As I said, it was called Huckleberry Hill Farm. Why? Well, because the entire hill was covered with these wild and delicious Huckleberry's. I have, I believe, written before about how one of our daily chores was to spend a couple of hours picking these wild berry's.That is me over on the left and my dear sister Robin, way over on the right....I have no memory of who that is in the middle....But, I know we were picking Huckleberry's.....And in this next picture below, that is "Jen The Hen", (My mother) on the left and a friend of my parents, Hattie Grauer on the right....They were picking Huckleberry's, too...That is the back of the house behind them. It had a huge patio off of the Living Room/Dining Room---it was such a special beautiful house.
After we finished picking those luscious delicious Huckleberry's, we would wash them and let them dry and then we would box them up in those little square boxes---like the box Hattie Grauer is holding--- Then we would put a piece of cellophane over the top held down by a rubber band, to keep the berry's safe and secure, and then, when we had enough boxes, we would sell them to a place called The Buck Hill Falls Inn......It was a very big posh Hotel there in The Pocono's that was very popular in the '30's and 40's and 50's....and it was "Restricted" as were all the Summer Hotels in that area....There was another huge beautiful big Hotel named The Skytop Lodge that we sold our boxed Huckleberry's to, as well.It too, was "Restricted".....In case some of you are too young to understand what "restricted" meant back then....well, it meant no Jews. (Of course it meant no "Negro's", too...that was a given back then, and I don't believe any Black people even tried to stay in these places.....) In order to get to our Farm one would have to pass by a lot of little Summer Hotels on the main road there in South Sterling----places that now would probably be considered Bed & Breakfast type places....I don't remember the name of this place but I remember it had a lovely sign out front on the street, right under their Hotel Sign, that said, "No Dogs Or Jews". Second billing to Dogs. For all of the years that we went to The Farm, that sign was always there. It was pretty awful, to say the least, but a true reflection of how people felt in that area of Pennsylvania back in those days. Some of these smaller places had signs that said "Gentiles Only"...a slightly nicer way of telling you, You were not wanted or acceptable.So we learned that this was the reality of 'the times'. Not a pretty lesson, with all that was happening to many of our relatives in Europe at that time. But, what was great about selling our Huckleberry's to these places there in The Pocono's was this: The money we collected went to charity, and it was always a Jewish Charity. The lesson here was greater than the actual activity of the entire process. We learned about the reality of the world around us. We learned about the importance of giving to people less fortunate than we were, and in a funny way, we learned that sometimes there are ways to take the most horrible things that confronted you, and turn them around just a little.
No, those places did not change their policies---for all I know, if they continue to exist today, they may still be 'restricted' in that "Gentleman's Agreement" kind of way....."Gentleman's Agreement". Ohhhh, what a film. If you have never seen this picture or read that book by Laura Z. Hobson, it is a truly wonderful and important film. As relevant today, I'm sorry to say, as it was back when it was released in 1947. All you need to do is change the names of the objects of the prejudice----it could be Jews, or Blacks, Or Gays, Or Latino's, etc., etc., etc.....The brilliantly talented Gregory Peck played the lead magnificently, with extraordinary performances by Dorothy McQuire, John Garfield, Ann Revere and Celeste Holm, who's particular performance in this picture won her The Best Supporting Actress Oscar that year. The incredibly talented Elia Kazan won for Best Director that year and the film itself won Best Picture---Plus it garnered 5 or 6 other nominations. If you have never seen this film, it is very much worth renting, believe me. I think it is one of the most honest films ever made about the insidiousness of prejudice and Racism......
More of Huckleberry Hill Farm in Part 2, which will be coming along soon......And, as always......
I love the name "Huckleberry Hill Farm!" What an awesome home to have back then! It looks so large and lovely!!
I loved seeing all the wonderful old photos of your family. Such memories you have Naomi!!
