Aug 5, 2012

A CyberVisit

The responses and comments to the political posts are usually within a day or two. The historical posts have a much longer shelf life. People using search engines find something of their youth often years after I wrote the post. I still occasionally get a comment from someone who worked at a Mohican Market, often somewhere in upstate New York. Yesterday, a former post on the 6th Ward received such a comment.

 Hello molovinsky, I found your blog today. I was born in the 6th ward in 1933. My grandfather, who died very young, long before I was born, was Emanuelle Markowitz and was, I believe, the first religious head of Aguda Achim. His wife was Ida Markowitz. We lived at 234 and then 244 Hamilton St. and went to Harrison Morton grade school before departing permanently to New York City. Arnold Fein (brother is Barry)

 My grandparents lived on Second Street in around 1900, and belonged to the Agudas Achim congregation. After Arnold and I exchanged a couple comments, I invited him to send me a note about Allentown via email.

  Yeah, Michael, I went back for a visit about 3 yrs. ago. All of lower Hamilton St,is part of a highway and the Jersey RR Station ,I was told, failed as a restaurant.The stores I remember on Hamilton between 2nd and 3rd were, Queenies Luncheonette, Bucky Boyle's Bar, Harry Gross Shoes,an A&P on the corner of 1st (Front?)and Hamilton, a "holy roller" storefront church, a travel agency with a large steamship model in the window,Taylors Plumbing Supply (now Weinstein's-I visited the place when I was there), a "Giant" supermarket on 5th and Hamilton across from the P.O., Francis the barber on the hill,the Colonial theatre,etc.Harrison Morton is still there and 2nd St.off Hamilton is still the same including the "A Treat" sign on the little store near HM, which I remember. Some friend's names from that time are: Stanley and Nancy Kulp (Culp?) who lived in an old wooden house next to the Lehigh Valley RR Freight terminal across from Taylor's. Michael Miller, Bobby Kressler, George Mevrides(sp?), Andrew Kent,Dickie Catalina(whom I'll never forget as the guy who came running out on Hamilton St. on 12/7/ shouting, "the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor"), the 4-5 Delaney kids,Dickie Gross who lived in a stone house on 2nd St.just off Hamilton where his father had his dental practice, Lucille Wiener, Phyllis Malatrott,Victoria Minner,Ronald DiLeo whose father was a Dr., (told me my first "off color" joke in the 1st grade while we were standing side by side at a HM urinal)), Marvin Karll, 2 HM footballers (who were not friends as such), Barney Garulla(sp?) and Albert Casium, whom I believe was Albanian.Other places were the slaughter house, Arbegast and Bastion (sp?). Couldn't miss that!, Riverfront Park, and a horse watering trough on the corner of Hamilton and Front(?)Lots of others. Something priceless about childhood, no matter where it's spent.

 Even in Allentown.

UPDATE: More memories from "Arnie" Fein
Also, my grand parents owned a store on 2nd St. around Tilghman, before I was born. My mother always remembered the few words she knew in Slavic because some of the customers spoke only "Slavisch".Another recollection was in 1943 when a lot of us went to the JerseyRR terminal to watch a train full of German POWs being transported west. Larry and Jimmy Whitman lived above the A&P on that picture you sent. Their name was anglicized from a Polish name their parents shortened.Harry and Jean Getz, friends of my mother, owned a small shoe store between 2nd and 3rd Sts.The name of the travel agency was, if I'm correct, something like Bortz. On Walnut St. around the corner from Weinstein's was the "Perkiomen Transfer Co." The local movie house was the Townie which I believe was in the 6th ward.Further up the hill were the Colonial, the Midway and the Transit.There was a trolley named the Liberty Bell which went from 8th St. to Philly and a trolley to Bethlehem along the "Bethlehem Minsi Trail". Other memories as they come from the distant past...

 photo supplied by Arnold Fein, showing him, brother and mother at Hamilton and the current American Parkway, next to the current Weinstein Supply Company.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful opportunity for all of us to learn about local history and the power of the Internet.
Thank you for sharing this news.

Anonymous said...

Would you be comfortable asking your guest if others could write to him about their local Allentown connections to ask if he might have information to shed light on past histories?

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, As I told you earlier this evening, I consider this type of post your best work. It gives us all a glimpse into Allentown as it once was, and had e thinking about growing up in Hellertown. As your friend so astutely observes, there's something priceless abut our childhoods, no matter where they are spent.

Anonymous said...

I am moved by the level of recall and amount of detail ths gentleman possesses of the past . It comes, I believe from a much more stable time where sense of community and involvment was an important part of the culture. My perception is we have moved far afield of this ltype of lifestyle. It is a shame.

Anonymous said...

In the 1980s in Allentown folks would sleep on their small outside back porch because few row houses had air conditioning. Never felt afraid.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Bernie. Your style of writing lends a warm glimpse into life in an All-American city. What happened to Allentown these folks write about is a decline in property pride.

ironpigpen said...

Not to stray too far off topic but I find your 'historical post' thing here interesting.

I have found, for what I do, that your theory about the "history vs current events" to be "spot on".

I have found my results to be much like the wise, old turtle (history) vs speedy, young rabbit (current events) tale ...

The only thing is, it CAN take a little while (and, sometimes, a long, long time) for the history stuff to get "found" by the 'research crowd'.

In other words, the stories that set records for single, one-day attendance NEVER do the same for all-time attendance --- at least not in my blog world.

;-)

michael molovinsky said...

rolf, although it doesn't garner comments, (what can anybody say) my post on kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, is by far my most visited post. for those who don't know, that was a nazis instigated anti-jewish riot on nov.9, 1938

ironpigpen said...

The 1972 Munich Olympics incident involving the Palestinian terrorists and 11 slain Israel Olympic athletes (and one West German street cop), the one the 2012 London Olympics could not be bothered to have a moment of silence for at its Opening Ceremony, is # 2 on my all-time list ...

... the football stadium in Portgual that is essentially built into the side of a moutainous rock quarry is # 1.

What does THAT say about the importance of history to people in today's contemporary global society?

:-)