#6 Fritzie: Growing up

Probably one of Fritzie's class pictures.  She is in the middle row, 3rd from the left.

Probably one of Fritzie’s class pictures. She is in the middle row, 3rd from the left.

I can remember that everyday when we sisters came home from school there was a fresh round loaf of rye bread with jam for us to snack on.  Continue reading

#8 Fritzie: My Early Influences – How I got my Professional Name

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.

Mrs. Haveman was another one of the earliest influences on my life.  Continue reading

#10 Polly: The Fire

One October evening Dad came home and announced that we would be going to Temple after supper.  It was Succoth, a Jewish harvest festival, and there would be a special ceremony and treats for the children.  The synagogue was about 15 miles from our house, which resulted in our not going there very often.  But when Dad decided to go, we went.

On the way home, we noticed a bright light as we neared eight mile road.  Continue reading

#13 Fritzie: Socializing with the young people in Allenford in 1925

Gretchen and I wanted to get to know the young people in town, so we took the road around Chesley Lake and walked to the presbyterian church in Allenford on Sunday mornings.  The choir master greeted us very kindly and we were recruited for the church choir.  Eventually, however, the choir master discovered that I did not have a voice and asked me not to sing, but to mouth the words with no sound, so I could remain in the choir.  I did not mind as long as I could stay in the choir.

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At first, when we got to Allenford, we were considered stuck-up city girls, but the young people soon learned to like us, and we liked them a lot, and we were allowed to join the group.  In Allenford, there was a big group of teenagers that did everything together as a group.  There wasn’t so much dating in those days.

We went to all the baseball games in Allenford.  This is one of the things everyone did together.  Aunt Gretchen and the two of us always wore the same dresses.  She wore a white polka dotted dress with a pink background.  Gretchen’s dress was blue with white polka dots and mine was violet with white polka dots.  They were our baseball dresses each with a sash to match.  I had made them all.

The baseball games in Allenford were very important because it looked like the team had a chance at winning the Canadian Farm Baseball Championship award.  And that was important to us, because Gretchen’s father had told the team that if they won, he would sponsor the Championship dance to celebrate their victory.  It was to be given in their big barn and he would pay for the band and everything.

By this time, Gretchen was dating both the Pitcher, Norman Wayne and the Catcher, Percival Noble, who when he grew up became a member of the Canadian Parliament.  I was dating, Garnett E. Montgomery, the Postmaster’s son.  He delivered mail, too, by horse and buggy in the afternoon and often invited me to join him for the ride and each time I went with him, he presented me with a bouquet of sweet peas.  They grew in his mother’s garden.

We wore the same dresses, which I had made, to the baseball games and the square dance socials.  And each girl had to bake a pie.  Gretchen baked mine and her’s.  They were always butterscotch pies with whipped cream topping and everyone knew that they were the best.  Then at the social the boys had to buy the pies and they would get the girl to eat it with them.  Usually there was a “box supper” that went with the pie.

You can imagine how excited Gretchen and I were when the boys won the Baseball Championship and we actually had the big dance in the big barn.  Gretchen and I helped Aunt Gretchen make all the food for the big occasion.  We made fried chicken, potato salad, vegetables and cakes.  That was the first time I ever made mayonnaise from scratch.



It got cold in October and November and the lake was frozen.  On Sunday we walked to town across the lake and we loved it.  Some days it was very cold, like 35F below zero, but we did it so we could get a ride home after church and sometimes we were invited for dinner by some of the girls and boys or we invited them home to our house.  It worked out very well.Frieda & Gretchen 1925_4

And in the winter time we went with the gang to all the hockey games with the hockey team.  They used a big sled.  In Allenford in the 1920’s the only form of transportation in the winter was by sleigh.  We went in a big sled that had straw on the floor and had enough room in it for the hockey players and all the young people of Allenford; the cheering squad!  We always kept on the main roads since the side roads were pretty narrow and our sled was so big.  To make sure that we got to the games on time, the driver would sometimes pretend that we were a “funeral sleigh”.  He’d tell us all to be real quiet, and cut out the teenage ruckus and then he’d signal the other sleigh that we were a funeral sleigh and they’d let us go right through.  We were never late for a game!








#15 Polly: Fritzie’s many Influences on me & the dresses she made for me

Many, Many Artistic endeavors……….

the signature confuses me. I always thought that my mother made the linoleum cut. For sure she held on to this all these years.......

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

#25 1990’s


In the 1990’s, Fritzie spent 7 years living in a senior residence near my middle brother Tim, in the Denver, Colorado area.  Tim & his wife, Ruth, took on the day care role and my youngest brother, Victor who lived nearby in Salt Lake City, visited her with his family often.  She was very happy to have this time with her sons.


Fritzie made the colorful blouse under her jacket. She always loved bright colors.

They made sure that she was cared for, took her on outings, were in constant communication with her, were there in cases of emergency and… among other things made sure that she had her sewing machine with her.  When she did use it, she still showed a flare for design, color and style.