More To Come......
What an amazing childhood and being exposed to Broadway at such young age was truly fascinating.
Hey Naomi, my Mom worked as a seamstress from home and my Father was a tailor :D
Hi Naomi! I read with envy your times. I only enjoy Arthur Rubinstein on cd recordings, never in person which I would have loved.
Carnegie Hall look so elegant in your pictures...must be a treat going for concerts.
Thank you again for great memories...certainly 'memories are made of these'! Please share more of your broadway musicals and shows...these are my one favorite. I love music full stop!
What wonderful memories!! I would love to see those beautiful capes your mother made! I could picture them in my mind! ;)
Have a wonderful day my friend!
You must feel about the early days of Broadway like I feel about the early music of my generation: The 60's.
I'm so glad your enjoying the photos of Floyd's Green Art Hotel Floyd!
And now I'm still reading. Excuse me.
Oh my gosh! I've been away from here FOREVER! We have just GOT to get your blog on to Google Reader somehow! GEEZ!
Do you know? I just kneeeew your childhood was like this! I just KNEW it! And I would SO love to see those capes your mother made... Your parents were really awesome... to have brought themselves up so far from NOTHING! And to give you kids the experiences that they did! And that it was IMPORTANT to them that they SHARE it with you! I'm sure it would have been cheaper to leave you at home with a babysitter.... amazing!
What marvelous memories you have shared with us. I love seeing the photos also, helps to imagine the gradure of it all. As a child it must have seemed so massive! How wonderful to have lived a night like that, even as a meer child..with a lovely cape...I love reading your posts, they transport us to a moment, feeling, time.
That's the kind of experience we theatre-goers dream of, Naomi. I can't imagine artists or performers doing that today. I wonder if it ever happens.
What a great memory.
And I just can't wrap my mind around parents who take their kids to such things.
Thank you so much for sharing all this lovely memories from your childhood with us Naomi - it a fascinating read and very well documented in the lovely pictures too. One can tell you really have made a lot of efforts to post an article like this!
I've never been in Broadway - I'm just an ordinary kid from a small town in Norway you know:-) But I remember my first time in the theater for sure and I fell in sleep too :D
I do find this post very hard to comment seriously.
First of all because I'm not able to really understand how "strong" life was at that time when your parents grew up (well I was told by mothers cousin Marie (Portland, OR) how it was for her and the rest of the family that in the 1890'ies emigrated from Norway to the promised land: North Dakota)
Secondly because when I was young we did not have any operahouses in Norway (but my father loved opera and bought and played many 78 rpm records) - musicals were unknown, theater mostly too expensive - but we had what was called "school theatre when we were bussing from school to watch perormances suitable for kids...
... and as told before - I was very interested in theatre and comedies - even write and represented a Norwegian group abroad...
And number 3: We did not have TV in this country until 1960 - State Channel. No more comments to that fact.....
Even Radio: One channel. State owned and controlled...
So, when I read your great memories, it's like heaven. I wanna perform a dance for you. Like my daughter.
You know where to find that "stage"
How fortunate you were, Naomi, to have parents who would expose you to such talent at so young an age. I don't know many people who had those experiences until they were young adults, at least.
Thanks for taking us back there with you. What a wonderful introduction to the theater you had, and it's no wonder you ended up on the stage yourself.
I feel like exposing my kids to this kind of magic, but I know it's different now. We like the Actor's Playhouse and our local neighborhood theater. There's nothing like live performances.
I loved your post about,among many other interesting things, Carnegie Hall.
When you wrote of Artur Rubenstein and his famous encores it reminded me of another great pianist, Vladimir Horowitz, and his equally famous encores. Mr Horowitz would play "Stars and Stripes Forever" and the audience would go mad with applause.This went on for years.
In the end Horowitz refused to play the Stars and Stripes because he thought that the audience liked it so much it would be the only thing they remembered about the concert.
You described the capes so magnificently. I love all of the work that you put in to your posts. I always learn so much. You are a great storyteller.
Thanks for sharing!
I came by way of Danny's blog...what a lovely post...I love that you called your mother "ma". Brings back memories of my father calling my grandmother and grandfather "ma" and "pa"...it was such a sweet endearment.
I have never met an individual with such a rich history as yours. The thing I am most impressed with is even though you were always surrounded by the arts, you have such a deep appreciation for them & you realize how fortunate you've been.
The opera cape, it sounds like a cape that my brother got for my mom, it was beautiful. We didn't know what it was, but it was supposedly an antique. It was black velvet on the outside & silk on the inside. There were holes on the sides for the arms.
