Friday, July 11, 2008
huckleberry hill- Part 2

We 'Celebrated' other Birthdays on the farm, too. My father's 40th Birthday, in fact, on August 11th.... And I have a few rather wonderful pictures from that event and from that particular day. Above, Daddy with his side/back to the camera there in the foreground, and from left to right--standing--I'm carrying the presents, then my sister Gene, then my mother and then my sister Robin.....Sitting at the table next to D.J. were The Grauers---Albert and Hattie. Quite a few of my parents friends were part of the celebration, having come up to the Farm for that weekend....All very sweet people, and all of them gone now. This is not a happy looking group is it? Daddy, and next to him Marion Singer, (A contemporary of Robin's) and I'm not sure who the next two people are, but that is me in front over on the right. All these pictures in color were taken by Marion's Dad.....This group of people were all friends from Great Neck and all of them were a part of the Temple there----The very first and only Temple in Great Neck---Temple Bethel, (till after World War 2), started in 1928 by 13 Jewish family's---my parents being one of those original 13. In fact, my father donated a beautiful Torah to the Temple which was used at Friday Night Services and at all the important Holidays, too, in those early years, and it may still be used.....
The above is a wonderful "invitation" to a fund raiser that my parents held at our house in Great Neck to raise funds for Temple Bethel....I was just a little over a year old at the time..... You have to click on both these to see them bigger.....the prices of the sandwiches and drinks are laughable, but remember it was 1932.....


Most of the pictures that I have of The Farm are little snapshots taken by various people who would come up and stay for a weekend or even a whole week sometimes. In those days, it was not a place you could drive to easily from Great Neck or Manhattan....So if people were coming to visit they had to stay, at the very least, overnight, but more ideally, for the weekend. So, there were always a lot of people there, which was great fun! "The Girls". MaaMa, (My Grandmother) Mother, Gene, and then sitting on the floor, Me, and over on the right, Robin. Gordon did not spend the summers on The Farm. He was sent to Camp. In a way, he was banished. Terrible, really.....I know it hurt him deeply. That's a whole other story....One which he really should tell. This was the back of the house with the stone patio sort of visible. It ran the length of the Living Rom/Dining Room. The three story smaller section over to the left was the tallest part of the house.

Those are the Kitchen Windows on the bottom...then the 2nd story windows belonged to a guest room, and the top floor was The Music Room. That is where we took our Piano Lessons and our Violin Lessons, too....Oh yes, the Music Lessons continued all summer long, and it doubled as another guest room, as well. This is me, standing on the little Balcony of The Music Room, overlooking the Stone Patio and the view of the whole Valley.....Here below is a little bit closer view of that same picture..... That was the year of "the illness" and all my hair had fallen out because of the very high fever...105....It was still growing back at this point.

