Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Who was Harry Silver?

Eddie Franklin posed the question and I don't have a good answer for him. Does anyone know more about him? Was he the Donald Trump of his day?

Eddie also threw out the following word associations that bring back the old days for him: Mario, Cliff, B46, Wetson's, White Castle, Lee-Arn Diner, Floridian, Amitybagel, Big Daddy's, Tastee Freeze, milk machine, 1965 blackout, 1966transit strike, 1969 teachers strike, skelly, ringolivio, pinochle,mahjong, Dr. Lessner.

I would add to that Cheap Charlie's, Little Venice and "the Pit". What word's bring you back to those good old days?

24 comments:

Dan said...

here's a few from Dan Lehrer: punchball,Carvel,the garage, the cariage room,the roof,the Good Humor Man,off-the-slide,Hebrew School,Chronic Disease Hospital,hunters and rabbits,baseball card flip,...

allan said...

The Co-op, as it was called, was a group of six apartment buildings located in the Crown Heights / East New York section of Brooklyn, New York. The official title of the Co-op was actually The Harry Silver Housing. There are a total of 288 apartments in the 6 buildings – 8 apartments on each floor – 6 floors each. The math actually works this total. The apartment buildings were built in 1952 and managed for years by Jerome Belson, who at the time was a young union attorney. Mr. Belson had been approached by some the union members who had just returned from serving the country in World War II, looking for affordable housing. The initial rent on the apartments was $ 55 a month. Mr. Belson is an attorney whose law firm, Belson, Connolly & Belson, and is general counsel to the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butchers Workmen of North America, a relationship that led to his involvement in real estate. The union wanted to build a co-op in Brooklyn for working people and name it after Harry Silver, the union activist. When it opened in 1952, Mr. Belson ended up as the managing agent.

bonniebergstein said...

What about Junks and the A&P. Also the bicycle room (very creepy), and Carvel on Remsen Ave. My sister Enid (Ratner) Kaplan is looking for people from her age group.She was born in 1952 and moved into the co-op as a brand new baby. I've already been in touch with a few old friends. People from the past. When this reunion becomes a reality, it should be quite interesting!

Lev said...

That's really interesting about Harry Silver. It's ironic that Jerry Belsen was a Union Attorney since I always thought of him as some sort of fascist dictator trying to limit the fun we kids could have.

Anonymous said...

Allan, thanks for the info on Harry Silver. Also, I can't believe I left off Junks.
How about Dubrow's and Famous Restaurant
Eddie

Anonymous said...

more words
Pensy Pinky, Leon Deutch, Keds, Cons
Eddie

Anonymous said...

Don't know if this is the best blog to post this but, when Lev told me that Wingate High had closed, I did a little Googling and found out that California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz were among its graduates. Anyone remember them?
Eddie

Amy Wollman said...

1. Three feet off!
2. Mom, throw me down a quarter.
3. Boys High Field.

Anonymous said...

Following up on Allan's lead, I called Jerry Belson and he told me that Harry Silver was an organizer of the Kosher Butchers union who was murdered by anti-union goons in 1928. Also for what it's worth, I asked what was on the land before Harry Silver was built and he said the land was vacant.

I said that given the age of all of us now, it must have been strange to see all the pregnant women around the co-op within such a short period of time. His response: "I had nothing to do with that."
On a totally unrelated topic: This question is for Amy Wollman -- was that you who played Peter Pan in the the 5th-grade production of the play?

Eddie

Harry Pincus said...

Thanks for contacting me. I often think of the old shetl, and have occasionally driven by to visit my ghosts, as it were. I've lived on Spring St. in Lower Manhattan for more than 30 years now, and find that raising my children here is quite a different experience, in the sense that they don't have a village like we had. No Yiddishe grandmas on beach chairs to watch over them, no green lawns with fireflies and touch football, no Cub Scout meetings that had to break up in time to see the Flintstones. But we certainly do have computers . . . and I can be reached at penandinkus@gmail.com.

Robin said...

i can speak here for amy wollman, who was my best friend at the time, and she was peter pan in the p.s. 221 play...

what about mario the super, cliff the handyman, and who remebers the elderly night watchman?

and remember when they built the "yenta centers"..concrete in the grass..and all those yentas in the beach chairs eyeing you up and down as you walked by?

and my favorite spot of all, the 1st floor window of building 2 where i sat with barbara hollander and any of the guys who were around to hangout all through high school and college...i don't know how the people living in those 1st floor apartments took it!

Amy Wollman said...

