24
May

MEMORIES OF GROWING UP IN SW D.C.

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www.lafrryrosen.org     May 24, 2011

   I previously posted some memories of growing up in S.W.

Washington, D.C. I recorded some of the following memories a

long tme ago.

   I arrived in SW D.C. at the age of four (4) from Cheyenne,

Wyoming where I was born,(a Jewish cowboy)where my Dad

had a “Stehleh” (job) as a schochet (ritual poultry slaughterer),

and mohel l(circumsized baby boys) per Jewish religion

practice.My Dad and Mother, brothers Phil and sam and my

sister Sarah all born in Palestine (now Israel) moved into the

premises vacated by theRetiring cantor Yoelson, father of the

famous well known entertainer Al Jolson, at 713 4 1/2 Street,

SW. My father placed a sign in the front window of our residence.

“A. Rosen Shocheet and Mohel from Jerusalem. I still recall

our brick rose with its black iron steps and small porch,which

was very outstanding, since most of our neighbors operated

retail stores.

On our left was Sam Hyatt, the barber,(hair cuts 35 cents), and

on our right Miller the sheet metal expert and later Friedman

the shoemaker.

On the same corner of our block 4th and G Street,SW was a

Sanitary grocery, and a gas station of the corner of H Street,SW.

I still remember Voronoff’s hardware with large rolls of oilcloth

flooring always displayed on the street in front of the store.

On the middle of the block there was Rosenberg’s pawn clothing

shop, and Pivenstein’s grocery. Across the street from our

home was Schneider’s hardware with its Xmas window always

displaying moving trains,Rubinstein’s candy store -snowballs

5 cents, and Sherman’s liquor store on the opposite corner of

the Sanitary grocery.Mr. Sherman always provided a radio with

loud speaker on the outside of his business that broadcast the

championship fights of the well known boxer, Joe Louis.

On most of the surroundings streets, a corner grocery was

located with the proprietors, living behind or on top of the

store.The grocery proprietors worked long hours, taking a

half a day break on Sundays. Many of the grocery owners

worked hard so that they possibly could save enough money

to send their children to college..

My father worked hard preparing kosher chickens, for 15 cents

which included the plucking of the feathers, and performing

circumcisions for $10.00,and $25.00 for more affluent Jewish

folks. My Dad was very active in our neighborhood  synagogue,

located at 467 E Street, SW,as the recording secretary,and

blowing the shofer, (ram’s horn) on the high holidays.

We enjoyed our home, even though gas jets in the walls

provided the lighting instead of electricity when when we first

moved in–later we were able to acquire electricity illumination.

A radio and large victrola,upright record player provided our

music not television. A close feeling existed between all the SW

residents. Afro Americans, then known as negroes and the SW

residents got along.

 Today the entire SW neighborhood is a beautiful area, having

had its area redeveloped,replacing all the older residences with

town houses, large office buildings, and a large super market

and drug store. The old neighboring waterfront  is also

scheduled to be completely replaced with modern structures.

Growing up in SW D.C. is one memory I will never forget.

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