.

RRF:   He’s head of the thirty-two branch libraries.

N:        I know him very well.

RRF:   He’s the baby. I’m nineteen years older than he is.

N:        Oh, that’s lovely.

RRF:   And I went to Dow (??) School.

N:        Yes.

RRF:   Then I graduated from Central High. I can’t remember if it was 1924 or ’25. I have the ring up in the room, but I took it off lately. Then I took a business course, and then I worked at Great Southern Life Insurance, then I married a boy from Hempstead in 1930. I was gone forty-one years.

N:        03:57  Where did you move?

RRF:   To Hempstead.

N:        To Hempstead.

RRF:   To Hempstead, Texas.

N:        Ya, right over here.

RRF:   Yes, and that’s why I’m here.

N:        That’s very interesting.

RRF:   I have one daughter.

N:        What is her name?

RRF:   Rose Frenkil.

DA:     No, your daughter.

RRF:   My daughter’s name? Norma Berman.

N:        Norma Berman.

RRF:   Oh, I’ll tell you. Fanny, Myriam and Rosalie—oh shoot, they all work in the gift shop—are sisters, they’re my daughter’s sister-in-laws.

N:        Oh, I know that.

RRF:   You know that?

N:        Yes, I know that.

RRF:   My daughter has four sons.

N:        That’s very nice. Would you like to tell us something about your--?

JN:       04:36  Yes, I come from Galveston ten years ago with my husband. I was born and raised in Galveston, until 10 years ago, I come here and, of course, he died in, six years ago. I have two sons and six grandchildren. Three and three. Three granddaughters and three grandsons, which I’m proud of. My oldest granddaughter is going to be twenty years old, and she’s one year in school, off at college, but she is changing to Houston now, which her daddy was graduated from the University of Houston.

N:        Tell me something about Galveston when you were growing up there.

JN:       Galveston is not like it used to be. It was nice at one time. Some of the old buildings are being torn down. Of course Strand is being remodeled, and 61st Street was nothing. As you come in from Houston, it was nothing but, just where—now you go there you wouldn’t recognize it. Home was on the island. Beautiful expensive homes. Broadway is not like Broadway used to be. It’s all—heavy stores, you know, big stores and all kind now, like Sears and there’s a furniture store, and all like that. It’s not like it used to be. All those pretty antique homes are being torn down.

N:        They have a Preservation Society. I think they’re—

JN:       Huh?

N:        --trying to save of them. They’re trying to save some of them.

JN:       Yes, they are. Yes. Yes. I would like to go see it again.


RRF:   Do they still have the oleanders on Broadway?

JN:       Yes.

RRF:   And that big statue in the middle?

JN:       Yes. Rosenberg put it up.

RRF:   Yes.

JN:       They was gonna move it, but they decided not to.

RRF:   They shouldn’t.
JN:       It’s still there. The seawall is not like the seawall used to be.

RRF:   Oh, I used to love the beach.

JN:       It’s all built up with motor hotels and all like that and Fort Crockett is gone.

N:        06:45  What part did you live in when you were in Galveston? Different parts?

JN:       I lived in the west, on 44th Street. I was there thirty-two years.

N:        Thirty-two years. You’ve seen a lot of change then, haven’t you?

JN:       I was born and raised there.

N:        You were born in the hospital there? Or in your own home?

JN:       No. No. In a home on 26th and H, between 26th and 27th on H. You know that’s where all the Jewish people used to be and all like that. Lived together. And now it’s different. All the colored people are there. And Mexicans.

DA:     I visited you there, but not recently.

JN:       Even the city hall on 25th and Broad—I and H is remodeled. It’s not like it used to be.

DA:     You’ve seen a lot of change in Galveston.

JN:       Huh?

DA:     I said, you saw a lot of change in Galveston.

RRF:   You been by Murdoch’s all that?

JN:       Who?

RRF:   Murdoch’s, on the beach.

N:        Murdoch’s, on the beach.

JN:       Yes, yes, that’s gone. Carla tore it all out.

RRF:   I used to love that and the Buccaneer Hotel across the street. It’s a convalescent home now.
JN:       That’s—Yes. You know, Murdoch’s is where all the Jewish people on Sunday used to gather.

RRF:   We’d meet everybody on the—right on the beach.

DA:     08:00  Right here in Galveston.

JN:       Yes.

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   When I was there (unintelligible; speaking at same time)—Goldie Rosenberg. Did you know her? She lived on Avenue O ½. Thirty-six hundred O ½.

JN:       Thirty-six?

RRF:   Thirty-six hundred Avenue O ½.

JN:       No. I don’t remember.

RRF:   Did you know Goldie Rosenberg?

JN:       Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes.

RRF:   You’d stay there all summer.

JN:       You know she’s dead now.

RRF:   Yes. They’re both dead. ________ (??) And then Tilley was a—Tilley Archman (??) was her sister-in-law and (unintelligible).

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   I know Houston. I know everything—

N:        Oh, she knows everything. This is nice.

RRF:   That’s why the people come from Galveston to Houston.

DA:     To Houston. They come—

RRF:   Like I said I knew the town scheme. Mama used to talk about them.
DA:     That’s my family she’s talking about.

N:        Oh.

RRF:   Isn’t that something?

N:        08:55  Well that’s nice. Then we can get a lot of information here with everyone knowing each other (laughs). How—

JN:       I remember a lot of people but some of them I don’t. You know. We were kids. But of course they used to come in from the immigration depart—and go to Houston, stay a few years, and then go to Houston. Dr Cohen, Rabbi Cohen, you remember him?

F:         Sure.

JN:       He married me.

N:        Oh, so you brought (unintelligible; speaking at same time).

JN:       He worked hard on all the people.

N:        Then you remember when, I guess, your family was there when he first came there.

JN:       What?

N:        Your family was there when he first came then?

JN:       Yes.

N:        He came right from England.

JN:       My daddy and mama was married in New York, and he had a brother, and his brother begged them not to come together, but he came anyway, and they settled right here in Galveston.

N:        And then you went through the whole hurricane and everything that was there? The devastating hurricane.

DA:     Yes. In 1900.

