Hermann Pressman Diary
My father anticipated that would happen when we were in Antwerp. We will not receive the money until they weigh the gold and issue us a check. The first thing I did was search through the phonebook, and I found an Uncle Adolf Hirschberg, my mother's uncle on her mother's side. My mother was happy that I found his name amongst the many Hirschbergs. I called and my mother set an appointment to visit him today. She was very happy, and I was proud of myself. My father and I went to Brooklyn to find the relatives that were supposedly living there. They had all moved out about four years ago to an unknown address. We could not find our uncle David Gold who had helped us get American papers years ago to get out of Germany. This morning my father and I went to get our money for the gold coins. We received some of our money and went to the National Citibank of New York. The letter about our account had not yet arrived there in connection with the check that we received from their branch office in Antwerp. We need to wait until they get that information by mail. In the afternoon we tried to find a small and inexpensive apartment because our Knickerbocker Hotel at 45th Street is too expensive to remain for any length of time. I spent over three hours trying to find the relatives who we had names or addresses for. It was useless. As I wandered through this great big city towards our hotel through the subway exit, I went through the turnstile where thousands of people are, I stumbled across Margaret Goldwasser. She seemed very glad to meet us and was very surprised that I remembered her name and called her. She had not received our letter from Belgium. If she had received it, she would've picked us up at our port of arrival. She said that the Goldwassers had given me the wrong address. She gave me the correct address and invited us to visit. She was very nice. So our effort to find relatives wasn't for naught because we meet her and may meet others through her. If we hadn't been looking for others, we never would've found her. She is also an acquaintance, and she acts like a friend. Madame Timberg is just now leaving us. Until now she helped us look through the ads to find an apartment to live in and decipher the ads. She checked off the ads worth looking at and gave us directions to get to them.
Bronx, Tuesday 8:00 p.m., May 15, 1934.
On Thursday, May 3rd, I was running around with my father looking for an apartment; we found nothing. We went to HIAS at 425 Lafayette Boulevard. There a lady took the addresses and information we had about relatives in the New York area and placed ads in the New York Jewish paper that we were their relatives arrived in the New York area looking for them. She advised that we move from the tourist hotel into the HIAS for no charge until we find an apartment to live in. We packed our things from the Knickerbocker Hotel. We could not take our personal baggage into the room at HIAS because they are afraid of theft from other poorer people living there. My parents and I were all very miserable about our decision to move into HIAS. Although the woman who advised us to move there was very nice and was trying to be helpful, we were not happy there. HIAS had large dormitory style rooms for twenty to thirty people to stay in. It was for very poor people and we did not belong there. It was a big extreme to go from the expensive Knickerbocker to the free HIAS. It was too much of an extreme and no good. It was for nothing and worth nothing. On Friday Ms. Timberg picked us up, and we all went apartment hunting. We found nothing. Very late in the day we left for the Bronx. It is also part of New York, but it is a little removed. There we found a very nice apartment at 1715 Wise Avenue at 174th Street with two bedrooms, kitchen, and bath. It was a bit expensive. We went to the Grymans on the same street. They were friends of our friend Ruben in Antwerp, They were very nice and went with us to look at different apartments. We believed that we would be able to find something on this street in this area. We quickly rented a furnished room in the area in order to continue to look for an apartment as nice as the one on Wise Avenue, but not as expensive. We picked up our belongings from the HIAS office. The Goldwassers invited us to dinner when we telephoned them. They were very nice to us, and we had a fine dinner. The daughter Margaret escorted us back to the subway station. We returned to the furnished room. The night was very difficult to sleep through because the furniture and beds were full of bedbugs and cockroaches. On Saturday we saw another apartment that did not please us. We decided to go back to Wise Avenue and rent the one that we had seen before. We have to wait to move in because the entire apartment is to be renovated. I gave up my pocket money in Belgian francs. My dear mother gave me money whenever I needed some. On Sunday we went to a furniture store to get some furniture temporarily until our furniture arrived from Belgium. We also wanted to get accustomed to the prices. I went to banks on Monday morning and then picked up some more of our luggage at the port and ordered a service to deliver our belongings to Wise Avenue. We had to remain in the infested furnished room because my father had prepaid for the one week. We could not try another apartment while our new one was being renovated because we didn't know if another place would have bugs. We moved most of our belongings quickly into the new place, so as not to let them get infested and thereby infest our new place. I tried lying on the floor with my blankets to escape the bugs. But even on the floor I was not lonesome because the bugs were there too to keep me company. They were eating me alive, it was very lovely. Then I took some of my stuff into the new apartment that was unfurnished. There I slept alone on the floor. It was better to sleep on the floor without cockroaches than with them. On Tuesday, May 8th, my father and I looked at furniture. We telephoned Madame Goldwasser who recommended that we visit her other daughter, Madame Klein, to see furniture places where we could buy at lower prices. Later we found out that Madame Klein was an interior decorator. She took us to furniture showrooms that were not really discounted, but where she made a commission. The salesman himself told me on the side that he must deal with her on price, and that she would get a healthy commission. Later we went to different furniture stores on our own. On Wednesday, May 9th, my father and I found a very nice bedroom suite and furniture for the kitchen. On Thursday the renovation was finished, and the new furniture was moved in. My parents joined me in the new apartment. A man came to visit us who read our ad in the Jewish papers saying we were looking for our relatives. He helped us find them because he knew them. He escorted us to them. We found out that Uncle David Gold had passed away the last winter, leaving behind his wife and children. We were sad to learn of his death. In the meantime we were busy setting up our new apartment. Now, thank G-d, we do not have to eat every meal in a restaurant. My dear mother is now in the house and can prepare our own food the way we like and to our style and taste. Friday I went walking with my sister. I also went to visit Mr. Linkofsky's partner in America. They notified me that Mr. Linkofsky had arrived in America the day before. In the evening Ms. Timberg and Mr. Linkofsky both came to visit.
On Sunday I mailed the letter to my friend Jack Rosenbaum in Antwerp that I had started writing on the boat. I included our new address and asked Jack to give all our friends best regards and to transmit the same message from the Goldwassers in New York. I also asked him to do me a favor and mail my books that I left in Antwerp to me. I also wrote to the lady French teacher I liked in Antwerp, then I attended to other personal matters. In the afternoon my parents went to the Yiddish theatre with the Grimans while I took my sister for a walk in the park and to the zoo. During that time Mrs. Gold tried to visit us with her daughter but we were not home. So we went to Brooklyn to visit them and came home late in the evening. They are poor, but very lovely people. They look like very honorable people. On Monday I went with my father to the government office where we had left our gold. We tried to get the remainder of our money, and then we went to the bank. In the afternoon we went to buy furniture. In the evening Mr. Wolkovich, brother to the Wolkovich we knew in Berlin, was to visit us. In the morning I went with my mother to the bank where she had already claimed a safe. My dear father gave me his check for one-thousand dollars in return for the nine hundred and thirty five dollars I had given him in Antwerp. I took this to the bank and opened a savings account. The balance book I placed in my parent's safe. In the afternoon I completed household chores. Now I am going to sleep.
Bronx, Wednesday 10:35 p.m., May 16, 1934.
Last night a gentleman in our building said that our Uncle Adolf Hirschberg had telephoned and left a message for us to return his call. We telephoned him and he invited us to his home this afternoon. This morning I completed my chores. In the afternoon we visited that Uncle Hirschberg on Riverside Drive in Manhattan. They received us nicely. Hirschberg is the brother of the uncle where my mother had worked for nine years as a maid before she met my father. He was the uncle who had taken in my mother after her mother died and her father was remarried. The new stepmother refused to take in any of his children. Adolf's son, Leo, is an eye doctor. I also promised myself that I first want to fill out forms and papers applying for citizenship. These are the first papers. After living in America for five years, we can apply for citizenship and those are the second papers.
Bronx, Saturday 9:30 p.m., May 19, 1934.
On Thursday I spent most of the day running around with my father. We went to buy a nice radio, but not too expensive. On Friday I had various things to do. We went to different banks and bought some things for the house. This morning I walked with my sister. Afterwards I lay down because I was feeling feverish today. As a matter of fact, I felt this coming on the last couple of days. Yesterday, I noticed that twice I spit up blood. Now my parents went someplace, and I am going to bed.
Bronx, Monday 9:05 p.m., May 21, 1934.
Yesterday and today was Shavuos. Yesterday morning I ran errands. In the afternoon I walked with my parents. This morning I went with my father to Hirschberg. Leo, the eye doctor, went with us to a government building to get the forms. We filed our first papers stating our intention to become U.S. citizens at the end of five years. We hope to become American citizens. We are happy to do so, and we are proud of the fact. The first papers occupied us the rest of the morning. In the afternoon we went for a walk. Now I got the pictures that I had taken including the one from Halifax. These pictures are mounted in my photo album from #105 - #109.
Bronx, Saturday 9:10 p.m., May 26, 1934.
This week passed very quickly. There were a few daysthat
I was feeling sick. I went with my father looking at different
business locations and streets. There were a lot of letters to be
written to relatives and acquaintances. Mr. Linkofsky and Mr. Reuben
also from Antwerp were both here to visit us. Reuben is in America
to stay. This morning my mother accompanied me to the hospital to be
examined by a doctor for only a few cents. The doctor said that my
lungs are thank G-d healthy. It is only something in my nose and
respiratory that he gave me a prescription and some nose drops. In
the afternoon I did some more writing work. I wrote to the Mendelsons
in Deurne, Belgium and others. Then I took a walk. Last week my
mother gave me a dollar in pocket money, of which I spent forty
cents in the barber shop and a few cents for ink for my fountain pen.
Bronx, Sunday 9:00 p.m., May 27, 1934.
This morning I walked with my sister. In the afternoon I went to the zoo with my parents. My parents went out in the evening while I watched my sister. Today in Belgium, Fanny Goldwasser married a Mr. Klein. We wish them good luck.
Bronx, Monday 9:15 p.m., May 28, 1934.
This morning I went with my father to an area populated with men's clothing stores. Afterwards I went to HIAS to place more ads in the Jewish newspapers to find some of my father's relatives in Philadelphia. I also inquired for some recommendations for a job with a men's clothing store. In the afternoon I went to introduce myself at one of the places that they recommended. It was a waste of time because they were not taking any new employees because it was after their busy season. I returned to HIAS because a gentleman had promised to let me know if he found a business opening.
Bronx, Wednesday 9:00 p.m., May 30, 1934.
Today is Declaration Day in America. Yesterday morning I registered my sister at kindergarten. Then I went with my mother to an office that publishes a Jewish newspaper against Hitler. The man there promised to make some inquiries to help me get a job. He took notations from my mother's observations from Hitler's Germany. In the afternoon we walked together. This morning I walked with my sister. In the afternoon I walked alone. This morning I met a nice Jewish lady who I hope to meet again, even if I do not know her name. Today my sister is celebrating her sixth birthday. May she be well and do everything well. My father bought her some presents, some that my mother gave her, and some that I was allowed to give her.
This morning I went with my father to exchange the radio that he had bought. They promised to send the radio to the factory to get repaired. Today we received some mail from relatives that we just recently discovered. We responded. In the afternoon I walked.
Bronx, Sunday 12 a.m., June 3, 1934.
Yesterday before noon I picked up the radio from the factory. It seems to be working OK. In the afternoon I got a lady teacher from Sonia's school to teach my parents English. That lady teacher came yesterday for my parent's first lesson. I listened in. My dear father is unfortunately a very poor pupil. It is difficult for him to retain things. He is very smart in business and other things. It is just difficult in learning for him to retain things. We hope to G-d that he will be able to learn enough to get around. In the morning I went to banks. In the afternoon we went to visit our aunt who had written that she was sick and bedridden. We had dinner in a restaurant. Afterwards we went to a club on Second Avenue for the former residents of Pilsner, Poland where my parents were born. They met others from that area. Some are distant relatives. My parents joined as members and paid for all of us. My dear parents stayed there, but my sister and I returned home. I made the beds for Sonia and I.
Bronx, Tuesday 10:10 p.m., June 5, 1934.
Sunday morning I walked with my sister. In the
afternoon we all walked together. After dinner a young man helped me
write an English letter to Henrietta Linkofsky in Antwerp. In fact
her father was visiting with us. Yesterday my father found ten
the way to the newsstand. He gave me one of the dollars for pocket
money. This morning I had errands. In the afternoon my father's
cousin, Mrs. Rosenstein and Mrs. Bowman. They are the daughters of
Mr. Markowitz of Philadelphia. Mrs. Markowitz's maiden name was
Pressman; she is the sister of my father's father. We all stayed up
late and exchanged a lot of information. They remained overnight in
our house. In the morning we walked around town with them. In the
afternoon we went with them to other people from our hometown. We
visited the Sobel family. Then they went to return to Philadelphia,
my father joined them to meet the other relatives and to get
acquainted with the areas of Atlantic City and Philadelphia.
Atlantic City is where Ms. Bowman had a small pension.
On Wednesday I walked in the morning and afternoon. I walked again on Thursday, We received a telegram that my father had arrived safely in Atlantic City. I went and exchanged my fountain pen to get a better ink. Yesterday morning I cleaned a few of my suits. My dear mother pressed them for me. After dinner we visited the Griman family a few blocks away on Wise Avenue. My father had returned by the time we got home from Philadelphia. He told us about his relatives who were very poor but were very nice and had received him very nicely in their apartment. He brought a few gifts and souvenirs for us. For me he bought a nice top shirt. This morning I answered letters. Then I went to the barber for forty cents. My parents accompanied to the port near the boat Leviatan to escort Mr. Linkofsky to his boat back to Antwerp, We bought him a nice bouquet of flowers. This boat was much larger and nicer and traveled must faster than the Western boat we had taken to America. Yesterday I received a nice letter from my friend Jack Rosenbaum. Tomorrow we expect a few of our relatives from Philadelphia to come visit us. I am going to listen to the radio before I go to sleep.
Bronx, Sunday 10:05 p.m., June 10, 1934.
This morning Mrs. Markowitz, my father's aunt, came from Philadelphia with the cousins Rifka and Yosil Krouser and their friend. All were very nice. The cousins are about twenty-four-years-old. In the afternoon we had a nice discussion and danced a little. In the evening we went out in the car that the cousins arrived in. We went to the park. I took some pictures of the visiting family. We dined together before they went back home to Philadelphia. They asked us to come visit them as soon as possible. I liked Rifka in particular, and I kissed her goodbye. We kissed them all goodbye and thanked them for coming.
Bronx, Monday 9:20 p.m., June 11, 1934.
Today I had to write some letters, and then I went out for a walk. This evening I picked up the pictures that were developed and my father reimbursed me forty cents for them. The pictures did not come out very good, and I did not put them in my album yet. I expect to send some copies to our cousins.
Bronx, Wednesday 7:25 p.m., June 13, 1934.
Yesterday I wrote the cousins a letter and enclosed the photos. Then I had to go to the bank. Then I went with my father to observe some businesses and some business streets. In the afternoon my parents took their English lessons, and I listened in. Then I did some writing work. This morning I went to the bank for my parents. At the bank we were given a briefcase as a gift. Then I went with my father looking over different businesses. In the afternoon we went walking together. My parents went out, and I put my sister to bed. I am going to listen to the radio, write some letters and go to bed.
Bronx, Friday 9:55 a.m., June 15, 1934.
Wednesday evening I wrote a card to Joseph Gruber. Yesterday morning I went with my father to HIAS for some information. While I was there I learned that the Messingers family from Berlin that we had met again in Antwerp had arrived in America this week. While we were going to visit the Messinger family, we passed by a business that was having an auction. We watched the auction for awhile. We ate lunch at a nearby restaurant and stayed in the area until dinnertime. We brought home some items that we bought at the auction, including boxes of men's top shirts. We both had our hands full. In the evening the Grimmans from Wise Avenue visited. For good luck they bought some of our shirts from the auction. Today we had a nice breakfast and nothing much happened.
Bronx, Saturday 10:15 p.m., June 16, 1934.
Yesterday I went to a few businesses to show samples of the top shirts we bought. I couldn't sell anything. I think that business is bad here. Owners would rather buy more expensive on credit from jobbers and manufacturers than pay me less cash now. Today I received a nice letter from cousin Rifka. This morning I went walking with my sister. In the afternoon I went walking with my parents. Today we met a lady who arrived two weeks ago from Germany. She said things in Germany were very bad and extremely dangerous for Jews. At that moment my parents were very glad and satisfied that we were no longer in Germany, even if usually they were very sad because here they don't speak the language and have a business with money coming in like in Germany. We are looking for work to start earning money. Maybe my parents are right, but every beginning is hard. I hope G-d will help us with a new undertaking.
Bronx, Thursday 10:40 a.m., June 21, 1934.
Sunday morning I went walking with my sister. In the afternoon I went walking with my parents and some friend to the zoo. Monday I walked all day with my father around town. We were looking to find a job individually for myself or my father. We also asked for advice on how to land a job, which seems to be very difficult at present. We went to offices and committees for assimilating immigrants. We went to one friend looking at his business, which he may consider selling. I do not know if my father wants to buy it. I went to an employment agency, but was unsuccessful. In the afternoon my parents had their English lesson. Yesterday I spent most of the day with my father looking at business. Our efforts seemed in vain. We went to an employment agency for Jewish refugees. I will return there this afternoon. I had to write some letters including one to Mr. Schultzsinger from the Ezra in Antwerp. Later in the afternoon I met with a gentleman who seemed interested in hiring me, but it did not yet happen. I just hope and pray.
Bronx, Sunday 9:15 p.m., June 24. 1934.
On Thursday, I wrote to my cousins Kraus in Philadelphia. I returned to the Jewish employment agency and nothing happened. On Friday my father bought me a suit for twenty-three dollars. I have to go back for alterations, and to pick it up the following week. After this purchase my father and I went to the furrier, Mr. Friedberg, who specializes in fox tails. My father is thinking about becoming a partner. Afterwards I spent some time with Sonia who is sick with the chicken pox. Yesterday I spent most of the day running around with my father, again comparing furniture prices. We did make one purchase. Afterwards I rested for awhile because I was not feeling well. I also had a rash on my body, although I think I am too old to have the chicken pox. Today I walked in the park. I spoke to Mr. Applebaum, who owns a dry goods store on 174th Street, he is considering letting me open a booth to sell my top shirts out front. The clothing store owners are not willing to pay us in cash. I have already made price tags for the shirts.
Bronx, Friday 9:05 a.m., June 29, 1934.
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I opened my stand in front of Applebaum's store. Sales were slow but constant; in fact I think I was doing better than Applebaum. I have taken no losses because we bought the shirts cheap. Last night I went into Manhattan to look at the books of the furrier owner. The books and bills were not promising, and there was no forecasting the business. The furrier has no money to put into the business. Afterwards I returned to my stand in front of Applebaum's store. I helped Applebaum make some sales inside. Mr. Applebaum offered to pay me help him make signs and help in a sale he is doing. I hope something good will come out of that. This morning I opened the top shirt stand early before breakfast. My father watched the stand while I was away a short while. My parents are very unhappy because they cannot speak the language and cannot get comfortable. They are not confident that they will master the language enough to open a business. My father finds it very difficult to learn. He is considering returning to Germany as soon as Hitler's government falls. It seems to me that Germany is already unstable with the government out of control because all there is is fighting. It looks like the right wing, the radical politicians, are being attacked by others they are calling the German putsch, but meanwhile they are still in power, nothing has happened.
Bronx, Sunday 10:20 p.m., July 1, 1934.
Friday I spent at my stand selling shirts. In the afternoon I picked up the suit that my father bought me last week. Then I went to the barber shop and got something to drink. My mother reimbursed me thirty-five cents for the drink, so it cost me nothing. We are living very economically. I was up until the middle of the night helping Applebaum in the store. In particular, one customer gave me a ten cent tip for my service. Yesterday I worked until 1 a.m. at Applebaum's store. He paid me $2.50 . I told him that my parents forbid me from working that many hours into the night, particularly in the hot summer. It is still possible that he may keep me to work shorter hours during the day. This morning I went walking. In the afternoon my father packed, and I escorted him to New York City to the bus headed for Atlantic City to visit the Rosenstein family and his cousin.
Bronx, Monday 9:50 p.m., July 2, 1934.
I worked in Applebaum's store in the morning. Then I went to the park before returning to Applebaum's store. He was very polite to me and cut my hours shorter to allow me to continue working in his store. I want to note that the newspapers are reporting that in Germany a revolution or civil war is occurring. That dog Hitler, it appears, will soon see his end. Hitler already arrested a lot of his henchmen, trying to clean his ranks. I hope this will happen.
Bronx, Thursday 9:20 a.m., Jul. 5, 1934.
All day Tuesday I worked at Applebaum's store. Then I walked until going to sleep. We received a card from my father that he arrived safely. Yesterday was Independence Day. I spent a long day in Mr. Applebaum's business. Now I am having breakfast. I will go to Mr. Applebaum's store at lunchtime.
Bronx, Sunday 10:25 p.m., July 8, 1934.
On Thursday I worked at Mr. Applebaum's store until the evening. I worked on Friday from the morning until 8 p.m. because we advertised a big sale. After work I took a walk. Yesterday I worked the same hours. In the evening Aunt Gold and her daughters visited us. Yesterday I walked all day.
Bronx, Monday 10:20 p.m., July 9, 1934.
Yesterday my father arrived at 2 a.m. Today I worked all day until the evening at Applebaum's store. He paid me eight dollars for my work last week. My friends tell me that he is paying me very little and taking advantage of me. According to my parent's wished I notified Mr. Applebaum that I will not continue to work for him for such little money. For today he paid my $1.30 for my work. I felt I had to work today to give him notice and leave politely. My parents let me keep this as pocket money. I wrote some correspondence before going to bed.
Bronx, Wednesday 11:20 p.m., July 11, 1934.
On Tuesday I was with my father in a courthouse building applying for our first papers. Then we visited a friend and I walked in the park in the afternoon. Today before noon I walked with my sister in the park. In the afternoon I visited some businesses with my father.
Bronx, Sunday 11:15 a.m., July 15, 1934.
On Thursday I took my sister to the park. In the afternoon I went walking. Then we received a letter from my cousin David Mendelson. He told us we were lucky to leave Belgium because all immigrants were order to leave the country and all permits were revoked. Even my cousin is afraid that he may get a notice forcing him to leave the country because he is actually a Polish citizen. Now it shows that G-d was good, that it was good that my family did not invest in a business in Belgium. My dear parents are very sad all the time; they have been fighting a lot among themselves because it doesn't seem that we will be able to start a business here. They still complain that it is my fault that they left Germany, even if sometimes they admit that they wouldn't be living there anymore, and sometimes they admit that I helped the whole family. They feel that at times they would not be able to stand it anymore in Germany or that they would be dead. They keep reading that those Jews who have enough money are leaving Germany; those who don't have enough money are dying. They just eat my heart out with their complaining. It doesn't do anything to complain. In my heart I know I did the right thing. G-d willing it will be shown, and it will come out all right. My parents are upset at eating into their savings. But its better to be eating into savings and be able to spend it and hopefully earn it a later day. That is better than the death or harm that I am certain would have come to at least one of us if we stayed in Germany.
Friday I visited Reuben with my father in Brooklyn. We looked over his business and we also looked at a children's apparel store. It looked pretty nice. But Reuben must work about twenty hours in the store because it is open all the time. Friday afternoon I heard Hitler -- that dog, as Reich Chancellor, delivering speeches how the Jews are his tragedy and everyone must help get rid of the Jews so the German people can work and enjoy the rewards when they kill and get rid of the Jews. He defended his views in front of the Reichstag. He claimed that he killed about a hundred Nazi officials because they did not do right for the German people. He defended his murdering, and I think that is the end of the civil war. After listening to that wonderful speech I visited the Jones family from Frankfurt who came here two weeks ago. Later I received a letter from Joseph Gruber. He told us his perspective about the German Civil War. My parents at that moment were satisfied that they are not in Germany. Once on that subject again they start to fight amongst themselves. Yesterday morning I went with my mother and sister to get my sister inoculated for diphtheria. In the afternoon I wrote letters to Selma Buchovitz and Joseph Gruber. Today by breakfast my dear parents had a big argument. In the end they talked about how good they had it in Germany, and how they have been unable to get started anywhere else. My mother started to curse and yell and carry on. I cannot even mix in to try to stop them from cursing in their home. I cannot understand why they continue to fight so bitterly. The home feels cursed by all these battles. I consider that my mother cannot help herself because her nerves are so shot. I hope she stops soon. I hope to write in my diary one day that my parents have come to their senses and straightened out. Thursday afternoon I went to the movies to get away from their fighting.
Bronx, Tuesday 9:35 p.m., July 17, 1934.
Sunday afternoon I walked around. I also wrote a letter to Poland yesterday morning. Yesterday morning I received a card from cousin Rifka Krauser. Then I wrote her a nice long letter in part German, English, and French. I also wrote to Jack Rosenbaum. After noon I took the rest of the top shirts and placed them on a bench across the street from Applebaum in front of the butcher shop; it is still going slow. After dinner I visited the Lefkowitz's who are also from Germany. Yesterday I went looking at businesses with my father. It is difficult to judge because no one gives accurate information. In the afternoon I went walking with Sonia and returned to selling top shirts in front of the butcher shop. Then one of my father's cousin Mrs. Bono's son came to visit for a week.
Bronx, Thursday 9:15 p.m., July 19, 1934.
Yesterday morning after Morris Bono and his friend went out I took a walk with Sonia and then opened my stand in front of the butcher. I paid thirty-five cents to have one of my suits cleaned. Lately I am spending more in trolley car and bus fares trying to find a job or a business. In the evening I often put sea salt in my baths to make my legs feel better. This morning I awoke not feeling well. My feet and head hurt. My father went swimming in a small resort place. I went with my mother and sister to the park. I started to feel worse, so I went home and lay down in bed to rest awhile. This morning I also wrote a letter to Linkofsky in Antwerp, When Mr. Linkofsky left for Antwerp we gave him one hundred dollars of gold pieces to exchange for us at their full value. Thus far he has not sent us the proceeds. I still have not received a letter from him. Today we received a postcard from Morris Bono that yesterday because he felt sick unexpectedly, he returned to Philadelphia. Today I remained in bed until the evening. I was up for a short while, and now I am returning to bed feeling bad. I am afraid I am sick.
Bronx, Monday 11:00 a.m., July 23, 1934.
