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Travels with Dad, Part 2


How did you end up coming from Cleveland to the Bronx and where was the first place in the Bronx that you lived?


We came back to the Bronx, and I think it was 2042 Grand Avenue. No it couldn't have been 2042... I'll tell you exactly where it was. It was 1819 Tiffinay (sp?) street. That's where we went, Tiffinay Street.


Why come back and go to Tiffinay Street?


I have no idea. But rents were free then. I'm not saying it right. You could go to anyplace that you want and the first month was free. They had a lot of vacancies. That was about 1935. And it's a four-flight walk-up. And we had about six rooms there.

[He's jumping back now to when he was first married]

Let me take you over here. We leave the Haster's... Dinah is dying of cancer and we move into that building down there with the Hasters. Again we have one room. That went on for the first two years of our marriage. And we hear that Dinah has died. And I go to this lawyer, Leo somebody and he says, "occupancy is the whole business." So at night time, we arrange trucks to come, moving trucks. I don't know how we get into the apartment. I have no idea. I'm sure it was locked. But we got into the apartment, and we're in about 45 minutes and the superintendant comes up. And he says, "uh who are you?" And we say we were living there. And he says, "I don't know you. I'm sorry but you gotta get out." I said, "No, we lived here before, we left our stuff here and we're gonna stay." He said, "No you can't stay."

"Well, we are gonna stay." He calls the cops. And the cops come, and they ask some questions. And they say, "Look, either you leave or you get arrested." So we called the truck guys, rel-loaded the stuff back on the truck. We went back over there to the other apartment. And, I don't know, in the middle of the night, they put everything back, and the woman there, Hasta, was going crazy.... Anyway, so that's where we were.

And the first apartment we had by our own, was the one that I showed you on Bedford Park.

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[Charles R., my mother's father, had played oboe in the Moscow Symphony. He was a tidy, exacting man, who usually wore a bow-tie and hat with a feather. When he came to the States, he worked as a house-painter, and pinned all of his hopes in my mother, who had quite a bit of musical talent.

My father recollects how Charles R. arrived at the house on Bedford Park.]


...Charles R. enters the scene. And he says, "you know, what you did, that wasn't really very smart." And I got very aggressive with him, without touching him. But I said, "you know, I don't know what I called him, I don't think I called him anything." But I backed him out of the house and said "This is not a good time for you to talk to me. I'm still very upset, and when I'm very upset things happen."

He said, "I just want..."

And I backed him out of the house.

He's the guy that said to me, on the day that we got married. He said, "I only have one wish... you have to promise me." I said, "What do I have to promise you?"

"You have to promise me that you'll make Sheba practice every day."

(His voice gets softer now...)

I said, "I don't promise anything."

He said, "But you don't understand."

I said, "you don't understand."


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I offer several Bronx photographs as Note Cards here

All photography copyright Dave Beckerman.