N:        What brought your family from New York to Galveston?

JN:       10:00  I know my, my father was married before. He was kin to the Dorfmans. You remember the Dorfmans?

N:        It rings a bell.

JN:       Well, his first wife was a sister—Ethel Dorfman’s mother. That’s why. He went back to New York, and she died, and then met my mother there, and they came to Galveston on the boat.

N:        In other words, your parents were American citizens. They didn’t come from Europe?

JN:       Yes.

N:        They came from the east.

JN:       No. My mother and daddy came from Europe. My mother came from Europe to New York. She had cousins and all. She settled in New York until she met my daddy.

N:        And then he brought her here. And your daddy originally was from Galveston too? Or he came from Europe?

JN:       He came from Europe to Galveston with his first wife.

N:        Well that’s very interesting. And you went all through the schools. Ball High? Did you go to Ball High?

JN:       No. I went two years, and I had to quit and go to work because my daddy was very sick at that time.

N:        I see.

JN:       I had to quit. But yet I went to night school, but I didn’t get to finish.

N:        Do you have a lot of brothers and sisters?

JN:       Ma’am?

N:        You had a lot of brothers and sisters?

JN:       No. I have two sisters, and I lost one two years ago. There is one sister I have lives in Galveston now with her son. And she has a daughter in New York. In Brooklyn.

N:        11:31  Well that’s very nice. We’ll get back to your schools and some of the things you might have done and everything. I want to get to you.

DA:     Well. What do you want to know? (laughter) As I told you—

N:        Yes.

DA:     --the family came, as she said, a lot of them came from Europe and landed, not in New York, now that they landed in Galveston, I am presuming.

N:        Yes.

DA:     My oldest sister was born in Russia. (background voices) She was just a few weeks old, I believe, when they came. Not long after, we’re not too far apart in age, I don’ t think, and then I was born in Galveston. My brother and my younger sister were born in Galveston, and, of course, I don’t know anything about the 1900 storm. I don’t ever remember too much about what they say was the 1915, and my (screeching sound on recording) family moved to Houston. My mother was a Nathan. And I guess they were instrumental, or whatever you might say, in bringing the families one by one to Houston, and we just all enrolled in the schools here. None of the family graduated. None of the brother or sisters graduated. Seems like I was the only one fortunate enough to graduate, and we all just, you know, went to work. I studies music for a while and taught a little while, but then it was a matter of health, you know, and the Depression and all that, and we lost schools, and I took a business course and went to work.

N:        Where did you work?

DA:     I worked at Nathans.

N:        Nathans.

JN:       When I married I worked for the ________ (??) Do you remember that?

(unintelligible; multiple voices speaking at same time)

RRF:   That was a big department store.

JN:       Used to be.

F:         Is it still there?

RRF:   It was lovely.
JN:       Now, Levy, it’s Levy. Look how long they’ve been there and went out of business. But somebody else is coming in and taking that store over now, and I don’t know who.

RRF:   13:38  But ________ (??) was a big store.

DA:     Is it still there?

N:        My cousin worked there a while.

JN:       Oh, yes. Almost all are dead, all but Joe. Joe is still living.

DA:     I don’t know any of them by name. I just—

RRF:   I just know—

DA:     You see, I know the store. We used to visit, you know, during the summer when we were there on vacation.

N:        Then you made a quite a few trips back to Galveston?

DA:     Back to Galveston. There were some of our relatives still there on the other side of the family. The Tolster (??) side.

N:        What?

DA:     On the Tolster (??) side, there were relatives.

JN:       Clearly, I—Galveston was nice, but now it’s all changed. I don’t recognize—

DA      Well look what’s happened—

JN:       --when I went home about three years ago.

DA:     Oh, I haven’t been there recently.

N:        You when visited there fair—

DA:     Oh, she’s—

RRF:   When I was a girl I was there all the time. Every weekend, and then—

DA:     You just liked to (unintelligible; speaking at same time).
RRF:   14:32  So I stayed with Goldie Rosenberg.

JN:       Yes.

RRF:   On Avenue O ½.

JN:       O ½. Didn’t she live on O ½?

RRF:   Yes, she did live at O ½.

JN:       Yes.

RRF:   Well you see she lived at our house in Houston. You know in those days, everybody had room for everybody.

JN:       Oh, yes.

RRF:   She came from mama’s country. And mama married her—you know how they—

DA:     Found somebody for her.

RRF:   She was very close. You don’t see that no more. And I was the oldest child, and she had me at her house all the time. I’d go there all summer. She didn’t have any children. She couldn’t have any. And I was there every weekend, and when I got older, when I was working, we’d go to the Buccaneer Hotel and go over to the beach at Murdoch’s.

JN:       Yes.

RRF:   Oh, we had the best time. We didn’t have any money, but we sure had a good time.

DA:     You didn’t have too much money—

RRF:   You know it?

N:        So—

JN:       But it’s not like it used to be though.

DA:     Galveston isn’t it.

JN:       Like the Crystal Palace. You remember the Crystal Palace? We used to go from the gulf to the Crystal Palace. They had a pool at that time.
RRF:   And then they had something on the beach where all those animals were? You remember those?

JN:       15:37  Yes, the amusement—

RRF:   Yes.

DA:     Oh, the amusement—

JN:       Yes. Right next to Crystal Palace. Yes.

RRF:   And everybody go there to see—they were seals, weren’t they?

JN:       They had a lot. It had benches all around and people used to sit.

DA:     I think I have a recollection of that when I went back to visit, but I haven’t been there in a long time.

N:        So you really liked Galveston rather than Houston? Even though you’ve been here a while?

JN:       In a way, because this way—I don’t drive, and I can’t depend upon my children, because they work and all. So, I don’t need to go—I like to get out sometimes, but I can’t ask them too much.

N:        Well how about you? You moved from here to a smaller place?

RRF:   You see my husband died eleven years ago. And I lived in Hempstead for forty-one years. We were in business. Ladies’ and men’s ready-to-wear. And I loved it. It was part of my life. We’d go to Dallas. We did all our buying in Dallas.

N:        What was—?