Friday I was not yet better. At breakfast my parents had another big fight. When I was alone I washed a pair of my father's white pants for him. My mother intended to wash them for my father until she walked out in a fight. When my mother returned to my father's cursing. The argument turned to me and why I removed them from Germany and how they cannot make a living here. I went to get my shoes repaired in the afternoon for $1.25. I also bought myself a pair of low shoes for four dollars. On Saturday morning my parents gave me twenty dollars for my birthday present. My father told me that the platinum pinky ring with the two carat diamond from Antwerp that I wore through customs now belongs to me. That is a very valuable present for me for my twentieth birthday. It sits in our safe. My dear mother gave me one dollar additionally for good luck. The cash is not much, but it always comes in handy. Considering that my mother only gets a small amount on the budget my father maintains, that is a generous gift. Last week I also wrote a letter to Mr. Untermeyer. He was either a congressman or senator leading a boycott against Germany. He is a very well-known German-Jewish attorney who belongs to many Jewish committees. I also telephoned him at first. But since I could not reach him personally I sent the letter. In the letter I requested advice for looking for work or recommendations for firms I could contact. In general by Saturday I felt better and took a walk through the park. Yesterday before noon I felt good too, but in the afternoon when my family went to the park I started to feel sick. I went to bed early. Now I am again feeling better.
Bronx, Thursday 10:30 a.m., July 26, 1934.
Monday morning I took my sister to the park. In the afternoon I went with my parents to the park. In the evening my father found out that his keys were missing. He did not know where he lost them. He returned to the park to look for them. Tuesday morning we received a registered letter from the Linkofskys in Antwerp, Enclosed was a check for the money he had exchanged at a pretty good rate. Mr. Linkofsky also told us that his daughter Henrietta got engaged. After cashing the check at the bank I was busy writing letters. In the afternoon I went with my parents to buy dresses for my mother. It was not easy to find dresses that pleased her. In the afternoon I was with my friend Wolfeld walking; I spent a little money on drinks. Yesterday I travelled around with my father looking at different locations where there were men's clothing factories. We also went to the tailor's union.
A manager at the union suggested that my father return one week later, and he would try to help him find a job. In the evening I opened my street stand. I made a nice few sales. Later in the evening I returned to the city with my father. We visited the German-Jewish Club, but there was nothing of great interest going on. This morning I had a nice breakfast, and now I am with my dear family in the park. I would like to make a note on the political situation: today we heard the news that the Chancellor of Austria was shot by Nazis, this has the smell of the beginning of a revolution there. Austria is right next door to Czechoslovakia, where my father wanted to live; they are certainly not doing very well there. In the surrounding countries like Italy and Czechoslovakia they are mobilizing their respective armies, which means to me that trouble is brewing all over Europe. It looks like the situation is threatening the entire continent with the preparations for a big war. It is clear that the threat of war is growing. It is certain that each of these commotions is caused by Adolf Hitler in Germany. It was bad enough in Germany. There are still many people fleeing Germany and the surrounding small countries if they have the means. I admit that my parents and I don't have it easy; it is hard to start anywhere. But I believe it is a hell of a lot worse all over Europe.
Bronx, Sunday 8:55 p.m., July 29, 1934.
Thursday my family went to the movies. We saw a nice film, but it was difficult for us to understand. In the evening I walked with my friend Walfeld. In the morning I walked with my sister in the park. In the afternoon I looked through the papers with my parents. Yesterday I spent fifty cents at the barber for a hair cut. For fifty-five cents I sold two shirts. In the afternoon I walked with my parents. After dinner I went to Broadway dancing. It cost thirty cents not including car fare, which I don't mark down here anymore anyway. I did not enjoy dancing very much because there were mostly couples there. There were only a few ladies there, and they were pretty ugly. They were certainly not attractive enough to even want to dance with. Some that were not ugly refused to dance. To go to that dance place it would have been better to bring a girl along. I had a drink, listened to music, and watched the others dancing. That is not enough amusement for me. I was home by midnight. This morning I walked with my sister. In the afternoon my parents and I visited the Lachmans from Berlin; Mr. Lachman works at a tailor. After dinner a friend came to visit us. My parents took a short stroll.
Bronx, Tuesday 9:40 p.m., July 31, 1934.
Yesterday I awoke very early and went with my father and Mr. Lachman to a few small towns in New Jersey, where Mr. Lachman thought there was an opportunity to start a haberdashery. This concept did not appeal to us very much. Today I walked with my family in the park. Then I responded to Linkofsky's letter. Later I went with my father to visit some friend's businesses. We also went by Krueger from Berlin's business. He introduced us to Mr. Rotewax from Germany who has lived in America for twelve years. My father may try to undertake a business with Mr. Rotewax. I hope something good will happen. I would be willing to invest a little if they do something. In politics I see that everything is meshugenah. The threat is greater, only nobody knows at what exact time war will start. It looks like it will be a nice big war. The newspapers record that the old President Hindenberg is on his death bed. It is time that this old German dog dies, he is in his eighties. He is not as bad as Hitler, but he is a plain old German dog, not too good. I suspect that right after he dies, there will be more trouble in Germany. This will disturb the entire economy worse than it is already.
Bronx, Thursday 9:05 p.m., August 2, 1934.
I spent all day with my father and Mr. Rotewax traveling and inspecting businesses and merchandise. Nothing is coming out of this either. In the evening I went out to the stand to sell my shirts again. After dinner I strolled with my friend Wolfeld. This morning my father and I visited Mr. Brillian from Berlin, He arrived with his family from Germany last week. We spent a lot of time with him at his brother's factory. His brother has been living here many years. They were discussing business opportunities. Among other things, the brother said presently his business is doing well because people in Germany are worried about the value of their money, so they are buying merchandise for their money. Jews are still leaving Germany in droves as he did with his family because they live in fear, scared for their life. Albert Faga, my father's former business partner in Berlin, folded up his business shortly after my parents left. My father always says that he could've had his business like his ex-partner Faga, but now he knows the truth about Faga. Faga hopes to also leave Germany once he decides where to go. Brillian's brother is a big businessman here. The brother will help Brillian start up too. I am sorry to say that that will help my father in any way. From my father's cousins Bono and Rosenstein I received belated birthday cards. I wrote them back and thanked them. Rosenstein was considering opening a ladies' dress factory with my father's money. He has done so wonderful in business that he is broke. But my father says at least he is not a stranger. Hindenberg in Germany is dead. But he did not take Hitler with him. Hitler is now Reich Chancellor and President, he holds all the jobs.
Bronx, Sunday 10:20 p.m., August 5, 1934.
Friday morning I went with Mr. Rotewax and my father to survey businesses and business streets. In the afternoon I was in the park. For fifty cents I bought a bottle of wine for Shabbes. For thirty-five cents I got my suit cleaned. Yesterday my father and I surveyed more businesses. This morning I walked with my sister in the park. In the afternoon I was with my parents and my sister in the house. We bought Sonia some toys to play with, to keep her busy and happy.
Bronx, Monday 10:40 p.m., August 6, 1934.
Today I went with my father to the tailor's union. I am sorry to say we went for nothing. We spent the rest of the afternoon looking at businesses and business streets. Towards the evening I opened my stand with the shirts. Then I spent awhile in the park. After dinner my parents had a gentleman visitor. I am sorry to say that my parents started to argue and fight again about why they left Germany and why they are here. My mother began to curse and yell against America. In her excitement she began to curse and yell at me a little. I must understand and forgive her, I know she loves me. They are so disgusted and angry that they let it out to whoever's nearest. The nervousness brings it out. I guess I must just try to swallow it. I do know that it is very hard for them here because there really is no one who can help start us out in a business. We have no connection to anyone in business. There is no one to start us out with something small and let us build it bigger. Still I know that if I had come back from Belgium to Germany something would've happened to one of us or maybe more than one of us. For that reason I thank G-d that I have my parents here with me. I would not be happy if I were here and they remained in Germany. I love them more than anything, even if I cannot change the present conditions that we are in. I try to be friendly and smile and forget about their cursing. I am grateful that we are in good health and out of Germany, away from there. My father says that if he can't find something to do, he is thinking about leaving us here and going back to Czechoslovakia to start a business with the connections he has. He wants to feel like the man of the family making a living. I do like money and I know it is necessary and surely my parents want to be established and making a living, but money alone is not everything. While we still have money we have to keep trying and hopefully we will find something. Still everything we do all the running around seems like it is for nothing. Trying to find a business or a job seems like it is all for nothing. Still our situation is not as bad as if something had happened to us in Germany. I pray that soon we will find something, and they will both feel better and we will return to a normal life. If we trust in G-d, we will come out all right. In politics: Adolf Hitler is very strong since Hindenberg's death. He is the complete dictator over all of Germany.
Bronx, Saturday 9:25 p.m., August 11, 1934.
All day Tuesday I spent with my sister in the park. In the evening I visited the Lefkowitzs. Wednesday was similar to Tuesday. Thursday morning I went with my father to the tailor's union with no success. Then we went to the German Consulate for information because my father, I am sorry to say, is still considering returning to Germany in the end. He walks around with that on his mind. This is not really good or healthy. In the afternoon I wrote a letter to Ruth Krauser in Philadelphia, the daughter of my father's cousin. On Friday I went again with my father to the tailor's union with no success and no promise. Then we visited more business streets including Mr. Rotewax. But Mr. Rotewax is already a little disturbed and not doing anything with his life in looking for a job. I must admit I have a little money, but I have no experience here in business. Every now and then we have ideas and try to follow through but nothing happens. Mr. Rotewax seems to already have given up on us. He has found someone else to consider opening a ladies' garment shop. We went to see two films to get our mind off the days troubles. This morning I strolled with my sister in the park. In the afternoon I walked alone. Today my parents gave me one dollar pocket money because I so often spend my money on phone calls and car fare. In politics: the government has bought all the gold and silver. Private citizens cannot have or own it now. This is a sign of inflation. The dollar drops in value as these stories spread. The fall of the dollar doesn't show here as it shows in the dollar markets in other countries. The dollar value, as I predicted and told my parents some time ago, now has sixty-percent gold backing instead of one hundred percent. Now, in 1934, the dollar value has dropped to about fifty percent. We are sorry that we are not in any business where we could secure ourselves with merchandise. We must suffer with inflation without protecting ourselves with other assets. Hitler continues to be very strong in Germany. All the surrounding countries are joining Hitler or are getting weak and dropping out.
Philadelphia. Monday 11:15 a.m., August 13, 1934.
Yesterday morning E. Krauser came with her friend in his automobile. We spent most of the day with them. They picked us up and advised us against going into business with the Rosenstein cousin. Instead we should open a small store in a small town, smaller than New York. Their friend offered to help us find connections to buying merchandise. He is a sales representative for men's pants. He took my father and me along to Philadelphia. My parents gave me ten dollars pocket money. This was nice that our cousins want to help us, even though they are not very wealthy people. At least they are giving me a place to sleep while I am in Philadelphia. I should not take advantage and eat by them too. I wrote my parents a card when I arrived, and then I went to bed. I slept at my cousins in their apartment in bed with cousin Yosel. I think he is a baker. This morning I went to the restaurant early for breakfast. Now I am going into the city with the young man.
Philadelphia. Wednesday 9:50 a.m., August 15, 1934.
Bart Seligman went into the city with me on Monday, and we escorted my cousin to the railroad to go to Atlantic City. We looked over various business areas. I proposed that perhaps we would step in as partners. He also has very little money, but he could invest a little. I think that would not be so bad since he has the experience and business connections. On the way we stopped to eat and we paid Dutch. I didn't want him to treat me, and he would not allow me to treat him. In the evening I ate with him in his parents' house. The family seems to be nice, reasonable people. I wrote a letter in the evening. Yosil Krauser went to bed early because he has to wake at 3 a.m. for work. I spent time listening to the radio and dancing with cousin Rifka Krauser. We necked a little before I went to bed. Yesterday I had breakfast before Mr. Seligman picked me up in his car. We went to Trenton, near Philadelphia. We looked around whether it would be a good place to start a store. He knows many of these little towns where he travels as a salesman. We found a store that perhaps would be a good place to start a business. It was not a high rent district. We ate lunch there and returned towards evening to eat with the cousins. Later Rifka's girlfriend came to visit. Now I am having breakfast. I will stay in the house today because Mr. Seligman must travel further away from Philadelphia to a place that he doesn't think is of interest to me. I am not feeling very well and do not enjoy riding around so much in a car. I have now met Harry Rosenstein. I telephoned and he is coming to pay a visit in a little while. No one is home in the Krauser house here. Last night I wrote to my parents and briefed them about my actions. I suggested that my father may want to look at the store in Trenton.
Philadelphia. Friday 10:45 am. August 17, 1934.
On Wednesday Harry Rosenstein took me walking through Philadelphia. We ate in the city and met Sarah Bono where she works as a sales lady. Harry and I went to the movies. We saw, "The World Moves On," a beautiful movie. We also saw a beautiful vaudeville show. I went home later. We paid Dutch on carfare. I visited Seligman and Rosenstein in the evening and Aunt and Uncle Markowitz. Unfortunately the Markowitz are doing poorly healthwise and financially. Yesterday I received a nice letter from my parents and immediately answered them. It rained all yesterday and we did not go out in the bad weather. Afterwards we ate dinner with the Krausers. Then we visited the Markowitz family. Rifka Krauser was busy grocery shopping. Then we visited our poor uncle who had to go to the hospital due to asthma attacks. This morning I had breakfast, did a little reading while awaiting my friend, Mr. Seligman.
Atlantic City. Sunday 2:00 p.m., August 19, 1934.
Friday I ate lunch before Mr. Seligman picked me up for our trip to Atlantic City. We are staying with cousin Sarah Bowman. She gave us a room in her boarding house. I told her immediately that I would pay for my room. After dinner I went with Harold Bowman, Sarah's son, walking around Atlantic City. Then we visited a boardwalk cafe with a cabaret and dancing. I paid for both of us.
Yesterday morning I went to the beach with Bea Krauser. I napped in the afternoon and went walking in the late afternoon and evening. At an art auction I purchased a set of fountain pens and mechanical pencils for $1.10. I met a nice Jewish lady there, Gertrude Green, but I was not able to go out with her because she was taking care of her family. She was willing to go out with me today, but I expect to leave early to meet my parents in Philadelphia. Today I went walking. I will eat and nap before our trip to Philadelphia.
Bronx, Tuesday 6:30 p.m., August 21, 1934
Sunday afternoon I walked a little. I felt sorry that I could not rendezvous with Gertrude Green, but I guess you cannot be two places at once. Mr. Seligman and I left for Philadelphia. I paid my cousin for staying in the rooming house in Atlantic City. It did not seem nice that she charged me more than she charged other strangers. Maybe my room was nicer I do not know. We were late getting back to the Krausers where we met my mother. She had just arrived. We stayed overnight. Mr. Seligman took us to Trenton the next day. Then we paid a visit to Aunt Markowitz whose husband was in the hospital with asthma. My parents brought some groceries to them as a present. We spent quite a bit of time in Trenton. Then I promised Mr. Seligman that I would soon write him and tell him what my father has decided, whether he will do anything or not. Afterwards Mr. Seligman went to take care of business. My mother and I took a bus back to the Bronx. We arrived home in the evening and described what we saw in Trenton and Philadelphia to my father. My father was nervous and excited that my mother was taking the bus. He didn't like the idea. He also did not like the business ideas. I wrote Mr. Seligman explaining the situation to him. I felt sorry because first this Monday I saw this business and it looked nice to me. Today I did not feel so good. Maybe I caught a cold while swimming in the ocean. Today I nonetheless ran around with my father looking for another apartment to live in. My father stopped paying the rent because he does not like where we are living. The owner will probably serve him papers soon because we have an all year lease with the owner. I told my father that I did not think the apartment was the best thing for us before we signed the lease. But my father signed the lease anyway. I had ten dollars pocket money but I had just about spent it all. I was getting by on that money since my mother treated me when she came to Philadelphia. I gave my mother the new fountain pen that I had bought as a present. On politics: Yesterday, Hitler had another plebiscite, very few were against him. Now he is the head dictator because not enough people will speak against him.
Bronx, Friday 6:45 p.m., August 24, 1934.
Tuesday after dinner I walked with my friend Walfeld. On Wednesday I walked in the morning and then left with my father for Trenton via railroad. He wanted to look further into a business in Trenton before rejecting it entirely. In the railroad we, by chance, met Mrs. Goldstein and her daughter Ida, who I remember from meeting her in Antwerp, She is here for three months. She still lives in a hotel with her daughter in Philadelphia. She seems to be doing very well here. She says that her husband has already lost money here because some dishonest people gave him bad advice. She warned that you must be very careful here with money. In Trenton I showed my father what I had seen. Even though he really wants to get started in business, he was not pleased in Trenton. We returned to the Bronx because my father thought that Philadelphia was too quiet. Yesterday morning and afternoon we looked around for a new apartment. We could not find anything that was nice enough, but cheaper. My father decided to continue paying the rent and remain where we are. He wanted to avoid the unpleasantness of the owner suing us for the remainder of the rent owed on the lease. Today I checked the newspaper ads and looked for a job. I visited some employment offices, but all this was for nothing again today. I came home tired and perspired like many days before. In the meantime my father was with Mr. Lodgratz looking over an available store to open a men's haberdashery store, if the rent is permitting. I hope something good comes out of this. Today I received a nice letter with photos from Joseph Gruber.
Bronx, Monday 9:50 p.m., August 27, 1934.
Friday I spent the day walking around. Saturday morning I went with my mother to visit Uncle Hershberg on Riverside Drive. Then I looked over business streets with my parents and looked over the empty stores that my father had found. We all agreed that this store was not good. Yesterday I walked and in the afternoon I took a nap. I wrote a letter to Rifka Krauser in the evening. I wrote to a newspaper requesting a horoscope for 1934, free of charge. What can I lose? It is something to read. All they requested was a stamped return envelope with my birthday. I think it is a lot of nonsense, but I can't lose anything reading it. There is nothing of great importance in there generally. I really just did it because when I was in Atlantic City. I considered letting a palm reader read my palm. So instead I am getting this.
This morning I escorted my mother and my sister to a clinic for examination. Mainly they went for Sonia because she is supposed to get her tonsils removed. Later I went to see a nice lady at the German refugee office. She may help me get a job if possible. Then I visited different business streets to meet my father. We went to HIAS for job referrals. We were unsuccessful. In the afternoon we looked at a cleaning store and some other businesses, for nothing. I am going to bed. My dear parents, I am sorry to admit, are very unhappy. To them it seems we will never get started in a business. They are very disgusted and disappointed. Two minutes for politics: Hitler is working very hard in Germany, but my parents know now what is going on there today and what is happening. Sometimes they still consider returning to Germany. I really feel very sad and sorry for them. But I am trying everything I can. I do not leave a source unturned in looking for a job for myself or my father.
Bronx, Tuesday 9:55 p.m., August 28, 1934.
Early today I was in touch with an employment agency, but they had nothing to offer. I was running around with my father and Mr. Rodwax. They were looking at a possible store, but it is very hard to find. Mr. Rodwax is [a] phony; I think he wants to get a hold of my father's money but invest none of his own. I do not know for sure what he wants. He has a few dollars, but not any serious idea about what business they should start. I went this evening with my mother looking at business locations, but all for nothing again. Then I received another letter from the cousins Rosenstein in Philadelphia. He had written us last time, and even though we had not yet answered him, he wrote in respect to starting a ladies' dress factory. He even has a little money, but very little. Today I answered him. We suggested that he come visit the following week to discuss the possibility. Eventually maybe my father and he will start something together. As far as politics: Hitler continues to be very strong. The threat of a big war continues to remain in the cloud of the future. My parents, I am sorry to say, continue to be very unhappy here.
Bronx, Thursday 3:50 p.m., August 30, 1934.
Yesterday morning I went with my father to the tailor's union. Then I went with him to a referral from the union to a work shop. He was unable to get a job. I went for myself to the employment agency. Then my father and I went to Mr. Rotwax running around on business streets, all this was again for nothing. That Mr. Rotwax really does not know for sure what type of business he will go into. He is too much a man with dreams and hopes instead of plans. My father told him it doesn't make sense to continue running around together when he doesn't know what he wants to do. Then I took my father to another workshop, but for nothing. After dinner I walked with my friend Wolfer. We also visited a lady friend of Wolfer from Vienna. She is a millinery, a hat makers. She is only here a few months, but she seems satisfied and has work. This morning I went to the safe to get a few dollars for my parents that they wanted to send to their poor relatives in Poland. Then I visited some of the banks. Now I am in the park watching my sister. My father is thinking of making another trip to Prague to try and enter some field of business there. He thinks he will find work there easier with some of the people he knows. I went to the Czech Consulate today to get him some information. There are signs of coming inflation here in America because the merchandise prices are rising, and the gold value of the dollar is diminishing. My parents and I had anticipated this a few months ago before we even came to America; we had anticipated that condition. The American President now tells the people to remain calm. Meanwhile he is reducing the gold value of the dollar that backs the dollar against other currencies. I believe that is not a good sign, and that does not predict good times. It seems that one doesn't know what to do right, and that you don't know if you're going to be doing the right thing, or if you are doing good. The tailor in the cleaning store proposed opening a cleaning store with my father. He is coming to discuss it tonight with my father. He seems to be a nice man and he has experience. But I hardly believe that he has some money, but we will find that out tonight. If they do something, I could put in some money too and be employed and active. I don't think it is the worse thing I could do, people always need their clothes cleaned. If my father goes to another country, that isn't good.
Bronx, Saturday 11:15 p.m., September 1, 1934.
Yesterday I received a very nice letter from Selma Buchovitz in Antwerp. Also the Rosenstein cousins wrote that they would visit the coming Saturday from Philadelphia. Before noon I went again with my father looking at certain areas and streets. In the afternoon I slept. After dinner I went with my mother because she complained that she has headaches, so I went with her to the movies to make her forget her worries. We saw two nice pictures. This morning I received a very nice letter from the Jewish Employment Agency, personally from Ms. Stern, the woman who promised me the week before that she knows a gentleman who runs a big men's clothing business, and she will try to get him to give me a job. The firm was Simon Ackerman, a rich big firm with many stores in wholesale and retail where I could learn a lot. It would be good luck for me to get in contact with him. In her letter she wrote that I should come to her office to pick up a letter of introduction. That letter should help me get employment there. With G-d's help maybe I'll get a job if they take me. In the morning I went to the park. In the afternoon came the cousins Rosenstein. My parents discussed with Rosenstein; they suggested that my father put in most of the money, Rosenstein will put in a little money, and he has the experience. The one problem is that in the clothing line you sell on credit, and most hope that the retailers can pay their bills. On the other hand it wouldn't hurt to try because most of these businesses are doing well. They hope that my father will come to Philadelphia next week to pick a place there. I am supposed to help in that business, and if we get it established properly we hope to move there too. Right now I don't know what would be most correct to do. In any case it should be better for my family to get started to do something, and the family will stay together. This is better than my father packing by himself and going to Europe to try a business in Czechoslovakia, where he was a few times before and unable to find a business.
Bronx, Tuesday 8:55 p.m., September 4, 1934.
Cousin Rosenstein slept in our house, and then I escorted him to the station on Sunday morning and he went back to Philadelphia. I went to the park. In the afternoon I started a New Year's card that I wanted to make and illustrate to my parents myself. On Monday morning I telephoned for nothing to the employment agency; on account of Labor Day they were closed. In the afternoon I wrote a very nice letter answering Selma Buchovitz in Antwerp, Then I was by the Hungarian family, the Seaman's, with whom my father had been thinking about going to Straussberg. There were several people there, including two nice girls. One, Ruth, the daughter of a barber, is eighteen and the family said they had wanted to introduce me to [her]. Supposedly I had met her before. She looks pretty nice. I will probably meet her again and maybe go out with her. The second one, a girlfriend of the first, is also not bad, she looks nice. Both are Jewish. Ruth has a damaged foot from falling when she was getting off a bus. Yesterday the Lachmans came to visit at our house. They advised us to enter the business proposition that cousin Rosenstein suggested in the ladies garment factory. This morning I escorted my father to the employment office. My father also had to receive the letter from the firm of Simon Ackerman. The manager there, Herashofsky, was very nice to me, but he could not help me at this time. He asked me to come again next week to find out if anything new came up. He marked down certain information that he requested for me. After noon I completed the Jewish New Year's card that I was preparing for my parents. My dear sister needs a small operation tomorrow morning to remove her tonsils.
Bronx, Friday 7:20 p.m., September 7, 1934.
Wednesday morning my mother took my sister to the doctor's office and stayed there with her until the evening. After that they both came home. I was visiting banks all day and picking up interest statements. In between I visited my mother and sister at the doctor's office. I brought some food to my mother in the afternoon. In the evening I walked with my friend Walfeld. The rest of the day I spent mostly in the house. This morning I went to temple to try to get a Rosh Hashanah card for free because my dear father said that we are German refugees and we shouldn't have to pay to attend the temple service. I am sorry to say that I did not get one. The people at the temple said to come back [on the] eve of Rosh Hashanah to see if they had any tickets. In the afternoon I was at home. My mother said I must go see a doctor because she noticed that I was suffering. For a while I have been having pains in my upper back near my lungs, and I perspire a lot even when I am not very active or it is not very hot. I also have a sore throat most of the time. The Rosensteins wrote us this week. I answered them and also got a letter off to Joseph Gruber with post cards from America. In Germany it is very very bad now, and they show that in different newspapers. My parents are almost satisfied that they are here and not in Germany any longer. If the good G-d almighty would help us get started in a business I think they would be happy. We have to wait and see.
Bronx, Tuesday 9:00 p.m., September 11,1934.
This is the last day of Rosh Hashanah. Saturday night I rested most of the night because I really still don't feel good. The way I feel could belong to the old year; I hope the New Year will start better. Sunday morning I went with my mother to Doctor Orinick, who had taken my sister's tonsils out. He gave me a good examination and weighed me. I had lost a lot of weight compared to my measurements in Europe. In his opinion I was not sick, but my lungs and the surrounding area seemed very weak. I must be careful and eat well. He gave me a prescription to help me get stronger by eating well and watching my mealtimes and resting. Then I went to the temple and got myself and my father two seats that we got for free, but which cost five dollars each seat. I walked and went to temple with my father. At dinner I gave my family my finished Rosh Hashanah card. They were pleased with the card and enjoyed receiving it from me. I hope the New Year will bring good news to all of us, and let us stay well. On Sunday before noon I did send Rosh Hashanah cards to all of our friends and relatives. On Monday I was in temple. In the meantime we received a nice Rosh Hashanah card from my aunt in Brooklyn and a friend. Today before noon I was also in temple, and I stayed until the shofar was blown around noon time. Afterwards I listened to a nice sermon. In the afternoon I walked with Walfeld in the afternoon. Afterwards I phoned to reserve tickets for my parents at the Yiddish theatre. Then my parents went to the theatre. I hope they enjoy the show. I have just eaten dinner and taken care of my sister. I thank G-d that I feel a little better and my sister feels better now after the operation, but she is still a little weak and a little nervous. I read my sister some children's stories to calm her down because she is very used to my mother taking care of her. Now I am going to bed.
Bronx, Thursday 10:35 p.m., September 13, 1934.
