Wednesday, October 15, 2008
more florida

I may have posted this picture before----a long time ago...But, I think it is such a "period" setter because of the clothes....That is my brother Gordon, my sister Robin, my sister Gene, and then me, and that little puppy is "Snowball", our dog. He was a Samoyed, (Actually pronounced kind of like 'Samoyette', at least that is what we were told)....He was a very important member of our family who lived with us in Florida and Great Neck and on The Farm in Pennsylvania....Below is a little closer look at all of us in this picture...... This was about 1937.....which would make me 5 years old, going on 6 in June.....Gordon would be 7, going on 8, in September.....Robin, 14 going on 15---Also September, and Gene would have been 11 going on 12, in October---In fact, her Birthday is on Thursday......I love that both Robin and I have on these Neckerchiefs, though worn slightly differently....And Gene's dress is so very pretty.....Gordon was such a BEAUTIFUL little boy....sensitive and yet tough, too....And still is...lol! On second look, I don't think I do have a scarf around my neck..I think it is the collar of the sweater with some little tassels or something....! This picture above, was taken on the same day as that first photo...And I think this is a fascinating photograph......My mother and father are standing behind the two Grandmothers---Rose Bermen, who we called Maamaw, and Amelia Hirshhorn, Daddy's mother....This was taken just to the right side of the front door of the North Bay Road house.....I am looking off into 'dreamland'....wishing I were someplace else, maybe? Robin is looking somewhere else, too...But not the same place that I am....Oh, and see? Those little tassels hanging down? The little sweater did tie in the front......Then, this next picture giving us a closer look is interesting too..... "Jen The Hen", (Ma), is sort of looking down at the top of Gene's head...OR, maybe taking a quick glance at her mother and her MIL, who was a rather fierce looking woman...."Daddy Joe" (Daddy) is kind of just looking straight out, but he certainly doesn't seem comfortable to me....Gene looks rather pensive but relaxed, and the two Grandma's and Gordon...... Well....Maamaw's eyes have been diverted by something...And Gordon is looking straight into the camera...his mouth kind of set in this line...And Grandma Hirshhorn looks kind of scary and remote....which was how she always appeared to me. We actually hardly knew her, in a way. We spent very little time with her and she had never learned English, coming to this country when my father was quite young....like maybe two years old. She did speak Yiddish so my parents and Maamaw could talk to her quite fluently, but to the four of us, she just seemed a rather strange remote person who was not like a Grandma, the way Maamaw was....It is sad, too...Because my cousins who lived near her or with her in Jamaica, had a completely different relationship with her. They absolutely adored her and found her very warm....It is too bad we never really knew her or felt close to her. And in a way, it was partly my fathers fault.....We just never saw that much of her, except at Passover when we would spend the 2nd night at her house...Everything was in Hebrew--The Whole Ceremony--and frankly, it was very long and very very boring. Our Passovers in our house were wonderful! They were fun and serious too, and almost everything was in English so all of us participated and read from the Hagadoh.....Sometimes, it felt as if maybe we really weren't from the same family as Grandma Hirshhorn, at all. Yet, I know my father always took very good care of his mother, at least, financially. The picture above is of Maamaw and a gentleman friend who I do not recognize. They are posing outside the North Bay Road house....I love her outfit! The Hat, particularly....As Stephen Sondheim said in his song "Here's To The Ladies Who Lunch"...Does Anybody Still Wear A Hat?.....And dress up of an afternoon, unless it was a special occasion, which this certainly may have been.....And you can see the Wall behind with the door obscured by Maamaw and her gentleman friend. This was the wall that surrounded the front of the house, and gave us a lovely interior front lawn with lots of privacy, and the "real" front door to the house was deep behind that wall.....And, you can see that actual front door in this picture above. I love these little outfits that Gene and I are wearing---I remember mine as feeling very soft....I think we must have been dressed up for something special on this particular day, though what the occasion might have been I have no idea. I love Gordon's little short pants suit, too.....I think we all were pretty cute in this picture. Oh, and check out the shoes on each of us....It amazes me how blond I was the first 7 or so years of my life. Well, at least my hair looks blond in many of the pictures of that time. Blond and Straight..... Just a few doors down from our house on North Bay Road was this very posh Hotel....it was called The Nautilus Hotel. It was a very very big Hotel that had a huge following of people who would come down on their Yachts and dock them right there in Biscayne Bay and then stay in the Hotel. There was a wonderful Arcade on the ground floor with many beautiful shops....And one in particular, which we frequented often. Why, you ask? Well, to buy Chewing Gum and Candy and Magazines, which we did, all the time on a regular basis. I think my father would buy his daily New York Times and Herald Tribune there, too....It was wonderful to have a little shop like this so close that we could walk to it and get our Juicy Fruit fix, any time we wanted or needed....Oh, Bliss.......(lol) Our house was to the left there, where the postcard ends.....That little Island had the Pool and some Bungalow's on it, too.....And you can see just a few Yachts tied up in this Picture Postcard.....During the years we were there almost all of the slips would be filled with these enormous fancy Yacht's.....I had never seen anything quite like this place before or since, I might add....This was a Hotel that catered to the very rich Newport, R.I. set.....the Very White Anglo-Saxon set, and of course, it was Very Very "Restricted" at that time. After the War started....WW2, that is, The Nautilus Hotel became a much needed Hospital for wounded Veteran's coming back from the European Theatre of War. It never returned to it's former splendor as a Hotel. In fact, it never returned to being a Hotel at all. And as far as I know, it is still a Hospital, though not just for returning Veteran's.......A lot of water under the bridge since those years......