Anyways, I wish your memories could somehow be video recorded. Absolutely amazing, Naomi.
That is so nice that you appreciated and remembered that experience at such a young age.
It's also quite amazing that your parents lived that typical "American Dream", starting out so poor, but managing to squeeze in those fabulous cultural experiences. So interesting!
I never tire of your stories. They always make me smile. Keep 'em comin'!
The cape your mother made for you sounds exquisite! No doubt you derive some of your artistic talent from her. In those days, fine sewing was an art. My grandmother studied "drape-ing" at boarding school. Then, when she was left a widow with 5 little ones, worthless stock, and a big mortgage, she put her pride in her pocket, and portfolio under her arm. She called on her former classmates, soliciting commissions for elaborate Edwardian gowns (like the ones in My Fair Lady and Titanic). Her modiste salon was not as large nor renown as Bergdorf's, but dressed many of Chicago's (lol) upper crust.
Alas, my mom was raised by hired help, who substituted an afternoon at that modern marvel, the Nickelodeon, for a walk in the park. She grew up a seamstress of very limited ability. While she was alive, grandma kept my closet filled with magnificent outfits which included suede spats (!), matching hats, gloves and muffs (in FLA.!)plaid capes, ruffled dresses, mother-daughter outfits, and scaled down versions of movie fashions. My mom sometimes dressed me in 7 or eight outfits in one day, as if I were a doll. Perhaps that's why clothes are no big deal for me. Or, perhaps grandma spoiled me. She was adamant a ready to wear dress was never worh buying.
I loved the story of the capes so lovingly made - a picture (even today) of a bygone world. I went to the ballet recently here in Finland and was shocked at how scruffily so many people were dressed
What wonderful memories and I love the way you tell all the details with so much care and passion!!! I can almost touch those beautiful capes you mom made for you, how wonderful!!And what great experiences as a child. I remember going to the ballet with my parents (of course it was a small theater), I know now it was something they actually couldn't afford but they gave us children a memory you cannot buy!! Your post brought these dear memories back and I thank you for that :)
Good Thursday morning to you, dear Naomi ! What an incredible story ! I wish that you would turn your entire blog into a book and have it published !
The way you described at age 4 going to see your first live performance, the pictures, your mother follwoing her family tradition and being a seamstress, making those beautiful hand-swen clothes for the exclusive Bergdorf Goodman's - your father getting a job on Wall Street (which brokerage house did he work for ? I bet he knows/knew my Uncle Phil who is now 82 and has worked on Wall Street for the last 40 years !); the gorgeous capes you and your sisters wore, the experience of the talent of Athur Ruebnstein and his piano ! you made the evening come alive ! No wonder that the theare becasme something that you treasured and continued to be interested in/participate in for so many years !
*big cyber hugs*
I just loved this post so much! I was aslo taken to the theatre for the first time at about 4 years old and althoguh I didn't go as often as your family, I can remember going several times as a youngster. It truly is a magical place at that age and I think that feeling of magic stays with you into adulthood if you have this experience early on.
The performance you describe sounds so wonderful and those lovely capes that your mother made for you. I am so glad you kept them as their importance to you is palpable from your narrative. Have you got any pictures of them?
Sometimes we can close our eyes and remember things such as this, that for the moment, make us feel we are there all over again.
Isn't it wonderful?!!! Thank goodness for memories!
What a beautiful story. So lovingly told.
I love your stories. And those beautiful old black and whites of the city. You are always fascinating.
Up until probably 20 years ago here, kids would still quit school to find work.
I'm jealous :)
Did you ever make it to Toronto? We have some great theatres and attract some great plays.
What a beautiful story and what an enriched childhood you experienced thanks to your parents. It shows up in all the posts you make, the thread that runs through them all. I am sure there were hard times, you have written about your illness and if your parents separated, that's never easy, but still it all was rich and gave you what you took and then worked with to create your own work.
I love how you relate the stories of you, of your family and your history. You've once again touched me with a glimpse that I wish I could have experienced first-hand. I felt like I was sitting beside you watching Rubinstein...right there.
You learned your family's lessons well, Naomi. Your weavings are just as rich, just as treasured.
A long time ago in West Hartford, CT when I was a young mother of 3, I did alterations at home and on one occasion I altered the original costumes from a Broadway Show being played locally. It was an unexpected experience that I have not forgotten. Although I love music and the theatre, I regret that I have never had the thrill of seeing a live Broadway Show in New York. What a grand and wonderful life you had in the theatre from the time you were just a little girl and OH the MEMORIES to savor forever.