Yesterday morning I took my sister to the park. My father left for Philadelphia. In the afternoon I walked with my sister. Then my sister went to the doctor for a follow-up exam after her operation. Afterwards we had dinner, and I played checkers with my mother. Today I went to visit Simon Ackerman, but I did not get a job. In the afternoon I walked with my mother and sister. Today my mother and I had a few mysterious happenings. My mother had a few visions about my father. I do not want to be too superstitious, and I hope that my father is not getting in any trouble and everything G-d willing will come out all right in Philadelphia. I hope and pray to G-d that everything is in order there, and we will here good news from him. Until now I played checkers with my mother to keep her occupied and stop her from worrying.
Bronx, Sunday 9:45 p.m., September 16, 1934.
Friday morning I took my sister to the park. In the afternoon I was by Singer. In the evening after Kiddush I played checkers with my mother. Yesterday morning I was with my dear sister, on account of the bad weather, at home. In the afternoon we visited the Seamans. In the evening we listened to the radio, and I told my mother in advance that I was getting ready to go to bed, [and] since my father didn't write, he must be on his way and coming during the night. Exactly as I predicted he arrived home at 2 a.m. He told us that he saw many situations. He plans to go back next opportunity to find a place there to start a business. He also said that yesterday Bertram Seligman and the cousin Bea Krauser got married. This morning I walked a little, and then Mr. Gerstenfeld came to visit with my mother. Today a girl from some friends of ours is due to get married. Someone was the matchmaker for Gerstenfeld with this girl. I am interested in knowing if anything comes out of the suggested marriage to that girl. Today I took a nap because I have pains in my back again. Gerstenfeld came around again. He was again introduced to the girl who was suggested with him, and they went out together. Today my parents gave me sixty-five cents pocket money. My parents are out, and my sister and I are going to sleep.
Bronx, Tuesday 9:20 a.m., September 18, 1934.
Erev Yom Kippur. Yesterday morning I wrote a letter to the Rosenstein family in Philadelphia, then I went back to bed and rested for a while. I again experienced pain in my stomach where people say your appendix is located. I am afraid of what might be wrong. In the afternoon I went with my family to the movies. We saw, "The Girl From Missouri," and, "[The] Notorious Sophie Long." The first was a real life drama, the second was a detective story. Both were wonderful. After I played checkers with my father and won $1.25.
Bronx, Thursday 6:20 p.m., September 20, 1934.
On Tuesday after breakfast I did some house shopping for my mother. Then I took my sister out walking. Then I was in the barber shop where I bought myself a bottle of peroxide to gargle with. In the afternoon while my parents were away I dressed myself for Yom Kippur. We ate a second good meal before starting the fast. I was with my parents in temple. My father did not fast. My mother and I fasted until yesterday around 1 p.m. Yesterday morning I went to temple. In the afternoon my family went to the movies while I slept at home. Towards the evening to end the holiday I spent some more time at the temple to pray and hear the shofar blowing. After dinner I went to the Yiddish theatre and saw, "A Girl Like You," a very nice operetta with Hymie Jacobson and his partner Miriam Kressyn, in real life his wife, were the leading actors. I saw both of them in the theatre in Antwerp. There the theatre was in a big kosher restaurant. I had a very pleasant evening and enjoyed it very much. I bought a little candy. The total evening cost me seventy cents. This morning my dear father went back to Philadelphia, and my sister started school again. I took her to school this morning and picked her up for lunch. I picked her up again when school was over. Tomorrow morning I will go into the city.
Bronx, Sunday 1:50 p.m., September 23, 1934.
Friday morning I was unsuccessful at Simon Ackerman again. Then I went to another firm about information that also is not hiring. For twenty cents I bought myself a pair of sock holders. Then I visited my mother's cousin Hirschberg, the eye doctor, on Riverside Drive. I wanted to order a pair of eyeglasses from him. I explained that I wanted to pay for it, I don't need it as a present or donation. Maybe he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to make enough money on me, and he told me to make an appointment to come back. On Friday I went to bed for a while and then went walking. After Kiddush, like we do every Friday, I went back to bed. Yesterday I spent at home because of the big rain. Yesterday the owner of the building sent a summons notice because my father had not paid the rent. Yesterday after dinner my dear father returned from Philadelphia. Regarding the ladies dress manufacturing business with cousin Rosenstein, nothing is coming out of that. Better to find out ahead of time, than to fall in and have trouble. In the meantime nothing has come out. Rosenstein can only put in two hundred dollars, my father would have to invest five thousand dollars. Rosenstein would not only be a partner to the profits, but a partner to the whole business, which is unfair and imbalanced. Even though he has no money, he thinks he should immediately be the partner to my father's money. Besides he does not seem to be that much of a businessman to be able to run and start a business. He does not have good connections with other firms to buy or outlets of where to sell. He didn't even take my father to lunch or to meet any of his supposed connections when he was there. He treated my father as a side connection, while he took care of whatever business he needs to take care of. This business is finished and taken care of. This morning I read the ads in the newspapers. Some ads were for people who wanted to take on partners. I responded by mail to some of these. In the afternoon we will look at a business listed in the paper.
Bronx, Tuesday 9:30 p.m., September 25, 1934.
Today is the second day of Sukkos. Sunday afternoon my parents and I went to look at the business listed in the ad. It was a small junky store with a big swindler running it. He is looking for someone to put money in, so he can get the money and you can get the experience. Yesterday I went to the same deposit box and put an ad in the paper that my father is looking for someone to invest with. Then I took a nap while my family visited the Lefkowitzes. There they found out that Mr. Baer from Berlin had moved to America and is staying with his relatives. His relatives have a man's pants factory where Mr. Baer is working. We wrote a letter to him today to see if we can learn anything from him perhaps. This morning I checked the newspaper and responded to some ads again. I walked with my sister, and then I took a nap and a bath. Afterward I went walking a bit. My mother will go with my to the doctor again this week because again I am perspiring profusely and on my arms I have pimple like rashes which itch me. Now my sister went to bed, my parents are out and I am going to bed.
Bronx, Wednesday 9:15 p.m., September 26, 1934.
This morning I read out aloud the ads I saw in the
papers to my parents. Then I went to the park. I picked Sonia up
from school for lunch. I rested in the afternoon and picked Sonia up
from school. We were in the park with my mother. After dinner I went
to register my parents for beginner English in the evening, and
register myself for an intermediate English class. When I came home
Mr. and Mrs. Seaman came over and went out with my parents. As much
as I was able to hear and understand, the Seamans introduced my
parents to some friends who have a business in men's pants. My
father may eventually go in with him as a partner. In Germany things
continue to be bad from what we hear from people and read in the
newspapers. People continue to leave Germany some come here, and some
go other places. People are going all over the world just to get
away from there. My dear parents are complaining a little less and
are getting used to living here. They are not talking so much about
Germany. Poland, Czechoslovakia, and other little countries like
that have made alliances with other bigger countries to delete laws
for minority protection. In this way they are conforming with
Germany. That means that Jews no longer have the same rights as
other citizens in these countries anymore. It still hurts me that my
father cannot find a job. I am not so concerned about myself, but I
am very disturbed about my parents being very unhappy in that
respect. In the meantime you see your assets melt away as you are
not earning any money, and your own money is worth less and less.
There is not much good you can see in your future unless you can get
connected with something. It is very hard for my parents to
this situation. There is nothing I can do more than try
and look and search. I hope in due time we will make it, G-d
willing. We cannot get sick about it. We must try and make the best
of circumstances in the meantime. I am sorry to admit that I am not
helping them enough it seems. I still hope and pray we will make it.
I will continue to try and make contacts the best I can. I cannot
show my love and keep smiling and kissing them. I am not that type; I
am very straight and keep trying. I think my parents know that I
will keep trying and know that I love them and will do all I can,
even if I don't say that to them. I hope G-d will help us soon and
something will come along. I don't want a single complaint because
we are all here and all healthy and together, and we have to be
thankful for this. My parents are right that just capital keeps
shrinking. My sister sleeps.
On Thursday I picked up my sister from school. I walked in the afternoon and listened to the radio in the evening while my parents were away. On Friday in the morning and afternoon I was in the city to see one party that we had written to through the paper. He has machines that he wants three thousand dollars for. He has nothing to put in the business, but he wants to be a full partner. The whole business looks very poor, I am sorry to say. After noontime I went walking. My parents went out after dinner. Yesterday morning I opened a new bank account with my mother and pick up interest that was owed to us. For that I got fifty cents pocket money from my parents. Then I went to the city to the firm Zenith Clothes, Mr. Goldberg, who I met through recommendation, and his partner, were personally introduced to me. They made a proposition for my father to take over their business. In the afternoon I went to the park with my sister. In the evening the Baers from Germany came to visit. Mr. Baer works for his brother-in-law's pants factory. Tonight we move the clocks back one hour to standard time. Today I was with my sister while my father went away with Mr. Seaman to meet a businessman. Soon I am going to eat my lunch meal.
Bronx, Wednesday 1:20 p.m., October 3, 1934.
Sunday afternoon Mr. Goldberg's partner from Zenith Clothes came here. My father was not pleased with the proposition that my father put in ten thousand dollars, and he puts in nothing. Even though he told me the day before that he had a few thousand dollars. Afterwards we were walking. Monday morning I went with my father to Newark looking at the stores and the businesses and the streets. We found a small vacant store, but it was not in a very good location and still it had a high rent. My father is still considering going there and starting a little business if we don't find something better soon.
Bronx, Tuesday 1:50 p.m., October 2, 1934.
Yesterday morning I was in the city. I visited a firm that had offered to take in a partner, but the whole business did not seem to be worth anything. Then I went to some different business places looking for a job, but I went for nothing it seems. In the afternoon I went to the movies with my family. Then I went to my English class. This morning I was busy checking ads in the newspapers and partners that offered activity. I telephoned some of these and invited them to come visit with us, so my father and they could discuss things. Then I brought my sister from school for lunch, brought her back and picked her up again. This morning I received a card from the eye doctor Leo Hirschberg and his sister Jane Hirschberg that their father (my mother's uncle), Adolf, had passed away the night before yesterday. My parents went to Dr. Hirschberg and his sister to extend their sympathy. Tomorrow will be the funeral. Afterwards I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen to please my mother. Now I am going to pick up my sister and take her home.
Bronx, Monday 3:20 p.m., October 8, 1934.
On Wednesday afternoon a gentleman came by who is a partner in a men's trouser factory. He offered us partnership in this business because he has no money now. We will see what my father thinks; it looks to me like another nothing affair. I was walking and then to the evening school. On Thursday morning my parents went to the services that take place before the funeral. They also went along to the cemetery to pay respect because he is not being buried like other people, he is going into a mausoleum at that cemetery. My parents came home late in the afternoon. During that time I brought my sister to school and took her home for lunch. In the afternoon I was walking. In the evening Mr. Levine came by in response to our ad looking for a business partner. I invited Mr. Levine to come back again. He said that he had already men's clothing businesses, and now he is doing a little business selling privately from his house to the old customers he had. He has fifteen hundred dollars to invest in a business if my father has the rest that is necessary to start a business. He said that with ten thousand dollars, we could start a nice business. Mr. Levine seemed to us like a pretty nice man. I even think he may be all right personally because he looks like a settled smart enough businessman, and he seems to understand his business. He doesn't look like a real established American businessman; on account of that he doesn't have a lot of real money to put in. But he looks like he is interesting and sincere. Friday morning I was at a bank and a men's pants factory looking for a job. I also went to an employment agency and returned to Simon Ackerman's, but I succeeded in nothing. In the pants factory the whole proposition looked like a big swindle with the man I spoke with last Sunday, I took a nap in the afternoon and in the evening my parents went out and I went to bed. On Saturday evening I read an ad about tailor and cleaning stores for sale in the city. But I am not very interested in that. In the afternoon I was walking, then I listened to the radio. Sunday morning I went to the park with my sister. In the afternoon a young man was here who works as a salesperson in a men's clothing store. According to his experience you cannot take a business and rebuild it to your style or way of running it. Then I was with Sidney Walfeld and his friend Morris walking. Then I was in a restaurant for dinner. Afterwards we saw the film, "She Loves Me Not," and a very nice vaudeville show. I paid sixty-five cents for myself and came home by 10 p.m. This morning I was with my father by Mr. Levine, and we further discussed renting a store to start a business. He had some nice garments that he orders for his customers. He seems to understand the business pretty well. Mr. Levine lives in a nice apartment and keeps it nice. My father and I had the same good impression about him. He seems nice and plain, not a swindler or a phony. But you cannot open up a person and look into his heart to see how real he is. I do not want to celebrate too early, so I will see what will come out, but I hope that G-d will help that if we do something it will come out all right, as good for the Levines as for ourselves. We are sincere and hope they are sincere too. We arranged for Mr. Levine to come to us tomorrow afternoon. In the afternoon I washed the dishes for my mother because she went to school in the afternoon with a neighbor. My father is going in the evening.
Bronx, Wednesday 9:20 a.m., October 10, 1934.
Monday I went walking, and then I came back in time for evening classes. Yesterday morning I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen and brought my sister to school. In the afternoon Mr. Levine came by and said that he doesn't really have fifteen hundred dollars, but he has about nine hundred dollars in merchandise - suits and clothes. Then we discussed it further and made up to meet him this morning to prepare a firm by going to a lawyer. We would determine how much the merchandise is worth and decide how much money to put in. We want to see if he has at least a little in cash. Yesterday I went with my father and Mr. Levine to the lawyer, Albert Cohn. This lawyer was recommended by the eye doctor, cousin Leo Hirschberg. The lawyer advised us in preparing a contract with this partner. Afterwards I went to the evening school. I just had my breakfast. A small note about politics and the economy: In Germany it is very, very bad, particularly for the Jews. Thank G-d my parents are now satisfied that they are not in Germany. They really want to do something here. The local newspapers here show that there is a civil war going on in Spain and France. There are many grave occurrences in the whole world. Besides that, yesterday in France King Alexander of Yugoslavia and the French minister were murdered at a conference. What comes next, we don't know, but it certainly doesn't look good for anyone, particularly the people in countries around Germany.
Bronx, Thursday 8:40 p.m., October 11, 1934.
Yesterday morning my father and Mr. Levine visited our attorney. They somehow negotiated and straightened everything out pretty well, but they did not completely close the dead because they are still undecided about the name of the firm. Then we were all together until almost evening to look over streets and businesses to find a store to rent in a location they like. After dinner we went looking again at stores and streets. We stayed all together until very late in the evening. Today we again went looking for a store from early in the morning until late in the evening. We have not yet found a place that they want to take. We looked at different areas in the city. After dinner my parents went out for a while. I expect to go to sleep soon since I am very tired from running around.
Bronx, Sunday 10:10 p.m., October 14, 1934.
Friday was Columbus Day, celebrated for the man who landed in America in 1492. We spent the whole day looking for a good store location. We also ran around yesterday for the very same purpose. Then they decided to rent a store we found with all the appropriate fixtures for a garment store, 810 Broadway in New York, just a little below 14th Street, even though it is not the great side of the street. This store used to be Finkelstein's, another clothing store. It is a few blocks from Garfinkels. In the better streets the rents are colossal. The bad streets are worth nothing. This is a good active street, its just on the wrong side of the street. We are waiting until next week to talk to the big company, Bear Stein Company. In the evening we went to the lawyer and agreed to the lawyer's fee and the firm name. Then I went to the barber shop and received a dollar pocket money from my parents. This week I also spent a little extra money on telephone calls and car fares. Even though my father and Mr. Levine paid many times for these items, today I spent most of the day with my father taking inventory of Mr. Levine's merchandise for his investment in the store. We checked that his figures, [and they] were reasonable estimates for us. We will continue doing this tomorrow.
Bronx, Sunday 10:15 p.m., October 21, 1934.
Since Monday and until yesterday I spent everyday with my father and Mr. Levine from early in the morning until late towards the evening running errands and preparing to take over that store. I hope and pray to G-d that it comes out good. This week we rented the store at 810 Broadway. We did not get the lease yet from the owner, but we hope to get that this week. We also returned to the lawyer again this week. The last few days we are mainly checking the fixtures and equipment and other supplies to make sure we have window displays and whatever supplies we need. Certain supplies are missing. This morning Mr. Levine was here. In the afternoon I went to the movies with Walfeld and another friend. For thirty cents I saw, "The Richest Girl," and a very nice stage show. My family was in a different movie theatre during that time. My parents gave me a dollar.
Bronx, Monday 11:05 p.m., October 22, 1934.
Last week, I went to English lessons Monday through Wednesday. Today I missed class because I was busy all day in the new store checking equipment and fixtures, even though a couple of the sons of Mr. Levine helped us. They seem to be quite ambitious and experienced. They seem to be learned. This evening Walfeld visited with his brother. His brother used to work for Mr. Levine in his previous business, but he did not speak highly about our partner Mr. Levine. He especially had nothing nice to say about Mr. Levine's son. I do not want to put too much weight on his story because we don't know if its the truth, and there are always two sides to every story. We just need to watch what is happening in the business.
Bronx, Thursday 9:35 p.m., October 25, 1934.
Tuesday and Wednesday, my father and Mr. Levine were looking to buy merchandise while I stayed in the store with Levine's son. We received people and cared for what we could to complete our equipment and fixtures in the store. We took care of things best we could. I also received the completed signed lease from the owner. We got our telephones installed. The landlord replaced the five damaged display windows. Then Holmes installed a burglar alarm into the store. I was late to my evening English class both nights. Today I spent the whole day busy at the store with different items, while my father and Mr. Levine attended to buying other missing fixtures and other items. They bought a lot of models, busts, and fixtures for the windows at an auction that I found out about for them.
Bronx, Sunday 9:25 p.m., October 28, 1934.
Friday I worked until the evening, and my dear father worked with three of Levine's sons at the business in the evening so that we may open on Saturday, Yesterday was the opening, we did sell some merchandise, but not really very much because the biggest part of the customers were walking by the other side of the street. We don't get much traffic on our side of the street. Today we were only open until 5 p.m., This week my father and his partner each took some money out for themselves to live on. I was given five dollars. Two of Levine's sons received the same. Today a man visited my mother from Berlin; he left Germany three weeks ago. This man also told my mother that things in Germany are very, very bad. Now, not only for the Jews, but the entire condition in the whole land is no good. He hardly believes that the Hitler government will hold out much longer. Here I read lately in the newspapers that the American Finance Minister made a statement that in America there is no inflation coming and the public should not worry about it. I believe they only make those statements to keep the public calm and quiet. I don't believe anything good will come here after those statements. I hope that I am wrong and that the Minister was right. Now we want to prepare some advertisements for the store.
Bronx, Monday 10 p.m., November 12, 1934.
Today is a special day, like Armistice Day, to remember the past wars' end. People celebrate and pay homage to veterans from past wars. Last week, from October 29 until November 3 we were very busy and active in the store. I was mostly by the door near the entrance to speak to people who were window shopping and try to get them to come in the store. I especially did that on Saturday, November 3rd. We were nicely busy and selling nicely. From being outside getting some people who would not otherwise come in, I got a coat. I started to run a temperature. On Saturday I got ten dollars. Mr. Levine's son works on a commission basis on whatever sales he makes. I spent a dollar this week at the barber shop because I wanted to attend the Ball at the German-Jewish Club on November 4th. Lately I spend more money than I can even note here because I spend between fifty to sixty cents on lunch near the store, and spend on car fare, and the barber; that all costs money too. During the evening, from Saturday until Sunday, November 4th one show window in our business was broken and some items were stolen. We were awakened at about 4 a.m. by a telegram from the Holmes Protection Company. We had to run into the business. I slept a little Sunday morning at home after notifying the insurance company of our loss. Two coats and one pair of pants had been stolen. On Sunday afternoon my father went to take my mother and sister to the Yiddish theatre. I stayed with Mr. Levine until late at the business. I hired a night watchman for the evening until the show window could be replaced the next day. The watchman was employed by us until Monday, On Monday the window was replaced. For that reason I could not attend the German-Jewish Ball at all, even though I was feeling better and had been hoping to attend the Ball for a long time. My friend Walfeld went to the Ball with his girlfriend and had a good time. I really haven't gone to a party or anything nice since we have been in America. Monday I could hardly get up because I was sick with a fever. Nevertheless I worked the whole day because I was afraid to neglect the new business. I had to be there with the bookkeeper going over bills and starting our books. On Tuesday I stayed in bed and Dr. Olineck came and prescribed medicine for me to sweat it out. He also found out that my sickness was worse than we had thought because I had worked in the business instead of resting sooner. After this I stayed in bed Wednesday and Thursday until Friday, [which] was the first day I was allowed to get up for a little walk. On Saturday I was back at the business. It seemed that [during] the week I was home it was going badly. They had three days without making a sale. I thought that if I watched at the front door it would go better, but it did not go so good. On Sunday there was a little bit of activity. I did get ten dollars for the week. In the last week I received a nice letter from Selma Buchovitz from Antwerp, Today I received a nice letter from Jack Pollack in Antwerp. I was very glad to hear from them because here I don't really have friends yet. This week the business is very quiet.
Bronx, Thursday 9:35 p.m., November 15, 1934.
This week it is still very quiet in the business. On Tuesday I went to the evening school, and I also distributed our business cards to acquaintances at the evening school. Yesterday I was also at the evening school. After school there was a special lecture showing movies. Then I talked with a young lady and escorted her home. She is not very pretty and not too small. She is in my class, twenty-two years old, been in the U.S. one-and-one-half years from Hungary. I made an appointment to meet her tomorrow evening. She also told me that she works here in a tie factory. I look forward to maybe meeting her younger sister through her. I did not have any intimate contact with any women since I came to America. I want to meet somebody that I may want to get closer with. In the meantime I have nobody, and I am doing nothing. Today we sold nothing at the store. Nonetheless I stood outside trying to get some customers; I was unsuccessful. My parents are at the movies, my sister is sleeping. I washed the kitchen and the dishes and I am going to bed. By the way the girl I mentioned is Frieda Green, from 917 Home Street, Bronx. I would also like to note that Mr. Green has still not put in the rest of the money he agreed to put in the business. For that reason, my father is not putting any more money in either. This condition is disturbing the whole business a little bit. My father is in a poor mood because of this condition. I had to go to see the lawyer about it yesterday. We are waiting to see what will happen next. In Germany it is very bad from what you here from people and the newspapers.
Bronx, Friday 9:10 p.m., November 23, 1934.
In Friday I was in the business, and after dinner I went out with Frieda Green and we went for thirty cents to see the movies, "She Was A Lady," and "A Girl In Danger." The third small picture was, "Airmail." The program was pretty good and we got a little better acquainted also. Then I escorted her home and went home myself. Whatever I expect to spend on entertainment I will note here whether it is a lot or just a little. On Saturday night we made a few sales and I received ten dollars for the week. Since Sunday until yesterday the weather was not so good and the business was very bad. We again had a few days with no sales. This week Mr. Levine's son Ben was out sick. He only came back today. Today we sold a little. This week I went to a few different banks to receive the interest owed to my parents. I even gave five dollars for my mother's poor sick sister in Poland. She did not want to ask my father for the money because business was not good, and she did not want to aggravate him. I am not feeling very good lately, I perspire profusely and feel like I have fever and feel a little nauseous at times. This week Mr. Linkofsky and his daughter Henrietta and her new husband, Joseph Bershy, came from Antwerp and surprised us. The young couple intends to stay in America and do business in the New York diamond area. Monday and Tuesday I went to the evening school. On Tuesday I met Frieda's younger sister; she didn't look as I expected, now I am not interested in either of the two. On Wednesday I went from the evening school with my friend Walter Udell from Germany. We met two nice ladies and spoke with them in a cafe. Walter treated us. When I meet him again I will pay him my half. After the cafe, he brought the older and smaller one home, and I brought Helen Novick, from 850 175th Street to her house. We planned to meet again on Sunday evening. I even promised Helen Novick that I would pick her up at home before we will meet the other couple to go out together. The girls have been in American for two years from Bialystok, Poland. Each is living with their mother and working and learning English at the school, where we met them. But they are in a more advanced class because they have been there for two winters. On December 8, 1934 we received notice that Gold's daughter is getting married. Today I spent twenty-five cents on preservatives, but I do not believe that they are very good, or that they are as good as the ones I bought in Germany of Frompsbeck brand. My parents are at the Yiddish theatre.
Bronx, Monday 11:25 p.m., December 3, 1934.
Today is Hanukkah. On Saturday, November 24th, I
spent the day in the business until late in the evening. I received
ten dollars for the week. My dear father gave me a nice winter coat that
cost $24.50, and he gave it to me as a present. On Sunday I was in
the business, and in the evening I picked up Helen Novick and met
Walter Udell with his girl. All together we went out to a Russian
cabaret on Second Avenue off 14th Street. There we had some drinks
and afterwards we went to a nice restaurant were we ate and drank
very nicely. My share cost three dollars, including reimbursing Walter from the
week before. Then each of us took his girl home to their respective
homes. I arrived home by 2 a.m., On Monday I was in the business,
but I missed evening school. On Tuesday I was in the business school
and went to school in the evening. After school I was out walking
with Helen Novick. Then I took her home. On Wednesday I was in the
business. I had promised Helen Novick that I would go out with her
that evening, but I had to disappoint her and stand her up because I
was at the store until late in the evening. I came by late in the
evening and asked Helen's mother to have Helen telephone me the next
day. Her mother seems very nice. On Thursday I was in the business,
then I picked up Helen to see the movie, "The Count of Monte
Cristo." We enjoyed sitting close together and getting a little
more personally acquainted. Then I took Helen to her house but she
did not want to be kissed good night yet. On Saturday we did nice
business at the store. After dinner I walked with Walfeld. On Sunday
I was in the business, and I opened the store by myself in the
morning as I had many times before. In the evening I was by Helen,
and I also met her married brother and he made a very nice
impression on me. Then I went with Helen walking around her
neighborhood. We went to a restaurant that cost me fifty cents for
both of us. Then I went to Helen's house, her mother was in another
room and we were sitting a while listening to the radio and dancing.
We got a little more personally acquainted and we did a little
necking and kissed each other a while. Then I went back home by 1
a.m., Last week I bought myself a pair of galoshes for one dollar. Mr.
Levine was a few days at home on account of a cold he had. I myself
am not really feeling right since I was sick. I am still suffering
from the cold I had; maybe I did not get rid of it yet. I have a
little pain in my back and in my muscles, I am a little nauseous in
the morning, I can't eat right and I feel like vomiting after I do
eat. I received ten dollars last Saturday, On Monday, today, I was in the
business. I had to stay late because we were busy. Then I was to the
union, the salesmen's of men's clothing union, in order to become a
member and to prevent my father from having trouble in the business
with the union. This way the union cannot complain that he doesn't
hire union members, since Mr. Levine is also in the union too. Benny
Levine also says he is saving us from trouble since he is in the
union. But I had no success because Benny Levine told stories about
me at the union that made them not want to accept me. I will return
tomorrow to try to become a member.
