Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Simons

These are the Simons: my great-grandfather Harry with his wife, Rebecca and their two children, Abe and Bernice (my grandmother).

Harry was born in Minsk and emigrated to the United States in 1904. He owned a variety of businesses in New York City's lower east side, a grocery store, a restaurant on Hudson Street and a junk store over at 84 New Chamber Street.

I've been told Rebecca was intelligent, favored the vote, and died during the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918. Harry married twice more, but I have to think - looking at this photo - that he must have loved his first wife best.

Abe became an electrician, joined the union, and moved from Manhattan to the Bronx. His sister, Bernice, married young, travelled the world, and is profiled here.

The photographer's mark is that of L. Boressoff, an American photographer who advertised in The New York Call, a socialist newspaper that was in operation from 1908 to 1923. His studio, located at 355 Grand Street, was not that far from some of the places I visited here. I am due another trip to the big city. And thanks go to my friend Kevin who restored the photo and brought small tears to my eyes. I love this photo.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Catching Up

Well, it's been a long while since my last post. All of November, December, and January, and now most of February, gone silent. Why the delay? It all started with Eric's and my navigation class. Then it was the holidays and a freelance job that was a bit challenging, and, finally, an overwhelming sense of not knowing how or where to start blogging again.

But here I am (hello) and it seems appropriate that I start with the nav class. It was a great idea. We are interested in the subject matter, but in the effort to learn, we didn't handle the process well.

I chose the teacher. He's local, participated in our Coast Guard-approved safety class, and has more than ten years experience sailing the Caribbean. Perfect! I found the man's website, contacted him via e-mail, and we signed up.

Then all of our good intentions started to fall apart. The instructor wanted to delay starting the class (okay, fine, we have all winter). A third gentleman wanted to join the class (great, that means a reduction in fees). Next, the instructor announced he wanted to finish everything up during the month of November (which meant doubling up classes due to the holidays). The third wheel didn't want to attend classes on the weekend (which meant commuting out to the suburbs during rush hour). Eric and I, agreeable sorts that we are, compromised ourselves into failure. We made it to class; we took in the information, but we were so brain dead and tired as a result, that neither one of us picked up the textbook, our GPS, or a single chart until maybe one hour before the next class and by then we were worthless. The resentment was there and nothing made sense any more. We "participated" all the way up until the "final exam" and then dropped out rather than suffer through another "we just don't have time (whine) to make "whiskey" calculations due to (excuse #1), (excuse #2), and (excuse #3).

Then, that out of the way, it was Thanksgivings, my mother's birthday, Christmas shopping - always supplemented with personal shopping, several visiting pets for the holidays, and an obsession with ancestry.com, the subject of tomorrow's post.

So, today, I give you a photo of Thanksgiving at my sister's house. It was a great celebration this year with more family members than usual and a lot of good music. A little bit late to blog about Thanksgiving, but loads more fun than telling you about how we flunked out of "Sail the Seas" navigation school. :-) See you again tomorrow.