Very interesting about the restricted people. How very sad. I knew of course that blacks were restricted from places but I never thought about Jews being restricted as well. Made me think of Corrie Ten Boom's book "The Hiding Place," where they hid the Jews.
Wonderful post as always dear Naomi!!
Wonderful pictures! Is that you silhouetting your mother in the photograph with Dr. and Mrs. Bill Kaplan?
Our family enjoyed huckleberries off the bush in northern Idaho. Still a favorite of mine. Made such luscious pies.
Loved how your parents took "lemons and made lemonade" by converting the berries into funds for Jewish charities. Although prejudice in some form continues to exist today, it is family values such as yours that remind us to be vigilant and keep up the fight by teaching our children to convert fear and ignorance into peace and prosperity for all.
Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your beautiful Blog. You always serve food for thought.
You never failed to amaze me ;) You kept all these precious photos? I am overwhelmed and truly a joy to read all your stories.
Thank you for sharing and Happy Birthday to you in advance :D
Lovely memories and pictures!! loved your post. Didn't know "restrictions" applied to Jews too back then...
I am sorry I won't be around on your bday, dear, I'll have to figure something out :)
Early Happy Birthday Naomi! Watch your USPS for a package.
What lovely photos you were able to save over the years. Thank you for sharing them with us.
I live near the Poconos and my hubby and boys vacationed at Lake Harmony/Split Rock Lodge alot while they were growing up (late 80's/90's). It is still a beautiful area to visit and how lucky you were to live there!
Interesting how we forget about places being "Restricted". I grew up in Philadelphia and in the 1950's there were still "colored" entrances and white entrances, Jewish neighborhoods, "colored" neighborhoods, and Gentile neighborhoods.
I can remember when "colored" folks came into a store/market, how everyone would just stare them down till they left. And God forbid, they should try to enter a corner bar with all white patrons. Jewish people didn't get slighted as much as "colored." German people were slighted because of the war and many people my parents ages do not forget losing someone they loved to war with Nazi Germany.
In 1950's after the war, when more Jewish families moved into our area, many children were not allowed to play with them.
My parents really didn't care who we played with as long as we didn't run in and out of the house or get into fights. They did draw the line at "colored" though. Very highly prejudiced there.
So consequently, I played with the Jewish kids but other Gentile kids who lived in the neighborhood would not join in.
In the 1970's when my husband and I became foster parents, we put no restrictions on WHAT type or color/creed of child we took. We were condemned for this by other foster parents at monthly meetings, that children should be raised with their own "kind".
So we stopped going to their meetings and continued to do foster care until 10 years ago. My boys were raised with a great variety of children and I think that helped mold them into the type of young men they are today. They are friendly and can function in society without prejudice.
I love the photos of your house,,,it was soooo big!
It's always a treat to see pictures and read stories of your youth. Your stories never cease to amaze and amuse me!
And I also forgot that your birthday is close to mine. Mine is 4 days after yours! Happy birthday to both of us (early!)
Hi Naomi, I love this story. What wonderful pictures of you children - and I do like the picture at the recital...reminds me of some pictures my mother has of us after theatre trips/shows.
Weren't you just such a cutie-pie at seven?? :-)
Wonderful pictures and wonderful memories, Naomi!
I can't BELIEVE you'll be 77! You don't seem it (or look it from a photo I saw of you on Jamie Dawn's blog a few months back).
I love the photo of you and Gordon as kids. It's just adorable.
I wish you a VERY HAPPY 77th next week!
What a wonderful "Short Novel" - I'm not sure whats it's called in American. A short story. For me it's in short telling or compact a story into a few pages or into a 15-20 minutes movie.
Very demanding both for the Writer and the readers/viewers.
Summarized: you have until now, after I first met you in the bloggersphere, presented so many "short stories" I'm amazed and very happy for reading all your posts. Even now when we still are in grief. I takes longer than I first thought of.