I'm continually amazed at how deep and strong your memories run, Naomi. I remember so very little about my childhood and that makes it all the more moving to hear about yours.
Wow. What a story and what a memory you have Naomi!! Makes wonderful reading indeed...
And I would love to see those capes!! I admire your parents on having taken you and your siblings to such events and exposing you to such things at such an early age...
Naomi: enthralling memories. Seems we both came from simple, hard-working back grounds - and none the worse for that. How wonderful to have your mother such a skilled seamstress - a little girl's idea of bliss. So sad the skills seem to be dying out. I had to chuckle about the theatre capes. My Grand ma was a mid-wife and was given all sorts of things from the families she helped and one was a child's ruched red velvet cape with an ermine collar which of course she gave to me. I think I must have looked like Santa's little helper.
And weren't you the lucky one to see all that -in a box no less!
A rich childhood indeed!
I'm off on Sunday so won't be visiting for a week. Stay safe.xoxoxoxo
I loved hearing this story. I didn't not realize that there was no ready to wear back then. I'd love to see the capes, too.
That first picture of the train station looks really familiar. I'm almost certain I've been there. Do you know which station that is? I really enjoyed your post. My first "show" of any size was seeing _Madame Butterfly_ when I was around 9 years old. I remember being interested, but somehow toward the end, I fell asleep. I also agree with you on the automatic encores for nary a burp. Oh, and I can identify with you keeping the capes your mother made. My mother crochets blankets and all of us kids have at least one, along with the grandchildren. My mother is currently making baby blankets for the great-grandchildren she will likely never see, but they will have a blanket she made for them. I will get the baby blankets before Christmas and then put them away until my kids start their own families. You really can't replace a mother's love and the time that goes into making something special. Thanks for sharing such beautiful memories.
Lovely post Naomi! I felt as though I were with you and could see and almost hear Arthur Rubinstein playing!! What cherished memories you have and you tell them to us so well. I'm sure the capes your Mom made were beautiful. What wonderful, wonderful, memories!! Thank you for sharing them!
Your post made me miss NYC. I love the theatre and anything literary and cultural.
Your Love Coach
Here via michele
I love that you still have the capes. My grandmother left school at 14 and was a seamstress her whole life. She made my wedding dress :)
You are right about it being a lifesaver if you had sewing skills.
What fantastic memories of Carnegie Hall, how huge and vast it must have seemed to a wee four year old Naomi.
What a sweet story. I felt like I was right there with you wearing a cape. I imagine it felt magical as a child. I guess it's a northern thing to call your mother "Ma." We did too. And my dad's mother was Ma too. I thought it was an Irish thing, but maybe not.
What a wonderful post!
Thank you for sharing your memories with us.
Huggles and Love,
What wonderful memories and stories, my dear Naomi! You are very fortunate to have parents who valorize the world of art. Your memories from your childhood are fascinating and very well written! Thank you for sharing with us!
Have a lovely weekend!
The weather over here has just been dreary today! But it was fun to see the clouds/fog clustering low around the mountains, with the peaks poking out above it. Your place must have had some fog today! Crossing fingers for tomorrow.
Hugs from over the hill,
Michele sent me today!
Wow, I wish I could see those capes, I bet they are still beautiful.....My husband and I just love Rubinstien, we have many of his albums and listen to them often. I love Gershwin too.
My husband grew up on long island, Levittown to be exact. His grandmother would take him to the opera, or to plays, on his birthday. He still remembers the special trips to the theatre.
I would love to go to Carnegie Hall. My daughter got a chance to go when she was working in New York last year. I am glad that she loves music and the arts, too.
Keep up the stories Naomi, I love reading them.
This was beautiful. You need to do far more than blog about this, you need to write a book.
Oh, to have experienced Carnegie Hall in it's heyday, lucky lucky you!! I would absolutely love to see a pic of those beautiful capes too!! I cannot wait till Holly is a little older so I can take her to some shows, I think that the theatre/live shows are one of the greatest gifts you can give to a child!
I thought I recognized the Great Neck train station! I grew up in Russell Gardens until we moved to L.A. in 1974.
My Grandfather was a well known tin pan alley composer and my dad was Bacharach/David's publisher in the 60's.
I am also a huge Betty Garrett fan, but then, who isn't? Now I am your fan too.
Fred Ahlert III
What wonderful memories of such a magical time. That cape must have been exquisite! Such talent your mother had and I loved reading about all of it. They certainly did instill a great love of the arts in you.
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story with us. I love your memories.
Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
Location: Los Angeles, California