More To Come.......








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27 Comments:
had this to say:

Naomi, What wonderful pictures! You know, it is funny.... I think every family has one grandma that the kids were close to and one grandma that was around occasionally.

Certainly true in our house growing up. I often wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that mother's mom couldn't stand my father, and my father's mom couldn't stand my mother. Anyway, my Gran was my closest thing to a "parent" growing up - my mother's mother.

In your pictures, you can see how children were the focus of your family life. I think if more families centered their life around their children, instead of things outside their home, our young people would have much happier childhoods and there would be less broken homes.

Thank you for sharing another piece of your life.

Anne

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 4:25:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love Maamaw's fancy hat photo and the shot of the kids' shoes. Your home on N. Bay Road looks beautiful and very private with that outside door. I wonder how it will look today. :)

These black and white photos are wonderful. I would give anything to see old pictures of Cuba, but they've all been destroyed. Photos are priceless. The stories behind them are fascinating.

Please keep sharing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 6:30:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love old pictures! I love looking at the costumes, the facial expressions and body language. I like to wonder how people turned out and what their lives were like. Your Maamaw looked very stylish in that picture with her gentleman friend. She looks a little like one of my grandmothers, in body type. My maternal grandmother came from Germanic stock and was a strong, sturdy woman. She worked taking care of her elderly neighbors and their lawns until the end. I remember saying to her that she had to stop mowing lawns in the Florida heat because she was too old (in her 70s) to do that. She was actually older than some of the neighbors she looked after. But she was a take charge woman and there was really no stopping her if she felt like doing something.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 7:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I always love looking at your old photos, Naomi, and I thought that we have in common the fact of not knowing our father's parents very well. My dad's mom dies when he was 5 years old, and his step-mother was a nice woman, but not very warm to the rest of the family. I'm sure her side thought the world of her. It's all about perceptions, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 8:58:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh Naomi I just adore your old pictures and the stories of your past. Please don't be offended but it makes me feel closer to my grandparents whom I miss so much. I used to pester the devil out of them for stories and they always, always obliged!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 9:19:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Another thoroughly enjoyable post! The photos of you kids were great. I noticed the great clothes immediately and then my eye was drawn to the shoes. You certainly do not see kids today wearing wonderful shoes like that! I remember wearing StrideRites and Buster Browns.
What a beautiful location you lived in while gathering so many memories.
Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
Terri
http://www.islandwriter.net

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 12:36:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for visiting my blog. I love the old black and white photos. I have some of my family and some with my three sisters. I will have to post them sometime.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 4:14:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I always love looking at old photos and even more so when someone can "narrate" what is going on and who is who.
Ok THIS just gets weirder and weirder Aunty Em. I grew up in a house FULL of Samoyeds ! My mother bred them and I spent most weekends at dog shows, my eyes popped out of my head when I read what you wrote lol.
All these little coincidences are starting to weird me out a little LOL

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 6:23:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow! It's got to bring back memories when you look back at those pix! Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 6:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I just love your stories. The pictures are wonderful. I would have loved going into that hotel just to see how pretty it was. I know that I enjoy going into the hotels in Vegas and taking in the splendor of the place. I like sparklie chandeliers and the like.....