RRF:   We carried nothing but brand-name merchandise, so I was a very busy person. My daughter was off at school, but when he died, everything changed.

JN:       Oh sure.

N:        What was the name of your store?

RRF:   Frenkil’s.

N:        16:47  Frenkil’s. Well how about the community? How did you adjust from a big city like Houston--?

RRF:   Well I married in 1930.

JN:       Oh, you were married in 1930? I was too.

RRF:   You were married in 1930?

JN:       October the 18th, 1930.

RRF:   I married Christmas Day, December 25th, 1930.

JN:       October.

RRF:   And my daughter was born the next year. I just have one child. Then I was busy in the store all the time. I belonged to a garden club. I belonged to the Business Ladies Club, and I belonged to a club of Celee (??), Belville (??), Brennem (??), and Alisota (??). Jewish women.

N:        How about the Christian community? How did they accept you?

RRF:   Well, they were mostly—it’s a Baptist town.

N:        Yes.

RRF:   It’s very—there they don’t like that. They like you, but you can’t get too close to them.

N:        Did you have anything anti-Semitic or unfriendly happen to you?

RRF:   Well I belonged to the Business Ladies Club. (screeching sound in background) That was mostly gentile. There were a few Jewish families there. But you still—I don’t know how to tell you. See, I was born and raised in Houston, and I lived by the Catholic Church for nineteen years, and all my neighbors were Irish and Catholics.

JN:       That’s what I had, and (unintelligible).

RRF:   I played with all the children there, and we were all friends. My daddy was friends with the Catholic priest, but we never discussed religion too much. You know what I mean?

N:        You didn’t have anything Semitic or anything said—

RRF:   Oh, I’ve had them call me sheeny and ikey (??).

N:        Here in Houston or in Hempstead?

RRF:   Oh, yes. When I—not in Hempstead. When I was a child.

N:        Yes.

RRF:   I used to cry because I’m staying there. But in Hempstead, whatever they thought, they never did say nothing. See, I was in business, and I had to wait on them, and I was very nice to—you have to be in business.

F:         Oh, yes.

N:        18:35  But there wasn’t anything overt? You never noticed anything ever happening or to your children? To your child?

RRF:   No. No. (voice over speaker system) My daughter was going steady with a gentile boy from over the river, from Raccoon Bend, and he wanted to marry her. I told her, I said, you go off to school, and then if you decide when you come back you want to marry him, you can marry him. You know, she didn’t want him when she went off to school. They say his mother cried just terrible. 

JN:       She married him?

RRF:   No, she didn’t want him anymore.

DA:     She was young, I guess.

RRF:   See, she was young. She didn’t know any Jewish children. She was raised among goyim. You know I’m saying Jewish, don’t you?

All:      Yes.

RRF:   It’s bad, isn’t it?
N:        It’s very difficult, especially today. How about you when you were growing up in Galveston. Did you mainly mix with the Jewish people or—

RRF:   I didn’t have a lot of—

JN:       Huh?

N:        Christian friends and so forth?

JN:       19:30  The school I went through—as I said, I had to quit the second grade at Ball High School. I finished the seventh grade. It was a two-story old wooden building. It was nice. We had a nice time and all. I just lived about two blocks from it.

(shuffling sounds)

N:        19:55  Go ahead.

JN:       It’s working?

N:        It’s working. (laughs)

JN:       Yes, it was nice. If we wanted to go to the beach, we used to walk up from 30 to 33rd and Broadway and catch the 33rd and 21st Street--?

RRF:   I used to catch the streetcar.

JN:       Streetcar.

RRF:   Yes, I used to catch it too. (laughs)

JN:       Yes.

RRF:   Isn’t that something?

JN:       We used to go up that away.

RRF:   You’d think I lived there. (laughs)

JN:       You know they used to run to one, two o’clock in the morning.

RRF:   We didn’t have any automobile. ______ (??) had an automobile, but I’d catch the streetcar.

JN:       Yes.

DA:     We used to walk to the beach, didn’t we, back—?

RRF:   But she didn’t live quite that close.

DA:     Oh, that’s close.

N:        So, we were talking about some of your Christian friends—

JN:       What?

N:        Your Christian friends or if you mainly—

JN:       20:40  Well I had a few but not many. I didn’t mix so much with them because I was—my mother was awful strict, and you know, orthodox. So I had a few friends in the neighborhood. We played and all. Even with the colored children we used to play.

DA:     I used to play—that I remember when we were kids.

(clicking and crackling sounds)

N:        Oh, is that right? Tell me something about that.

DA:     My mother—my father was ill—what part that I can remember, probably as a teenager, quite a bit of the time, and my mother had went into a little grocery store. You know it’s not like it is today. We were in, you know, around you, you don’t know who your neighbors might be, and they just happened instead of a lot of Jewish people. At that time, as far as I can remember, there were colored (voice over speaker system) children, and we used to play with them. What I remember, one of those—I thought one of them was very good to us. I think—I don’t remember her name and don’t remember the children’s name. I don’t think that’s unusual. Do you think? I mean, it may be different now.

N:        Do you have a lot of Christian friends here in Houston?

DA:     Well you see I married—my husband wasn’t Jewish, but we went to the rabbi here, Rabbi Cohen, and he—whatever was necessary at that time, you know. I don’t know, I think now probably it may be a little bit more, shall I say want you to learn a little bit—

N:        Stricture.

DA:     (unintelligible; speaking at same time)

N:        For conversion.

DA:     For conversion. Yes. I remained with the shul or synagogue and so on and so forth, and ________ (??) married us at that time.
N:        How about your relationships with his family?

DA:     Fine.

N:        You were well accepted and—?

DA:     22:43  I was accepted (unintelligible; speaking at same time).

N:        --and he was even for converting? There weren’t—

DA:     Well, converting that many years ago, you know, may have been different than it is today. I don’t know.

N:        But it didn’t create any problems between the families?

DA:     No. In fact my mother lived with us, and we visited his family. We never got away from the family. The other families, all the families, are probably gone by now, including—well, we’re all (unintelligible).

N:        Yes.

DA:     I guess it can be worked at. I don’t know. It isn’t—I don’t say that they were too happy about it, maybe right at first, either one of the families, but it happens. And that’s what happened. I didn’t have any children.