The house and all the outer buildings---The Barn, etc., were all built with the natural stone quarried right there on the property. It was very beautiful stone, I must say.....Many years later, my cousin Junie had visited The Farm (I think it was around twelve or fifteen years ago) and stole this piece of slate----I believe it is the slate that was used on the patio---- to bring to me....Here is is, below. Another kind of wonderful treasure that I have from The Farm is the Seven Ball from the Pool Table. There was a Pool Room in the Basement and my father taught us all how to play....I LOVED it....and I think that is why I always loved that picture of me that I use for my Profile Picture....Playing Pool many many years later..... My fathers widow, who also happened to be his fourth wife, brought it to me....I always dearly appreciated her doing that. She and a 'boyfriend' had visited The Farm sometime in the Eighties, (My father died in 1981)and she asked if she could take it since the people were not using the old set of balls, and the people said yes.....You can see that it is pretty aged looking...well, it is over 70 years old....The times spent on The Farm were really memorable in every way. And though it wasn't that many years, The Farm has always had a very special place in our hearts and in our collective memories. This is a picture of my mother, "Jen The Hen", taken down by The Swimming Hole with a sweet lady, who's name I cannot remember....You know what is frightening? My body now looks like my mothers body looks in this picture! True, she was only 39 or 40, at the time of this photograph and I am almost twice her age now...but, still....I guess we do become our parents, in more ways than one.I know I have posted this picture before...maybe two years ago, but I wanted to post it again because I think it is such a sweet snapshot, taken of us out on that Patio....This is the summer before "the illness" and grandma was 69 there....Amazing! Gene is over on MaaMa's left....I am on the right...and cousin Junie is sitting in front of MaaMa....Oh, how we all loved dear dear MaaMa.....What a brave dear soul she was. She came to The United States when she was 13 years old and lived to be 99 1/3. This picture above is the Summer after 'the illness'....I feel you can really see that I was effected by that trauma. To me, I look quite a bit older than I do in the picture above, as if the illness had matured me beyond my years in some way. Who knows, maybe I would have looked like that anyway in a year or two's time...but, I don't think so. Remember in the previous post about The Farm I showed a picture of Bill Kaplan, the doctor who neglected to diagnose the Pneumonia, plus all the other things that were wrong with me? And then I showed this picture of Robin, with dear Stanley Glickman....Well, it was Stanley who really was responsible for saving my life, and I will always be grateful to him for that and I will always love him for that, too. He was an Intern at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC, and he said to my parents...."Her illness is going on too long. I think you should call Dr. Newhoff...", (He was head of Respiratory there)...And they did. And Newhoff came to the house in Great Neck late that night. (Talk about a House Call.....) And I was in the Hospital the next morning. I know I have written about this illness quite a lot....And the reason for that is that it truly effected me in so very many ways....How I feel about Doctors and Hospitals and even how I feel about staying overnight in strange beds. The feelings of abandonment that have shaped a great deal of me....the need to control as much of what happens to me and where it happens, as I can---just to name a few things. So, if there is more about 'the illness', don't be surprised......After my parents separated, (and then three years later, divorced), my father kept The Farm for a few years, but then eventually sold it to the Kress Family. The thing is, after my parents were no longer together, going there to The Farm, just wasn't the same anymore---In fact it was very sad....And I think I realized just how much my mother had set the tone of that wonderful place and that it was she who was so welcoming to everyone. In truth, my father really didn't know how to deal with us or get us involved in doing things there on The Farm. He really didn't have the parenting skills that were not only needed but were required, too....We were sort of left to our own devices and it turned out not to be that much fun anymore......Something was missing. Something big and important: It was my mother.




More To Come.......







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32 Comments:
Blogger PI
had this to say:

Wow I'm first!
A wonderful post Naomi and I relished all of it. That invitation card has everything about the thirties that I love - such fun and may I have a 'And what have you' please.
The little balcony caught my eye so I'm glad to see you on it in closeup.
Sad and unusual for your brother to be the one a little left out in the cold. Poor little boy.
I always think it is a comfort to have something tactile - like your slate and the ball to remind one of the past - a real touch stone.
I nursed many very sick children and always found them to be really special children and I can tell the difference in the photos before and after the illness. Thanks Naomi- I'd better get dressed.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 2:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I can certainly understand why you might share more about your illness as it clearly has had a significant bearing on your life. Delightful pictures of a special time and place for you with people so important. I think we do treasure such times, possibly wishing we might have had more years just like those. Thank you for so generously sharing your loved ones. Glad that Intern was paying attention to your illness.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 3:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

incredible photo's naomi.. you have such a wonderful life story ! Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of it!!!

(what a gorgeous building!!!)

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 3:38:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a beautiful presentation!

I think it is very true that one person can have alot of influence on how we remember certain people, places, and things from long ago. For you, that was your mother - she made your house a home.

It is a shame that your parents divorced - you'd never know there were any difficulties from the family pictures.

It is not until one looks for your father in the photos that it may be surmised that he was not as involved with the children as your mother. Then again, he could have been the photographer!

Amazing that he went on to marry 4 times!!! LOL

I was 13 when my parents divorced and I have noticed that is when most of my photographs have ceased.

My Gran (mother's mother) was my greatest influence growing up and I prefer to remember many happy times shared with her. She lived to be 95 years old. No matter how many foster homes I ended up in, it was always Gran that welcomed us home again, no matter for how short or how long.