I can't wait to hear more......

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 8:39:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love the pictures and stories of your past. It must have been a wonderfully beautiful place in South Florida back then.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 10:10:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love the pictures. How fascinating that your story is so like that of Barbara Walter's. If you have not read her book you really should. You have a lot in common.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 11:50:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

So many of those styles have come back. Everything looks so picture perfect and simple in most of those photos. They evoke such a quality... I almost feel like I could time travel into them. Funny how so many of our memories are held in place because we have photos to prove it happened.

My theme song is WILD THING You make my heart sing! I just love the very first chord of that song.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 2:04:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I loved this second part Naomi!! It's too bad that you didn't get to know your other grandma that well. With the language barrier it would have been hard though. I only ever knew one of my grandmothers and she died when I was about 11 or so. I never knew my grandpas either. They had all passed away before I was born. I think I was cheated!!

Very nice post!! Hope you are doing well and that dear Sweetie is too!!! Hugs to you!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 2:13:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love the photos.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 3:40:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Fascinating photos Naomi! Wonderful. Your Grandmother does look kind of scary looking - her eyes are diverted so you do wondering what she is thinking!

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 10:12:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Mar
had this to say:

Beautiful pictures and even though there are some sad touches here and there, they still represent wonderful memories.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 11:57:00 PM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

A great piece of history. What a wonderful area to live. it must have spoilt you for living in dreary places for the rest of your life and it's great that you are still living in a historic attractive place.
Glad to see Gordon's little legs had fattened out by now. such precious records.

Friday, October 17, 2008 at 1:29:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, Did you ever rent/see the movie "August Rush"? I watched it again tonight and cried all the way through it.....It is perfect for the music lover.

Friday, October 17, 2008 at 7:56:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Gorgeous pictures of your family Naomi - amazing clothes!

Friday, October 17, 2008 at 10:00:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It's sad you didn't get to know your one grandma, I can't imagine not being able to smother my Grandbabies with love. I wouldn't care if they didn't know what I was saying! That would probably scare them, though, ha-ha!

Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 5:50:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How very cool to have these memories AND the photos to go along with them.

I need to start taking more family photos.

Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 6:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, you are so lucky for have so many photos of your childhood. Photos are priceless and can told us your history! You are so lovely when a kid!
Many hugs to you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 8:49:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Everyone looks so serious in those days! And so properly dressed. Different times I guess. I want to start going through my old photos at mother's house after I visit here! Though mine aren't as interesting. Only a baby with a kitten probably!

I love the way you share so much with us. PS- my hair was much much lighter as a child too. I was blond up until almost the second grade.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 8:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Such interesting photos.
I can relate to having one set of grandparents that I was very close to and one set that were very remote and even seemed scary to me.
I LOVE that first photo of you and your siblings. I do remember seeing it before. You look so adorable, and Gordon was a pretty boy. I love how in that one photo Gordon's face is peeking up there in between the two grandmothers.
Your family had all the makings for what would seem to have been the perfect setting for happiness. You know firsthand that having wealth does not equal having a loving household and a home that is a refuge from life's storms. I know that even as a little girl you experienced storms within your household.
I think it is wonderful that you can look back now and comment on the good things that existed then as well as remembering the pain that existed.
I sensed your joy in this post as you commented on each of your siblings' clothes and expressions and those of your parents and grandmothers.
This post simply made me feel happy!!
:-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 11:34:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I enjoyed reading about you and your family. I too like the old B&W pictures, of days goin' by!

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. And thanks for your nice comments.

My sister has been sending me those old pictures, some of them I didn't even remember, so I have enjoyed seeing them myself. I am always surprised when other bloggers tell me they like my old pictures.

Well, Naomi, I hope you have a nice week. My daughter and her husband will be flying home tomorrow from their mini-visit to California this past week.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 7:40:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Sorry I haven't been back here in awhile. My life is in a major upheaval and ugh! Time flies, as they say.

I'm always fascinated by your recollections. The time, the setting ... your memories are all so specific and you do a good job at finding postcards, photos to flesh the times out!

Monday, October 20, 2008 at 5:55:00 PM PDT 

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