N:        That’s interesting because, you know, today it’s accepted and you know—

RRF:   They don’t think nothing of it anymore, do they?

DA:     They probably—I don’t know whether you say they don’t accept it, I don’t know. Maybe they would rather not, but if it happens, why sometimes it’s just one of those things.

N:        You’ve had firsthand experience so perhaps you can tell the people that someday will listen to this—

DA:     Well, they don’t—I think people—I don’t know if they go by what others tell them as what they have in their own mind. What do you think of that? To do about whether they should or they shouldn’t?

N:        Intermarriage?

DA:     Intermarriage.
N:        24:26  But the two of you had a very happy experience.

DA:     My marriage, well, eighteen years when my husband passed away.

N:        Have you had any anti-Semitic experiences or anything, anything from the people that you worked with or the people that you knew? Anything which may have suggested—

DA:     You see I worked with Jewish people. That didn’t mean they employed only Jewish people. Some were and some weren’t. But I never had anti-Semitic experiences.

RRF:   Your husband worked at the same place?

DA:     Yes, he did.

N:        Where was that?

DA:     Nathan’s.

N:        Nathan’s.

DA:     That’s what made it nice.

N:        Yes. That’s right.

JN:       My husband had a little—he was really a cabinet maker, and we had a secondhand furniture store. Of course I used to go and help him ________ (??).

N:        Yes.

JN:       Course he wanted me to stay home and raise my kids, but on top of that I lost a 12-year-old boy. But thank God I, we educated two boys. Gave them a good education. And they’re both well ________ (??).

RRF:   How long has your husband been dead?

JN:       Huh?

RRF:   How long has your husband been dead?

JN:       What?

RRF:   Your husband. How long has he been dead?
JN:       Six years.

RRF:   Mine’s been dead eleven years.

JN:       Six years. It was on the second of April. Ten days before __________ (??) died.

RRF:   26:00  You know, I never lived by myself. I never lived in an apartment.

JN:       I didn’t either.

RRF:   See, I don’t know anything about living in an apartment here myself.

JN:       I didn’t either until he died. When I came here—

RRF:   I’ve always been afraid. I wouldn’t stay in the house by myself at night.

JN:       When we came here we did live in an apartment, and afterwards I was by myself.

RRF:   But your husband was living with you though.

JN:       Huh?

RRF:   Your husband was with you.

JN:       No. Three years, that’s all.

RRF:   Yes, but still—but I’ve never lived in an apartment. It makes a difference. And here I’m with people all the time. I’m never by myself.

JN:       (unintelligible) Of course it’s hard to be by yourself anyway. You know that. The reason I came here, I took arthritis so bad and I retain a lot of water, and I fell about six times. My arm hurts now when I—(unintelligible; speaking at same time)—awful bad.

RRF:   I fell twenty times since I’m here. You see I can walk, but I was falling all the t—that’s why I’m on a walker.

DA:     Oh, you use a walker too.

RRF:   I was falling all the time.

JN:       I’m trying not to. (laughter)

RRF:   That’s good—

JN:       --because I knew I’d bruise myself bad.

RRF:   27:17  Oh, I do, too.  

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

JN:       I had a big bruise like that.

RRF:   The last time I fell I was black and blue. My eye. The doctor, Dr Burke (??), said today, when he pulled these two teeth, he said, “The last time I saw you you was all black and blue.” That was my last fall. They wasn’t going to let me fall.

JN:       Hope you don’t have no more.

RRF:   Not since I got this walker.

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   I’m alright.

N:        Let me ask you now. Tell me something about rearing your family and growing up. You were working, and you were working, and you were working! Well we have working women today! I guess, you know, it seems more common. They used to say the modern people, both husband and wife, worked. But it seems like a long time ago the Jewish women—

RRF:   I’ve been working since I was married in the business.

N:        And you have. And you have.

RRF:   And I had a black girl in the house for twenty-some-odd years. She helped raise my daughter.

N:        28:13  Did you find it very difficult trying to be a wife and a housewife?

RRF:   No. I bought the groceries. I loved to buy groceries. I even read the ads now. She took care of the house and my daughter, and then I’d take her to the store, too. See, I nursed her fourteen months, so I had to take her with me to the store. I didn’t have any trouble.

N:        Let me ask you something else about your Jewish life. You said the rabbi in Galveston married you and everything, and your mother was Orthodox, you lead a fairly Jewish life there?

JN:       There was only Sunday school there at that time, and I went to Sunday school. I was confirmed there. I’ve got my picture at home here now. I even have my first grade picture.

N:        29:02  Yes.

JN:       It’s in the box. I always have to get it out. Anyway, that’s—I went to Sunday school.

N:        And you celebrated all the holidays and everything else and were very observant. How about Passover?

JN:       Oh, yes. That was strict. That was a very strict holiday with my mother. Boards (??) all over and everything. Separate dishes and separate pots and cups.

DA:     That’s the way my grandmother was. Course my mother was working, and we observed Passover, but all the Seders and all were here at my grandmother’s. Course I don’t remember even too much about my grandfather (background voices) because I didn’t ________ (??).

N:        How about you? How strict are you in observance now? You belonged to Emanu El?

DA:     No. That isn’t true.

N:        Becky Sherman? Oh that’s right where I belong.

JN:       I belong to Beth Israel on account of my boys going there. I have to have a ride so that’s the only way I could go cause I go with them.

N:        Yes. So your family and your husband participated in everything?

DA:     In the Seders. Course my brother was the youngest, no, well, at that, as far back as I can remember, was the youngest. Those times I don’t remember too much, but the little other grandchildren, you know, took part in the youngest child and so on and so forth. I always observed—see, my mother lived—she was a widow. When my father died, I don’t even remember when, but he was, as I say, he was sick most of the time that I can remember. He went back to Galveston with some of his family there and there was more or less a kind of a separation, I guess you might call it, so that’s why I say she practically raised the children. But we always observed all the holidays up until the time that she passed away. My mother, my grandmother, and my ________ (??).

N:        31:11  Yes.