On Thursday I went a few times to the union office on the 13th Street. I was again unsuccessful because Levine's son Benny spread rumors that I only wanted to help the business refuse to hire other union men. I have not given up yet. I went to the Committee for German Refugees and Immigrants. The person in charge of the Committee telephoned the union to tell them not to give me so much trouble. In the evening I went to the evening school; Helen was not there, neither was Walter. Walter's girlfriend, who I escorted home, was there. It seems that she likes Walter. I was not interested in her and did not want to get involved. I let her go and went for a few minutes to Helen's house to see if she was all right. I also met Helen's single brother who is supposedly very wealthy. He looked like a very nice gentleman. On Wednesday I went to the evening school, later I went to Novick's. Walter was at Helen's. In that case, Walter had escorted Helen home because his other girlfriend was not there. They were dancing to the radio music, etc. As a matter of fact he had wanted to go out with Helen in the beginning, she seems to like him too. Afterwards the other girl who is Helen's boarder came home and Walter was then occupied with that other girl. Then I was dancing with Helen. As I said we got further acquainted, and we both seemed to like it, and we kissed a little. Walter was busy kissing his girlfriend. I would not want to be kissing Walter's girlfriend because she had just come home with another guy. She spends a bit of time in her room with this other fellow. She first came to Walter when her other friend went away. Walter and I left at around 2 a.m. We made a rendezvous to go out on Sunday evening. I must either call Helen to confirm or she will call me. Yesterday I was in the business. Towards the evening I had a small tool in my hand, and Benny Levine poked me somewhat and my pocket watch was broken. The crystal in the watch was broke; I paid $1.75 for the repair today. Benny Levine promised to pay one dollar towards the cost later when he has the money. Today I spent the whole day in the business. We had nice activity all week. This week I bought myself a new diary for twenty cents because this book is almost filled up. But I expect to start to use that new diary next month because it has all days and dates printed in. I will just paste a few extra pages in this book before starting the new one. Yesterday evening I put a picture #110 in the photo album that Helen had given me on Wednesday of herself.
Bronx, Wednesday 10:15 p.m., December 12, 1934.
Saturday we were very nicely busy at the store. My dear father went home earlier in order to dress properly for Jenny Gold's wedding. I had my tuxedo with me in the store. I went to the barber and then locked up the store and changed clothes. I went to the wedding. My dear parents arrived early, and they had brought a very nice present there for about seven or eight dollars. We were there in time to see the ceremony under the chupah. We wished them mazel tov, then we ate and danced. I danced with my mother, some of the cousins, and some of the other girls there. We left at around 3 a.m. and arrived home by 5 a.m., Checking my coat and tips cost sixty-five cents for myself. Then I went to bed. On Sunday I went to the business late. At around noon Helen's girlfriend Selma called for Helen and told me that Helen was tired because she was out late on Saturday night and she was still in bed. I promised to come to Helen's house Sunday evening. I received ten dollars for the week from my father. In the evening after closing the business I went home for dinner and then went to Helen's. Walter was with Selma and Helen and her mother. But Helen's mother went out walking. We were nicely by ourselves. We danced and necked and squeezed a little bit. I kissed Helen often enough. Walter was nicely amused with Selma, but I liked Helen much better anyway. Afterwards some other friends came to visit and disturbed us a little bit, but then they went away again. Later Mrs. Novick returned. Then we went out to a cafe together for coffee and cake. I paid forty cents for myself and Helen. Then we brought them home. I was home around midnight. On Monday I was at the business late, and in the evening I attended a meeting at the retail salesmen's union. There I applied to become an official member. Yesterday I returned the application filled in. It cost me $16.35 to be a member and forty eight dollars during the year for dues. I really did not become a member for myself. I did it for the business. But I can't take the money from the business because then Benny Levine will also want the same. My father gave me five dollars towards the dues on account. Tuesday I was in the business and at the evening school after dinner. Then I walked Helen home from school and stayed there a while, talking, dancing, and I left with a good good night kiss. I went home around 10:45 p.m., This morning my dear parents lectured me about going to sleep earlier to be well-rested. They said I should not be schelping around with a bunch of women. Today I was also the whole day in the business. Even this week business was pretty bad. I came home a little later today and missed evening school. Mr. Levine last week paid up the rest of the money into the business except about fifty dollars. My dear father also put in more money as he promised. They now have a good regular bank account for Charles Clothes Incorporated.
Bronx, Thursday 10:10 p.m., December 13, 1934.
Today I spent the whole day in the business. I ate my dinner and listened to the radio.
Bronx, Friday 9:55 p.m., December 14, 1934.
Last night I wrote to Jack Pollack in Antwerp and sent it this morning. I would like to note here that my dear mother bought a nice pair of pajamas for me as a present. Today I spent all day at the business. Yesterday we sold some items, but today we sold nothing. Today I also went to the union and paid the five dollars my father had given me this week as membership in the union. Today I bought myself one hundred razor blades for sixty-five cents. I also bought two nice bottles of perfume for eighteen cents. One bottle has the name "Helen", and I intend to give that to Helen for her twenty-first birthday this week. I will give it with another gift. I think I may buy her a nice pocketbook to go well with the new coat that she bought herself. The second bottle I want to give my mother. Because she does not want it now, I have put it away to give her at another date. This morning Mr. Levine, Benny, and my father and I had a big fight which was started by Benny. Benny wanted commission on a sale that his father made yesterday, which he is not entitled to.
Bronx, Saturday 10:15 p.m., December 15, 1934.
When I woke this morning I realized that I must have had a very exciting sexy dream. This morning I received a very nice letter from Elisa Ostereicher. She is the sister-in-law of my cousins on my mother's side. I had met this girl at the wedding we attended last week. She was there with her mother, and we sat close together at the dinner table. My mother gave her mother our address in order to get in touch. I only had danced with this girl once that I remember. Even she is not so bad looking, but she really pleased me very little it seemed. She was, as far as I am concerned, a person of little interest. She wrote that she has an invitation for December 24th to a party, and she wanted me to escort her if I don't have any other appointments to fulfill. She suggested that I could visit on Sunday, which is tomorrow, to meet her and other friends. Tomorrow I have planned to visit Helen. I just remembered that today is Helen's twenty-first birthday. I had mistakenly thought it was tomorrow. I told Helen that she should go out with someone else today because I expect to see her on Sunday. I had not seen her all this week because I did not want to be running to her too often, so it does not appear to be too serious. Today I bought a very nice black pocketbook for $1.72 which I hope to give Helen tomorrow together with the little bottle of perfume that I had bought. I tied a box of face powder to the perfume which also has the name "Helen". I want to deliver the total package to her tomorrow. Today my friend Walter called me and asked me to apologize to Selma for him because he is unable to come see her tonight. Consequently, after I returned from business and had dinner I went to Helen Novick's house and also to see Selma. No one was home. I put a note in the door so that Selma would know that Walter would not be coming, and also to let them know that I was there. Then I went for a short walk. I had spent the whole day in the business out front trying to attract customers; it did not help too much. Business was very bad; we only sold three garments during the whole day. Mostly I think this was because that a lot of people buy smaller items when it is this close to Christmas because they already spent the majority of their money.
Bronx, Monday 1:05 a.m., December 17, 1934.
Today I was at the business and there was a little
activity. Helen telephoned me. I left a little early to prepare for
her birthday. I also wrote a nice letter to Elisa explaining that I
could not come today because I had a previous commitment. I wrote to
her that next Monday, December 24th, I may want to go out with her to
that party. I promised to let her know ahead of time to confirm.
Actually I really wanted to refuse her completely because she does
not interest me in the least, but my parents asked me to be nice to
her and possibly go out with her just once more. That way her
parents won't be upset, because they are very nice people.
Afterwards my family went to the movies, while I went to Helen's and
brought her gift. She liked the gift very much and showed it to her
mother, who also thought it was very nice. I don't want to forget to
note that I received ten dollars from my father in the business. Then Mrs. Novick, Helen's mother, brought in some wine and cake for us to
enjoy with her. We all drank and ate a little. Then Helen told me
that yesterday she went on a date to the movies and to dinner. When
I questioned her, she told me that this date was more of a gentleman
than I am, and that he did not even kiss her. It is possible that
this is not true, I do not know. She and I kissed a lot today, like
to make up for lost time. We also did a little petting and danced a
little. Then we walked for a little while in the nice evening. We
also went to cafe. The evening cost me for both of us forty-five cents.
Then I brought her home. While her mother went to go to sleep in the
other room, we did a little more dancing and getting more acquainted.
I can say that we had a very nice evening. She makes it very
pleasant to hug her and kiss her. She is not too voluntary, but in a
nice way. Now I just came home from her house. As I said, I gave her
my presents and best wishes. Her mother said that Helen's birthday
is really on Monday or Tuesday, as would be interpreted from the
Jewish to the English calendar. But Helen said this is her correct
birthday. I also put one penny in the pocketbook for good luck.
I spent all of today in the business. Most of the time I was in front of the store to try the best I can to drum up business. We did not even get a customer to make a first sale that day. Today the radio station that we had telephoned last week sent us special cards for reduced price theatre tickets. I received a letter from them with four tickets to the Yiddish theatre. For each ticket we will pay twenty-five cents, instead of $1.65 regular price. Since my parents wanted to go to the Yiddish theatre this week, I gave them two tickets for the upcoming Thursday. Each ticket specifies the date it is to be used. I agreed to stay home with Sonia. I really had intended to take Helen on Thursday; we will have to do without it this week. After dinner today I went to the evening school. Then I escorted Walter and Helen to Helen's home. I could not even kiss her goodbye because she wouldn't let me in front of Walter.
Bronx, Thursday 10:05 p.m., December 20, 1934.
On Tuesday I received a nice letter from Elsie Ostreicher. She asked me not to miss the party that Monday, She also wrote that tomorrow, on Friday, I should also come to visit her and discuss further details about getting together for the upcoming Monday. I do not intend to go to her on Friday evening because I am not that interested in having any affair or going out with her. I think it is nice enough of me to be polite and take her out on Monday to the party. Tuesday business was bad. Afterwards I went to the evening school. Then I intended to come directly home because my dear mother, I am sure that she means well, asked me not to stay out too late. But Helen, because it was such nice weather, wanted to go out for a walk, and I really could not refuse her, and I did not want to refuse her. So we went out walking, which cost no money and was very pleasant. We had nice conversation. We also mentioned that Walter had once said to us, as a joke, that Helen's lipstick tastes bitter. Helen believed that I must have told him that I had kissed her on the Sunday before. On account of that she did not want to kiss on Monday evening. She did not want to get kissed on Tuesday either. On Tuesday I came home around midnight after escorting Helen home. Yesterday I spent the whole day in the business. Benny Levine had his day off yesterday. After dinner I went to the evening school. There was no lesson but we had a children's Christmas play. Afterwards I escorted Helen home and only spent a few minutes there because I promised my mother that I would not come home too late. Helen was again nice and pleasant and we did very nicely kiss. I was at home by 10:30 p.m. The evening school lessons usually end at around 9:45 p.m.; Now there is Christmas vacation from school until January 2nd. My parents went out walking awhile, and I went to bed. Yesterday my mother gave me two pair of undershorts as a present. Today I spent the whole day in the business. We did sell quite a few garments, which was nice. I stood outside the entrance all day in the freezing cold; at least I succeeded. My dear father left early to go to the theatre. I did make a few sales after he left. When I came home my parents were leaving immediately for the theatre. I gave them my four reduced admittance tickets for the theatre. Because they only needed two tickets, I asked them to try to exchange the other two for another day. If not, I would just lose the other two and not be able to go at all. The main thing is I hope my parents will have a nice time and enjoy. I already ate my dinner. Then I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, so my mother would not come home to a dirty kitchen. I cannot get a better pleasure than to feel that I did something good for someone else, especially my dear parents. Today I wrote Elsie that I could not come on Friday but hoped to be there Monday, I am going to sleep soon, but I want to make a note that yesterday Helen said that I should give her the two tickets for the Yiddish theatre for today, so that she may go with a friend rather than losing the two tickets. That was probably a good idea, but I said that I would feel lonesome if my parents went to the theatre and my little sister sleeps. I suggested that maybe she should come to me. If she didn't want to come alone, I suggested that she bring a friend. She did not want to do that because she felt it would not make a nice impression if she came over when my parents were out. Maybe she is correct, but I did not feel like giving her the tickets because when I am sitting alone. I do not want to think about her in the theatre with someone else. This week the newspapers said that Hitler was shot bad; unfortunately that was later found to be untrue.
Bronx, Wednesday 10:30 p.m., December 26, 1934.
Friday I spent the whole day in the business. Towards the evening I received from the radio station where we advertised two not valid tickets to the Yiddish theatre. He telephoned me that I could come on the same Friday, and that he would leave free tickets for me at the cashier's window. I told him that I would need a couple more tickets. He promised to reserve four good seats for me. After dinner I went to Helen's, but Walter was not there, and his friend Selma was angry that he had disappointed her by not coming even though I had the theatre tickets. We waited a while. Because Walter did not come, I went with Helen and her mother. Selma went out somewhere else. Then I received my entrance tickets at the cashier's ticket [window]. In fact I did not even have to pay the small amount that was supposed to be taxes. The seats were very nice. The show was called, "Do You Need to Have Children?" It was a piece-of-life drama. In my opinion it was very beautiful with good acting. I would like to note for myself that this show represented a good woman who was a good mother to her children, as in general most mothers try to be very good to their children and mean well. This woman did more than one would expect from a mother, but it was not understood or appreciated by them. It seemed the children first realized what a good mother she was after she died. It was just a little too late when they realized that they should show a little appreciation and love to their mother. After the show was finished, Mrs. Novick did not want to ride in a bus on the Shabbes, [so] we walked home. Mrs. Novick went to bed and left me alone with Helen in the living room. We were sitting around doing a little petting and kissing. I went home around 2 a.m. The whole evening cost me nothing except twenty cents for drinks for us all. Saturday I spent the whole day in the business. In the evening after dinner I peeled potatoes because my dear mother has a swollen finger infected with pus. I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen before going to bed. I do not want to forget that on Saturday I got ten dollars from the business for myself. On Sunday I worked all day and visited Helen, as I promised I would. Her mother went walking and Selma also went out. So Helen and I had privacy and enjoyed it very much. We listened and danced to the radio music and got very well acquainted I shall say. After I lay down on the couch for awhile I took a little rest. Then she joined me and hugged me and kissed me nicely. All I had to say was "darling" or "Helen sit down" or "lay down next to me and kiss me", but we did not do anything wrong that we should not do. I respect her and love her and do not want to do anything wrong with her. So if I want to do more than getting kissed I will have to go out with someone else for that. I think it is better to have a nice young lady for Helen as a friend, who is a little bit proud and independent and doesn't just hand out her kissing. It is better than having someone who goes "all the way", and you don't know if she goes all the way with someone else too. Helen told me she was out late on Saturday night. I recommended to her, since I promised to go out with Elsie Ostreicher, that she should go out with someone else. When Elsie's mother came home from walking, she read something from the Jewish paper. I came home by 11:45 p.m. Monday I went to the business and in the evening I prepared myself to pick up Elsie for the Christmas party. As we got ready to leave her house, she told me that she was just celebrating her nineteenth birthday, but she had a better surprise for me as she told me that the party that she was invited to was in Brooklyn. It would take one hour to travel to that place. Since I wanted to come home early to please my parents, and I did not intend to spend much time with that girl and I did not want to spend an hour traveling each way. We first arrived at the party at 11:00 p.m., There were some nice young people there. But I could not get interested to meet nice young girls there because I had come with Elsie, who really was no bargain, but I came with her, so I had to spend time with her. I danced with her twice and we left around 2 a.m., but we could not catch an express train.
The trip to go home took two hours. When we arrived she did not want to go to her apartment yet. Instead she asked me to stay another five minutes and talk with her a little bit longer, etc. I thought it was nice enough that I nicely escorted her home from that evening, that I did not care so much for [her], but she wanted more talking and conversation. I was really getting annoyed with her, and I wanted to get even with her, so I asked her if she would like me to kiss her good night. She answered that when someone wants to kiss someone, they shouldn't have to ask any questions. She had her mouth all puckered up ready. I told her that I just wanted to make sure that she wanted to be kissed, but I did not want to kiss her, so I didn't. I know it was not nice, but I was annoyed that spending the evening was not enough, that she wanted me to stay longer. So now we were even. It so happened that I did not have any more money with me. I was lucky that the conductor took me along and gave me a transfer ticket without money. It was about 5:30 a.m. when I returned to my house to go to bed. I would also like to make a note that December 24th was my father's forty-first birthday. He should live and be well, and the whole family should be well. Family conditions should remain solid and peaceful, G-d-willing. I wish him the best for his life. For $1.22, a carton of two hundred cigarettes. I gave my sister a miniature railroad for ninety cents. My mother bought my father a birthday present, and she received from him chocolate as a gift. I received a very nice silk muffler as a present from my father. This Tuesday will be the Christmas holiday. The business was open, but I took the day off. Before noon I was with my friend Walfeld out walking. I made an appointment to go out with him on New Year's Eve. We are planning to take out two dates. In the afternoon I napped. When I awoke my mother was with a lady teacher who gave her the second lesson in English, and my mother in the meantime takes no more lessons. The lady is Jewish and her parents came her from Russia, but she was born in America. This lady has a brother who is an attorney. She does not look old and is pretty nice and pleasant and pretty learned it seems. She is perhaps more educated, but I don't really know her that well. I wrote down her name and address, Sylvia Mannon, 2345 Walton Avenue, The Bronx, so my mother could contact her for more lessons. She said, supposedly as a joke, that I might want her address to make a rendezvous with her. In fact, I believe I may give her a call maybe in a month or so just to talk to her. Also this is enough about her for today. Then I went to Helen, as I had promised to visit her. I waited a little bit because she was still in bed with a little cold and she was tired from going out very late on Monday, She told me that she enjoyed going out, she had a nice time. Then some other friends came visiting. Then we went out walking a little bit with a lady friend of Helen's who we escorted towards her home. Then I asked Helen about New Year's Eve, and she agreed to go out with me. We kissed heartily goodbye, and I left around 8:30 p.m., Then I supposedly offended her with a little joke, saying that it is still very early, and it is possible that she would go out and kiss someone else good night too. I advised her not to mix up my kisses with someone else's. Since she felt very insulted, I stayed a little while to calm her down and explain to her that it was only a joke that she took serious, and it was not right or necessary to take it serious. She should not think that I think that she is a cheap girl or not a nice person. I know that she does not just kiss anybody. She promised that she would not allow me to kiss her anymore, so that I would have more respect for her in the future. As I told her that I was only joking and that she has to have a little sense of humor, [and] we made up and I kissed her Good night and went home. I got home around 9 p.m., had my dinner, and went to bed. On Wednesday I spent the whole day in the store and the evening, which is now almost over. I promised Helen that I would come to her on Friday evening.
Bronx, Sunday 11:30 p.m., December 30, 1934.
Thursday I was in the business all day. Benny Levine had the day off. I was also by the union to pay $11.35, the balance of the admittance fee and a one dollar membership due. I would like to note here that it is understandable that I have a little extra expenses. Enjoyment and going out or buying something for personal use, costs me some money, even though it is very little. I don't account for daily items like car fare, telephones, lunch, etc. Lunchtime itself, costs me fifty to sixty cents everyday. Thursday evening I walked with Walfeld and we discussed New Year's Eve. Friday I spent the whole day in the business and went to Helen, as I promised, in the evening. I enjoyed among other dances that I danced with Helen, a very beautiful tango. Then we escorted one of Helen's girlfriends home to her house. After that we enjoyed a walk out together. When we returned to her house Helen's mother had already gone to sleep. Selma came home a little later and made tea for us which we drank with her. Then she went to her room to go to sleep. We made ourselves very comfortable on the sofa in the living room. Helen told me that she was invited by her rich single brother to join some of his friends to spend New Year's Eve. She asked me if that was all right with me, or would I be angry if she goes there for New Year's Eve. On Saturday and Sunday she said she would go out with me instead. She always went out on Saturday evening with me. I said it would bother me if she refuses to be with me for New Year's Eve, even though she promised she would go out with me. Then Helen said she would call her brother because she would rather go out with me. In the meantime we were lying on the sofa petting and kissing each other, etc. I cooled off a little bit after that conversation and I was not as interested in going out with her for New Year's Eve. Then I explained to her that I did not think that it was right if she refuses to go out with her brother because I feel he can take her to nicer and more expensive places with richer company than I can offer her. But she did not want to notice and she insisted that she feels she can enjoy herself better with me in a plain simple place than with the rich friends of her brother. She doesn't know anyone there and she is not looking to find anyone there, she says. But I was not ready to agree with that because now I was not that anxious to take her out because I did not want her to go with me as though she was doing me a favor and feeling that she was missing out on a better time, even if she did not express herself that strongly in that direction. Then she insisted very strongly that I come and pick her up Monday on New Year's Eve. I only promised that I would let her know by telephone whether I would come to take her out or not. On account of this conversation and sitting around and a little extra good kissing it got late. I first left for home around 2 a.m., even though I didn't intend to stay out so late just before New Year's Eve. On account of that I got a very strong lecture the next morning from my mother, who really means well for me. I nonetheless received her wonderful long lecture that I could have done without. My mother think the girl must be a very bad girl if she spent that much time with me in her house and entertains me that late in her house. My mother is acting as judge of it all. I believe, even though I don't mean to defend Helen, that you cannot immediately pass judgment, no one should do that, including my mother. Yesterday I spent the whole day in the business. I had a big fight in the business especially with Mr. Levine because I am now a union member and his son Bennie can no longer threaten the business by saying that it only has one union member. They must now pay me regular union wages entered in the books. Even I let them put in the books that I get union wages even though I only get my ten dollars each week. Mr. Levine was unsure about this whole practice. In any event he wanted to protect his son to have the job. His son should be getting paid according to the union wages. He doesn't want to let me enter into the books as we had done before. We will let things go and they will be straightened out between the partners. I continue to get ten dollars each week and Ben Levine continues to work on a commission. Today is my father's day off. I was in the business, but unfortunately we sold nothing, even though I waited outside to approach anyone who looked interested in our window. This week was very quiet but we did a little bit of selling. This evening my parents went to the theatre. My friend Walfeld was here and we arranged to go out tomorrow. But we also arranged that in case my girl Helen wants to go out just separate with me then we won't stay together. I also want to make a note that yesterday at noon I telephoned Helen as I promised and told her that I better not go out with her and she should go have fun with her brother. She told me that she already called her brother. Her brother said that he would not have invited her if he knew she had a date. She said she wanted to just go out with me. I told her I was not sure if I would come, but I would let her know. In the afternoon Mr. Levine called me to the telephone. I answered immediately and said Hello Helen, but to my surprise the call was from Elsie Ostreicher. She asked me how things are going and she thought that I would want to go out with her for New Year's Eve. I told her that she had surely made a mistake or misunderstood. She told me that her mother was coming to visit us, and that she would accompany her. I gave that information to my parents. In the evening I called Helen and told her to call her rich brother and go out with him for New Year's. She said that she did not want that, and she said she could not and would not do that. But if I am sure that I don't want to go out with her, even though she wants to go with me, then she will go out with someone else. She said I should promise her that I would go out with her. I told her to telephone me on Sunday at noontime, when I will tell her yes or no. I found out in the newspaper that there was a certain place that is nice but expensive, but I cannot and do not want to spend a lot of money. Today, Sunday, I called Helen again, as I had told her that I would and explained that I think she is making a mistake to want to go out with me because I am not a big spender and would not be going out too expensive. I said that if she wants to go out with me on New Year's, that she can't expect too much. I again recommended that she go with her brother. She said she did not want that and said that wherever we go she will be satisfied and pleased. As I had explained to my friend Walfeld, Helen said she preferred that we go out alone by ourselves. I agreed that I would come by tomorrow around 9 p.m. to pick her up. But I left myself the option that it is not sure. Then I will again telephone her to confirm. I hope everything will go well.
Bronx, Tuesday 8:35 p.m., January 1, 1935.
Yesterday, I spent the whole day in front of the business. We did sell nicely. At around 7 p.m. I left the business and got ready. At 8:30 p.m. I left with Walfeld, and we arrived at Helen's. Selma was there with a friend with a car. Another of Helen's friends left later with her date. Selma's friend went with Walfeld to the train station. There Walfeld picked up his girl, Leah. In the meantime the rest of us listened to the radio and danced. After 11 p.m., Irving, Walfeld, and Leah arrived at home. Then we danced a little bit longer. I also danced once with Leah. Then the one couple that left as I remarked before, Ruth and Jack. The remaining three couples went to a big movie theatre for the midnight show. Each man paid $1.10 for himself and his date. It was a wonderful stage show, and at midnight we wished everyone Happy New Year. The show started at midnight and lasted until 2 a.m., Then they showed a very beautiful film, "Bright Eyes," starring Shirley Temple, a small, charming little girl. The show ended around 3 a.m. We walked out of the theatre to find a nice surprise: the streets were nice and white with snow. The snow made noise as you walked on it. Then we stopped on the way home towards Helen's house and found a nice Jewish restaurant. We bought nice sandwiches with appetizing cuts and soda water. Walfeld and I added one dollar and $1.10. We took the whole company to eat at Helen's house. Her mother was in her room in bed. I did not care to eat in the restaurant because it was more comfortable and private in Helen's house. She made tea and we all sat in the kitchen and enjoyed it. The girls cleaned up while the guys had conversation. Then we made ourselves comfortable and even Selma with Irving and Helen with me were sitting on the big bed in Selma's room. We did a little necking and kissing. Walfeld was with his girl during that time alone in the living room. Then he came to us and we bid everyone a good night. Then Walfeld went to take his girl home shortly after 6 a.m., then Irving with his car also went away. Then after Helen and I kissed good night and good morning, I went home. It was messy going home because it had already rained after the snow. It was cold, and the snow was mushy. The streets were icy, dirty and slippery and raining on top of all that mess.