But your posts and personal comments does make a good and safe track back to "normal".
grrr. Thinking so selfish. Excuse. We did bring out all Rubens belonging from his appartement this afternoon.
And I managed to post on WW - his soccer team from 1980. The year he was top scorer in Oslo.
I noticed there is another person in that photo with the piano in the background. I see someone to the right of and almost completely blocked by "Jen the Hen."
What a fabulous house!! What a wonderful farm!!
No wonder you have such pleasant memories there.
You and Gordon sure look cute in that up close shot.
What a great family photo that is!!
I don't know if I've ever tasted a huckleberry. The word makes me thing of Huckleberry Hound.
I hate the fact that No Jews and No Negroes were once common signs outside of places. I am so thankful that we've come far in that regard, and I hope our prejudices are even further reduced as the years go by. People are people. It's that simple.
What memories Naomi! Terrific too that you have your hands on those photos for you to share with us.
The Farm house looks magnificent - so grand.
I have fond memories of picking 'blackberries' when I was a youngster. I've never tasted a Huckleberry - I'm sure they are delicious.
I am home and catching up and WOW you've had some great posts! The Ambassador below and now the Huckleberry Hill Farm...I love reading things like that. I am not only entertained but I feel like I grab a little piece of history too. You make things so alive and we can just go back there with you. It was a beautiful home you had in the Poconos BTW. I have never been there. I almost went in my twenties and I can't remember now what happened to change our travel plans.
I also thought you were Va-Va-Voom looking great back at the Ambassador hotel pool! How sad about Hanna. I only hope she and her beloved she missed so much are having so much fun catching up!
What a lovely GRAND house to have grown up in. I am glad not to have lived during the restrictive era, and am sorry you and so many others had to endure it.
Silly me, but I've never thought about Huckleberries before - what are they like?
A great post, Naomi. I love the farm (the architecture was great) and I hate it that you had to be subjected to the signs back then. It must have been very hurtful. You and your family did a wonderful thing by picking the berries and selling them and donating the money to Jewish charities!
Thanks for sharing your birthday memories with us!
Naomi- What a teriffic post, and a lovely tribute to your family! I just love seeing older photos from my childhood and family. Its a wonderful reminder of who we are and where we came from!
What a wonderful house to grow up in.
And how great that you still have the photos. Do you know I don't really know what a huckleberry is. i imagine it to be something like a blueberry.
As I have written back in my archives the first Jew I met was a little boy aged seven who was my patient in hospital and who I fell in love with. His parents took me into their family and treated me like a daughter - I was only seventeen. The little boy said what a pity I was a Christian as he couldn't marry me. They were a lovely family and I fear the parents must now be dead as I haven't heard from them for two years. They drove me over to see my family when I was having problems and they all got on like a house on fire.
See you when I get back. xoxo
I loved reading this post! You write with such honesty and candidness, it's wonderful. I have not seen the film you mentioned, I now HAVE to find it!! I love Gregory Peck, what an amazing actor he was.
Thanks again for a great post and sharing so many important memories with us.
both your memories and photo's just amaze me! and isn't it grand to relived them all even if only in our minds!
Great photos and memories, as always.
It's sometimes easy to forget that there were times when things like being "the first Jew" mattered to most people. While I'm sure troglodytes still exist, thankfully, they're few and far between.