DA:     We just did the best we could under, you know, we went to different places for the services and so forth. Friends and relatives.

N:        And how about you? Hempstead is a little place out of Houston.

(break in recording)

RRF:   31:38  --kosher or anything. It was too hard in those days to try to keep it. The roads were muddy from here to Houston. You would get meat and sometimes it would be spoiled. My mother was religious, but I wasn’t. I’m kosher now, but I’ve never been so kosher in my life. This place is really kosher.

N:        Within the places your friends and everything got together, you did keep your Jewishness by celebrating—?

RRF:   Yes, well, the Seder. We always went to Navasota to Jarrod Slatney’s (??) house in Navasota. She’s dead now, Ms Slatney (??), and he’s move to Houston. Then I had friends at Brenham, and they’ve moved to Houston. He’s dead too, Mr Slatney (??). The two brothers. Isn’t it funny how people have died?

DA:     Oh, yes.

N:        Well how about—didn’t they have a synagogue out—?

RRF:   In Brenham. We used to go to Brenham. They had Rose Toubin. Rose Toubin had that synagogue.

N:        Right.

RRF:   You might know Rose Toubin. Do you? And Milton? I mean Sam. Milton’s there and Sara, they’re all in Brenham. ________ (??) My daughter is still there in Hempstead too.

N:        I believe a young adult group went out there once for services.

RRF:   Yes. That’s what I said. We used to meet once a month over at different Jewish people’s houses, which I don’t think that—well, Rose is kosher, but most of them weren’t kosher. We knew we were all Jews, though. We mingled more with the Jewish people then we did with the gentile people.

N:        33:08  For the High Holy Days, then you went over there for services, and for the other holidays, you celebrated at each one’s houses? Like Sukkot or Passover?

RRF:   Yes. Now we never celebrated this holiday today.

N:        Shavu’ot.

RRF:   Didn’t celebrate that.

F:         Yes.

RRF:   But here we celebrate everything here.

DA:     (unintelligible)

RRF:   This is Rabbi Radansky (??), you know. He’s from the United—that man that went through here before?

F:         Yes.

RRF:   He’s the one that watches the kitchen. He’s going to be here for a week again over the holidays. He watches the kitchen. Every day he goes in there to one o’clock to see that everything is right.

N:        Does it make you feel very good that you’re in a very Jewish atmosphere?

RRF:   It doesn’t really make any difference.

DA:     We’re kind of used to it.

RRF:   We’re used to it. We wouldn’t, it wouldn’t be any other way, would it? It has to be this way. That’s the way I feel.

N:        It makes you feel good?

JN:       I used to keep kosher. We had a—until we lost the kosher market. Then I used to send them for my meat here, but several times it came it smelled—

RRF:   That’s what I said, it was bad.
JN:       It was hard to get used to the ________ (??) for meat. It was hard. But I had to do it. I couldn’t spend no twenty-five or thirty dollars for meat and then have it spoil on me. Even that time you had to watch your pennies.

DA:     More so.

RRF:   34:30  Money was very tight. The year after—when I married in 1930.

F:         I know it.

N:        I guess you had some pretty hard experiences, I guess, growing up too—

DA:     Growing up? Yes. I was—

N:        --with your mother. (unintelligible)

DA:     --oh, kind of sickly. Well, I wouldn’t say sickly, but not too well, and that’s when I think my mother had to quit using the kosher meat and everything that—because, you know, they give you whatever the doctor prescribed for me.

JN:       They want you to have meat with blood in it. And you put that salt on it, it takes out the blood.

DA:     So, that’s the, you know, people get—I guess conditions and where you live and health conditions and everything ________ (??) to it.

N:        So tell me something about when you all first went into business. You were both married. You were married in thirty. You were married in thirty.

RRF:   How long were you married? I was married forty-one years when my husband died.

JN:       I was married, excuse me, about forty-two years.

RRF:   I was married forty-one when he died.

N:        So, when you first—tell something about the times, the Depression times, and the hard—

RRF:   We had a store in Hempstead, and I stayed there to twelve o’clock at night sometimes on Saturday nights, and I’d make a palette in the back of the store and put Norma to sleep back there. We would drag in at twelve o’clock at night. But we were young. Isn’t it funny how you can stand things when you’re young? I couldn’t do it now.

JN:       No. It is hard to keep—it’s hard, and I don’t know—

RRF:   We had a variety store. It was rough, but I stayed, we stayed, with it.

JN:       Huh?

RRF:   We stayed with it, then we went on and on, and we built the other store, the big store. And I still stayed in the store, but we didn’t work those long hours. It wasn’t easy. That’s why I didn’t have any more children either. It was too hard to raise children and have to be in a business all the time.

N:        36:30  And how about you? You had a nice family.

JN:       Well, I don’t know. We just stayed—we wasn’t, when we went out, we used to go with the children. If we couldn’t take the children, we stood at home. That’s the kind—he didn’t want to leave the children. Cause he was by himself. He didn’t have no family here at all. See, his daddy brought him here, and then he went back to Europe to get his stepmother, and his stepmother found out it wasn’t kosher in Texas, and she wouldn’t come.

N:        Ah.

JN:       So he was alone when he was fourteen years old. He had to make a living and eat and all. That’s why he spoiled my oldest boy. He was the most spoiled in all.

N:        How about the children? He never did help bring over any of the other family?

JN:       What?

N:        Your husband? Didn’t he—

JN:       He didn’t have no family at all here.

N:        I mean, he didn’t try to help bring them over from Europe?

JN:       No. He didn’t do it. I asked him. He says he couldn’t—he sends them money and that’s all. He used to send them money. Because he had about eight or nine sisters and brothers.

N:        Most of them did have big families. That’s why I asked in my other oral history, you know, one would help the other and bring them over and bring them over. So I was wondering—

JN:       He couldn’t afford it. He was a little man.

N:        Yes.

JN:       37:52  He just made a nice living and that’s all. He gave me a nice home and all, but I never did learn to drive, which I’m sorry I didn’t.

N:        Yes. In other words, the family is still there if they’ve had children and everything else, they’re still in Russia?