I at least arrived near the house even though I did not have to go far, just after I brought Helen to her house at about 6:40 a.m. I was at my house. On Tuesday, I awoke around noon and ate breakfast. Normally noontime is lunchtime. After breakfast I went back to bed and rested some more. In the afternoon my dear parents with my dear sister, who I love very much but is not very good now and does not listen when she is told what to do. Some friends, Mr. and Mrs. Seaman went with my family to the Yiddish theatre. I got up around 3 p.m. and ate something. I wanted to go out walking. First I went to Walfeld, but he had already gone out. Then I went to Helen to see how she was feeling and to take her out walking with me in this nice cold weather. Helen had just gotten up and was running around in her pajamas and housecoat. Then she ate something, and we sat around talking. She put her room in order while I took a little rest. Then she got dressed and ready and we went out for a long walk. At 5 p.m. we neared my house, and I proposed that we stop by there. I was not suggesting that we enter my apartment just so I could be alone with her. As we neared my house we ran into Walfeld who had come by to visit me. The three of us went together into my parents' house. We had nice conversation and played checkers and a card game that my father bought my sister for Hanukkah. Then my family came home from the theatre. We also ate some fruits that I served. Then Walfeld and I escorted Helen to her home. On the way to Helen's house I noticed that Helen seemed to be very pleased with Walfeld and finds him very interesting. I also noticed that he seemed to like her more than I thought. As we brought Helen back to her house, another young man was waiting for her at her house. She said that she was surprised to see him there waiting for her. She did not seem to be very interested in him. She left him waiting for her in her room, while she escorted Walfeld and me out of her apartment. She said she wished that we could stay longer. I promised Helen that I would contact her at the end of the week and invite her to go out with me. She said that the gentleman with whom she usually goes out on Saturday evening is the one with whom she went out on Saturday and Sunday before New Year's. She has an appointment with him for the coming Saturday evening. I told Helen that I had called the radio advertising office from WBNX, and I wanted to call them again for reserved theatre tickets. I would call her if I was able to get such tickets. I would let them send the tickets to her directly. I asked her to call me when she received them. After that Walfeld escorted me home to my house. He told me that he finds Helen to be a very nice girl. But he certainly does not want to take her away from me in order to be in her company, and he will instead continue to go out with Selma. After that I ate dinner and my mother told me that Helen looks very nice. She mentioned also that she doesn't think that girl could wait until I am ready to be serious about getting married because she does not think I am ready and prepared to get serious with anyone. I do not think this is necessary for me to consider at this moment. Helen knows that I am not going out with her to go steady. For that reason I did not say anything, and I have many friends instead of just one girl seriously interesting me. For that reason I must have many friends and acquaintances who I keep in touch with. I do not demand that Helen does anything special for me because I don't put her on the side and in any way would forget about her. As I found out we are just good friends, and I want to keep it that way.
The rest of this diary, since it is just about the end of this book will remain empty and unused. I wanted to fill this book because my third diary has regular dates preprinted in it.
Bronx, Wednesday 11:40 p.m., January 2, 1935.
Today I was the whole day in the business that was going very quietly. I also called radio station WBNX to again ask them for preferred price reduction cards for the Yiddish theatre. I gave him Helen's name and address, so that they do not think that it is only Pressman who demands these reduced price cards. In particular, one of the theatre actors wanted to buy clothing on credit which we did not agree to. I hope the cards will be sent, and I know that Helen will let me know when she gets them. Today after dinner, Elsie Ostereicher visited my house with her father. She wanted me to visit her next week, but I did not make any such promises. Today I danced once with her, and once with my mother.
Bronx, Thursday 9:25 p.m., January 3, 1935.
Today I spent all day in the business. We did a little selling. Towards the evening there was another fight because I wanted to attend to one customer who I had pulled in from the window along with some others. This particular customer Ben Levine had taken care of, but he could not sell him a winter coat. I saw that the customer wanted to buy a coat and had money, and that we did not need to lose him. Benny Levine suggested that he go to other places to compare, but I didn't think that was the right way. I feel it is better to make the sale when you have him. But Mr. Levine did not let me take the customer over because he told me that when his son takes care of the customer, it is much better taken care of. Even though I brought the customer in, he did not think I could talk better to the customer.
Bronx, Friday 10:05 p.m., January 4, 1935.
Last night I washed some underwear for my sisters so that my mother would not have to do it since her finger was still infected. Today I spent the whole day in the business, it was very quiet. We just ate dinner and I am going to take a bath and then go to bed soon. I would like to note for myself that this week Ben Levine gave me the dollar that he promised to pay a few weeks ago for repairing the glass on the watch that he broke when we had that argument.
Bronx, Saturday 10:50 p.m., January 5, 1935.
Today I spent the whole day in the business. This morning I tried to take a plain clothes police officer into the store by mistake; I thought he was a potential customer. I received a summons for trying to pull a customer into the store, which is against the law. On the upcoming Monday I have to go to court. I learned later that the same plains clothes policeman has caught many on the other side of the street doing the same thing. Later we did a little business. Besides that, we had a lot of customers who we could not take care of because we didn't have enough selection in sizes and styles. This evening I got ten dollars from my father. Today I got a pair of fur-lined shoe covers. They cost seventy-five cents, but my mother bought them for me as a present. Today Elsie called me at her work while I was out. She left a message asking me to come to a party for her brother's newborn son. My parents were invited yesterday. Tonight after dinner I visited Walfeld, but had missed him.
Bronx, Monday 9:25 p.m., January 7, 1935.
Yesterday was my day off, although the business was open. In the morning I took my sister walking and visited Walfeld, but he was not yet ready. Then I visited Helen's apartment, but she was away. In the afternoon Walfeld came with his friend Morris to visit me. A little later we went together to visit Helen and Selma. We had a little conversation and promised to take the girls out that evening. Helen would be home alone that night, so she arranged to have a friend to go out with Morris, so he would not be alone. Then we went walking in the park, and Walfeld went to visit a girlfriend. Then Walfeld and Morris bought some bakery items and joined me for an evening meal in our house. I served everyone some wine and cheese and bread, etc. Then I cleaned up the kitchen and we went together to the girls. But Helen did not have a third girl for Morris. Then we three went out with Helen and Selma. After I danced with Helen a little we went in the other room to privately kiss. Helen does not like to get kissed in the presence of other company. Then we went to the movies; I paid fifty cents for myself and Helen. I spent another thirty cents on candy. I was sitting with Helen, Selma was with the two guys. We saw two films, one which we enjoyed and the other, which wasn't worth anything. After the film we went to a restaurant; the two guys paid for nothing. Then we escorted the two girls home and had nice conversation, telling jokes until 1 a.m., Helen did not want to kiss or neck because the other people were there. After everyone else left she gave me a very nice good night kiss. I went to bed around 1:30 a.m. Yesterday morning I also telephoned Sylvia Mannon, my mother's English teacher, and asked her if she would go out with me. She said she could not, so I gave her my telephone number in case she changed her mind. I was in the business all morning. I arrived a little late in the courthouse. Mr. Levine was there, and he paid the summons of five dollars for me. My father told me that Elsie telephoned again yesterday and today. My parents told me that yesterday they were talking about me at the party. They agreed that I could go get married to Elsie. They were doing that without my consent. For that reason I gave Elsie a piece of my mind and told her that I was not interested. She offered that I could take her out, and I refused to go out with her and asked her to leave me alone and said that when I want her I will call her. I want to be sure that we understand each other, that I am not interested. Today I called the radio station WBNX again and confirmed it by a letter and enclosed a stamped envelope with Helen's address. Helen said she would let me know if she gets the tickets. Today I missed night school.
Bronx, Wednesday 9:35 p.m., January 9, 1935.
Yesterday I was in the business. After dinner I went to the evening school. After school I escorted Helen home. The evening school usually finishes around 10 p.m.; I stayed a little while with Helen at her apartment and we necked awhile. I left around midnight and promised her that on the following Thursday I would telephone her regarding the theatre tickets. She did not want to telephone me because she did not think it was proper. Shortly after midnight I arrived at home. I worked all day today. My father left early to take my mother to the theatre. When I came home my parents were leaving for the theatre. Sonia was already in bed. I made dinner for myself and cleaned the kitchen afterwards. I would like to note that my dear mother offered me tickets to take Helen to the theatre tonight because she said it was supposed to be a very good show. She would instead go tomorrow, even though the show might not be as good tomorrow. I did not want to do that because I prefer my parents to go out and have a nice time because they are good parents, and they suffer a lot of aggravation when they agonize about why they left Germany for my sake. The business is not really doing very well either.
Bronx, Thursday 8:45 p.m., January 10, 1935.
Last night I was in pajamas when Walfeld came by. We had conversation for about one-and-a-half hours. This morning my father gave me two preferred ticket cards for the Yiddish theatre from the radio station. I had already seen the show they were showing. So I called the radio station asking if they could send me cards for another time. I gave these two tickets for Ben Levine as a present. Today I worked all day and then telephoned Helen as I had promised. She had received four reduced price tickets for today also. I told Helen that I do not feel good enough to go out today, I said I would come to her when I feel better on Sunday evening. She excused me for not coming today and wished me well. It is the truth that I don't feel so good. I have been perspiring a lot again and I look bad.
Bronx, Saturday 11:00 p.m., January 12, 1935.
Yesterday I worked all day. In the evening I listened to radio and went to bed. I don't want to forget to note that on Thursday night as I was going to sleep, Walfeld came over for a little while. I worked all day again, it was very cold, but I stood outside a lot. We sold a few garments, but not enough to consider it good business. In the afternoon I really had a refreshing surprise: Helen called me to find out if I was feeling better. She also told me that she was going out with a friend to a concert. I was very happy that she called me. It put me in a better mood for the whole afternoon because there was someone else nice enough to think of me and be caring and concerned, especially since Helen said last week that she didn't think it was nice for a girl to call a fellow. She also wanted to know if I was well enough to visit on Sunday. I cannot read too deeply into her motives for calling, but it was just nice of her to check. I promised if I felt well enough I would come to see her. She also said that perhaps Walter would be there visiting Selma. Today I did get ten dollars. I am thinking that tomorrow I will take along the little bottle of perfume that I bought before Christmas for twelve cents that my mother did not want. I will bring it to Helen as a little surprise gift. In politics: Tomorrow, January 13, 1935, in Alsace-Lorraine there will be an election to decide whether this region will belong to Germany or France.
Bronx, Wednesday 10:00 p.m., January 16, 1935.
On Sunday I worked all day. My dear father had his day off. In the evening after dinner I went to Helen's and I brought her the perfume. Selma went out by herself, because Walter stood her up. Helen's mother also went out. Helen was very, very nice, even before she knew I was bringing her a gift. We did kiss and hug nicely. Afterwards we went to a neighborhood movie theatre. After I wrote to the radio station they sent Novick the tickets. We saw a very good film from real life, "Imitation of Life." I bought some chocolate, and all together it cost me sixty-five cents. After midnight we went back to Helen's and had some tea. Her mother and Selma soon arrived home and went to sleep. Again we were alone and we began petting and loving each other on the living room sofa. We were laying around and did some good kissing. At 2 a.m. I was home and went to bed. Monday I spent the whole day at work. After dinner I was to the evening school, Helen was not there. I came home around 10 p.m. and went to bed. Tuesday I was all day in the business, and after dinner I went to the evening school. Helen was there. Another Jewish girl who I already looked over a little bit before New Year. She is a little taller than Helen, blond and slim. She looks young and very nice. After the lesson I helped her put her coat on while someone else helped Helen. I asked her name, it was Betty. I told her that at the next lesson I would like to get better acquainted with her. She liked that idea. Then I went to escort Helen home, but there was no one in the house, and I just went in for one moment with her because she did receive the four tickets that she wanted to show me for Thursday evening. Then I told her that I don't think I will go out on Thursday evening because I believe they are showing a picture. I told her to take her mother and enjoy the show. Then I wanted to go home, but she had some questions about arithmetic that she wanted me to look over for her, and some things she wanted to tell me. I already had put away my overcoat, but she wanted to talk more about things this week. I actually had intended to take her out the coming Saturday, but she told me that the gentleman that she usually goes out with on Saturday also wanted to take her out Saturday, She said she wanted to go out with me but she would telephone me to let her know. I was joking with her, but I took it serious and told her that I would not take her out. Then she asked me to please go out with her this Saturday evening, that if he should call her she will tell him that she can only go out with him on Sunday, But I did not change my mind again and I promised her that I would come to her instead on Sunday afternoon. I also explained to her that I believe that I do not want to take her out too often because I don't want to get used to being with her all the time. I am afraid that I would get too serious involved with her and fall in love with her. After that she said that on Wednesday evening (today) she goes to school, and she would like to come to my house because she does not think that looks nice. On Thursday she said that she will go to the theatre with her mother. I explained to her that I would not be able to come to her on Friday; She asked me to try to come to her on Friday, Then she wished me a nice evening for Saturday, She will expect me on Sunday afternoon. We hugged and kissed goodbye. I told her as a joke that she shouldn't kiss the other guy, but instead should wait for me on Sunday; I kissed her good night, then she tilted her head so she could kiss me very strongly good night. Today I worked all day in the business. After dinner my parents went to the Levines to discuss things with their accountant, Mr. Noonan. I stayed home and missed school. I am going to bed shortly. In politics: Alsace-Lorraine was by public vote given back to Germany. That dog, the Fuhrer Hitler, won another round in the theatre of world politics. It was easy to predict that Alsace-Lorraine would be returned to Germany. I think I will visit a lady of the night this week to get serviced and feel comfortable and not have to bother my girlfriend too much.
Bronx, Saturday 10:25 p.m., January 19, 1935.
On Wednesday evening after I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, I went to bed. I was in the business all day Thursday, Towards the evening I read in the newspapers about a program in the Yiddish theatre. I telephoned Helen and told her that I would go with her. After dinner I went to visit Helen. Her mother had gone to the theatre with the other two preferred cards. Helen and I went to the theatre. I paid fifty cents for both of us. The show was called, "The Lazy Bum." It was a nice comedy. Afterwards I brought Helen home. We had a nice time together with a little necking. Around 12:45 a.m. I went home and to bed. I also spent about twenty cents on carfare and drinks at the theatre. I promised Helen I would see her on Sunday afternoon. Friday I worked all day. In the morning I was busy with our accountant and went to the lawyer for advice in respect to my father and Mr. Levine's financial questions. After dinner I visited Walfeld. He gave me a name and address if I needed to visit a lady of the night. After 10 p.m. I went home. Today (Saturday) I was also the whole day in the business, although the entire week business had been slow, even though I stood out front in the cold to attract customers. Today I received ten dollars. On Thursday I received a very nice letter from Elsie Ostreicher again. That really had me wondering because last time we were together she promised me that she would not invite me again because I always refuse to go out with her. In this letter she writes that maybe she doesn't understand me, because she only wants to have me for a friend. By now I would think she would understand that I am not interested in getting involved or going out with her. I do not know if I should answer her or not. I want to be polite, but I don't want to get involved at all. She has invited me to escort her to a party at her house in a few weeks. I was really thinking of going dancing in a couple of weeks at a club where Ben Levine is a member. It turns out that both will occur in the same week. I am a little confused about what to do at this moment. I don't think I want to go dancing twice in one week, especially with Elsie. I think I will have to answer her something in order to let her know that if I should come, I would not come by myself but with someone else. I want to make it clear that I have no interest in her.
Bronx, Saturday 10:25 p.m., January 19, 1935.
Helen told me that on Saturday evening (tonight) she
made plans with someone else. I advised her to go out with him
because we do not want to make ours a steady affair. I hope next
week at the evening school I will meet Betty. I advised Walfeld
yesterday to write to the radio station. Since he did not do it, I
did it for him today to get him preferred price rate tickets. Early
my mother shampooed my hair. Then we all had dinner.
Yesterday I had my day off. In the morning I visited Walfeld. He gave me the name and phone number for the lady of the night. Afterwards I went to Helen. Her mother was there. There was a gentleman introduced to me as Helen's boss. Helen told me that she was out on Saturday and came home very late. Then Helen's friend Rose came over. We had pleasant conversation and danced a little. Then Rose and Helen's mother left. Helen and I necked and kissed a little. Then Helen's mother came back. A little later Helen and I went out for a walk. I then invited Helen to come to my house. I asked her to wait for me to change, and then we could go out together. But Helen did wait in the living room while ate whatever was prepared for dinner in the kitchen. Then I wanted to take a little rest to go out. By that time it was already to late to go to a movie, so we stayed home. My dear parents and Helen read the Jewish newspapers. Then my dear parents played checkers. and I played another marble game with Helen. Then I danced with Helen to the radio music. I also danced some with my mother. At 11:30 p.m. I escorted Helen home. She said that she was pleased and enjoyed the way we spent the evening together with my parents, and there seemed to be no objections. She thought I treated her very nice when she was visiting at our house. She would also like to learn to play checkers because she liked watching me play with my father when I won. She also told me that she was not so pleased with the young man she went out with. She did not make plans with him for next Saturday; I told her that I already have an appointment for next Sunday, then we hugged and kissed a little. I left shortly after midnight. Today I worked all day. We were busy with various things, but we did not sell any merchandise. This evening I missed class because I came home too late from the business. The weather was very bad. Yesterday morning I did a little correspondence and paper work and put my folders in order.
Bronx, Tuesday 10:45 p.m., January 22, 1935.
Today I worked all day. Business is going very badly. My dear father is thinking of liquidating or leaving the business. After dinner I went to English school and wrote a polite letter to Elsie Ostereicher. I declined her invitation because I am busy with the store and my English class. I thanked her anyway. After I discussed this matter with my parents, I said I wanted to be polite because they are friends with her parents, but I did not want to see her any further. Today after class, Helen waited outside while I was with Betty Halberstat. She lives at 1330 Intervale Avenue, [in] the Bronx. She is Jewish and came from Hamburg six years ago. I made a rendezvous with Betty to pick her up Sunday evening to go dancing at a German Jewish Club to which I recently received an invitation. Then I gave Betty one of my business cards in case she needed to call me. Then I escorted Helen home and told her I was going out with someone else and Saturday. I had to work late at the store. At Helen's house I saw Walter who was visiting Selma. Walter said that he was coming Saturday night to take out Selma. Then he said to me that he was also going to the dance on Sunday,
Bronx, Wednesday 11:45 p.m., January 23, 1935.
Today I worked all day. I am sorry to say that we sold nothing. Mr. Levine stayed home since yesterday because he is sick. My father went to a fortune teller last week. Then I went there today. It cost me ten cents to see some freaks, and twenty-five cents for the fortune teller. He told me my birthday. He told me that for the next month I should expect some success in business, and after that things will continue to go well. I told my father that he said that during February we would be more successful. He also told me that he is pretty sure that I will have future successes in business in my life. He also predicted good things for me for future years. Then he gave me a printed book that shows certain habits for the month I was born in. Some of it seemed to make sense somehow. But I guess you can generalize a lot of habits with people. I went to the evening school, but there were no lessons; they were showing a children's performance. I paid fifteen cents. I did not see Helen, so I sat with Betty during the performance. Betty told me she was twenty-five years old. I thought she was only twenty years old, she looks very young. I escorted her home and made an appointment for Sunday evening. She will come to my house to pick me up. We parted and I kissed her hand good night. I went home. Now I am going to bed.
Bronx, Thursday 9:10 p.m., January 24, 1935.
This morning I went to the attorney Cahn regarding my father's business and Mr. Levine. Then I spent the rest of the day in the business. The attorney had advised us not to liquidate the business all at once. Instead he said that we should slowly take cash out and repay some of the money that my mother had loaned to the business. Then we should try to have my mother take over the business slowly. Then we should try to slowly transfer some of the merchandise to cash to try not to lose the existing inventory. Then I explained all that advice to my parents so they should understand. Mr. Levine had not yet returned to the business because he is still sick. Today we did a nice day's business. Now I am going to bed.
Bronx, Sunday 11:30 a.m., January 27, 1935.
On Friday I worked all day. After dinner I visited Walfeld and we played some cards. I went to bed around 11 p.m., Yesterday I worked all day at the business, which is still very bad. Ben Levine went out this week once with samples trying to sell some of the stock. He was unsuccessful and lost the energy to go out trying again. The samples are worth nothing to him. Yesterday my dear father had a conversation with Mr. Levine about separating and giving up the partnership. But Mr. Levine does not want to think about it or hear about it. He instead proposed that they should get another business and build over the store. During the last month they had already suffered a loss in the business. My father doesn't feel that the Levine's can force him to lose the rest of his money. He lost some, but he does not want to lose all of it. He feels that we have enough money after the loss to live another year. After dinner Walfeld came to visit and brought us two of the four reduced tickets for the Yiddish theatre which he received in the mail. The cards are for Wednesday. Yesterday I wrote the radio station again for more tickets. I would like to note that yesterday evening I called Helen before we closed the business. I did not want to go out with her because I have a rendezvous with Betty, but I called just to hear how she was doing. Basically I just wanted to let her hear from me, so that she cannot say that I cast her aside and didn't keep in touch with her. She told me that she has an appointment and is going out. I asked her if it was the same gentleman she went out with last week or if it was someone different. She did not answer that question. I wished her a pleasant evening. I told her I had an appointment too and would meet her eventually at the Monday evening school. I sent her mother regards. I was also by the barber yesterday. I went to bed at 11 p.m. Today I gave my father his day off. I am now in the business. That means that I sit here in the store and freeze and wait for a customer to come in. The street looks very dead.
Bronx, Wednesday 9:00 p.m., January 30, 1935.
Today is the U.S. President's birthday. Sunday I worked until 4 p.m. When I came home I saw a note from my parents that they took my sister to the Yiddish theatre. I prepared to go out. When my parents came back we had dinner. At 7 p.m. I was ready for my rendezvous with Betty. She prearranged to arrive at my house by 8 p.m. My father proposed to remove Mr. Levine from the business. For that reason he wanted to speak with him and propose that my mother should give the capital she invested in the business for them to be able to work and get shares with voting rights to help make decisions. Then I went to Levine and brought Mr. and Mrs. Levine to our house to discuss the situation. When I came home Betty was already there waiting for me. Betty had fixed herself up so old-fashioned that you could very easily guess her advanced age. I went with Betty to the dance at the German Jewish Synagogue Club. I met Walter there too. He told me that on Saturday evening he stood up Selma. Betty also saw a lot of friends there from Germany. She was quite pleased about it. I danced a couple of times with Betty and with other eighteen-year-old girls from Berlin. They looked similar to Sonia Klein in appearance - I mean in the way of behaving and act, in the language used and the type of dancing we did. It bothered me to see them with their bad teeth. Her name is Gertrude Teish. I told her I would call her sometime to go out perhaps. Because she lives in Brooklyn, it is too far to take her out. I stayed awhile. I took Betty home. I let Betty know in a polite way that she was not so interesting to me. I went to bed shortly after midnight. The evening only cost me for the car fare and coat check. Food was served free for everyone from the synagogue. I would rather pay something and enjoy it better. Monday I worked all day. Our accountant, Mr. Newman, was in the business in order to take inventory and check the bank account. He was trying to help us separate the bank account between Mr. Levine and my father. We figured that things didn't work, since my mother had to put in money and wanted assurances. Mr. Levine wanted some assurance that he would be remaining in the business for some period of time. Nothing was accomplished, and it was arranged that Mr. Levine would come back to my house to see what could be resolved. Maybe they will just pay out Levine and continue the business because they have already lost so much, and there is only their money in it. On Monday I went to school after work. I met Helen there and escorted her home. She was again lovely. She told me that she did not go out on Saturday and Sunday, She said that she told me she was going out on Saturday because she wanted me to go out and not worry about her and have a good time. Then Helen made me a fruit salad with tea. After her mother went to sleep we danced a little and loved each other up a little and kissed a little. I gave Helen two tickets for her and her mother to the Yiddish theatre. I went home shortly after midnight and went to bed. This evening was pleasant to me. While I was with Helen, I felt good being with her and was able to forget the business aggravation. Yesterday I met Levine at the business. When I left, he just came to our house. Then I opened the business and Ben Levine came also. Around noontime my father came and said that he and Mr. Levine could not have any further agreement, that Mr. Levine is demanding too many rights and privileges. Mr. Levine went with my father to our attorney, Mr. Cahn. Our attorney told Levine that if they cannot come to an agreement or conclusion, Mr. Levine will have to leave the business. My father told me to go to the bank, approximately two-thousand five hundred dollars should be withdrawn from the bank. My father demanded that my mother get her seven-thousand dollars back first. Then whatever remained, they would share. I requested Mr. Levine to sign the checks over, and I went to the bank. Mr. Levine came running after me when I was at the bank. He placed a halt on the checking account all together, and he hollered and yelled and insulted. The account is stopped, no one can touch it until the matter is solved by an attorney. In the afternoon I was with my mother in the business. Then we went to the lawyer. Afterwards we tried to have a meeting to save the business. In the meantime Mr. Levine went to his lawyer to find out what had been done with a check. Then my mother went home. After dinner I went to the evening school. I gave Helen a third ticket for the theatre so she could take a girlfriend along to the show. After I took Helen home. I was with her for a few minutes and kissed her good night. I went to bed by 11:30 p.m. I spent all day in the business today. The whole day consisted of aggravation, discussion, and arguments that could not be described in a thousand pages. I just want to make a short notice that Mr. Levine made a complaint about me and handed me a subpoena from his lawyer Mr. Margaret, for next Wednesday; I was a few times by the lawyer. Mr. Levine received from my father notice that he was fired from his job in the business. My father gave him this in the form of a letter from our lawyer. There was a fight from the business papers and files. Ben Levine did not want to leave the business. In fact, in the evening he told a policeman that his lawyer said that if we will not allow Mr. Levine to take the business books, then we should be arrested. The policeman laughed at him and told him as our lawyer told us, that without a court order no one has a right to pick up the business books. My attorney laughed at the summons Levine handed me. He promised to go with me and my parents for the summons on Wednesday. We only have to wait until one of the business creditors take legal action, then my mother could step in and demand the money she invested as a priority creditor over and above the other creditors. Today after dinner I wanted to give my parents a little pleasure and afford them the opportunity to forget their lovely partners and the business. I gave my parents the theatre tickets and they went. I cleaned the kitchen, even though my fingers were sore and it burned on my open cuts. But I wanted to make sure my mother found a clean house and kitchen. I am going to bed with a lot of good hope, confidence, and prayer that G-d will help get these problems solved.
Bronx, Sunday 12:45 p.m., February 3, 1935.
