There was an enclave of new immigrants in New York City in the early 1900’s where relatives congregated as they emigrated from their birthplaces for a variety of reasons. My father; to escape the inevitable draft in the army, my mother; to escape an arranged marriage. The emigres supported one another during the process of adjusting to their new way of life in the United States. Eventually, they moved on to other parts of the country when opportunities arose.
Ida Boshan is the lady in the middle, Charles Politzer is the gentleman in the middle
My mother, Ida Boshan, did not know my father, Charles Politzer, before arriving in New York. However, each had gravitated to that area where their relatives had already settled and they found that they had relatives in common.Continue reading →
When I was 5 1/2 years old, probably in 1924, the family moved to the country so that my mother, who grew up on a farm in Hungary, could have a garden, that subsidized the budget for food. My father bought a ten acre plot which had a large house with an apple orchard in the front yard and was located on Southfield Road and 8 1/2 Mil Road just over the Oakland County line.
Our Southfield house was a two story brick structure with a large screened in porch in the front and on the left side. The porch was wide enough for double beds which the family took advantage of in the summer time. In the winter, the porch space was used as a “freezer”; barrels of smoked goose and corned beef would be stored there. Vegetables from the garden were stored in the cellar. A ton of sand would be poured through a basement window (just like the coal was poured through the window of the coal bin). And before the ground froze, the root vegetables and celery were picked and “planted” in the sand. That way we had semi-fresh vegetables for the Sunday chicken soup. The carrots sprouted leaves, as did the turnips, parsnips, and celery.
My cousins, Fred, Leonard, and Lillian Greenhut, and Harry Blau, would spend many summers with us full time. Not having any brothers, this was a very natural way for me, and my two younger sisters, to have contact with boys. (The four older girls were away, either at jobs or were married already).
My mother was of course the one who taught me how to sew, so she was very important in my beginnings. When my sisters and I needed a new dress, I helped her make them or I made them myself by the time I was 12 years old.
Mother made our winter coats and during World War I, she made my sister Josephine and I military style coats out of Astrakhan (a fake fur material). And we had military caps to go with the coats; the kind that fold flat and can be slipped into a coat pocket. During this time my Uncle Alex who was going to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor took Jo and I to our first Football game all dressed up in our Astrakhan military coats and caps. I think it was Michigan playing St. Louis.
…..after leaving Flint for Detroit, MI, Dad bought a Meat Packing Plant, hoping a son would arrive to take over the business, but when that didn’t happen, he opted for a retail butcher shop as a means of livelihood, which was located near where we lived.
I (Polly) worked at our father’s butcher shop from the age of 8 years old, probably in 1927 or 28, both inside and outside running errands, and continued through high school.Continue reading →
the signature confuses me. I always thought that my mother made the linoleum cut. For sure she held on to this all these years…….
Around the time I started high school, my older sister Frieda, who was already called Fritzie most of the time, began working for Olga Fricker at her School of Ballet, as the costume designer. Fritizie lived in her studio on the top floor of the school which was a three story building on Cass Avenue near Wayne University. Fritzie and I had become better acquainted with each other and were then very good friends: I found in her someone I could talk to and she was very supportive. I let her know how lonely I was living in the “boonies”, at home.. She made arrangements with Olga Fricker to let me join an after school ballet class and pay for it by being responsible for keeping Olga’s office clean.Continue reading →