JN:       Must be. I think they were killed a lot of them. ________ (??) in Israel. My daughter-in-law and son, he used to work for Foley’s. He went to Washington one time, and they had to stay in Baltimore somewheres, so she happened to look at the telephone book and saw his daddy’s na—her husband’s name there. You know, Verminsky. So I said why didn’t you call them and find out? But she didn’t.

N:        That would be very interesting because so many did help.

JN:       Yes.

N:        How about with your mother or father’s family. Did you have a lot of contact with the other relatives then in Galveston or someplace else? Did they bring relatives?

DA:     As far as I know—I don’t—the only one that I remember they’re bringing over on my father’s side was their mother. Frankly, I don’t remember just when that was. She did live in Galveston. I used to go to Galveston and visit with the different members of the family, even, and of course naturally, when he passed away, and he passed away in Galveston, we went all went to the ________ (??). My husband—(unintelligible). He was buried in Galveston. He was just kind of a—it was a sad thing for her and for us too.

N:        What did you do for fun? You all must have had something for fun besides the children and the holidays. You must have really—

JN:       Oh, yes. It was nice.

N:        Tell us what did to the times. What was enjoyable?

RRF:   We used to go to Dallas all the time on buying trips. I loved that. We’d stay at the Baker. Then on Sundays, we used to come to Houston. See, I have two brothers that—you know JP Radoff and Jenny Radoff? That’s my brother. They’d come to the house on Sundays. But you know what I mean. People didn’t have the money to run around a lot.

JN:       No.

RRF:   They didn’t demand, we didn’t demand all those things in those days.

JN:       It used to be, you know, people used to get together.

DA:     40:16  Right.

RRF:   That’s right.

JN:       If there was a wedding, the whole town was invited, but no more.

RRF:   Its changed.

JN:       Yes.

RRF:   Everything has changed.

DA:     I think it has changed because we’re in such a big city. Don’t you think?

JN:       What?

N:        Big city.

DA:     Because we’re such a big city, and there’re so many people—

JN:       Yes. Spread out.

DA:     --we don’t have that just don’t—(unintelligible; speaking at same time).

JN:       Just like Galveston. See, Jewish people used to live close to each other. Now they don’t. They’re all spread out.

DA:     There’re lot of Galveston people here in—

JN:       Huh?

DA:     A lot of Galveston people have come to Houston, and I think—

JN:       Yes, I know it.

DA:     As I say, I think probably the conditions there—
RRF:   What time is it?

DA:     --storms and so forth.

JN:       40:53  Wouldn’t you give to the help funds (??)?

N:        It’s about—

DA:     Yes. It was my father’s.

JN:       Yes, I know.

N:        Four—

RRF:   Oh, then we’re fine.

DA:     I just wondered about—

N:        They used to give dances. Everything in conjunction with the holidays and then special occasions like weddings and everything.

JN:       Even if somebody had a little boy, a brisk, everybody was invited. Even, you know, when the boys used to be bar mitzvahed, they were invited. Everybody was invited.

N:        How did you feel about—?

JN:       I think the war did that.

N:        That’s what I was going to get to, about your feelings about the holocaust and how you felt about the government and politics, and, you know, how it affected your life and everything else. If you’d like to say something about that?

JN:       No, I don’t know what to say about that.

DA:     I don’t know what to say.

JN:       I’m not a politician.

N:        Were you involved any in—just voting. You just voted, you didn’t—you weren’t involved in the city and things?

JN:       I don’t like how things are going, that’s true right now, but I’m not a politician.
RRF:   My ________ (??) went into the service, the Second World War.

DA:     My brother went and cousins. I think some from every family probably where there were boys of that age.

N:        42:14  How about with the Zionist movement and the state of Israel. How did you feel when you learned and were you a Zionist? Were you involved in Jewish affairs of any kind? Did you help in any way?

RRF:   I had a pushka.

N:        You had a pushka. (laughter)

RRF:   Rose Toubin used to pick it up once a year.

N:        Yes.

RRF:   I did have that.

N:        How about you? Galveston would seem to be very much involved in this. Were you?

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

JN:       I know one time I came here to Houston. My girlfriend was going to get married. So I came, and one Sunday we went to Hermann Park, and all I saw was the University of Rice and a church, and a house full of the little one, and the grass as tall as your head, but look at it now.

N:        Yes. Were you very pleased with the state of Israel and with the Zionist movement? Did it—

JN:       I don’t know.

N:        Did it make you feel good that because of the holocaust for them to have places for the Jews to go?

JN:       I don’t like how it’s going, I don’t like how it’s going, but I don’t—I’m not really a politician (laughs) so I can’t say.

DA:     I think that’s probably the way, I don’t know, of most people, but some people, you know, they can’t decide whether that’s the way they feel about it or not, you know?

N:        Yes.

DA:     When you hear all the things that are going on you just wonder. (voice over speaker system) But I feel like the statement that you made, at least the people had someplace to go.

N:        43:56  Were you and your husband involved in raising money or doing anything in the community or in Jewish affairs?

DA:     Not too much, except during the war. Naturally you became very patriotic and bought bonds and things of that nature and so on and so forth. But as far as taking part in anything, you know, you might, well, I guess you’d call that working for the state of Israel, is that what you mean?

N:        Or working for Jewish people, you know, to get the refugees like out from Russia or to, you know, do other things with Jewish National Fund or anything for—

DA:     Except for—

JN:       I don’t think Reagan is much of a president, because the way he acts. I don’t. I think if the one before him—what’s his name?

N:        Carter.

JN:       Carter. I think he would’ve made a second good term because he didn’t have the experience in the beginning. I think he would’ve. Now I don’t know. I used to say I just listen.

RRF:   They say all the Jewish people voted for Reagan, didn’t they?

N:        Quite a few did.

RRF:   That’s what I couldn’t understand. You know we’ve always been democrats.

N:        Yes. On the whole that’s true. That’s true. Do you belong to the Democratic Party?

RRF:   Yes.

N:        Did you?

JN:       Huh?

N:        Did you belong to the Democratic Party?

JN:       No, ma’am.

N:        No?

JN:       45:28  I don’t belong to none of it.

