Herman Family Pix

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Recordings of family events

  • 1912-Prosofskys+Borofskys-diagram.jpg
  • 1912-Prosofskys+Borofskys.jpg
  • 1932-BrasovHillside-Joseph,Adele,etc.jpg
  • 1943-CharlotteBorofsky-yearbook.jpg
  • 1943-JHK-yearbook.jpg
  • 1947-05-30-AuntieGoldberg+Boris.jpg
  • 1947-05-30-Shirley+Mickey.jpg
  • 1948-AuntieGoldberg+Boris,back-of-store.jpg
  • 1948-Passover-Greenwood-St.,-Dorchester-1.jpg
  • 1948-Passover-Greenwood-St.,-Dorchester-2.jpg
  • 1950-Burt+Ted.jpg
  • 1950-Simon+AuntieGoldberg.jpg
  • 1950-Simon+Rita+AuntieGoldberg.jpg
  • 1950-Ted.jpg
  • 1950-back1.jpg
  • 1950-back2.jpg
  • 1955-Burt-Spanish-Morocco-camel.jpg
  • 1959-Porch.jpg
  • 1959-Ted+Celia+Judy.jpg
  • 1965-Burt+kids.jpg
  • 2013-11-18-Burdujeni-cemetery1.jpg
  • 2013-11-18-Burdujeni-cemetery2.jpg
  • 2013-11-18-Burdujeni-cemetery3.jpg
  • 2013-11-18-Burdujeni-cemetery4.jpg
  • 2395732-1921-93-Herschkowicz-Scher.jpg
  • 2395776-1929-283-Herscovici.jpg
  • AuntieGolberg+Boris+1948.jpg
  • BorisGoldberg-LifesShadows.jpg
  • Burtonteam.jpg
  • Celia+BorisGoldberg.jpg
  • Celia-piano.jpg
  • Harry.jpg
  • HarryHerman-obit.jpg
  • HarryHermanWW1.jpg
  • IcecreamForTeddy.jpg
  • JudyMom.jpg
  • ShirleyWedding.jpg
  • TedHerman-Marine-Quantico.jpg
  • Teddy.jpg
  • Teddy3.jpg
  • amerika1905.jpg
  • Harry4.png
  • PDF Documents

    From: Judith Keller
    To: dan
    Subject: It's Auntie Goldberg
    Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 09:03:16 -0800

    It's Auntie Goldberg and my deduction is: Probably the reason you can't read the writing on the back is because the word "side" was wanted for "at the side of the house". However there was confusion as to how to spell side -- sight, site or side... English isn't easy to spell if you've never studied it, only learned to speak it by hearing it. I believe that may have been Auntie Goldberg's situation.

    My father could speak English OK, but his spelling was not very good, like his pronunciation. My Mom was a proud and perfect speller. As the proof you have hanging in your stained glass "schul" indicates, she graduated from 8th grade. She was born and raised in Boston and did not speak Roumanian. She did speak Yiddish which was the only language her mother, born in Poland and raised in the shtetl, knew.

    We all sat around the dining room table in Dorchester, doing our homework and helping to write my father's letters to "Margery Daw", the children's hat company he represented as a traveling salesman (ref. Willie Loman). These were horrible, wild sessions with fights about how he should word and spell his letters. We never seemed to get what he wanted to say and how it's said in written English to his satisfaction.

    Re pic w. Simon: my guess is it's the side of the house where Auntie Goldberg lived with Uncle Boris in Somerville. A young Simon was visiting, perhaps a recent arrival from Roumania? Auntie G. is her usual, elegantly dressed self. I could go on and on. Each pic conjures up a whole life.

    From: Ted Herman
    To: dan
    Subject: Re: who is it?
    Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 13:17:07 -0400

    The lady in the photo is your great aunt -- Celia Goldberg -- The dog is Sunshine (only dog in America to have an opera dedicated to her) -- The place is Somerville, Massachusetts -- The camera is a 126 milimeter brownie reflex. The temperature that day was 78 degrees -- It was a Sunday in June 1959 -- The photo was taken at 12:30 PM -- I just don't think I can be any more specific
    -- Best wishes --

    From: Burton Herman
    Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 15:11:36 EDT
    Subject: Re: ice cream for Teddy
    To: dan

    In response to "ICE CREAM FOR TEDDY"... On Sundays we would get dressed up to visit Aunt Celia and Uncle Boris at the pharmacy. On the way, we were cautioned not to accept offers of ice cream and candy as they couldn't afford it. Seeing Ted at the soda fountain leads me to believe that it was one of the few times we were allowed to accept ice cream or whatever. Anyway, that's my commentary on the great photo of Ted... probably at the age of 8 or 9.
    Always wonderful hearing from you.
    Love to you and your family.
    Uncle Burt

    From: Judith Keller
    Subject: Re: ice cream for Teddy & Boris' OPERA OPUS
    Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 12:40:26 -0800

    Ciao Dan,

    I have the original LIFE'S SHADOWS, Boris' opera, including his illustrations, music and libretto. It's quite corny music and libretto. I was in process of xeroxing the whole thing. I'm about 1/2 way through. It'll take a while for me to get back to it. Do it at my friendly neighborhood copy shop, but they have changed their system. Then I was planning to get an archival box in which to stash the original.