Good Morn, am enjoying your photo's,as well as your memories. It takes one back to a sweeter time in life. I know that there is a generation between us, so have either lived a sheltered life, or my little town, was set away from a lot of the things, that you had experienced. Basically we grew up about 3 hours from the Poconos, there were I think three black families in town, and we all new each other. And to this day, still see most of those people that I grew up with. And also, when I was young 18-I moved to Endicott, NY. I had a job working for Endicott Johnson Shoes, worked in the stores.And that is when I met my first husband, Hyman Horowitch. Never had met any one of any other faith, my religous back ground was spotty, to say the least,can remember the day, brought him to meet my mom and her current boyfriend, who was italian catholic,which also ment nothing to me other than they went to confession, and turned around and did the same thing over again. So what would be the point.That was the extent of my religous traing, oh and the Babtist, they are even worse. Some times really try very hard to understand, why these things are inprinted into childrens brains. Enough, of that the photo's of the farm are wounderfull, My oldest son and my two grandchildren live near The Grand Cannon of the East were Marie Antonett, was to have fled, and the photo's of the hills are spectaluar.That whole area, is still very serene, and a lot of farms, are still there, but not nearly what there was even 20 years ago. Thanks again for sharing your pictures, and your memories, they always stir up mine as well. Want to make it clear, we were brought up with predudces, they were a little different, more to do with social economic classes, which, our family was on the bottom rung. And (queers) what an nasty word. That at this point, has been a personal struggle, from what grew up believing, what my own choice of faith teaches,to my personal experiences, and choices, that people that really care about and love have made. Know this is long and rambly, and am in need of spell check, :) If you choose not to publish any thing I write, will not be offended. My mom's birthday is Today. and she is 74, when thinking of her my visual picture of her is some one about 35. Amazing how time flies. Also miss VV will soon have a birthday 7/2... Happy Birthday to you as well. Hope you get to spend it with someone special, maybe the ladies who lunch.
Pat from NY.
Apart from the long dresses, the clothes look like they could be from the late 50's and early 60's when I would dress that way for Easter Sunday.
I wonder how knowing your family and Jews were "restricted" affected your sense of self. The contrast of your father having money and then still being "restricted" is strange.
People tend to forget the period of "No Irish Need Apply," but that bigotry didn't last as long and I didn't have to live with it.
Your life has been so full. These shots make me feel nostalgic for fresh air and clean water! I recently posted some flashback hippie photos of about the same quality as your first two photos. I have no childhood birthday ones though. Yours are priceless.
Naomi, you have the most wonderful pictures and vivid memories and I enjoy hearing about them and seeing the pictures. Your farm was beautiful. And what a wonderful thing you all did by donating those proceeds to charity. I was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in the early '60s and I never ever heard my parents say anything bad or derogatory about black people or Jewish people ever...and now that I'm older, I think it is so wonderful that I grew up without those prejudices in our home. There certainly was enough of it in world as I got older and friends and others exhibited it.
Naomi, still thinking about your post. I did not know untill I met my husband (2nd one) that farms had names.Reason that I've a connection with PA. at this point was his family, where he spent a lot of time growing up.
Their Family Farm's name was Harmony Hill Farm. Blueberry Haven is real close, as well as Jane's Apple Orchard. If memory serves me Huckleberry's are a little smaller than blueberrys, and you have to beat the dear and other small critters to them :) is this correct? Was mowing the yard yesterday, and noticed the wild strawberrys are out here. When we first moved to our place, there were so many, one could smell strawberrys in the air. I do not notice the fragrance any more.
What a wonderful name for what was obviously a gorgeous house. So stately and such charm. It is a shame that there had to be that kind of bigotry and obviously still is from what we hear on the current campaign. Maybe someday we will get past that. Maybe. It looks like you had the storybook life during that time.
Hi Naomi! Wow! Huckleberry Hill Farm...Lovely and wonderful sweet childhood memories. I cannot tell you enough how grateful I am that you share so much and so open. Are you turning this into a book one day?
Happy birthday, Naomi! Fabulous pictures and stories as always. You bring your past alive for your readers -- truly.
Sorry about being obtuse in my earlier comment. I guess what I was trying to say is there was a time when people who were "different" were considered "exotic." And I'm sure that expressed itself in racism. While such racism undoubtedly still exists among the ignorant, i.e. the "troglodytes" of prehistory who hold onto the past, the majority of us wouldn't think such things. It wouldn't occur to us to formulate a thought, "Oh, that's the first [fill in blank] who's been here" beyond perhaps desiring to show a visitor hospitality.