N:        You didn’t vote?

JN:       (unintelligible)—when they’re democrat.

RRF:   Yes. But you voted democrat. Did you vote?

JN:       I didn’t get to vote because I was sick that time.

RRF:   I have a, Dorothy and I have what kind of vote?

DA:     Absentee.

RRF:   Absentee.

N:        Absentee.

RRF:   We get to vote. I voted, I always voted democrat. All the Radoffs and all the family has always been democrats.

JN:       I didn’t get to vote because I was sick in the hospital at that time.

DA:     You mean for president or for—

JN:       Huh?

DA:     For president?

JN:       I was sick. You see, I have to watch my ________ (??). I get blowed up. I didn’t take no cake. (unintelligible; laughter) I watch that.

N:        So what do you think the youngsters of today and the Jewish climate is? What kind of advice or what would you tell the Jewish youngsters that are coming up and growing up today? What do you tell your grandchildren? What do you tell your friends?

JN:       I don’t know what I would tell.

RRF:   46:23  I have a grandbaby, 3 months old.

N:        What would you want? What would you tell?

RRF:   My oldest grandson married a gentile here, but a rabbi married them. I don’t approve of it, and I’m not a bit religious. Isn’t that something? But I can’t do nothing about it.

JN:       No, you can’t.

RRF:   See my daughter-in-law—(unintelligible; speaking at same time).

JN:       As long as they’re happy.

RRF:   How do I know how it’s going to all turn out? Three of them have graduated from college already. And the baby graduates next week from high school, and he’s going to A&M.

N:        My daughter went to A&M. (unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   He’s been accepted. They’ve all been ________ (??).

N:        Well we do have a very free and open society, and I guess—what would you tell your grandchildren? What would you want for them? You want a Jewish life for them—

RRF:   I’d like to, but how do I know how this—like Jessica is going to come out? Her mother is not Jewish. And they’re raising the baby. I’m not raising her.

JN:       You know sometimes they do come to the Jewish religion. I know a girl in Galveston, she married. She had three or four children, and she sent them to ________ (??). So I don’t know. You can’t tell.

DA:     No, you can’t tell.

JN:       It’s according to how they want it to take it. I think.

RRF:   See, I didn’t get to send my daughter to Sunday school.

DA:     Because of—

RRF:   But she—when she married, she sent all four boys, brought them in every week to Emanu El to Rabbi Cox (??). They were all bar mitzvahed. You belong to Emanu El?
N:        Beth Yeshurun.

RRF:   48:01  They were all mitzvahed. Did you know that? All four boys.

JN:       That’s nice.

RRF:   And it wasn’t easy. She had to drive them in every week.

JN:       Yes, sure.

RRF:   Then we had a Jewish fellow in Hempstead about—came to help my sister-in-law in the ________ (??), Mr Triba (??). I don’t know if you’d know him or not? He is from Israel, and he gave them the Hebrew lessons. They got better training for him then they did from the teachers when they came to Houston.

JN:       Oh, yes. Because he had more time to teach them.

RRF:   All four boys. It wasn’t easy, but Norma wasn’t—she never did go to Sunday school or anything. So you just never know how it’s going to turn out.

N:        I guess the Jewishness, the kids feel it in the home—(unintelligible; speaking at same time).

RRF:   Well, like here. I feel good here for one reason. I feel that it’s all my, like one big—

DA:     Big family.

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   --you have that feeling.

DA:     --comes to life, so to speak.

JN:       Because—see they run around with a lot of, with the gentile people. That’s why sometimes.

N:        Do you feel it’s good or it’s bad? Or we have to teach our kids more Jewishness?

JN:       In a way it is but in a way it isn’t. They’ll mix with people. But you gotta teach—now my boys mixed with—see I used to live, as I said, I was the only Jew on the block. They used to come on the porch, you know, but I treated them right. Now on Fridays, I don’t know if you all know that they used to get their fish cheek (??) and their fish throats (??)? Yes, I used to get them and make it in the yard so the kids would come there. (laughter) With potato salad.

N:        Yes.

JN:       I used to treat them right.

N:        49:54  Well, let’s see now—

(interruption in recording)

JN:       --half and half. Yet she’s nicer to me than my Jewish girl, Jewish daughter-in-law.

RRF:   One of your boys married a gentile girl?

JN:       No. She was—her mother was a gentile and her daddy was a Jew.

DA:     So that was—(unintelligible).

JN:       Yet she treats me and does things for me more than the other one does.

RRF:   That’s Mr ________ (??). (unintelligible)

N:        Are there children? Do they have children? Are they being reared Jewish?

JN:       Yes. (unintelligible; speaking at same time)—Beth Israel Sunday school and all.

N:        Then they’re Jewish.

JN:       The boy was bar mitzvahed. He didn’t go for Sunday school, but their oldest, the girl, I told you is my oldest granddaughter, she was confirmed, but she went to Sunday school. Now the little ones go on.

N:        Let’s see now.

(interruption in recording)

(unintelligible due to recording)

RRF:   --that’s the kind of entertainment we had.

JN:       You don’t see much of that.
RRF:   We’d go to the City Park. Have you ever heard of a City Park here in Houston? We’d go there, and we’d have an outdoor picture show.

JN:       (unintelligible; speaking at same time)—fly kites.

N:        What did you do?

DA:     50:59  We used to (laughter) kick a ball in the street.

JN:       Yes, I know. I played ball in the street too.

RRF:   We had cement sidewalks. See, we lived by the Catholic San Angelo (??) Church.

N:        Yes.

RRF:   And we had cement sidewalks.

DA:     --with all the neighbor kids. You know some were Jewish and some were (unintelligible; speaking at same time).

RRF:   --were all gentiles. Catholics.

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

JN:       I used to make kites.

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   We played jacks, too.

DA:     Jacks.

JN:       Yes.

RRF:   Jack in the bowl, and then we had a swing on the porch, and we’d swing. Remember when they had porches on a swing?

DA:     You mean swings on the—

RRF:   Yes.

N:        No air-conditioning. (laughter)
F:         No.

RRF:   No, we didn’t even have a fan. Isn’t it funny?

