life in and around NYC is insane

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I spent a lot of time recently blogging about my maternal grandmother. She was the only grandparent I knew, the others having passed away before I was born.

What I know about my paternal grand parents . . . My grandfather's name was Feivel . When he came to New York he anglicized it to Phillip. Later, when he was living in Brooklyn, he filed papers in Supreme Court, Kings County seeking to drop the unwieldy surname "some Cossack gave his ancestors" in favor of something short, sweet and very Jewish.

My grandmother's name was D'vora, she later called herself Dora (gee, where did I hear that before?).

They were born in a village outside of Kiev, in the Ukraine. Phillip came to America after the failed Russian Revolution of 1905 and sent for Dora later.

They lived in Brooklyn and raised 5 children. My father was the youngest. His sisters were 14, 12, 10 and 8 when he was born. Of course my father was a little prince.

(When I was a little girl I read the "All Of A Kind Family" series of books. That was pretty close to what my father's family was like.)

My grandfather was a seltzer man. He owned a truck, from which he made deliveries of soda and seltzer to people's homes.

There are two stories told about that truck.

Initially Phillip was in business with one of his brothers. The brother was married to Dora's best friend. There was a huge fight when the brother became disabled and could not work. From what I heard, the brother expected Phillip to support his brother's family as well as his own. The families stopped speaking to each other.

The second story is about a missed opportunity. Phillip was offered an office job and an ownership interest in a soda company. He turned it down because he liked his independence, he liked working outside. You can guess what happened. After many years as a successful local brand, the company was ultimately purchased by PepsiCo.


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