I hope that explains it. And for your pleasure, I offer this post of mine from a couple of years ago, a fond memory for my father and one which made a deep impression on me when I was growing up, if for no other reason than he would tear up every time he'd recount the story, I appreciated it so much.
The wonderful family discussed were the first my dad ever met. Suffice it to say, my bother and I grew up without an antisemitic bone in our, albeit Christian, bodies.
No need to publish this comment, dear.
A film classic, classy, like you and your blog. It is so wonderful and selfless of you to share such precious times with so many...strangers. I thank you.
I remember well many photos you post in the past about your family Hill Farm. I loved seeing all the beautiful old photos of your family. Such a lovely memories you have Naomi, and such a well written histories!
Thank you for sharing your memories and photos! I am looking forward to the great day of your Birthday!
Really enjoyed this post, Naomi. I remember this home from other posts. It reminds me of a castle in Europe. I wonder if the blueprints were based on a European design?
Call me naive....It's hard to believe that they ACTUALLY had signs hanging out front, saying "No Jews" MY God! Talk about small-minded people! Whew!
By the way....didn't many of the Jewish people back then go to the Catskills where they WERE welcome? I seem to remember this.
Hope all is well with you.
And I will be 78 on Oct.1, so I am still outpacing you.
I'm glad to see you don't harbor anybody any ill will for their bigotry. You seem to have lived a very nice life.
I love it when you do these longs posts about your family :)
I can't believe it is nearly your birthday again already, the years seem to just whizz by !!
My Sarah is 20 on Monday, so I have two who are out of their teens, ach how old am I lol.
It is amazing that such racism was so rampant such a short time ago. Sarahs boyfriend is South African so he and his family have much experience of that.
He is "coloured"
Sad to say I am pretty sure my father in law does NOT approve, guess what too bad for him ahahah.
Anyway I am back now, read my update to see where I have been haha.
I will definitely be around for your birthday Aunty Em !
Great piccies (as always ;-) and lovely story too (there must be a gifted person at work there ;-)
Not sure if I'll be near a PC/laptop next Friday, so here's a happy birthday in advance :
Happy Birthday next Friday :-)
What wonderful photos you share! Such a great home to grow up in, lots of memories and we are so lucky you share them with us!! ;)
I remember you posting about the restrictions before, it is such a horrible time in our history.
So glad you came to visit me! Have a wonderful weekend my friend!
Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your rich memories with us. I love your photos and you were such a pretty and sweet looking child. You all looked so happy picking huckleberries (I have never actually seen or eaten one of these, I must look them up to see what they look like!).
I am glad that times have changed and that attitudes are very much more tolerant on the whole.
Happy Birthday for in a few days. I will be away so won't be able to visit your blog on the day but I have put a little something in the post for you which I hope you will like and find a little fun too :)
Fascinating piece that brought to mind many memories for me. I was born in 1935 when your Dad was busily building your families home. My Mom said we weren't impacted by the Depression, since my Dad was in the newspaper distribution business and people bought newspapers (looking for a job and to keep up with the news, looking for hope) when they might scrimp elsewhere. He sometimes had trouble collecting for the subscriptions though.
I am so grateful I grew up in a home where discrimination wasn't practiced. (That "South Pacific" song 'You Have to be Taught" and the line:
"...before you are six, or seven or eight to hate all the people your relatives hate" is so true.)
I vaguely recall as a child being made aware some people discriminated against others due to a variety of differences with each other, but that to do so was quite illogical. Certainly made sense to this child and from that point on I just accepted all the differences in people, curious and fascinated by some of them -- even wanting to adopt some practices.
I think I recall knowing my dentist was Jewish -- Dr. Meyers -- but, so what. He was wonderful with me, so I've never feared dentists despite having much, sometimes painful, dental work with him -- he always tried to limit any meds for a child, but always continuously checked as to how I was doing throughout the procedure -- would pause or have stopped immediately on my word. I would take the city bus downtown to his office, all by myself, when I was 8 yrs old and up. He'd check for cavities, etc., then phone my Mom with a report saying he could fix the tooth then if I would stay. I always agreed, feeling quite grownup and independent.
