Thursday, October 4, 2007

October Memories. . .

When I think of October, I think of my parent's birthdays. My father was born ion Mt. Forest, Michigan on October 12, 1897. I am not sure when his family moved to Detroit although I believe they first lived in the Del Ray section of the city before moving to Hamtramck where they had a house on Andrus Street. I guess I remember this because my father's law office was on Joseph Campau and Andrus above the Rainbow Confectionary which, when I was young, was owned by Meyer Morritz, my maternal grandfather. My father was still practicing law from that office when he died December 16, 1964.

My mother was born Martha Morritz on October 3, 1904 in New York City. I am not sure when her family moved to Detroit, or where they lived in the city, although I somewhere have part of a 2nd grade report card from a grade school in New York. The below picture was taken, I think, around 1920-21 by a photographer on Mack Avenue in Detroit.



Both of my parents graduated from Detroit Central High School, my father in 1915 and mother in 1922. That later became significant because I completed the 2nd generation of my family to attend and graduate from Central. My mother studied piano at, I believe, the Detroit Conservatory of Music. While my father did not have an undergraduate college education, he did graduate from the Detroit College of Law where he studied while working as a draftsman in the automobile industry.


Below is my parents' wedding picture. While I am not positive, I believe they were married on June 22, 1924.



Several years after my father died, my mother married Abe Max, a widower who had met his first wife, Sadie Rycus, at my parents wedding. That's when mom moved to Los Angeles where Abe had lived since about 1950. Abe was a close friend of my dad and, I believe, he was one day older. Sadie was a friend of mom and was a bridesmaid at my parents wedding. Abe died at the end of July, 1980 and Mom died here in L.A. on January 17, 1984 [There is also a longer story here that involves my wedding on January 1, 1981 to Abe's oldest granddaughter. Perhaps I will write about that at a later date.]


While I often think about my parents, October is when the memories are strongest. And they are good strong memories that have served me well as I have aged. They serve to remind me of my strong heritage and I delight when I see some of my parents' best traits in my own children. My only regret is that I know little about my grandparents' family histories before they came to this country from Byelorussia and Lithuania in the early 1890s.

3 comments:

Oxypoet said...

Thanks, Ancient One, for illuminating some family history even I wasn't aware of. Your children and grandchildren appreciate the family history you are imparting here.

Eldest Son Bill

Eric Valentine said...

That is wonderful that you are able to put together some family history, having done so myself as you know.

It is such a pity that you may not be able to go beyond though. Do you think if you dig into Newspaper archives in the old countries that it would yield anything for you Leon?

Leon said...

Eric - There are a couple of family stories that fall under the category of "myth." I am not even sure where we would begin to gather accurate data. I know that part of the family came from Minsk. . .but it was in the late 19th century and very little is known in the way of detail.