I would like to first note that we received a very long letter from a friend, Bochovitz in Germany. From that letter we can tell that it is very bad in Germany. On account of that, my dear father decided to try to stay here in anyway possible and take care of the business. We will just keep trying to make a living. I believe that if he means it now, with good intentions we will be able to do it. I hope and I trust very strongly that G-d will help us. On Thursday my mother told me that they enjoyed the theatre very much. My mother told me also that it was not nice that my friend Walfeld did not sit in his seat at the theatre. My parents saw Helen, her mother, and Selma. Walfeld was sitting with Helen. They said that Walfeld was holding on and embracing Helen during the first half of the show. After that Helen and her mother came to sit with my parents for the second half and had [a] nice conversation. My mother thought Helen is not worth too much if she was sitting so close to Walfeld. I did not take that too seriously. I explained to my mother that I was not going steady with Helen, and I had no claim to her. I do not think that Walfeld is so nice if he tries to start with my girlfriend. It is very false and not honorable to me. I told Walfeld in a joke that he could go out with Helen if I broke up with her. He had answered that he did not want to take away my girl from me. He said he knows how bad that feels because someone once took away his girlfriend. But it doesn't only matter what he wants, it matters what she wants, and I don't see anything happening between them. I believe my mother exaggerates a little. On Thursday things were very bad at the business. We had to go often to see the attorney. Mr. Levine and his son are still coming and spending time in the business. My father does not want to be so hard and mean as to have the police remove them, which according to the notice he has the right to do. On Friday I had a bad cold, but I wanted to at least go out and have some intercourse with some lady. I went out and made the call and I went to the city and visited Emily Martin. She has a nice place. When I got there she was waiting dressed in her pajamas. Then I got undressed like she did and we had a good time together. Of course I did put on a raincoat for protection. When I was finished and dressed I paid her two dollars for the service. Then I went to a nice cafe in the area. I spent ten cents for a drink and cake. Then I saw a movie for twenty cents, "Peck's Bad Boy," with Jackie Cooper. Then I went home. On the way home on the subway I met a twenty-five-year-old Jewish girl, Frieda Linkov of 821 165th Street. Her family is from Vienna. She has been here with her mother for twenty-five years. I said I would call her sometime. Friday I worked all day. In the afternoon, Mr. Levine and his son and lawyer accompanied my father and I to our lawyers. Because they could not come to a peaceful settlement, they decided to go to an arbitration judge to get the matter settled and decide how much would be fair to pay off Mr. Levine. In the evening I bought myself a salve for my cut finger tips. Then I went to bed. Yesterday I worked all day. It was an exception, but it was a pleasure that we made some sales and were nicely busy. I got an awful cold, runny nose and a cough with it. Yesterday I was by the lawyer. My father gave me ten dollars for the last week. He also gave me yesterday ten dollars. After business I telephoned Helen that I wasn't going to the dance, but around 8 p.m. I would come to take her to a movie theatre. After dinner it was almost 10 p.m. because I worked late. I called Helen again, but there was no answer. Then I went to her, and I saw Walfeld there with his friend. They had just come from their business. They had also been at my apartment to visit. Then they left and I was alone with Helen. We kissed a little. It was too late to go to the movies. I did not want to see a midnight show. I promised that I would take her out in the afternoon. At midnight her mother went to bed and we went for a walk and to a cafe. Cakes, coffee, etc. cost fifty cents. Then I took Helen back home. She was very nice to me, even though I told her this could be the last night we would go out. We will remain friends and see what time will tell us. At a later date if we want to go out we will decide at that time and keep in touch. At the moment we will stop going out to better see how we feel about each other and what we want to do in the future. I went back in the house and we kissed. As I told Helen that, I had a lot of trouble. She told me to not take it too much to heart, everything will straighten itself out. She noticed that I have a cold. She said she didn't think I was sick, because if I was sick I couldn't kiss so good. Today I stayed in bed and rested up. My cold is cleared up. I do not want to stand Helen up. I want to take my lunch meal and then go to Helen. She is very nice, loving, and pleasant when she is with me by herself, but she is just also nice in general to too many; this is may be not so good. It is Saturday at 2 a.m. and I came back home from Helen's.
Bronx, February ??, 1935.
Sunday afternoon I went to Helen's, but she didn't
want to go to the movies in the afternoon. She preferred to go
walking. She got herself ready, and we went a little walking. Then
she brought things home for the evening meal. After she ate I had
tea with her. Then she came home with me so I could have my dinner.
Then we had a small conversation. Mr. Lachman was also visiting to
discuss the business and Mr. Levine. My mother asked me not to come
home late, as I was leaving with Helen. Helen added that she would be
satisfied if I just escorted her home because I have a cold and I
should go home early. I wanted to at least take Helen to a movie
theatre. Went to see, "Manhattan Romance," for seventy cents. Afterwards
I brought Helen home. On the way towards her apartment Helen gave me
a hug and a very nice kiss. We had tea at her house. Then Helen's
mother went to bed, and Helen changed from her dress into just a
housecoat. We sat on the sofa and kissed. Then I went home without
making any further rendezvous for the future. We planned to call if
we didn't meet at the English school. I came home by 1 a.m. Monday
morning my mother hollered at me for being out so late on Sunday
after I was out late on Saturday, Monday I worked all day and also
went to the attorney, Mr. Cahn. The Levine's attorney was there to
meet with us. The lawyers could not come to an agreement and decided
to go to a judge. In the evening I went to sleep after dinner.
Tuesday I was also the whole day in the business. This day our
accountant, Mr. Newman, spent several hours with my father and Mr.
Levine negotiating how to dissolve their partnership. They decided
that two impartial people should help resolve the partnership. To
listen to both of them and then come to a decision. We will both
have to have trust in whatever those two judges decide. Both my
father and Mr. Levine agreed. Mr. Newman then picked up the two
business friends that should help dissolve the partnership. They
both listened to my father's side of the story and Mr. Levine's side
of the story. We went to a nearby restaurant to have dinner. Then
the two people who had to decide said that my father should give Mr.
Levine seven hundred dollars as a pay out, and that his son would have nothing to do
with the business. Then we all went home and I went to bed. Mr.
Levine was advised that he would have to cancel his complaint
against me. On Wednesday morning I let our lawyer know that he has
to go to the court to represent me because Levine is taking back the
claim. Then Mr. Levine gave up all his rights and signed that he
gave up his rights. We went to the bank and Mr. Levine got his seven
paid out. I went with the accountant to open a new bank account for
just the Pressmans. Then I spent the rest of the day and the next
day with my father in the business. Today was very quiet at the
business, but yesterday and the day before we made some sales. This
afternoon my dear friend Helen telephoned. I was very glad about
that. She wanted to know how I was feeling and how was my cold. She
was concerned why I wasn't in class this week. I explained that Mr.
Levine had left the business, and on account of that I was more busy.
I proposed to Helen that she should come to my house at the end of
the week. But she did not promise because she felt it did not look
so nice for her to come to my house. She would rather I stay home by
myself, because I need the rest because of my cold and the extra time
I have been working. Then she promised that she would call me Sunday
to see how I am.
Yesterday evening Walfeld visited me. Then I wrote a letter to the radio station in order to get Walfeld some of the reduced price theatre tickets. Then I went to bed. Today I worked all day. We did, thank G-d, a little business and at least we made a first sale. February is usually the worst month of the year, so I don't expect too much. We also order merchandise, piece goods, which we hope to manufacture and make suits and clothes out of. My dear father will now invest a few more thousand dollars in the business since he does not need to worry about Mr. Levine trying to steal it out the back door. We are also investing more hope in the business. My father, thank G-d, is now considering the fact that America is the only land where a Jew can be treated as a man and can live. He appreciates that and does not think about Germany any more because that is gone, certainly as far as a Jew is considered. We also decided that my father will draw as little from the business in order to get along. I will also cut my salary to five dollars each week, so we do not have too many expenses. Today I paid one dollar for the repair of my pocket watch which I overwound. My parents are at the movies. My sister is sleeping. I am taking a bath and then going to bed. I think a lot about Helen, I don't know why. She is very lovely to me, and I enjoy being with her.
Bronx, Monday 9:10 p.m., February 11, 1935.
Saturday I worked all day, and we did nice business, and I got my five dollars for the week. After dinner I walked a few minutes and went to bed. I also was in the business on Sunday and Helen telephoned me. She told me that on Saturday she went [out] with two friends. She told me that she would go out with me wherever I want to take her, but she wants me to come call for her at her house. She thinks it does not look nice if she has to come to my house to get me. In the evening, after dinner I went to Helen's. On the way I bought a small but very fine box of candy for thirty-five cents. She got ready. Since I wanted to exchange my silk muffler for a woolen one, we stopped by my apartment. Some friends were visiting my parents. We had tea with them. Then we both went to a very nice movie for seventy cents. We saw a very nice love story called, "Here Is My Heart." Then I went with Helen to her apartment and we had tea and we danced to the radio music. Then when Helen's mother went to bed in the next room, we both made ourselves comfortable on the sofa and necked, even though my lower lip was cracked from the cold weather. Helen was first worried about the break in my lip. Then, after, we both enjoyed kissing a lot. I felt very satisfied even making love, sort of long-distance. Helen said that it was very nice that I did not telephone in the last week and when I did not come that week. She also told me that if she would have heard from me before, she would not have gone out on Saturday evening. She would've waited for me because she would rather go out with me. I told her it was all right, I was glad she went out and had a good time. I left around 1:30 a.m. and wished her the best with a Good night kiss. I promised I would let her hear from me and tell her if we could go out the following Saturday, I told her I did not know yet. I told her that she would hear from me this week, I would telephone her. She also showed me this week a gold coin that her rich brother gave her for her twenty-first birthday in January. She told me that the birthday in December, 1934 was not the real date. She asked me not to be angry. At this occasion she thanked me again for the leather pocketbook I had given her. She now accepted that birthday present. Since she explained it so nicely I could not be angry with her. I worked all day in the business. Today one of the tailors recommended to us came to discuss starting a men's clothing factory. This man has six-thousand dollars, and he wants my father to invest twenty-thousand dollars. My father is not interested in that proposition. My parents went out walking. My sister is sleeping.
Bronx, Tuesday 10:30 p.m., February 12, 1935.
Today I was the whole day in the business. I also ordered a spring top coat for myself. I was a little busy and did make some sales. I also paid five dollars today to the retail salesman union. I thought about Helen a lot today, and I don't really know why. Among other things I considered that Helen is really pretty short and that I don't want to marry her. I think that I just want to go out because I have nothing else really in common with her to do. As far as trying to live together more intimately, she is not interested in doing that either. Particularly since I know her mother and family so well, and I am afraid that if we get too intimate I may never be able to get rid of her. Besides that I should not be so interested because she always has other guys to go out with and last time with Walfeld in the theatre. I still should go out with other girls too, even though I don't have much opportunity to meet many girls. On the other hand I promised to let her hear from me this week. On Thursday is Valentine's Day. I like to consider the fact that I don't insist that she, as a young girl, should be sitting home just because I don't take her out. She is the only girl that I liked to go out with recently.
Bronx, Wednesday 9:50 p.m., February 13, 1935.
Today I worked all day and we sold nicely. In the evening I bought a heart-shaped chocolate candy for twenty-four cents. On top it said, "Valentine Greetings." I mailed the package without my name for eight cents to Helen. She should receive that tomorrow. It should be a nice surprise for her. I believe that Helen will know that I sent this to her. My parents went walking and my sister is asleep.
Bronx, Thursday 9:05 p.m., February 14, 1935.
Last night I listened to the radio and I heard that the German Richard Hauptmann was convicted to death for the fifty-thousand dollars ransom, kidnapping and killing of Charles Lindberg's baby in 1932. Today I worked all day. Because of the bad weather we didn't sell anything. Today I also took care of some money transfer for my father. This evening I called Helen as I promised. She thanked me immediately for the candy, even though I did not sign my name or mention it in conversation. I asked her to call me on Saturday afternoon because I am not sure if I will be able to go out on Saturday or Sunday evening. She promised that she would call. I first joked about not knowing anything about a candy, but Helen was not confused. I again have a cold and perspire.
Bronx, Monday 9:15 p.m., February 18, 1935.
Friday I worked all day. In the evening I took a bath and went to bed. Saturday I also worked all day. My mother came to help in the afternoon. Helen telephoned me in the afternoon. I told her that I hardly believe that I can go out with her, but I intend to come visit between 8 and 9 p.m. After dinner I changed and got ready because I came home late from business, even though it was not so busy. I arrived near 10 p.m. at Helen's. She was very nice. She showed me the candy and thanked me again for it. She had not opened it yet because she waited to open it and start it together with me. We sat around necking and kissing awhile. Then we went for a walk because the weather was nice. It was too late to go to a movie. The midnight show would be too late. Then we stopped into a restaurant for fifty cents. We returned to Helen's house. Her mother was already asleep. I was with Helen in Selma's room because she was out for the evening. We necked a little on Selma's bed. After spending some time like that together I went home around 2 a.m., It was a wonderful evening for me because I had a lovely time and was able to remain a gentleman and Helen was a lady. When I am with her I forget my business and everyday worries. On Saturday I did receive five dollars from my father. I also received four preferred reduced price tickets from the Yiddish theatre. I gave one of those to my mother who gave it to a friend. I gave another to Helen's mother. The other two were for my parents. Sunday I worked all day except for the time I walked with my mother looking for an apartment nearer to our business.
After closing the business we all ran around looking at apartments. After dinner I went over to Helen's as I had promised. We went to the movies for seventy cents to see, "Bordertown." It was a very nice film. On the way home from the movies I bought some pieces of cake for ten cents. Helen prepared tea and we had some cake and tea with her mother. Then Helen's mother went to bed. After that we had a little private conversation and we enjoyed each other's company and the privacy. Then I went into the bathroom and I put on one of my small raincoats just in case. I did not want to get too serious as I promised myself because as I said, if I go too far I will not be able to give up or get rid of Helen. We had a lot of pleasure by necking very seriously and lovely. After 1 a.m. I went home and promised I would call Helen this week and confirm that we would go out this Saturday, I was home and asleep by 1:30 a.m. Today I worked all day in the business and out looking at some apartments, but it is very hard to find apartments in the city that are not too expensive for us. My dear parents were unable to use the theatre ticket that I got for them because they had already seen the show that is playing. The two tickets went to waste, and my parents went out later to the movies. I hope that they enjoy it. Today behind the business we built a large cutting table. We were nicely busy and selling some garments. On Saturday evening and Sunday I went to bed late, so tonight I am going to bed early. My dear father gave me piece goods as a present to have a suit made. I brought this to the subcontractor to make a suit and a summer topcoat.
Bronx, Wednesday 11:00 p.m., February 20, 1935.
Yesterday I was the whole day in the business. We were quite busy preparing things to subcontract to our tailors. Because we were so busy with the manufacturing, we did not pay enough attention to the front of the business and we did not sell anything. At least some customers who put down a deposit paid and picked up their garments today. I listened to the radio. Then I went to the English class, but I went after classes were over to meet Helen. She was not there. Then I went home and to bed. Today I also was the whole day in the business. Today we did nice business and nice selling, even though we did not watch the front of the store much because we were busy with the manufacturing. This evening I went to Helen, she was not home. Selma was there with a friend and they were about to leave. She was willing to leave me the key for the apartment to wait for Helen, but I did not want to do that because I did not think it would like nice for a stranger to stay in an apartment. Besides that, if someone broke in that would not look right if I was there and I had the key. I had a radio bulb that I bought for ten cents for Helen's radio. Then I went to the evening school because Selma told me she might be there. Helen was not at the school. Then I went back to Helen's apartment; still she was not home. So I left a note at her door that I was there and that I left the radio lamp bulb inside the apartment. I asked her to telephone me because I want to take her out. As I came home I met my dear parents as they were going out for a walk, so I went with them.
Bronx, Friday, February 22, 1935.
Yesterday I worked all day in the business. Helen telephoned me and I told her that I thought I left the radio bulb at her house, but by mistake it was still in my pocket. Helen telephoned me again on Saturday evening, mostly she wanted to know if I was coming to take her out. I told her that I didn't know if I could go out with her, and that if she has a better opportunity she should go and have a nice time and not let me hold her up since I was unsure. But she said that she preferred to go out with me and she would wait to her from me. Then I promised her that I would go out with her, but she has to call Saturday night to see how I am doing at the store. I think I should finally quit with her, even though we had such a nice time the other night because I am not serious enough to really want to settle with her for good. But I do not have the opportunity, and I want to be nice about it. I want to be fair and decent with her, and I want to keep things nice because I really care for her in a way and I respect her because I know her whole family and I never got to the point where I wanted to try and live with her because I want to be her friend and respect her and act like a gentleman and not like a loafer. Even though I don't spend a lot of money on her, I believe she is entitled to have respect. Today I worked all day. After dinner I walked. I was near Helen's neighborhood. I dropped off the radio lamp for Helen's radio. I gave it to a young boy who delivered it to Helen's apartment. Then I went straight home. Helen did not see me because I did not want to make another evening out of it. Today there was an article in the newspaper with a picture of nice-looking Jewish girls who have come to America. I checked a telephone and found Jean Peltzman, 1254 Sherman Avenue, The Bronx. It states that she is a secretary, but she could also be a married woman. In the newspaper picture she looks very nice, and I may attempt to make an appointment to meet her next week.
Bronx, Monday 9:35 p.m., February 25, 1935.
Saturday I worked all day, and we made some sales. Towards the evening I called Helen and promised to pick her up around 9 p.m. I received five dollars from my father. I went to the barber, had dinner and got myself ready. I was at Helen's by 10 p.m. because we worked late. Helen told me that on Wednesday she had a very nice time with a gentleman she went out with, but she wouldn't tell me who or where. She also said that she was out on Friday, We went to a big ball in the neighborhood for $2.50 for both of us. I took along a couple of hundred business cards and gave them out to have some of my friends distribute them there for me. I saw many acquaintances and well-known artists at the Ball. We did not enjoy it too much. We danced together a little bit. Because the Ball is so big, there must have been one thousand people. With all the pushing and shoving you could hardly see anything. The coat check cost twenty cents, and took me a half-hour. Shortly after 1 a.m., to improve our moods, we went to a coffee house for fifty cents. Then we went to Helen's home. We were sitting together on the sofa in Helen's living room while Helen made herself comfortable and got into a housecoat instead of her dress. We did a little necking and making love, and we both got in a better mood. I explained to her that maybe it is not so good for her to stick with me. I respect her and really like her, but I do not want to get too deeply involved or mislead her. Considering all that, in my mind, I kept thinking that she had dates already on Friday and Wednesday. She was a little surprised that I was saying this and suggesting that we go out with others and sometimes go out and be good friends. I said I would call her from time to time and stay in touch. She agreed to all this and was very nice and suggested that I call Sunday evening and come to take her out. She said she would like to come visit my parents and visit my sister. At first I did not want to make a further appointment, but she asked me a couple of times and I did finally promise to do that, but there is a possibility that I may not come. We had a nice kiss good night; I came home around 4:30 a.m. Sunday I got up early to look for apartments in the city with my parents. I was in the business until the evening, and we did do a little selling. In the evening I told my parents the story that I wanted to bring Helen over. I went to Helen's and waited until she returned from her walk. Then we went together to my parents. My mother served us tea and cake and we danced a little. My little sister was glad that Helen came to visit her. Helen asked me if she should ask my mother if I did that right thing or the wrong thing on Saturday, Then we did not speak about it. I want to make myself a note that, among others, I had a conversation with my dear mother [who] believes that I don't love her so much anymore because many times I am not so nice to her when I hurry so quickly in the morning to business and I don't want to lose too much time. I did not say much about that because I cannot express the love everyday and repeat it all the time. I know that I love my mother and both my parents. I love them enough and would do anything in the world to please them or try to help them. I want my dear parents and sister to be well, feel good, and see them at their best. While my parents went for a walk I gave Helen a good kiss, so that she knows that I love her too. About 10:00 p.m. we left because I had to take Helen home. On the way we met her friend Rose who wanted to go walking with Helen. So Rose and Helen escorted me back to my house. Rose stayed in the street while Helen came in my house. In the hallway I promised that I would telephone her next week. But I told her that I don't believe that I will be able to take her out next week. I kissed her on the hand, and she left to walk with Rose. Today I worked all day and we did sell some things. For four dollars I bought three top shirts. I paid the union two dollars membership dues. My dear parents went to the theatre.
Bronx, Wednesday 10:00 p.m., March 6, 1935.
Last Tuesday I worked all day and then went to the business school. I gave business cards to various friends and acquaintances. I walked Helen home and we did a little necking and loving, and I went home around 11:00 p.m. I promised I would call her during the week because she said that she did not feel well and she was afraid she would have to stay home. Wednesday and Thursday I also worked all day. On Thursday evening, instead of calling, I went to visit Helen. She was in bed sick and her friend Rose was visiting. I sat awhile and then her rich brother came to visit. I left with Rose, and I spent a few cents on candy for her, and then escorted her home. I went home around 11 p.m. During this day we sold almost nothing. On Friday I worked all day, towards the evening customers came in and took our time but bought nothing. Afterwards we found out they were Italian crooks. While some of them kept the salesperson busy, the others stole goods and put them under their clothes. After work I went to visit Helen. Helen's mother opened the door. As I asked about Helen and how she was feeling, she told me that Helen was sleeping. Before I could answer, she already woke up Helen. A few minutes later Rose came. She would have woke up Helen anyway. We had some conversation, and then I went away. This evening I wore my new summer top coat that I just received from the tailor. My father paid the bill of fifteen dollars for me. I felt pretty good this week, Helen also felt better, so I did not take much of a chance when I kissed her nicely. Helen told me that on Saturday she wants to go out. She asked me to come up in the evening to visit her. I had to tell her that I did not know if I will be working late at the store. Anyway I had been there twice this week. She begged me again to please come. She also said that it doesn't matter if I come late, she would just like me to come. If I really don't want to come she will go to the movies with Rose, but she would rather stay at home and have me visit her. I then told her that I probably will not come, but she should still be careful and not yet go to the movies on Saturday evening. While her mother left the apartment for awhile I rubbed her back with rubbing alcohol to make her feel better, I hope. Then I waited until her mother came back, in order not to leave her sick laying alone. Then I went home. I spent about $1.50 for trimmings that were missing from the new suit being made for me. The rest my dear father paid for. He will also pay the tailor for making my suit. On Saturday, March 2nd, I worked all day in the business and came home late. I received five dollars for that week's work. After dinner I bought chocolate candy for forty-five cents and took it to Helen's apartment. Because no one was home, as I really had no right to expect, I left the package with the superintendent to give to Helen. I put a little note in asking her to call me on Sunday, then I went home. I went for a short walk with my parents because they were just leaving when I came home. Then I went to bed. Sunday I was in the business. After dinner I went to Helen's. She had telephoned me during the day as I had asked her. I cannot remember right now where we spent the evening because I am writing this so much later. I hope to fill in the pages that I did not use and explain whatever it is I did these few days. I believe we went out walking together, after that we had a little nosh and did a little necking. Helen explained to me that before going with Rose to the movies on Saturday the weather was nice, but she did feel bad that she was not home when I came. If she would've known that I was coming, she would've stayed home and waited for me. I was more interesting to her than the movie. After we went out for something to eat and drink I took Helen home. We did a little necking in her apartment. I also felt very good all around. After this I went home and went to bed. On Monday and Tuesday I worked all day. I noticed the beginnings of a cold and I was not feeling very well. Nonetheless I worked all day on Wednesday. I would like to note for myself that this week we found a new apartment at 9 Livingston Place, New York City. We rented it immediately so we could move nearer to the business. I called Helen to ask her to call me on Saturday evening, because I was not sure I was feeling well enough to see her.
New York City, Thursday 9:35 p.m., April 11, 1935.
I did complete my entry on March 6th, and when I have time I hope to continue to write here what is going on. I hope to continue and explain later in more detail. I made small notations on my Jewish calendar in order not to forget things that happened. By this time we must have moved into 9 Livingston.
Bronx, Sunday 11:30 p.m., September 1, 1935.
I would like to note here that until today I did write something almost every day, short by the dates of my Jewish calendar. On account of that I will start here with my correct diary to use it again. I hope from now on I will regularly continue to write into this diary. At a later date I hope at one time I will with G-d's help, also enter from the months of March until yesterday into this diary with the help of the notations I made on the Jewish calendar. This morning I rested at home. Slowly I got myself ready after the good time I had the night before. We ate lunch today in the park and stayed there awhile. Then I did some writing work. After dinner I saw two movies, "Men Without Names," and "Escapade."
Bronx, Monday 11:00 p.m., September 2, 1935.
Today was Labor Day. This morning when I got up my
mother gave me a note that said someone was by during the night
trying to deliver a telegram, but he could not come in. Then I
telephoned about that and found out that the night before a display
window in the business was broken and two men's suits were stolen
from the window. Our business was watched by the Holmes alarm
company. Then we went to the business and my mother came to help and
see what had happened in the morning. We also did some selling even
though business was rather on the quiet side. Around 5 p.m. we
closed the business and went home for dinner. Then we spent a little
time in the park. My sister went to bed, and my parents went to the
movies. I read the newspaper and added some addresses to our
customer lists. We are sending a general letter announcing a sale
in the store. We hope some of them will respond.
During the day I worked in the business. After dinner I did writing work; now I am going to bed.
Bronx, Wednesday 10:30 p.m., September 4, 1935.
We had a little activity in the business stocking the store for the coming winter season. In the afternoon I was at the main post office to buy stamps for the general mailing. Then I went walking. Then I went to Macy's and bought a pair of shoes for three dollars and a pair of slippers for one dollar and for sixty-five cents, fifty razor blades. After dinner I did some writing work.
Bronx, Thursday 11:35 p.m., September 5, 1935.
Today I finished about half of the letters to our customers and sent them out. Then I went to the business. After dinner I did writing work.
Bronx, Friday 11:30 p.m., September 6, 1935.
In the morning I did writing work at home. Then I went to the bank and to the business. After dinner I rested and prepared some more of our letters for our customers. I am almost done.
Bronx, Sunday 12:30 a.m., September 9, 1935.
Yesterday I was at the business and it went badly in comparison to the fact that we saw some customers in the streets going to other stores. We did sell a few things, but not really very much. I finished the rest of these letters in the morning about our sale and got them out. Altogether I sent five hundred and eighty-two letters. In the evening I got five dollars from my father. After dinner I read the newspaper and went to bed. Today I was also in the business. This is the first Sunday of the season that we keep open. We did have a little activity. After dinner I went to visit Mr. and Mrs. Tishler who I know from a resort in the Catskills when I was vacationing there in June. They were very nice and we had nice conversation and then we played cards together without money. We did have together coffee and cake. Now I came back to our house. Mr. Tishler is also a customer in our place of business.
Bronx, Tuesday 12:00 a.m., September 10, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the business. I am sorry to say it was very bad today. My dear father did not feel good, so he came to work later. Usually he comes early and opens up while I go to the bank and attend to other chores. After dinner I paid twenty cents to see Dolores Del Rio in "In Caliente."
Bronx, Tuesday 11:35 p.m., September 10, 1935.
I worked today. In the morning I changed the display windows. The windows came out very nice, if I have to say so myself. We did do a little business today. After closing the store I was with my father at the post office to attend to a savings account that earns interest there. After dinner two men from the Jupiter Art Fellows Club, which I am considering joining, came by to ask me some questions.
Bronx, Wednesday 11:15 p.m., September 11, 1935.
Today I was in the business, and like every other day I was at the bank first. In addition I visited some other banks to pick up interest and then put it in the safe at the bank. I also visited some tailors who are our subcontractors. I also prepared our city sales taxes for the new year. I did succeed in pulling in a few customers. I also felt lucky that I recognized in time that a plain-clothes detective was near the window standing there ready to give me a summons. I somehow recognized in his face and eyes, and I did not speak to him, and I did not get caught. After dinner my parents went to a movie theatre. I was reading a book. Yesterday my little sister started going to school again. I put covers on her school books for her before reading my book.
Bronx, Thursday 11:20 p.m., September 12, 1935.