    LIFE'S SHADOWS is an interesting project from the p.o.v. of the following: Boris composed the whole opus on his violin in the back of the drug store. He could not afford music paper, so drew the staves and of course hand-wrote all the music and lyrics and drew illustrations of the stage sets. Auntie Goldberg believed in his talent and supported him all the way, including trying to peddle it (an interesting part of the story to be elaborated upon).

    Don't know what the few customers coming in and out of the drugstore and the bookie who picked up the numbers from Auntie Goldberg thought of the strains of violin coming from the back room. The illegal numbers game called the "nigger pool" -- you should excuse the expression -- helped bring in customers and the bookie who bought cigarettes and maybe a soda from the fountain. He also had small pads of paper which he left around and we kids liked that we could keep them. They were perfect for the "Moishe Pupiks" Grandpa Harry made.

    Much more to say about the life in the drug store front and back room during the Great Depression. Will send you some selected pages from LIFE'S SHADOWS. Or perhaps a whole xeroxed copy, I hope in the not too distant.

    Shirley visiting now. We had an abbreviated seder last night at Paul & Jimmy's Italian restaurant. Coltino asked and answered the all-important question: Why is this night different from.......?

    Love and Happy Pesach to all,

    ...In that email, I responded to your question, who was in the pic with Cousin Simon. Went into a fulsome, detailed description of life as it was lived then. These pics conjure up extensive memories, moods, and atmosphere. Explained that while the Roumanians (Romanians) spoke English they learned it by ear. So how to spell "side" for "at the side, sight, site of the house". Also went into the difficult and explosive scene around the dining room table trying to help G'pa Harry write his letters to Margery Daw, the children's hat company he represented in his Willie Loman traveling salesman, depression days, as we did our homework. We never did seem to get it right -- to say what he really wanted to say, which was unsayable and unspellable. G'ma Celia was born and bred in Boston, and, as your stained glass "schul" attests, she graduated from "grammar school". She was an excellent speller but would Harry listen?

    Enjoyed Ted's response. I never knew that Boris had dedicated his opera, Life's Shadows, to Sunshine. Boris and Celia's dogs were almost always named Sunshine, but I think perhaps there was a Rita.

    -- excerpted from a letter from Judith Keller
    dated 13 March, 2007

    From: "Judith Keller"
    Subject: Re: Herman archive
    Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 07:30:27 -0800

    So much more to say and write. One arena, living in Auntie Golberg's and Uncle Boris' attic during the Great Depression '30's...

    Uncle Boris was the local doctor. Held sessions with patients at the round, ice cream parlor marble-top tables and typical chairs. He concocted Rx meds for each patient from his store of herbs in the back of the drug store, grinding them with his mortar and pestle, when he wasn't working on his opera. Larry has some original labels for one he brewed. Today, Boris would be popular with the natural herbists. Then his community was poor white Irish and African- American.

    I'll describe Auntie Goldberg's (so-called, to avoid confusion with Ma, both of whom were named Celia) apartment in whose attic we lived for a couple of years during the height of the Depression when I have a little more time. It involves an organ, 26 canaries, and two enormous goldfish aquariums. Boris did not like children, so we kept out of his way and vice versa.

    There's much of interest to be said about the Depression era, including Pa's working for Mayor Curley, Boston's Robin Hood corrupt mayor, beloved by the poor folks.

    Uncle Boris and Auntie Goldberg -- as told by JHK on 6/24/2011

    In the Depression, Celia and Boris Goldberg had a drug store. The store was in Cambridge, on the corner of Hampshire and Windsor, I think, I'm not sure. They were so poor they had almost no inventory. Auntie Goldberg would put one box of Kotex on a doily in the center of each shelf so it wouldn't appear empty. Nobody bought anything; nobody had any money. Except the bookies, who played what they called the "nigger pool". A bookie would occasionally buy a pack of cigarettes. Auntie Goldberg would write down their bets on a special block of paper. The kids loved to get those blocks of paper.