Yes, of course Robin is right. Peter Pan was my 15 minutes of fame. For me it was 4th grade, though. I guess the two classes did it together.
What was the name of the other luncheonette kitty corner from Junks? Al's, or something like that? That was good for lunch and comic books, but Junks was the place for really junky candy.

Anonymous said...

the lunchenette across the street from Junks was Eli and Al's.

Names of 221 teachers.

Miss Francis (became Mrs. Spooner), Mrs. Silver, Mrs. Moskowitz, Miss Pilelsky (became Mrs. Kravetz), Mrs. Belich, Miss Simon, Mrs. Dunoff, Mrs. Goldstein, Mrs Levine, Mrs. Garelick, Mr. Joffee, Mr. Stern

Harry Pincus said...

I remember that Mario the Super had a spectacular yellow '50's Buick or Oldsmobile with all sorts of chrome and bells and whistles . . . I also remember that he was bent over and stiffened by arthritis. John, the other super, was a wiry old man who hung out on an upholstered club chair in the incinerator room (810? or 828?) and made hissing cat noises at us kids. Mr. Benjamin, the manager, was unaffectionately known as "Benji Balls" by some of us. I remember that, in the summer of '61, as Maris and Mantle vied for the home run championship, we had a punchball home run derby in the playground, with Arthur Thurm (sp?) and Norman Gertner (sp?) as the big sluggers. In February of '62 (I think it was) we went on a Cub Scout trip to Washington, D.C. and stayed in a WWII barracks at Fort Belvoir, VA, and all the dads got to re-live their youth in the upstairs barracks. I also remember epic snowball fights with kids climbing up to the "terrace" above the "plaque" to mount their bombardments. Good memories, all that stuff. . . 'cept for poor Mario's bad back.

Amy Wollman said...

I moved away when I was 11 and discovered that there were non-Jewish white people, and most of them were Italians. (Turned out I was wrong about that too.) Anyway, at some point I thought back to Mario and realized he was a gentile in a sea of Jews. I had no awareness of this as a kid.

Remember when the intercom system was installed? Robin and I used to use it as a telephone. We'd call on the regular phone, ring once and hang up. Then pick up the intercom. Saved the price of a call (or the exercise of walking up or down a flight).

As for teachers, I LOVED Miss Francis. I think you mean Miss Levine (unless there was also a Mrs. Levine) who became Mrs. Gould. I thought she was so young and beautiful (sort of a human Barbie doll to me) and she's got to be pushing 70 now. How weird is that? Finally, there was Mrs. Silberstein in 1st grade -- not mean, but kind of distant and without a personality. And of course, the Schneider sisters, Bea and Rose.

Anyone remember that the school song was sung to the tune of Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen?

Anonymous said...

Amy, You're right on the teachers. It was Miss Levine and Mrs. Silberstein (not silver)

Eddie

Larry said...

Hi Harry-John Genna, the other super was Mario's son. Do we remember Gus Rutch, the night watchman? Larry Sisselman

Larry said...

Eddie, another correction- MISS. Silberstein was not married...Larry

Larry said...

Robin, I remember hanging out at bldg 2 with you and a great bunch of kids. Did Mrs. Pryder soak or scorch any of the kids you know? I think she soaked Freddie Friedman....Larry Sisselman

Robin said...

hey larry, nice to see you remember me...i always used to look forward to seeing you and your brother walk down toward building 2..i know b.h. did too!..i never got soaked ..i think that as a girl..there were so few of us...i avoided a lot of that stuff..and it was howie friedman who always got in trouble!
you know i think we are neighbors as i am off rte 33 in manalapan and i hear you are in hightstown...brooklyn has moved to nj...

Larry said...

Hi Robin, nice hearing from you.My brother Jay is one of your neighbors-he lives in East Windsor. I live in Bayside, Queens. Ah, the good old days!..Larry

Larry said...

hey Robin-Our building had nothing doing(bldg 4). Your building was a great hangout. Now that I look back, fondly, I have feelings of guilt because of the way we all may have been perceived by the neighbors who lived in your bldg.We were often noisy, but we had fun times outside or in the vestibule during the winter. I hope they forgive us. Too bad if they don't....Larry

Ellen said...

The Floridian
Johns Bargain Store
Rugby Theater
Carroll Theater
charlotte russe
Clarabel Bars
Uncle Jack's Ice Cream Truck
Rugby Y

Anonymous said...

OK. How about "Ring-a-leevio 1,2,3" and Percy, the African American window washer?
Any takers?!