Today I was in the business. After dinner I had to send out some letters that I prepared and got ready for all the tenants in the house where we live. Then I read the newspaper; now I am going to bed.
Bronx, Saturday 12:05 a.m., September 14, 1935.
Today I was in the business. As usual I had to take care of many different chores. All these chores are for nothing because the business is not sufficiently going good enough. After dinner I went to the theatre and saw Miriam Hopkins in "Becky Sharpe," for twenty cents.
Bronx, Saturday 11:40 p.m., September 14, 1935.
Today I worked until late in the evening, about 9 p.m., in the business. Last night another display window in the store was broken into. Two pair of suit pants were stolen. Today was difficult. We did not succeed in selling too much because of our salesman, Harry Karp. I had to bring customers in and do the selling. Cohen could not take care of a certain customer, and Karp did not take care of him either. I helped him and made a sale. Now we just ate our dinner. I received six dollars pocket money from my father. I was out walking with my parents for a short time, but it started to rain.
Bronx, Monday 12:10 a.m., September 16, 1935.
Today I was with my father in the business until 5 p.m. We had a little activity and sold a few items. After dinner my parents went out with my sister. I went to 72nd Street and also went to visit a lady of the night, Emily Martin, at 122nd Street. I used a condom as always and had a good time. I paid her two dollars. I tell her my name is Harry Green. This time I gave her my address at 810 Broadway so she can write me if she moves. She does not leave her name, just her new phone number. I am sorry, but I had to do that because I need once in a while to get some release, but I don't want to get involved with anyone particular. My health demands that time to time I get some intercourse. Then I went for forty cents to the movie theatre and saw two lovely films -- John Bowles in "Orchids to You," was one of them.
Bronx, Monday 10:45 p.m., September 16, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the business. We got a new plate glass window to replace the broken one. We also did some selling. After dinner I started to prepare a homemade New Year's card for Rosh Hashanah next week. Rosh Hashanah [cards] are available for a few cents, but it gives me pleasure to make it for myself for my parents and my sister because I really make it full of love and good wishes for my parents and my sister. I also want to go register at night school to improve my English, but most of the time I come home from work too late. I must try harder to improve my knowledge, particularly my English, so I want to get registered. Knowledge is power and might; I want to get prepared with better knowledge.
Bronx, Tuesday 11:45 p.m., September 17, 1935.
Today I worked all day. We did make a few sales. My
father bought a lot of merchandise today at a big auction. Today we
also had a customer from the German Jewish Club. I promised him that
I would attend the meeting and lecture there the next day. I expect
to meet him there, and I hope to make a customer out of him. At the
same time I hope to do a little advertising for our store there.
After dinner I worked a little on my Rosh Hashanah cards for my
parents and my sister. I fill in and paint different colors.
Today I worked all day in the business. My father invested an additional fifteen hundred dollars into the business from a private account of his personal money. I inventoried the clothes my father bought at the auction yesterday. We did make a few sales today, even though we were so busy with the new merchandise. After dinner I went to the German-Jewish Club for a movie and lecture about Palestine. I gave out some business cards to friends at the club. Then I spent some time with the men who had been in our store this week. I made an appointment with a customer for Friday. After that I went home. I just arrived home late because I got on the wrong train, and it took some extra time. Now I am going to bed because tomorrow we have to go to work early to unpack, sort and price the new merchandise.
Bronx, Thursday 10:25 p.m., September 19, 1935.
Today I was in the business with my father early. We had a lot to do with the new merchandise to get it in with the regular stock. Even my mother came down to the store to help us out. She also brought along the money that we had to deposit in the bank. I had forgotten to take that money today. Because I was busy taking care of a customer, my mother gave the money to my father, and he gave it to me later to be deposited. Today during dinner we found out that there was some mistake with the deposit. My father thought that I had lost ten dollars, but then we found out that I still have five dollars. Tomorrow we need to check out what happened. I am pretty sure that I lost nothing, because the money seemed correct when I went in to make the deposit.
Bronx, Friday 10:00 p.m., September 20, 1935.
Today the business was very quiet. My friend from the German Jewish Club came today and bought a winter coat and placed a down payment. I agreed to put an ad in the German-Jewish paper for the month of October. After dinner I rested, and now I am going to bed.
Bronx, Saturday 10:40 p.m., September 21, 1935.
Today I worked all day. My dear mother was there too in the afternoon, but she could not help too much, and I was a little overloaded because we did not have any sales help. Morris Cohen was our only salesman and he is not worth too much. Today he was particularly worthless, he gave very poor service; a number of customers were unattended to and we had to let them go. Comparatively, for such a busy day we did not really sell much because too many customers were lost. I did make a sale to one customer from the German-Jewish Club who got our advertising letter. My father gave my five dollars.
Bronx, Sunday 11:45 p.m., September 22, 1935.
Today I worked all day with my father in the business. Morris Cohen was also there today. Next week we will be closed for Rosh Hashanah. We sold a few garments, but my father was very aggravated because it seems we are on the wrong side of the street. By comparison with the people who were in today, we did not do enough business. Tonight for twenty-five cents I went to the movies and saw, "Front Page Woman," and "Mad Love," with Peter Lorre. My dear mother told me that today somebody had come by to see me from the Jupiter Club. He will probably come another time.
Bronx, Tuesday 12:00 a.m., September 24, 1935.
Today I worked all day. We had some activity in the store and sold a few items. We also had a comptroller from the salesman's union come check up. I brought my spring coat into the business and tried to sell it to one of the customers in the store, then I brought it back home. After business we went with Morris Cohen to the salesman union for a special meeting. The union decided that Cohen is not to be paid any longer, instead we should try to let him work part-time, perhaps he will improve. We just came home from that meeting, and now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Tuesday 10:25 p.m., September 24, 1935.
Today I worked all day. This morning Morris Cohen approached a detective and tried to pull him in as a customer, we received a summons for that. Business was slower today. Today my mother told me that someone came again from the Jupiter Club, but missed me again.
Bronx, Wednesday 11:40 p.m., September 25, 1935.
Today I worked all day. We did make a few sales, but in comparison with the last few days, it was not so good. Maybe it is because of the upcoming holidays. Today an older fellow from the Jupiter Club came by to ask me if I want to become a member of the club. He told me I would hear from the club.
Bronx, Thursday 11:35 p.m., September 26, 1935.
Today I worked all day, but the business, I am sorry to say, was very, very poor. Not only was our business slow, along the whole street, in all the men's clothing stores, there was nothing going on. Yesterday was a little too warm; the weather hurts the business. This morning I was in court for Morris Cohen. It was a Jewish judge, a very fine gentleman. The detective testified nicely that it was not so bad. The judge, considering the upcoming High Holidays, and the fact that we were just trying to make a living, dismissed the case. All the other pulled-in salesmen thanked the detective. After dinner I went to the movies for twenty cents and saw a very nice picture that showed how good a mother means good at all times, and how seldom the children understand. Then I went to temple and bought a holiday ticket for one dollar. Now I have a nice Rosh Hashanah card for my parents and sister. I expect to mail it to them tomorrow. I also have a Rosh Hashanah card for Helen Novick that I will send tomorrow.
Bronx, Sunday 10:25 p.m., September 29, 1935.
Today is the second day of Rosh Hashanah. On Friday morning I mailed the Rosh Hashanah cards for my family and to Helen Novick, and also about a dozen cards for some friends. Then I spent the whole day in the business. When I came home in the evening I was very tired, and I had to wait for a long time by the barber shop for my haircut. I did not have time left to go to the temple that night. My parents liked my Rosh Hashanah card very much. Besides that I did not feel too good. I have not felt well all week. My throat was scratchy, I have a little temperature, and I think I have a cold. On Saturday I woke up late and did not feel well. My parents took my sister to the movies, and I went to the temple. In the afternoon we all laid down for a rest. Then we all went walking. I felt temperature again. After dinner I went to 71st Street to see Emily Martin, the lady of the night. I vomited up my supper, but I felt better afterwards. I wanted intercourse, but I did not want to get involved in any relationship. I had a good time with condom protection. I paid her two dollars. While I am talking about money, I want to make a note that on Friday evening I got five dollars from my father even though the business was closed on Saturday and Sunday for the holiday. I went home from 71st Street but saw a movie first to be able to tell my parents where I was. I saw a very nice picture, "Love Me Forever." At 1 a.m. I went home. The clocks were set back one hour, so it was really 12 midnight when I came home and went to bed.
This morning I went to temple with my sister to pray and to hear the shofar blow. In the afternoon my parents and Sonia went to Brooklyn to visit Aunt Gold and her family. After dinner my sister went to bed and my parents went to the movies, and I am going to bed. I hope to begin a good healthy happy New Year and to be a good son to my parents. I wished my dear parents and my sister a New Year and following good years in my card to them.
Bronx, Monday 10:35 p.m., September 30, 1935.
Today I worked all day, we did make a few sales. Then I went out walking with my parents in the evening. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Tuesday 10:45 p.m., October 1, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the business. In the morning it was a little cooler and we had some activity. It got warmer in the afternoon, and the business was dead. After dinner I listened to the radio. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Thursday 12:05 a.m., October 3, 1935.
Today I spent the whole day in the store. We had a little bit of business, but very little considering the fact that the season is already supposed to start. After dinner I went to the German-Jewish Club. It wasn't a regular meeting today, but a few people leisurely were getting together, playing table tennis or just having conversation. I met some people there. The October newspaper was coming out soon with our ads. I gave some business cards out to acquaintances for our store. Then afterwards I went with some young fellows to a cafeteria for something to drink. I got acquainted with some of the other young people.
Bronx, Thursday 10:35 p.m., October 3, 1935.
Today I worked all day. After dinner I went out walking and picked up some information about a course to learn how to drive. It would cost ten dollars. I think when I learn how to drive, my parents will allow me to buy a cheap old car to drive around. It will then be easier to visit some of our friends and relatives and that way have more acquaintances and connections for our store. I hope that will work out successfully. I also hope that the expense of having a car will not be too big. I am now reading the newspaper a little bit. I see that there is the beginning of war between Italy and Ethiopia.
Bronx, Friday 9:30 p.m., October 4, 1935.
Today I worked all day. We made some sales. I am going to take a foot bath and go to bed. I would like to note that I really still do not feel too good. When I get up in the morning I feel like I have temperature. In the evening I also feel like I have a chill. I must have this cold about a week. I hope it will get better soon. I am going to bed soon. Good night.
Bronx, Saturday 11:10 p.m., October 5, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store. We saw a lot of customers in the street. We were pretty busy ourselves too. We sold about twenty items, which is good for our store. My father, Cohen and I were in the store. If we had a good salesman, or at least a better salesman instead of Cohen, we would have sold more. Nonetheless, we thank G-d that we did that well. About 9 p.m. my father wanted to close the store, and he went home. I stayed a little while longer with Cohen, and we sold two more items. I got seven dollars from my father today. I am sorry that I do not feel too good, like I have temperature and the grippe or flu. I hope that with G-d's help I will get by and get better. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Tuesday 1:30 a.m., October 8, 1935.
On Sunday I was in the store and we sold a few things. Every evening lately I feel very bad with a temperature when I go home. When I came home on Sunday we ate dinner together. Then I gave my father my ticket to synagogue so that he could go because I was not able to go. My father and my sister went to temple for Kol Nidre. It was Erev Yom Kippur. I went straight to bed. My mother made me a few warm compresses. This morning I also did not feel good. My dear parents did not allow me to fast today because I did not feel good and was sick. I believe that I have a cold in my bones. But in the afternoon I felt a little better and I was with my parents and sister out for a walk. In the afternoon my parents and sister went to a movie while I was in bed and slept. I woke up and felt lonesome, so I wrote in my diary and read what I had recently written. I did a lot of thinking about Helen Novick. After that my dear parents came back. All together we ate dinner. I shaved and went out to telephone Helen. She said that she did not feel good because she did fast, and in the evening she ate too much. She said I should come to her, so that we could go out walking together. I went to her and she was already feeling a little bit better because she had vomited. Helen was home with her friend and her mother. Her girlfriend went away, and we two went out walking. She thanked me for the Rosh Hashanah card and asked why I did not have my address on it. After that we went out walking, and we went on my suggestion to a movie for fifty cents. We saw Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, et al. Around midnight we went home, and I spent a little time with her in the kitchen. She explained that she does not want me to go with her against the wishes of my parents. For that reason, Walfeld asked her out, but she never went out with him. After that I gave her a few kisses, and she kissed me back. I left without making any future rendezvous. We said good night. Now I am going to bed.
Bronx, Tuesday 11:15 p.m., October 8, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store and felt a little better. Today we had a window trimmer in the store. I had a lot of work helping him. We sold a few garments, but in comparison with the business on the other side of the street, it was very little. After dinner I was tending to some errands. I also telephoned Helen today because yesterday she did not feel too good, and because she told me yesterday the story about Walfeld. She was upset that I had not called her for a long time to even see how she was feeling. I asked how she felt, she said that she was feeling better. She also asked me how I felt. I asked her if she had anything else to say. She asked me if I wanted to come to her on Saturday evening. She asked me to call her on Friday before to let her know because I did not promise that I would come, but I did promise to call. I spent a few minutes out walking with my parents. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Thursday 1:25 a.m., October 10, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store. Business was very bad. After dinner I went to the Jewish-German Club and paid twenty-five admission for the lecture in English on Judaism and nssimilation. I also tried to get in contact with some of them about our ad in the German-Jewish Newspaper and call their attention to it. After this I went with Cita Lichtenstein to a restaurant. For twenty-five [cents], I had cake and coffee. We had a nice conversation. Besides that she knows all the union and our ads, she said she would try to make them pay attention to that. I met Ms. Lichtenstein in the club the last time I was there. She is pretty nice. She has been here six years from Germany. She is active at the club. She looks nice, speaks nicely, and is perhaps a little older than I am. Besides that she just interests me very little, but it is nice to spend a little time with her, which is satisfactory and enough. After that I escorted her home. There, nearby, we made up to meet her again at the club. Then I went home. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Thursday 10:25 p.m., October 10, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store. We did sell a few garments. I paid thirty-five cents for white shoe polish to clean my shoes. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Saturday 11:55 p.m., October 12, 1935.
The first day of Sukkos starts on Friday, Columbus Day. Today I worked all day in the store, and we had some activity. When I came home around 9 p.m. I called Helen Novick and promised to come to visit her on Sunday, Then I went home and to bed. Today I worked all day in the store, and we had a pretty nice day, even if we did not have any extra help or the salesman. After 9 p.m. we closed and went home. Our salesman, Morris Cohen, will not be in the business tomorrow because it is his day off. Today I received ten dollars. I am getting something to eat and taking a foot bath. I am very tired. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Monday 3:05 a.m., October 14, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store until 9 p.m., My dear mother and sister had just returned from visiting Aunt Gold and her daughter who had just given birth to a little boy. My mother worked a little while in the store with us. The business was busy, and we sold a few garments. In the morning we had sold nothing, we had bad customers. After dinner I shaved and got myself ready. Shortly after 8 p.m. I went to Helen's. Helen's mother went out. I was alone with Helen. We went both for seventy cents to the movie theatre. There were nice comedies. Around midnight we went home to her house. Her mother was already sleeping. I was sitting around with Helen, talking in the kitchen. We shared an apple. Then we were sitting in the living room talking further and necking and kissing. We were sitting around lovey-dovey. I had more than a good time just being with her. Then around 2 a.m. I went home. It seemed we both enjoyed a wonderful [evening], even though we were both dressed and did not do anything too extreme. I promised I would call her on Thursday. I see her the first three evenings of the week at the evening school. I had to wait a long time for the street car, so I got home late. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Monday 9:45 p.m., October 14, 1935.
This morning as I got up, I am sorry to say, I learned from my mother the following information: After I left last night a policeman came by and notified my parents that a show window was broken at the store. My father had to go back to the business about the break-in, which was supposed to have happened around 8:30 p.m. The policeman had surprised two black men doing the job as they stole a winter coat, a jacket, and a vest. As the policeman chased them, they threw away the jacket and the vest. They had an escape car and got away. The watchman from the next corner store was shooting at the guy running with the coat because the guy did not stop when he called him. We already had a new show window put in today, and I spent the whole day in the business. Business was very bad. Today in the business I received a letter from Emily Martin, the lady of the night. She had moved and was letting me know. She wrote to me under the name Harry Green. I told her that she could write to Charles Clothes. I went to her every once in a while when I thought the emergency was so great and I needed to. I feel that I am doing that for my health. Now that I am going out again with my Helen, it is sometimes like magic. For example, I asked when she came home from the movies on Saturday night. She said I should not worry about her. When I just hug and kiss her, it is better than making love with some other girl.
Bronx, Tuesday 9:50 p.m., October 15, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the business. I am sorry to say the business was bad because since the beginning of this week the weather was too warm and today was also very warm. Besides that the other side of the street was busier. Towards evening it got a little colder. Tomorrow cold weather is also predicted. We hope that this will help. After dinner I had picked up my good watch from the watchmaker, paying $1.50. My parents went to the movies, I hope they will at least have a little pleasure there and forget their worries. My dear little sister is sleeping nice and quiet. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Thursday 11:00 p.m., October 17, 1935.
Yesterday I worked all day in the business, and I spent twenty-five to have my watch chain repaired. We put the new advertising signs in the business, but the business was very bad yesterday and today . I went a little before closing the business home because I am getting ready to go to the German-Jewish Club. I did not have to pay to enter because I intend to become a member there. Yesterday a gentleman gave a lecture about the situation in Ethiopia. He had been there last year and was showing movies about the lives of the blacks in Ethiopia. After the lecture I went with a few other young people and had coffee. Everyone paid for themselves. Afterwards, one gentleman with a car took some of us home. He brought me and one girl to a good connecting subway station. I was home by 1 a.m. and went to bed.
Today I was also the whole day in the store. Sorry to say, as mentioned, that it is continuously very bad. I sent my father home early today in order to give him a chance to get ready to go out with my mother as they planned to the early movies. I worked until about 7:30 in the store. I did a little bit of selling, but not too much. Still it makes me feel good to do a little business to show that I could bring a little more money home. Then I ate dinner. My parents went to the theatre. I hope that they will enjoy it. I would like to make myself a note that after closing the business, before I went home, I called Helen and promised to come to her Sunday after dinner. After dinner I washed my dishes and some small items so mother will be glad when she comes home that the kitchen is nice and clean. My dear sister sleeps nice and quietly. When Sonia is good and healthy and sleeps, she is the best child in the world. I want to note that Helen told me that Saturday evening is Simchas Torah. I will not be able to go to the temple for Simchas Torah, so she said she would kiss the Torah for me. I promised to give her back that kiss on Sunday. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Friday 9:50 p.m., October 18, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store. The business is not really too lively on account of the warm weather again. It should be much better on a Friday night at the end of the month. For sixty-five cents I bought a box of chocolate candy and made it as a package addressed to Helen. The people where I bought it promised to mail it for me. Today we had a man put movable iron gates in front of the store vestibule so that we can sleep at night when the burglars are out breaking show windows. Besides that, after the end of the month, we will not have any more insurance; we will save the premium from that policy. After dinner I cleaned the kitchen because my mother did not feel good. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Saturday 11:55 p.m., October 19, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the business. The weather was not cold enough, but in comparison with other days, we were nicely busy. Ben Levine came in today to help out. He earned six dollars. Nonetheless there was no big fortune because one good day cannot save the season or the business. Today I also had a customer from the German-Jewish Club. I got eight dollars from my father today. He gave me two dollars less because the business was poor. I never complain anyway. I pay gladly whatever in the business without telling my father to pay me back for some small item. But today he gave me less because I spent too much time with a customer from the German-Jewish Club, but the customer bought and paid very well. This morning a few detectives came by and gave summons to some stores for pulling in customers. I did not approach any detectives to speak to them because I had a feeling about why they were there. There were three at our show window. After dinner I went to the barber for a haircut. Now I am going to bed. For tomorrow my dear father arranged for Ben Levine to come help in the store so I can have my day off tomorrow. Later today my father will also take some time off. Morris Cohen is off tomorrow, like every Sunday,
Bronx, Monday 10:45 p.m., October 21, 1935.
Sunday was my day off and my dear father went to the business with Ben Levine. They did, thank G-d, have some sales. I made myself comfortable. I was walking the the park with my sister in the morning. I took some pictures with my old photo camera, but I was not sure if my camera is still working. I gave it away today to get developed. In the afternoon I lay down and rested. After that I readied myself, after my father came home and after dinner, [and] at around 6 p.m. I went to Helen. She was sleeping on her sofa when I got there. She told me that on Saturday night she went out dancing. I did not like that very much. She made herself ready, and before she put her lipstick on I gave her a good kiss because I don't always want to kiss her lipstick. For seventy cents we went to the movie theatre after I had been drinking some wine that her mother had offered me in celebration of Simchas Torah. We saw two good films one was, "The Dark Angel," with Fredric March. By midnight we went home to Helen's. Her mother was sleeping. Helen made tea for the two of us. Together we read the newspaper (German). My mother told me she saw Helen and the Yiddish theatre embracing with Walfeld during the three months when I did not see her. Finally, Helen told me that she did go out with Walfeld, but that she loves me. That time when she read that article from my mother in the Jewish paper, she got sick from the aggravation. In order to make it easy for me, she told me that she was finished with Walfeld and that she did not want to go out with me if it is against my parents wishes. Now she still does not want to go out with me if it has to be against my parents' wishes. She said that I don't earn real money, and I don't make a living. She said that she does not want the promise of getting married or going steady. She is willing to just go out with me, and she is not going out with the other fellows. We did not resolve anything with certainty. We did not break up, we loved each other. We promised to just go out together, and hopefully everything will be all right. The first three days each week I will meet her in the evening school. I will call her before because the German-Jewish Club is having a dance that I invited her to. At 4 a.m. I came home and went to bed. I slept well and got up at 8 a. m. to go the business. It was bad today until 7 p.m., we sold nothing. After 7 p.m. we did pretty good and sold some garments. I came home around 9 p.m., Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Tuesday 10:55 p.m., October 22, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store. My father started private lessons today to learn English. He left early today to meet his teacher at our home. I made a few more sales while I saw with our salesman, Morris Cohen. Lately Morris Cohen is very bad and quite hard to work with, as my father admitted to me tonight. He ruins too many customers. I must take the customers over and also try to sell them something. After dinner I was out walking. Shortly after 10 p.m. I called Helen because I figured that she would be coming home from evening school at that time. She was not home. I left Selma a message for her about the German-Jewish Club Dance tomorrow evening. I said I would call tomorrow evening in order to confirm where we would meet. Then I went for a little walk with my parents. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Thursday 10:00 p.m., October 24, 1935.
Yesterday I worked all day in the store it was very quiet on account of the warm weather. In the evening before closing the business I went to deliver a suit to a customer at a hotel. Then on the way home I telephoned Helen and asked her to meet me at the subway a little later to go to the German-Jewish Club by train. I went home and changed. I met Helen at the subway station after waiting a few minutes, as we had arranged. We went together to the club. I paid seventy cents admission and twenty for coat check. The orchestra was very nice and we enjoyed dancing together. We had a nice, pleasant evening. I also had an opportunity to distribute some of my father's business cards to some friends. There was a song and dance show. Shortly after midnight we had cake and coffee together for twenty [cents]. Then we went to Helen's house. I was sitting a few minutes with Helen. I sat a few minutes and then I kissed her good night and came home by 2 a.m., I would like to make myself a notation that yesterday, as I was in the neighborhood for the auto driving school, I bought for $1.10 a driving permit which is good for ninety days. It will allow me to have driving lessons. When I get my day off I will go to Kober, my friend from Berlin, and he promised me that he would teach me to drive a car. Today I worked all day in the store, which I am sorry to say is still very quiet. After business hours and closing the store I called Helen to make sure that she was able to get up this morning and that she is feeling better. She asked me for an appointment, and I promised that I would come visit her on Sunday. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
(I met Helen Wurman in August, 1937 in South Fallsburg, which is not the same Helen Novick who I talk about in my tape.)
Bronx, Friday 10:35 p.m., October 25, 1935.
Because my mother was feeling ill for a few days with a backache, this morning she was hardly able to get up. So I took time off this morning, after my father had already left for business, to find a doctor who would make a house call. The doctor prescribed some medicine, and with G-d's help she should feel better soon. The doctor said she is suffering from a cold, but she is otherwise healthy. He said she should rest a little and not work too hard. I paid the doctor two dollars, and I paid sixty-five cents for the medicine. To cheer my mother up, on the way back from the pharmacy I bought her artificial roses for twenty [cents]. I am staying home so that my mother does not have to get up to do things. I prepared breakfast and served it to her in bed. When my sister Sonia came from school I prepared them both a lunchtime meal. Then I brought my sister back to school. I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. I attended to my mother to make sure that she always had a foot warmer in her bed. Then I took a little rest. I had to wait until my sister was ready to come back from school so that I could go and pick her up from school. I made everyone a drink and served it with cake. Then I went to the business because my sister could stay home and my mother could continue to rest in bed. She was already feeling a little better and more comfortable. In the business it was very bad because of the bad weather. There was not much to attend to. In the evening we all ate something that I prepared. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Saturday 11:05 p.m., October 26, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store. Harry Karp worked in the store all day as an extra salesman, but we did about half as much business as last Saturday, After dinner I was a little busy grocery shopping because my mother is still not feeling well. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Monday 9:20 p.m., October 28, 1935.
Yesterday I worked with Harry Karp in the store. Business was very poor, but we did make a few sales. Around 3 p.m. I paid him for his extra time, and then I was in the store alone until 5 p.m. I did make a few more sales. Then I went home. After dinner I got myself ready to go to Helen's. I arrived there around 8 p.m., Then we went together to the movies for seventy cents. For a few cents I bought some chocolate. We saw, "Broadway Melody of 1936," a lively comedy show and another comedy picture. It was very entertaining. At midnight we returned to Helen's. She made tea and together we drank it. We got comfortable on the living room sofa and talked some more. I noticed that Helen seemed a little depressed or worried. She didn't want to kiss. During the conversation she mentioned that she was sitting home. Her mother warned her that she was not going out enough with her other friends, and that she was just waiting around for me. Her mother reminded her that at one time I left her for a couple of months, and then I came back to go out with her again. Besides that, she met a gentleman a few months ago on summer vacation who is very nice to her and said that he wanted to marry her. He offered her everything that she needs. He has taken her out a few times. He still continues to call her. His sister and Helen's mother are trying to talk her into dating him. Helen says she does not love him. For that reason Helen asked me for my opinion. I love Helen for myself, but I answered her that if she thinks that this man is better for her, and if he can make her happy, I do not want to stand in her way. I believe that her mother means well, and that it may be good for Helen if she could learn to love him. Helen did not want to hear that from me. She asked me if I would marry a rich girl, even if I didn't love her. I told Helen the truth, that I would not marry her because I would not feel that I was selling myself for money. But I told her that she should not worry about what I would do, and she should do what is best for her. She should maybe do what her mother advises and maybe learn to love this man. No one should tell her what to do. I would certainly wish her good luck if she should marry the other man. Helen did not want to her that. She said that this twenty-six-year-old man makes a good living, but he is not interesting to her. She said she will not have anything to do with him. She said that she loves me, she only wants to know if I love her and want to go out with her steady. As we spoke a week ago, she said that she wants to go out exclusively with me. She also repeated that she doesn't want me to go steady with her against the wishes of my parents. She said she wanted my parents to know that we are going steady and that she would be able to come and visit. After this discussion we had a little more conversation. I told her that I had talked with my father and the business was not very good. I mentioned getting another job to earn some money, for instance, as Helen's brother, Sam Novick, who is only in America a short time earns good money. We discussed maybe meeting with Sam to discuss if he could help me get a job out of my father's business. Maybe Sam and I could prepare to do some business together. Helen also asked me if I also have a little money to do a business with her brother. She also said that she has a few thousand dollars, but not too much. Then we were sitting together, cuddling. It started to get pretty late on account of our long discussions and conversations. Then we explained that we both love each other and we kissed good night. I promised that I would call her in order to arrange a meeting with her brother Sam. I was home shortly before 4 a.m. and I went to bed.
