America has problems, but America is NOT THE PROBLEM!~
1929 through 1931
Published on June 14, 2007 By Moderateman In History

 He glanced from the rail of the ship that transported himself and his Pregnant wife, seeing New York City for the first time.

Ellis Island was to be the first stop, His wife was praying that she did not give birth to the child before they were allowed to reach 'AMERICA' were the child would be the most treasured of all things to them, an AMERICAN CITIZEN. America! the land of opportunity, he had no real skill, but his wife's brothers have been in America for 10 years or so and have done well for themselves, they owned a dress and blouse makers shop and employed about 60 people and had promise him and his wife a job. Neither of them spoke a word of English, but they both spoke Turkish, French and Spanish, somehow they would get by.

The two brothers rented them a flat in East Harlem, not the best of places, but in 1929 not the worse place either, no where near as bad as it would get by 1945, The rent was 11 dollars a month, the brothers paid for one year {to be taken out of their wages} MY mother worked as a sewing Machine operator zipping through blouses and dresses for which she made 11 cents for each completed garment. My father tried to work the same way, but could not quite seem to grasp what was needed to do and the two brothers {My Uncles Yusuf-JOE and Bension-BENNY} 'suggested he try another job somewhere. Well this was "great depression time" jobs were scarce, money was tight and now they had a child to feed too {my Sister Rose} {May she rest in Peace} My father was not a very big man around five foot seven and weighed about 170, one day while drinking in a bar a fellow decided he did not like Jews and was loudly saying so, my Father took offense and said something back, the man stood up and towered over my dad and took a poke at him, my dad slide under the punch, came up with a uppercut and floored the much bigger man.

In the bar was another man, watching the exchange, he approached my Dad and asked how would you like to make 25 dollars? this was a large amount of money and my dad grew suspicious and asked what do I have to do? The man said every night we have 'smoker' where men fight each other bare knuckled, winner gets 25 dollars. My dad asked what does the loser get? the man answered "bruises" and laughed "nothing" you want to get paid, you win. So my father did what he had to do, in two years while he was learning English, he fought four or five times a week, mostly he won, he was always bruised, but he fed his family. MY mother hated what he did, but she was practical and understood without the money my Father was bringing home, they would go under and be homeless.

This story was related to me by my Mother, both my Uncles Joe and Benny and my Dads kid brother Leo.

I am Proud of my Father for not just fighting for his family, but for not DEMANDING someone help him, for him and my mother for learning English and becoming citizens, for my father instilling in me the pride of patriotism {he fought in WW2 with 2 kids at the age of 30 or 31}


Comments (Page 1)
on Jun 14, 2007
(Citizen)little-whipJune 14, 2007 13:57:58


Great story, Elie, and all the more so for being true.


Thanx Sabrina, Pops was a good man, he would have been very disappointed in the way I had lived my life, but proud of how I turned out in the end.
on Jun 14, 2007
An American tale.
on Jun 14, 2007
Thanks for sharing your history.
on Jun 14, 2007

Reply By: Dr GuyPosted: Thursday, June 14, 2007
An American tale.

Sadly this tale should happen today, but these is little pride in becoming an American Citizen today, and the mindset is GIMMEE GIMMEE!

on Jun 14, 2007

Reply By: Poison5Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2007
Thanks for sharing your history.

yer welcome, but my history does not start till after WW2, this was my fathers and mothers history.

on Jun 14, 2007

Great story Elie.  What a legacy.

 

on Jun 15, 2007

Reply By: Tova7Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2007
Great story Elie. What a legacy.

thank you Tova... the man himself {dad} was quite unpretentious, he took his winnings and bought a small fruit and vegetable stand, he figured no matter what People had to eat and this way he could feed his family partially for {Jewish joke coming} Wholesale!

on Jun 15, 2007
Dear Father and Mother, and my sister Rose, I miss you all so much. I love you.
on Jun 15, 2007
This was an interesting read Elie. I love the title! Congrats on the feature!
on Jun 15, 2007
Wonderful story, MM. I hope this story lives on and on in your family.

Reminds me of my grandfather, who was born in Mexico, eventually became a citizen here, and fought for this country during WWII as well. His service inspired patriotism that continues to this day.

Congratulations on the feature, too, btw.
on Jun 15, 2007

Reply By: foreverserenityPosted: Friday, June 15, 2007
This was an interesting read Elie. I love the title! Congrats on the feature!

Thanx Donna, I thought is was interesting myself and wanted to share what my Father did to keep his family together.

on Jun 15, 2007

Reply By: InBloomPosted: Friday, June 15, 2007
Wonderful story, MM. I hope this story lives on and on in your family.

Reminds me of my grandfather, who was born in Mexico, eventually became a citizen here, and fought for this country during WWII as well. His service inspired patriotism that continues to this day.

I have passed the story on to my girls, I hope they keep it alive, My brother has not passed this on to his one remaining son and has asked me not to.

on Jun 16, 2007
I have passed the story on to my girls, I hope they keep it alive, My brother has not passed this on to his one remaining son and has asked me not to.


why?
on Jun 16, 2007
I have passed the story on to my girls, I hope they keep it alive, My brother has not passed this on to his one remaining son and has asked me not to.


why?
on Jun 16, 2007

Reply By: lifehappensPosted: Saturday, June 16, 2007
I have passed the story on to my girls, I hope they keep it alive, My brother has not passed this on to his one remaining son and has asked me not to.


why?

I never questioned him, He is the FATHER, in this episode and I just cannot willy nilly over rule him.

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