I just love your Farm. It oozes fun for children and welcoming to guests. What a wonderful childhood that you can relive over and over through your photo album.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 4:27:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Marvelous stuff, Naomi. Again, thanks for sharing these memories and photos with the rest of us.

Cheers.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 6:04:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Your dearest Mother is not missing at all Naomi, she is always with you in your heart and blessing you from above ;)

I felt a glow whenever I read your wonderful memories, as if I was there literally.

They are so precious and hey, someone ought to keep an archive of them for future generation coz I for one, learn so much from you.

Have a wonderful weekend my dear friend.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 8:36:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I always love the pictures and stories from your past. What an amazing life you've had!

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 8:42:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a beautiful house and how revealingly you write about the reality behind the gorgeous building. It's that way with us all, I think. The illusion is so much easier to see than the truth and how hard it is to face the truth.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 9:11:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Where do I begin? First of all, the Farm is beautiful. What an experience it must've been just to visit the place!

I love the patio picture with the house in the background and MaaMa. What a fun moment to capture in a photo! Your MaaMa looks like a spunky one sitting there in the middle of you girls...and living to be 99 1/3! Amazing.

The way you ended this post was so sweet and yet so sad. Sounds like your mother was the key ingredient that made the Farm what it was, a special place.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 12:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Dear Naomi - there is an award for you at my blog today!

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 2:47:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It took awhile, but I got caught up all the way down to your July 4th post. Whew!!
I enjoyed seeing the contents of your party goodie bags, and some of the gifts you received. I love that you share such deep friendships with those ladies!!
That cake looked YUMMY to the max!!!!!!!!
By the way, I brought a huge box of chocolate truffles and handed them out to those at Blogstock. I think I may have gotten a few more people addicted to them!!
This post revealed a lot about you - your illness as a child, your feelings about your mom and your dad and them as parents. I felt sad when I looked at those photos of you standing on the balcony off the music room. You really did endure a lot as a little girl, both physically and emotionally.
That part about your body now looking like your mother's did then just made me chuckle. It may take time, but gravity and inherited genes DO take their toll - damn it!!!!!
It's good to catch up. It will take me a couple more days to get to everyone's blogs and leave comments. It felt like I was on a blog break for a long time, but it really wasn't that long. I guess I am just really used to keeping in touch with my blog buddies.
I may be coming to visit my brother in August, if I can work it out. This is not set in stone by any means, and if it does work out, I will let you know.
It would be great to see you again! I know I will get to visit again sometime.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 4:18:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Normally, I would not bring my insanity to bear on a site like this but, I am moved to say it is beautiful and thankyou.

I loved the poignancy where the 7-ball was presented to you. Gifts are so much more special when they are heartfelt.

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 4:36:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

After reading this post, I feel as if I have been sitting down with you on your sofa all afternoon, and we have been surrounded with photo albums and memories while you told me the stories of your childhood and family times at The Farm.
There's nothing like remeniscing with a friend who is interested in listening. Thanks Naomi, I enjoyed you sharing your memories with me. Maybe I'll share some of my childhood memories with you one day!
Lovely!

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 5:19:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, that house is HUGE! It looks like a stately mansion to me. I know that you loved the farm and all it had to offer....The breaking up of a family is always hard, so it is only natural for you to feel a lose when you went to the house without your mother....

I love all the pictures especially the one with you on the balcony....

Sorry that you had to go thru that terrible illness, and that the young intern saved your life....

Thanks for sharing the stories of your life....I really enjoy reading them.......

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 8:55:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Bud
had this to say:

Naomi, as we say in AA. "You share from the heart."

Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 2:12:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Just a wonderful post, Naomi! So lovely memories... so beautiful photos... Love all them, but I specially love the picture of you, on the balcony of the music room, overlooking the Valley! Your house looks stunning, a movie's house! Really you have a wonderful life story indeed!
Thanks for sharing your memories!

Have a nice weekend!
Many hugs!

Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 5:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What special memories, thank you for sharing these! I think it is just amazing that you have the pool ball and slate from the Farm after all these years, what treasures they must be.

I can see such a remarkable difference in the before and after illness pictures of you, most definately.

Your grandma is amazing!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 7:03:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

I LOVED reading every word. What a magical place. You have such beautiful photos to capture your cherished memories. I became so curious whatever happened to Huckleberry Hill so I googled it and found it is now a (renamed) bed & breakfast. www.thefrenchmanor.com
Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful stories...

Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 1:11:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I loved this Naomi! That house is so grand for back all those years ago. Wouldn't it be great to visit it again? Don't you ever wish you could or would it bring back too many memories?

The picture of you on the balcony reminds me of a play!

Truly amazing reading all this and seeing the old photos! Very enjoyable!

Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 3:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for sharing your memories!

I can't believe you had a fever of 105!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 4:06:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It's so interesting to hear the stories behind the pictures. Things are often different than they appear, aren't they?

Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 4:24:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I think it's such an important part of us to recognize the big events in our lives and realize how they changed us, or shaped us. You seem to totally get that. Your pictures are always great and your stories always leaving me waiting for....more to come!

Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, thank you for your comments regarding the UK Lifeboats, the RNLI crews are definitely a very rare breed of brave men indeed. I've posted a video postscript regarding the Lifeboats, it just shows what courageous men they really are! I think you might enjoy it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 7:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Absolutely riveting, Naomi, you must earmark this one for the BOOK! That house is unbelievable, do you know who's living there today? Still the Kress family? Please tell me it wasn't torn down! I've been reading about Great Neck and the incredible people who lived there like F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, George M. Cohan, Oscar Hammerstein, the Marx Brothers, P.G. Wodehouse, W.C. Fields, etc. What a community!

Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 7:33:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The invitation card was just delightful for me. You know how I love the Fitzgerald years and everytime you talk about Great Neck I am just all caught up in your story! The house, oh your house was just beautiful. A castle!

It is so nice when you share your past like this. You have such an amazing story but Naomi the illness you had to suffer....bless your heart, what a miracle you are even here with us now. What all you went through...it is heart breaking.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 7:47:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

I always love your stories about The Farm and those long-ago years. But I always detect that the memories are bittersweet. Such a gorgeous "mansion" that place was and a beautiful place to have built some childhood memories. I loved the invitation! And I saw from a commenter that the structure is now a B&B named, The French Manor. I knew it reminded me of a place in Europe. Really lovely.
Terri
http://www.islandwriter.net

Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 9:24:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi- those are wonderful photos, and such interesting insights to you (once again) today. Thank you for sharing all this.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 9:31:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You know we've been blog friends for almost 3 years and I've enjoyed reading your post very much. You have have a great life story and a rich experience and how nice of you to share some from the good old days! How wonderful that you've taken your time to scan the pictures and share them with us too!
Its so great to see you with the family in the old times too!
Thanks Naomi :-)

Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 3:00:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for all the pics and the store of your time on the farm as a child. I love all that u share...I think many of us can relate to different things in each others lives...illness, divorse etc, they mold who we become ..how strong we are or arent in our lives. I think no matter what age, we seem to learn abit more of ourselves when we look back ...every one in awhile...as we get older, new things become alight...and our futures are hopefully become brighter because of it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 12:33:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love that you have the slate and pool ball. That's such a nice way to remember. Funny that it's French Manor Inn now.
Wonderful read as always.
~S :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 3:14:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

The photo of you at thirteen is fresh faced and precious. You do look a little purged though. As though you had been crying before it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 4:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Thank you so much for posting your story. My wife and I will be staying at The French Manor for the first time in July and it was so interesting to read your post on how it once was. I recall a cabin my parents had in Maine and after my father died, my mother no longer wanted to travel from Florida to Maine and sold it. Many years later I wanted to go back and visit but my wife, like you, thought it would be best to keep the memories and the pictures. Those were good times that I wouldn't want to replace. I hope you keep posting and considering your grandmother's longevity, you'll be around for quite a while :-).

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 10:28:00 AM PDT 

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