Today I worked all day in the store. I am sorry to say that on account of the warm weather business was poor. After the business was closed I called Helen. She was feeling good and she said that she would try to set up a meeting with her brother Sam in Brooklyn, where he lives, or in the Bronx, where she lives. She said she would like to get me some more information. I will call her on Friday evening to find out what information she had gotten. She would like me to come earlier on the following Sunday so that we have time enough to discuss this business in greater detail and still spend some time together and go out for our personal pleasure. She reminded me that it is just about one year since we got acquainted with each other and she wanted to go to a nice large movie theatre on Broadway with a vaudeville show in the afternoon because the matinees have a lower admittance. That way we would be ready early in the evening for our meeting. Helen also wants to help us get established. Today my mother paid me back the money that I laid out for the doctor and the medicine. I did not want to take the money back from her, she insisted. After dinner my parents went to the movies. I hope they will have a nice evening and forget about the worries about the business. Now I am going to bed. I would like to make a note for myself that I love my parents and don't want to give them aggravation, but I hope that things will work out and my dear parents and my lovely little Helen, who I hope to have to myself. I hope to make them all happy and not go against my parents wishes.
Bronx, Tuesday 8:55 p.m., October 29, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store. Business is still very bad. I would like to make myself a notation that I made a mistake with the pictures I had taken with my sister, and I had used previously developed film discs, so nothing came out. Now I am going to bed after I take a bath. Good night.
Bronx, Thursday 12:15 a.m., October 31, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the store, it is very dead in the business. Partially this is because of last week's bad weather. I left the business a little earlier this evening to go to the German-Jewish Club. I would like to make a notation for myself that my father today contacted an auctioneer at the business who gave us an offer for our entire inventory. My father did not want to sell it to him. We will consider his offer, but first we want to run a sale. Afterwards we will make a decision. Around 7 p.m. I called Helen and I heard that she is fine. I promised her that on Friday I will call her again in order to make a date for the coming Sunday and also maybe meet her brother, Sam Novick. Afterwards I ate dinner and paid twenty-five to listen to a lecture at the German-Jewish Club about the situation in Germany from a former German attorney, Gierhart Seiger. I listened to his lecture. I also met there some old friends, Sid Walfeld and Leah. I went to the subway with them.
Bronx, Thursday 10:20 p.m., October 31, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the business, and the weather was so bad that we didn't even make one sale. After dinner I read the newspaper. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Saturday 11:15 p.m., November 2, 1935.
Yesterday I worked all day in the store and it is still very bad. As my father went to his English lesson in the evening, I remained with the salesman in the business. We did a little bit of selling. After that I called Helen Novick and heard that she is well. We made an appointment that I should come to pick her up on Sunday afternoon. Perhaps in the evening we will go to her brother Sam's house in Brooklyn to discuss possible business prospects between him and me, or just for me alone. Helen was willing to meet me at the subway. Since I don't know exactly when I will finish at the business, I said I would come to her house to pick her up. After dinner I went immediately to bed.
Today I worked all day in the business. We had a salesman as an extra helper who worked with us on a percentage basis. Due to the poor business, he earned very little with us. Because of the warm weather, we did not have too many sales. We locked up at 9 p.m. and went home. On the way home I picked up my hat from the cleaners for fifty cents. My father gave me only eight dollars for this week because the business is going so bad. I am satisfied because I know that my father realizes that I am working hard enough the whole week for it. I would like to make myself a note that the last few days I feel like I have a cold coming on again. I am perspiring a lot, and my mother suggested that next week I should go to the doctor and get a good examination that I haven't had for a while. Maybe he can give me something so I don't feel so weak. I took a little rest and listened to the radio. Now I am going to bed. Tomorrow is my day off, [and] Cohen will be working with my father. I hope they have some business. Cohen will have his day off later during the week.
Bronx, Wednesday 9:00 p.m., November 6, 1935.
Sunday my father and Cohen were in the business, and I had my day off. In the morning I was walking in the park with my sister. For a few cents I let my sister ride on a horse. In the afternoon I got myself ready and went to Helen's at 3 p.m. I waited there while she ate something and got herself ready. We went to Broadway, and for seventy-five cents we went to the Roxy Theatre and saw a beautiful vaudeville show and a wonderful film, "Trans-Atlantic Tunnel." After 8 p.m. we went out to a fine Jewish Kosher restaurant. For $1.30 we both ate well. Then we went home to Helen's house. We arrived by 10 p.m. We were on the sofa sitting around in the living room, necking and enjoying ourselves. We told each other that we loved each other. Around midnight her mother came home and made tea for us and served it to us. Then Helen's mother went to bed and we had a little bit more privacy. Around 1 a.m. I left and promised to visit during the week. Helen told me that last Saturday night she had stayed home and was bored because she waited for me the whole last week. She said that she loves me and doesn't want to go out with anyone else.
On Monday I got up early and opened the business. Business was very weak. My father went home earlier to get his English lesson, and I did a little selling before going home. After dinner I listened to a little radio and went to bed.
Yesterday was Election Day. I did not feel well because of my cold, I was feverish and had a temperature. My skin was very pale. Under my knees I felt wobbly and weak. I wanted to go to the doctor, as I had prepared myself last week. Because my dear father had to have his English lesson which I didn't want him to miss, so I did not want to disturb his plans, so I went directly to the business to open it. We had a little more activity at the store than usual. My father left early again to get his English lesson. I stayed until closing time. There was no business when I was there with Cohen, so I called Helen and promised that I would call her again Thursday evening to discuss an appointment to get together on Friday evening. We said that we don't have to go to a movie, she is satisfied to just see me on Friday and sit together and talk. She said I should go to the doctor to get taken care of and not to neglect myself. I went home and ate my dinner. I took a little rest. Shortly after 10 p.m. I went to bed.
Today, Wednesday, is Morris Cohen's day off. I worked the whole day with my father in the business. It was very quiet again today, I only sold two garments. Now we ate dinner and I think I will go to bed shortly.
Bronx, Thursday 10:00 p.m., November 7, 1935.
This morning as I arrived at the business I telephoned my doctor, as I had promised my mother I would get a thorough examination. The doctor was going out for a while so he wanted me to come in the afternoon. I was the whole day in the business, but it was slow because outside it was raining hard. Around 3 p.m. my father left for home because we weren't all needed in the business in the rainy weather. Therefore I wasn't able to go to the doctor. I was with Cohen in the business. We watched the business, and I watched him. I sold three more garments before closing the business at 8 p.m. and going home. Before going home I called Helen from the subway. She is fine but tired from work because they were painting and renovating her apartment. We made up tomorrow evening I will come, and if I get there early enough we will perhaps go to see a movie together. I would like to make a note for myself that the pictures, as I wrote here in my diary on October 29th and described in my album of my cousins, are pictures #111 and #112. I don't have these pictures because the photo developer wanted more money, and then he could not find them. I am going to take a bath and go to bed.
Bronx, Saturday 11:00 p.m., November 9, 1935.
Friday I worked all day in the business and we made one sale. When my father left early for his English lesson, I made another sale myself. It was a dead business to make only two sales on a Friday in the pre-Christmas season. After dinner I went to Helen's. I got there around 9 p.m. We did not want to go to the movies because Helen was tired from the work over the last week while her apartment was painted and renovated. Helen was very pleased that I came over, she said the main thing was not the movie, but that I came to her. Besides that she also wanted to know why I didn't get to the doctor yet. She was worried that I would get more sick. We listened to music and ate some more fruit. We lovingly kissed on the sofa and sat around. Around 10:30 Helen's mother came and we went then for half-an-hour in the park. After that Helen's mother went to bed. When we came back we spent some more time cuddling on the sofa and having good conversation. Helen also told me that she had not allowed any other man before to kiss with her like that. She never invited young men into her house before. When she was out with them she only let them bring her up to the door to say goodbye. She is clean and honest and sexually clean and healthy. I also kept myself clean and healthy in those respects. At least I was very careful. Helen also told me that she had made an appointment to meet with her brother Sam at her house on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. I left shortly after midnight. I waited a while for the street car and didn't get home until 1:15 a.m. I also promised to Helen's mother artificial flowers for a bouquet in the living room. Helen said that she would rather buy them herself, and I could save myself the time and effort.
Today I worked all day in the business. We had a little activity, but did not sell enough for this time of year for a Saturday. Shortly after 7 p.m. I called Helen. She was well and she said that she was staying home. She is already used to staying home on Saturday evening. I told her I would come to her tomorrow evening as arranged, and she should have a good rest in the meantime. I locked up the business around 9 p.m., I received ten dollars pocket money for this week. I am sorry to have to write down that my mother is not feeling well now either. She has pain, and I cannot even help her because I have to be in the business to help my father. She really cannot get enough rest between her housework. I wanted to help her, but I would be going to Helen, my darling, as I had promised her. If they didn't feel about Helen the way they do, Helen would've come over to help me take care of my mother. I took a little rest from work and then helped my mother clean up. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Monday 9:50 p.m., November 11, 1935.
Today is Armistice, Veteran's Day. Yesterday was my father's day off and I was in the store with Cohen. Business was pretty quiet, but I was satisfied that at least we sold five garments. Around 5 p.m. I closed the business, and then I went home. I had to wait to get dinner. It wasn't ready yet because my parents and my sister had gotten back a little later than expected from the Yiddish theatre. After dinner I went and bought a nice bouquet of artificial flowers for Helen for thirty cents. By 8 p.m. I was at Helen's house. Her mother and her brother were also there. Helen and her mother liked the flowers very much. After that we were sitting around together and we discussed Sam's business and working and how to get work for me in that line of business. Among other things Sam told me that he started with a small job in an upholstery business. He worked his way up and is now making nice money in his business. He thought that we could start a business of that type together. We decided after all the discussions that I could put part of the money in, and Helen also has some money. But most important I must first get a job in that business, handling merchandise for decorators, curtains, drapes and upholstery. Sam would try to help me get such a job so that I would first learn enough about the business and understand it. Then we would both know if it was good for me and for both of us to do that. Sam said that since he is the manager of that business, he knows where to buy and sell and he has connections with customers. He could make it easier for me to find a job because this is the season and because I am still tied to my father's store until the end of the year. We hope to get together on it in the beginning of next year to work on this plan to prepare. Sam is willing to help me in that respect. He wants to help me get a job first, so that we both would have connections and contacts. Around midnight we all sat down to have tea, and then Helen and her mother and I escorted Sam to the subway, and I went with Helen back to her house where we did a little petting and loving each other. Then Helen's mother came back and went to bed. Helen and I spent a little more time together in the living room. Then I was also invited to go with Helen the following Saturday to her cousin's wedding in Brooklyn. We kissed good night and I promised to call her in the coming week. I took the streetcar home. I arrived home by 2 a.m. This morning after my father went to the store I told my mother of all the business prospects I discussed the night before with Helen's brother Sam. She asked if me if I really love Helen, and I told her I did. But she told me that I should not tell my father. They really both have nothing against the girl, but they are still disturbed by when she was sitting with Walfeld at the Yiddish theatre. She is afraid that my father would only give me trouble if I told him that I had made plans to go steady with Helen and maybe marry her and go into business with her brother. I answered my mother that my father can say and think what he wants, but that Helen is not a bad person. Every girl had friends and acquaintances from before they were going steady. I said that I didn't believe that Helen would do that again when we are going steady. I really do love her. Then I went to business and we did well today, we sold as many garments as we did yesterday. My father went home early for his English lesson. I did not sell any more garments before locking up the store. After dinner I took a little rest, and now I am going to bed. I am marking down here again that I love Helen, but I will not do anything against my parents' wishes. I believe with G-d's help, everything could work out yet alright, but I don't want to give up Helen. I love Helen. With trust and hope in G-d almighty, good night.
Bronx, Thursday 10:30 p.m., November 14, 1935.
Tuesday morning my father went to the business, and I stayed at home because I did not feel good. Then I went shopping with my mother in order to help her carry her shopping bags home. After that I still felt very bad, so bad that I hardly could stand on my legs because my knees were so wobbly. I was perspiring profusely. I promised myself for sure to go to the doctor that day. I went to the business around noon. The weather was bad and it was raining. Then I found out that my father was all alone because Cohen had not come in. My father had sold nothing yet.
I had promised that I would go to the doctor towards the evening. But I could not go because the doctor had no business hours, and my father had to go home early for his English lesson. I was able to sell two more garments and some customers came to pick up garments being held with deposit. Around 8 p.m. I closed the business and telephoned Helen. As much as it hurt me, I told her that I did not know yet if I would be able to come on Saturday to the wedding because I feel very sick. I promised her that I would call her again on Thursday, After that I went home, had dinner and went immediately to bed.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Cohen was again at the business. He said that he took his day off already on Tuesday, instead of Wednesday, because he was not feeling well. He had gone to the doctor because his stomach was sick. For Wednesday we had a salesman and someone standing in front of the door to attract people to come in, who we have now temporarily until Sunday, The weather was a little cooler and I felt a little better. We sold a few garments and my father allowed me to go home earlier. He was alone until closing time, but he did not sell anything until closing time anyway. Yesterday I bought myself suspenders and underpants. I want to make a note to myself that I usually don't write in little expenses and car fares, telephones, barber shop, and lunches, etc., but there are a lot of daily expenses that I must take care of personally. After dinner I did listen as my mother read the Yiddish newspaper. Then I went to bed. Today it was a little colder and business was better than any Thursday in several weeks. After we closed the store I telephoned Helen and said I was glad to be feeling a little better, and I hope to come to the wedding with her on Saturday evening. She was glad and she said she hopes that I continue to feel better. I promised Helen that on Saturday afternoon when I leave the store I will call her and assure her of the correct time that I expect to come to her. She, her mother, Sam and his wife will all be waiting for me to join them. Now I ate dinner, listened to the radio, and I am soon going to bed. I would like to note for myself that yesterday I tried on my tuxedo to make sure it still fits well.
Bronx, Monday 9:35 p.m., November 18, 1935.
Friday I worked all day in the business. Because of the colder weather we did nice business. After dinner I took a bath and went to bed. Saturday the weather was nice and cold. Again we were busy and did nice business. Around 5 p.m. I really wanted to go, but I had telephoned Helen and told her that I would arrive at her house around 8 p.m. Then I helped Cohen sell two garments. Shortly before 6 p.m. I left the business. My father was still there with Cohen and the man we had greeting customers on the outside; his name was Sam. They stayed at the business together and sold one more garment before closing at 9 p.m. I went home and got myself ready. I dressed myself in my tuxedo and was at Helen's before 8 p.m., She was wearing a beautiful dress that she had especially bought for the occasion. I bought Helen a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the occasion. Helen, her mother, and I went to Jamaica to attend the wedding. We arrived at 10 p.m. It was a big hall with about three hundred guests. We met Sam and his wife there. Helen introduced me nicely to her different friends and acquaintances. I was taken to be one of the ushers. I was one of a dozen young men in tuxedos who stand at the side of the parade when the bride and bridegroom walk towards the chupah. After the wedding ceremony Helen and I danced nicely together. Then all together we ate nicely in the dining room. There were all varieties of salads, drinks and cold cuts, it was a big buffet. We danced some more. We rode home around 2 a.m. We had to transfer trains often and wait for many trains. We did not arrive home until 5 a.m. Because of the strong rain I took a taxi in order to get Helen home. Her mother went to bed. Helen wanted me to stay with her and not go home in the strong rain. In fact she invited to let me sleep in her house, rather than let me go out in the big rain storm. I did not want to do that so she asked me to just stay a little bit longer until the rain let up. She changed into more comfortable clothes instead of her ballroom dress she put on a housecoat. We sat around on the sofa together for a while and did a little necking and loving each other. I did not want to fool around too much because I really love Helen and respect her, and she is a fine person. We checked the weather and it did let up a little bit. I went home around 7 a.m. I slept until 11 a.m., had some breakfast and went back to sleep until 1 p.m. My sister woke me up because she wanted to ask me a question, and she did not believe I was sleeping. Around 2 p.m. I ate my lunch. I also want to note that I promised Helen that I would come to her on Sunday afternoon to visit. I took a little rest, and then I got dressed and went to Helen's around 4 p.m. Even though it was raining the whole Sunday and my mother did not want me to go, I went to visit Helen as I had promised. Because of the bad weather we just sat around and made conversation and were good to each other. In the middle of that Helen told me again that she did not want me to go out with her against my parents' wishes. She also said that she wants my father to know that we are going steady, so that later we can, together with her family and my family, try to discuss things about our possible future. Otherwise if my parents are against us, she thinks we don't have any future to count on, and I think that she is right. We had an understanding that we would just wait a little bit longer and see what develops. If it develops by itself, or if my mother comes to conclusions in an amicable way that I want to belong to Helen and she wants to belong to me, then we will have an honest understanding. Helen and I kissed Good night and around 7 p.m. I was starting to leave, but I ended up staying another hour. Then I went home. My father was with Cohen and the outside salesman in the business, and I had my day off. On account of the bad weather, the three of them together only made one sale during the whole day. My parents were ready to leave for the movies when I came home. They told me that I had to prepare myself dinner and eat alone because they had been waiting for me for dinner at 7 p.m. I received ten dollars pocket money from my father for the week. After dinner I cleaned the dishes and the kitchen. Then I went to bed.
Today I worked all day in the business. We were pretty nicely busy. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Tuesday 10:35 p.m., November 19, 1935.
Today I worked all day in the business. We sold a few garments because today it was pretty cold, as it was yesterday. On account of that there were a few customers in the street, but we kept busy. After I left the business around 7 p.m. I telephoned Helen. She does not feel too good, but I also gave her regards from her brother Sam who I had visited yesterday for a few minutes while I was accidentally in the neighborhood where he works. I took a glance at his business. After that I told Helen that I think I will telephone her on Thursday evening to tell her if I can come to her on Friday evening. I told her that I think I will come on Friday and I think also on Sunday evening I would like to take her to the Yiddish theatre. She also told me that she wishes that I would go to the doctor to be in good order and good shape. But this I did not promise her yet. Shortly after I got home my father also came from the business. We all ate dinner together. Then we went for a walk together. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Friday 12:15 a.m., November 22, 1935.
Wednesday I worked all day in the business. Mr. Cohen had his day off. We did sell a few garments. My father left the business earlier to go home, and I locked up the business. I did sell some more merchandise. After dinner I walked with my parents for a few minutes. Then I went to bed.
Yesterday I had a strong toothache which made me feel bad. This morning I went to my doctor, Dr. Mofcowitz, to whom I wanted to go for the last two weeks. He examined me fully and said that I was healthy and my lungs were fine. He gave me an artificial sun bath with his quartz lamp. Then he gave me some medicine to make me feel stronger and not catch colds so often. I paid him two dollars, and for the medicine I paid fifty cents. After that I bought three new ties for thirty-five cents to match my new brown suit. I want to make a note that the new brown suit with two pair of pants from one of our suppliers had cost twenty dollars a while ago. I gave the money to my father so that he would be able to pay for it with a business check. Then I worked today until about 5 p.m. Then my father sent me home. I rested. After 7 p.m. I went down to call my dear little Helen. She is alright. She was glad to hear that I went to the doctor and that he said I was healthy. I promised that I would come to visit her tomorrow evening. Then I ate dinner and had a lot of aggravation because I waited with my mother at the subway station for my father to come home. We waited there until 11 p.m. At that time I called all the police stations to find out if anything had happened. I had a hard time trying to calm my mother who was already very aggravated.
I wanted to go to the police station to report him as a missing person, but then he arrived and told us that a business friend came to him. They were together with someone else to discuss certain businesses. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Saturday 10:55 p.m., November 23, 1935.
Yesterday I worked all day in the business. After that my father went home for his English lesson early. I made three more sales after he left. Around 8 p.m. I went home and ate my dinner. After dinner I went to Helen. I got there shortly after 9 p.m. I would like to make a note that yesterday during the day I bought myself some personal items. Helen and I had nice conversation, then at 11 p.m. we went for a walk. It hurt me very much that Helen had pain in her back because she left the window open when she went to take a bath. We came home around midnight. Helen's mother went to bed. We had a little wine and cake. Then we sat around together a little lovey dovey in the living room, and we had a nice pleasant evening. In order not to get home too late, because Helen knows I have to get early on Saturday morning, I left around 1 a.m. Helen and I were pleased that we had a nice evening with nice, not too personal necking. We kissed good night. I had to wait a long time for the streetcar. I arrived at home by 2 a.m.
Today I worked all day in the business. We had a little activity, but not really enough for this time of year. It was cold, but it was raining. Around 7 p.m. I called Helen to hear how she is feeling and how her backache is. She told me that already she feels a lot better. She said that I should try to come to her on Saturday evening. I promised I would. Then my father went home after he paid the salesman. After that I sold a couple more garments. Around 9 p.m. I closed the store. I was home and ate my dinner one hour later. I received ten dollars from my father today. This evening it snowed very nicely, and it was cold. I hope tomorrow we will do nice business. I also hope that tomorrow I will go with Helen to the Yiddish theatre. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Monday 9:50 p.m., November 25, 1935.
Yesterday, Sunday, I worked all day in the business with our salesman, Mr. Cohen. My father had his day off. It was very cold and we could see traffic and customers in the street, but I had bad customers. But we did sell a few garments. At 5:30 p.m. I closed the business. Around 6 p.m. I arrived home. I ate something, changed into my new brown suit, and left for Helen's. I arrived by 7:30 p.m., Together we went to the Yiddish theatre. For $1.70 I had two good tickets. For a few cents extra we had some chocolate candy. We saw a very nice show, "Papirosen ('cigarettes' in Polish)." I also have a postcard that the theatre gives out saying the show got good reviews. I sent one of these cards to my mother and signed it from Helen and I. After midnight the show ended and we went home. Helen and I were home around 1 a.m. Helen had made tea for us to drink. Then we had a little conversation and a little lovey dovey talk. Helen asked me to come some time in the middle of the week to visit her because on Thursday [it] will be Thanksgiving. All of her friends go out on that day because a lot of businesses are closed. Our business is going to be open, but she begged me very much to please come once more during this week. She asked me, jokingly, if she should go out with someone else this week. In the next minute she apologized for even having said that. She explained that she only said that jokingly to tease me to make me want to come for Thanksgiving Day. She would not go out with someone else. Shortly after 2 a.m. I left. I had to wait a long time for the next street car. I did not get home until 3 a.m.
This morning I slept until 10 a.m., Then, like every other morning, I went to the bank. Around noontime to call Helen, she had just gotten up. I only wanted to hear that she slept well and that she was feeling good. I told her that I will call her on Wednesday, Then I was in the business. My father left early and I made one more sale on my own. In the daytime we made nice sales. I would like to make myself a notice here that last night I had good dreams from myself and Helen and family. I dreamed that Helen and myself will be OK someday, I hope to G-d that someday it will really happen that way. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Wednesday 9:45 p.m., November 27, 1935.
Yesterday, I worked all day in the business. We made nice sales. After dinner I walked with my parents near our house. Then I went to bed. Today Cohen is supposed to have his day off, but because tomorrow is a holiday I went in the morning to Cohen and told him to come to the business, and then he can take off on tomorrow and Thursday, Then I went like every other morning, to the bank and then to the business. My father went home around 5 p.m. for his English lesson. We sold four more garments. Later I made five more sales with one salesman and myself. I closed the business around 8 p.m. I called Helen and told her that I am very sorry that I could not come to her today, but tomorrow I will come to her. On the weekend, I told her, we will have a nice time together. She immediately accepted my apology, even though she was sitting home today. She told me that she knows that it is not my fault. She spoke very lovingly and nicely to me. I got home around 9 p.m. I just started to eat my dinner; my dear parents had already eaten and they were going to the movies. I hope they have a pleasant evening. I finished eating my dinner and I will take my bath before going to bed. Good night.
Bronx, Friday 10:00 p.m., November 29, 1935.
Yesterday, Thursday, was Thanksgiving Day. Cohen had his day off. I was with my father and with the outside salesman in the business until we closed up around 5 p.m. Just then it started to rain heavily. We did, thank G-d, make a few sales. After dinner, around 7 p.m., I went to Helen's as I had promised, even though there was a terrible rain storm. I felt like I was getting a cold. I was soaked. I started to perspire again. We sat around for a little bit together. Then on my proposal we went for fifty cents to a small movie theatre nearby. Helen got a present from the movie theatre, a piece for a coffee set of china and a milk server. We saw two amusing comedies that ended around midnight. We went home and were sitting together with Helen's mother and tea and cookies. Then Helen's mother went to bed. Helen and I had a little more conversation and kissed goodbye. We arranged an appointment for Helen to come on Saturday evening to Union Square, near where my father's clothing store is. Then we could go together with our salesman Cohen to the dance at his club, the Jupiter Club. Then I left and immediately caught the streetcar. I arrived home by 2 a.m.
Today I worked all day in the business. We had a
little activity. In the evening my father went home early for his
English lesson. After he left I made one more sale. Then I went to
the barber. Now I am going to bed. Good night.
This completes what I can translate from my small
diary, my last one, diary #3. Today is November 22, 1988. Let me
take this opportunity in my privacy to thank G-d and all my lovely
children, grandchildren, and great granddaughter, particularly
since my dear wife is now six months in the Long Beach nursing home.
G-d should be good to her, and she should not suffer. I want to thank
G-d that I had the incentive to work on this diary because I am so
depressed. My grand daughter Debbie gave me the incentive to finish
the taping of the last few pages of my diary. I did it, and now I
just completed it. Today, by coincidence, is Debbie Gold's
twenty-second birthday. In two days it will be Thanksgiving, also by
coincidence the same time I finished my diary fifty-three years ago.