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

JN:       You used to open your windows and nobody would bother you. Now you’re afraid.

RRF:   They wanted the fresh luft. You ever heard that? A lot of people still want that fresh air.

JN:       Yes.

DA:     Well, I like it.

RRF:   51:53  That’s why I said the fresh luft. (laughter) Isn’t that funny?

N:        Life has changed a lot, I guess.

All:      Yes.

N:        You’ve seen a lot of changes in your time.

F:         Yes.

N:        But things do change. Do you think—?

RRF:   They have to.

N:        They have to?

RRF:   Yes. I think they do.

JN:       Huh?

RRF:   Things have to change.

JN:       I had ________ (??). I had about six or seven catholic people around me. Back in—

RRF:   My best friends were always Catholics.  

JN:       Huh?
RRF:   In Houston, when I lived here as a girl. My best friends were Catholics.

N:        Oh, is that right?

DA:     I think when you go to school and when you go out to work, your surrounding is different. Naturally they’re not all—(unintelligible; speaking at same time).

JN:       You heard of the hex, don’t you? The ________ (??). The mother was a—I used to run around with her and some other ones. There’s another one, I don’t know if you knew Gertrude Goldman? Gert Goldman. They live on—(unintelligible)—somewheres.

N:        53:00  Yes. I’ve heard that. Yes. In your experiences, when you worked at Nathan’s, and your husband—the experiences there in the store with the personnel. You said there were a lot of non-Jews, of course.

DA:     Oh, sure.

N:        They were very pleasant?

DA:     The store was not a very, a very big store, you know. (unintelligible; speaking at same time)

N:        I remember.

DA:     —you remember it was Main Street and then—

N:        Right.

DA:     --it got into the suburb, and then there was no Main Street store. So they didn’t employ too many people, but to my knowledge, it seems like the office was the exception probably of one. The first office manager was not, but the one that we had when it went out to the suburb was. So you see there was—

RRF:   It was a men’s store, wasn’t it?

DA:     Men’s, and, when they went out to the suburbs, they had ladies’ too.

RRF:   Oh, they did? On Main Street it was just a men’s store?

DA:     A men’s store.

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)
N:        Yes.

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

F:         --a very fine men’s store.

DA:     -- it was a men’s clothing store, but then they just—

RRF:   It was a nice store.

DA:     --then they just changed it to Nathan’s.

N:        54:06  Well quite a few of these stores never did change. Not too many Jewish people it seems are getting into the retailing business. I think ________ (??) is about the last of them. Isn’t it? The others sold out.

DA:     Some.

N:        I know.

DA:     There are other big ones—(unintelligible; speaking at same time).

RRF:   Timmy Weingarten (??) just sold out too.

N:        Yes, a long time ago. Some British company, Great Pacific, they’re from England, so I’m not really—(unintelligible; speaking at same time).

JN:       They only have one store now? ________ (??)?

N:        The only one. I guess.

DA:     No. They have more than one store.

N:        Well, the only Jewish ________ (??), they are.

DA:     That’s what you mean? The Jewish ________ (??).

N:        The young Jewish people are going, I guess, from your family and yours—you can tell they’re going into different things.

DA:     You mean they’re not going—it used to be they’d go into clothing business because they probably didn’t have the education that it took to—(unintelligible; speaking at same time).

RRF:   54:56  One of my grandsons is with Dow Chemical Company. He’s a chemist. He graduated from A&M.

N:        Yes.

JN:       Where’s he? In Texas City or—?

RRF:   No, he’s in (voice over speaker system) Freeport or Lake Jackson.

JN:       Oh, yes.

N:        That’s down here on the coast near Galveston.

RRF:   --but he don’t get to be—but I want him to be here in Houston—

JN:       (unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   --where he could meet Jewish girls. But he don’t meet any Jewish girls.

N:        --a very small Jewish community.

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   But still, he’s got a wonderful job there. And the older boy’s with KIKK. He’s a ________ (??) editor. He’s the one who married a gentile girl. And he met her at the University of Houston. You see what I mean?

JN:       Of course my oldest boy is in business to himself. He’s a certified public accountant. And the other one is working for Walter Pine (??) office doing all the, you know, high bookkeeper. At a computer he works.

RRF:   You have to have an education for that.

DA:     Well, sure. I think there’s another Jewish store, isn’t there?

(unintelligible; speaking at same time)

RRF:   And Walter Pine (??). Walter’s dead. It’s his son.
DA:     His son. Yes.

RRF:   You know Joe Frank is here?

N:        56:04  Oh, is that right?

RRF:   The designer.

N:        Oh. I—

RRF:   I was raised with them.

N:        Oh, is that right?

RRF:   That’s right, in the same neighborhood.

N:        Well tell me some of the others that you may recall, and you too in Galveston. You probably did too. All these people have been here for so long.

RRF:   Isn’t that something? Ms Kaplan (??) must have knew that. (laughter)

N:        That’s right. She really did.

RRF:   We were telling you too much.

N:        Well, I’ve—

JN:       Some people I’ve seen that I haven’t seen for years recognize me.

N:        Is that right? The people that are coming here? The old-timers?

JN:       (unintelligible; speaking at same time)—they tell me, “You look just like your mother.”

RRF:   What was your maiden name?

JN:       Teicher. T-e-i-c-h-e-r. Benjamin Teicher. Some of them used to call him Burg (??). You know that’s ________ (??).

N:        Yes, yes. That’s right.

JN:       My oldest son is named after him.

RRF:   I knew the Massifs (??) of Galveston.

JN:       Huh?

RRF:   The Massif (??). The Metovsky (??).

JN:       57:04  Oh, yes. I know that—

RRF:   You know him too?

JN:       ________ (??) Metovsky (??) is here. Sold out his big store, the—

RRF:   The furniture store.

JN:       Yes, at the sales. And he’s living here. I don’t know what’s he doing here.

RRF:   I thought he was in San Antoine?

JN:       One is in San—that must be Lewis. The oldest boy is here.

RRF:   Oh, he is.

JN:       Like I said, I know (unintelligible; laughing).

N:        Yes, well I tell you what—

(end of recording 57:29)