I don't recall discrimination as being prevalent during my early years, so was quite angry and upset when faced with the culture shock of it all a few years later as a pre-teen when we moved to a different State.
Since blogging, I was quite surprised to read of another older blogger's experience with blatant discrimination during her youth in Cincinnati, Ohio, as I assumed the whole State was like where I had lived. (Maybe if others knew my attitude they just didn't openly display their real disciminatory beliefs with me and my little town (15,000) wasn't as pure as I thought.) I never heard until recent years anything about Jewish people having "horns," etc.-- incredible, defies common sense.
Many years ago my late husband and I enjoyed driving and small plane flying trips east -- early sixties. Recall driving through the Poconos and becoming gradually aware of the significance of the area as a vacation spot -- still couldn't understand why such segregations of people were required, much less allowed to be. All seemed so strange and senseless to me. Would that all of this nonsense could be in the past for all of us everywhere.
Catching up Naomi....I love looking at old pictures and yours are always so interesting...Your old home is really nice, I am sure you loved going there for your summers and holidays.
I never understood why people were so mean to jews, it just doesn't make any sence.
Sorry that you are suffering from the effects of a childhood illness.
WOW Naomi! You post.....is abundant! I don't know whether you started with the idea of writing a piece on the farm and then the ideas just flowed or if you had it all planned out beforehand.....just fascinated by your creative thought process AND by the topics which have flowed out of your memories and pictures. I loved reading this and could jump into a conversation with you about so many things based on what you have touched on here.....family, birth order, vacations, traditions, racism, eras, movies, values, messages, music...........
I don't know where to start......perhaps with the first thought I had which connects to time and era....
My 10 year old has been reading To Kill a Mockingbird over the past couple of weeks......it's his first real adult kind of book and he's fascinated, surprised and full of questions about racism and the law etc.....this conversation actually took place in our family destination place....in Nova Scotia surrounded by family history, farms and the ocean.....it's often where time slows down for sharing....
Today, he was right in the middle of reading the court scene....and can't believe the name calling and the fact that a black man whom my son can see is innocent may die on the electric chair because he's black......we talked for an hour about rights and horrible atrocities.....I spoke to him a little about the Holocaust ( he has some awareness of it...) about segregation..........told him about Rosa Parks....Martin Luther King....to him about Oscar Schindler and Anne Frank too. He is right on the cusp of moving into a realm of awareness and look forward to helping him choose his next novels for summer reading.
OH! AND, he LOVES Atticus Finch!! Wants to know LOTS about being a lawyer.
Great photos and memories!
This is really stupid of me, but I did not know that Jewish people were discriminated against, like that, here. Thank you for the enlightenment.
Why you don't write a book is beyond me. You have a life that grips the reader from the start. What a house/farm. And I am just amazed at the "restricted" issue. I am naive about that, even tho I face a bit of it myself, but it just seems so incomprehensibly pointless and unfathomable.
I've always loved the name Hattie. Is it short for something? I've always wondered that.
That's so interesting that you were the first Jewish people there.
Now we have new and more people to discriminate against. Sad, isn't it?
I will say one thing... what wonderful memories... I will admit the good and bad... being an Aussie and only knowing 'somewhat' of what went on over here with the blacks/jews (of course I knew what I saw on TV or read in a book) but found this all very interesting... hugs to ya... oh... give me Gregory Peck anyday... I can't think of a 'good' actor these days...
Hi Naomi. Just stopping in to say hello. I remember your previous posts about Huckleberry Farm. Such a beautiful place. Wonderful family of yours. Take care and be well. I'll be back again soon. xo judie
Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
Location: Los Angeles, California