|Edwin Vargas (#46789442)|
| || member for 11 years, 11 months, 3 days|
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|Christopher Ryan||Hey Brother Man|
By any chance are you an AGE guy in the Air Force??
My late mother always refused to talk very much about her family of origin. Part of it was because she was the only child of two widowed people with older children, and she felt excluded from having REAL brothers and sister, having only HALF sibs. My sister and I learned early not to ask a lot of questions.
Mom was born in Utica, NY, and spent some of her years in Syracuse. It wasn't until we were adults, and the half-sister mom was closest to died suddenly while taking a nap after lunch that she was shaken enough to stay a few days with my sister, and revealed that our grandparents had been divorced. Mom was even reluctant to tell me what her parents died from when my doctor wanted to know for my medical history - and breast cancer and heart disease are not too weird.
Mom eventually died of a combination of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and spent a number of years in a nursing home. eldest half sister, who was 18 or 19 years older than her, had passed away just short of 100 years old, I went to Syracuse to pay a sympathy call on my cousins. I knew that my eldest cousin Howard was only 7 years younger than my mom, so I started asking HIM questions about the family. HE'S the one who told me about Lulu, and a book called "Tough Jews", which has a chapter about Dutch & Lulu and them all.
My mom had always told me that her dad was in "importing" and her mom had run a boarding house which she had run with her first husband. I told this to my cousin who laughed. He had also been born in Utica, and had moved to Syracuse as a young adult. When he met his future wife, he was invited to dinner, and her uncle, who knew Utica (the Jewish community in both cities are small) was grilling him about his family. HOWARD had always been told it was a hotel, and told the man the names of his grandparents and my grandfather. The uncle laughed and said he knew all of them well, but it wasn't a hotel; it was a tavern. (Not a common career for Jews, by the way)
On the way back to NYC on Amtrack, I did a little calculating. Mom was born in 1918. If she and Howard remembered this place as very small children, and were kept out of it so that the were unaware of it's nature... What was going on in the 1920's? I realized that my grandma, who died when my mother was 16, had run a speakeasy.
Howard told me that although they were divorced, my grandfather was the only grandfather he knew,and he remembered him well, and continued to see him after the divorce. He said that Ike Esterson (his name) was ALWAYS well dressed, but never seemed to have a real job. But my mom had said he was in "importing"...
His wife ran a speakeasy...
Doesn't take a detective to figure out that Grandpa Ike was a rum-runner down from Canada to supply grandma's speakeasy.
Maybe this was all made easy by grandma's nephew Lulu & his buddies. (Lulu's mother was her sister.) Unfortunately, there are no pictures. I only have 2 photos of Ike, and have never even SEEN one of Henrietta, my grandmother. And Howard passed away about 2 years after his mother did, from melanoma. So whatever information he had (he was a lawyer and may have done some digging)apparently died with him.
Unfortunately, my late mother would NEVER talk about her family. I only learned about Lulu from my eldest cousin, who was only 7 years younger than my mother (he's also gone now) after my mother was senile and HIS mother (the only other surviving member of that generation) had just died, a few months short of 100.
All Howard know was that Lulu's mother was our mothers' mother's sister, and that she lived in the Bronx. Most of the rest of what Howard new about him came from the book "Tough Jews".
I posted his name on a Jewish geneology website, and no one has ever answered.
My mother always told me that her mother ran a boarding house and her father was in importing. When I told this to Howard he laughed. HE had always been told it was a hotel, and although we have different grandfathers, since his died before my grandparents were married, my grandfather is the only one he ever knew. He told me that as far as he knew, our grandpa never seemed to have a real job, but always had money. The family was originally from Utica, NY, but when Howard was a teenager, they moved to Syracuse (if you're not from New York, they're not very far from each other, in the middle of the state)
When Howard became engaged to his future wife, her uncle began to question him about his family background during the first dinner he was invited to. He gave my grandparent's names, and his grandfather's name, and said "they owned a hotel in Utica" (by then all the grandparent's had died). The uncle laughed and said "I knew your grandparent's well, but that was no hotel, it was a tavern."
When I was on Amtrak on the way back to NYC after that visit to Syracuse when he told me that, I realized that since my mom was born in 1918, and Howard 7 years later - if they both remember an operating "tavern" in their early childhood - it was a speakeasy. And if my granddad had "no real job but always had money" and was "in importing" and his wife owned a speakeasy... It isn't hard to figure out that he was a rum runner- perhaps using gangworld connections through his wife's nephew LuLu.
Sorry I couldn't be of any more help, but if you ever find any more info on Cousin LuLu, let me know, will you?
|Ike Rosen||Bernard "LuLu" Rosenkrantz|
I am curious as to why you posted his gravesite? My mother was his first cousin, so I came across the posting as part of geneological research.
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