There are so many more members in this family not shown but...
My Dad is on the Right in both pics - I am on the left - Aunt Minnie is keeping me in line & to this day; STILL need reining in!
The littlest one is not a grandchild - but a great grandchild.
And the woman sitting in the back is the 10th child & heir to the house.
A peek at one of the Chapters in my Memoir ...
Well, this is what happens when you look up your Grandparents old home address on the Internet & find it surprisingly intact, full of life & off the market. I never expected the house to be still livable decades after their deaths in 1953 - 6 months from each other & he; from a broken heart.
It was comforting to know the house was passed down to their 10th child until her passing.
It was old & run-down when I first knew it - so I couldn't believe it would ever be rejuvenated; I would imagine, even the Termites were tired!
As far as the family was concerned - The House was them & they were The House & that's how I saw it too.
Other than New York's Hell's Kitchen, Max & Jennie never lived anywhere else; so permanence was the operating system. For me especially, after a life of constant moving & family crisis; this was a stable oasis.
This is where Grandma brought into this world 10 babies & Grandpa smoked Cigars.
She surrendered her ovaries to chance & found what to do on a Saturday night with just a Radio for Entertainment. I could be wrong, but for her; it wasn't a pleasure & I don't mean the delivery.
The Down Payment for this house in Ozone Park, Queens, New York was my Grandmother's Dowry when she got married.
Again, he brought Cigars!
Actually, besides his love of Checkers & Pinochle; one of his jobs other than being a Tailor & owning a Candy Store; was a Cigar Maker.
It's a wonder with so much smoke in the Bedroom; he was able to pick her out from the Bedpost!
Not really - when she married, she was an average weight woman; but after the 1st child, she weighed 300 pounds & held that Title as long as she lived at 80. But I never noticed - I simply succumbed to her hugs that enveloped you like a cloud.
My Grandfather was rail thin & together; made quite a contrast - standing or seated. Laying down - well, you do the math!
As family lore goes; Max came over from Hungary at 14 & never touched Butter again in his life after quite a Ship Steerage scene. Cigars are no substitute for Butter; even Paula Deen knows that!
Jennie was known to be very proud she was born in the U.S.A. & was toothless all the years I knew her. Embarrassed, but too leery of dentists & false teeth - it didn't bother me - I thought all Grandmas looked like that.
Whereas, Max's fake Choppers were always sliding up & down as he made a point & obviously not afraid of Dentists; but he had a saying about "Hospitals" - "You never come out alive"!
Saving my lungs from all that smoke; I lived far away in Pittsburgh... with all that Soot & became their 11th grandchild out of 14; where the bloom is off the rose - so to speak.
Heck, I was just happy if they remembered my name & whose child I was!
I had been at the house as an infant & have pictures to prove it; but I certainly didn't remember there was only 1 Bathroom!
With 6 boys? I can imagine in the old days; the Bushes were well fed!
But the only time I was cognizant of gangs of assorted relatives; was when I stayed at the house with my father at 14 years old & slept with Aunt Minnie.
There were so many attending; I could've had my choice of them. But you know how these large family things work; someone always sleeps with Aunt Minnie.
I wasn't aware that that would be the last time I'd see them, or the house; but everything about that overnight stay warms me each time I daydream & go back there:
Quiet & sweet; I always wanted to be just like her & so far I have - if you don't count swearing at The Bread Machine!