    When Auntie Goldberg and Uncle Boris could no longer afford the rent on their apartment, they had to give it up. They moved into the back of the store. This embarassed them. They didn't want anyone to know. At closing time, they would put on their coats and hats, turn out the lights, go out the front door of the store and lock it, and walk through an alley and in to the back of the store where they had a cot to sleep on.

    Uncle Boris became the community doctor and mixed potions of his own for patients who came every day. Nobody could afford a regular doctor.

    Auntie Goldberg really believed in Boris and when Eddie Cantor came to Boston she tried very hard to see him and get him to read Boris's opera. I don't know whether she succeeded.

    The Herman men have a proud history of military service.

    Harry in WWI

    Ted in the Marines at Quantico

    Subject:   	Prosofsky Males
    From:   	"Herman, Larry" Larry.Herman@hermanagency.com
    Date:   	Sat, February 11, 2012 10:13 am
    To:   	"Herman, Burt" Burton.Herman@hermanagency.com (less)
    "'Herman, Theodore'" theodore.herman@mutualofamerica.com
    "'judith@keller.com'" judith@keller.com
    Cc:   	"'dan@keller.com'" dan@keller.com
    More from my Boston research trip this week
    Birth records for four brothers (including the twins) of your mother's
    who died at infancy or soon thereafter.
    Male born Jan 6, 1890 (parents are Abram and Anna Prosafsky).
    Though father listed as Abram and not Julius, this seems to be them.
    Male born May 1, 1897 (not sure if this was Zelig, who died at age 3
    and is buried in West Roxbury next to Thomas and near Julius and Annie)
    The twins were born Dec. 28, 1897   (obviously very premature given
    that were born only months after the prior son's birth).
    Other birthdates per my records:
    Dora born 8/18/1988
    Celia born 3/27/1899
    Thomas born 7/2/1901
    I also recently found Julius' birth record from Polish Archives,
    along with several of his siblings and info on his parents
    -- more on that in the future.

    11/16/2013 -- Larry writes:
    Here are the two recently obtained records -- the first is Marcu's marriage certificate from 1921 which is still in German (the language of Czernowitz during Austrian empire days which ended 1918), and the second might possibly be Brana's (Harry's mother) death certificate (1929, in Romanian)but I'm not at all sure about that.
    The Romanian geneologist, Banai Lynn Feldstein [mailto:czernowitz@idogenealogy.com], wrote:
    Your Czernowitz record scans are attached. The file names contain film number, year, page number, and surname. If there are any discrepancies in the page numbers from the index, it is because the pages have been renumbered sometimes three times and I used a different one than the original index.
    Click on an image to see it full size.

    Larry writes:

    Burdujeni in 1900 was a shtetl of perhaps 3,000 people. It is now incorporated as part of the larger city of Suceava separated by a river. 50 or 75 miles from Suceava is Czernowitz (as it was called in Austrian era, now Chernvisti in Ukranian) where there is a robust Jewish history. Harry's brother Marcu and sister Hana moved there, probably just after WW1, when it changed hands from Austria-Hungary to Romania. Czernowitz is now in Ukraine.

    I found the marriage records for Harry's brother Marcu in Czernowitz, which has his address on it. I need to research that. I also found a death record for Brana Herscovici in Czernowitz, but am still trying to determine if it is Harry's mother.

    Looking forward to heading back to the place Harry left in 1906.

    Here's a link Larry found: http://jbat.lbi.org/locality/burdujeni. Click on the photos. They're beautiful!
    In May, 2014, we followed Harry's footsteps in reverse, back to Burdujeni, Romania, where he was born, and to Chernivtsi, Ukraine, too, where other family members came from. Here is the photo travelog of Roots in Romania and Ukraine -- Three Hermans and a Keller.
    On the occasion of Shirley's 99th birthday (Nov. 18, 2020) Burton wrote:

    Hard to believe Shirley would have been 99 last Wednesday.

    She was a product of the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, poverty, World War II, and the love of her life returning home sick. She avoided the Cocoanut Grove disaster, worked at the successful Coronet Jewelry, and was unable to have children of her own so she adopted us. There was Charlie's incarceration, Mickey's dementia and passing, downsizing, Shirley moving to Chestnut Hill, then to a nursing home and reunited in death at Baker Street cemetery with Mickey, the Gersteins, near Harry and Celia, the Goldbergs, and sister Judy.

    Despite her issues, Shirley's life was a blessing she made the most of every day. Her memory is a treasure. She was loved beyond words and is missed beyond measure.

    Happy 99th Birthday dear Shirley.

    A virtual visit with stones left on your marker.

    From your siblings and nieces and nephews,

    Love from us all.