DUV13A Page 1
L: ...Mary L. Levy...
P: Mary L. Levy, Mary Lipsey Levy.
L: That's right.
P: Okayj where we you born?
L: In Russia.
P: In Russia? What part of Russia? -
L: In _Covene guess, not far fromCovern Coverner, Russia.
P: What was your mother and daddy's name?
2?: first name and first name.
?: Tell her first name and .
L: Oh, Hinda, H-I-N-D-A.
P: That's your mother?
L: Hinda's is, what was momma's last, first, ah...
?: Hinda Tu______ .
L: Turetzky, Turetzky, Turetzky, T-U-R-E-T-Z-K-Y, Turetzky.
P: Where was she born?
L: I, I d -t4-know-, I guess there too, how do I know?
p: -iw\ )l e\i, lVe\\) clc\& (jaO- yOC,. ,
L: Where I was born.
P: What was your father's name?
?: Samuel Paul.
L: Samuel Paul? Okay, and when did you leave Russia?
P: Now, I don't know, a little child, I don't know.
L: How old were you?
P: I don't know, was older. Momma had the two boys are older and they sent them to America.
I don't know how old...
What two boys were older?
Which brothers of yours were born then?
All of us were born but Max.
Name your brothers.
You got to name them because she's recording.
Well, of course, Joe, Ezzie, Isabella, who else?
David, Max. Four brothers/and three sisters.
Were your sisters born in Russia too?
Yeah. We were all infants, you know, when we came to this country. Dave wasn't...was
he born here?
Well, he was born in Baltimore, he was, tEe.
Yeah, and Max was born i: -his country, of course.
You don't know what year it was that you came to this country?
Oh, I wouldn't remember, honey, for God's sake.
I think Poppa said 1907.
Well, he came, maybe before. What's the difference? So they wouldn't, people wouldn't
_____. 1905, 1907, what's the difference? #, I don't...
Where did you live when you came to the United States?
Well, we lived in Baltimore a short time, and then we moved to Collins, Georgia.
What did your father do in Baltimore? What kind of business was he in?
SI don't...business, hell. He worked at the...no, no, no, no, no. My father came, we
stayed in Baltimore and my poppa lived in Collins, Georgia, because he came to stay
with his brother here in Col....in Glenville, Georgia.
P: What was his brother's name?
L: What brother's name?
P: The one that lived in Glenville, Georgia?
L: It was Joe.
L: Millie's father.
?: Joe Lipsey.
L: My father was the oldest member of the family, and then Joe was next, and then Uncle
And, oh, I know... .,
t: Oh, Uncle Ike he was no good, AW 1.4
L: I mean, Uncle Ike, his wife walked out, he was no good at all. But...
2: Wasn't Uncle Wolfe/ from Jacksonville?
P: What kind of business...
L: Why are you doing that? What do you want it for? (Tape cut off)
?: ...Doris is asking because she is going to send you a transcript of everything that
L: Oh, oh. So what do you want to know now?
P: Okay, what kind of business did your father go into in Glenville, Georgia?
L: In, no, Collins, Georgia.
P: Collins, Georgia.
L: Regular merchandise, I don't know, everything.
P: Do you know what year that was?
L: I don't know.
P: When did you come to Georgia?
L: I guess, I guess we came a year or two later, I don't know.
P: Did your whole family come? Your mother came with all the kids?
L: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Well, when you lived in Baltimore, who did your mother stay with?
We didn't, we had an apartment. We didn't stay there long, about six months or a year
or something like that.
And your mother took care of all the kids while your father...
Oh, of course.
...was in Georgia.
Everybody seemed to forgot us, she took care of everything anyway.
All right, when you got to Collins, Georgia, what did you do there?
Well, I went to school and then my father went in business.
Do you remember when you first came to Collins, Georgia?
No, listen, does that flatter me, kid. You see, what happened when we came to this
country, when Uncle and Aunt L_0 didn't have children, and she fell in love
with me and Uncle George was always around. I was his favorite. So I used to live with
him and go to school there, here, for awhile. Then I went home. And I used to skip
grades, see? Here and there and Uncle George, I was his favorite all the time, and
\aooi t o cc,) &f (Ut'e LU se
Dottie too. J- my aunt, see, my father a(hundred brothers, let's see,
C^ p Wolfe two, and Joe is three, five brothers. My father was five brothers, one
sister, see? At the time, .- was the only sister/had. She had no children, so, I'm
really, you know, I'll tell you something funny. When we lived in country, momma had,
something happened to her side, or, I don't remember...she break down or something. And
I never closed my eyes, you know, at night, see? I never closed my eyes. And, this,
I'd never even undress. And she had wanted me--she wanted out, such agony and pain,
and finally, I think my Uncle ,,, father, decided she had a bone fracture,
I don't know what. You know, in those days, you know, people didn't know...she didn't
give into her feelings anyway. But ,1, IY they shipped-her::" ?:'ston, they shipped
her to Boston and she said, one day, and the next morning I didn't get up. I had a
nervous breakdown. A young girl, and I had a nervous breakdown. And Aunt Ida took me
in her place and she kept me there for a month or two. I couldn't even walk downstairs.
She had a house on Jones Street, I'll never forget it. She used to bring me up my food
and everything. And he was so wonderful to me. I'd have done anything in the world for
her, and she knew it. You know, when he died, finally, and...no, he went into...he had
charge of the, well, I...no, Iwasn't married then, yes, I, I don't remember, no, I
wasn't. And he was in charge of the old market place, you know, he was a brilliant man,
educated, but he never was a money-maker. And then he went into the pawn shop business,
he bought somebody out.
Yeah. And, he'd always say, "Mary, you're different from anybody in the family." And
that's the truth. When he was dying, he only wanted me around. Isn't that funny? I
don't mean to other people's _, but that's the truth. Because the rest
of them didn't give a damn, do you know what I mean? I always kept the family. I was
always family-conscious and I'd sacrifice...listen. My sister Bess was in the hospital
five and a half weeks. I had three doctors and three nurses. The third doctor I had for
my own satisfaction, Dr. you know, because of my own satisfaction. And when she
was going home, she had a hus...well, her husband was nogood either, _. He used
to live in Brunswick at that time. But anyway, she came to live with Momma and they had
that one child, you know, and, and of course, Max lived with them, -4mt
for a year,,4 Max worked for the store for Morris. So this is funny...five and a half<, :Q..-3,
I want you to know, I didn't get out of that hospital hardly, oo c UT1 That's
right, that's the reason why Morris made me give up the store. I couldn't tend to
business. She wouldn't let me, she didn't know anything, and she wouldn't let me out of
her sight. See, Bessie's a selfish person, very, all she thinks about i~ Bess1. And
she always was. Now, Libby's the extreme opposite. But Libby's only going to wait on
people that she loves. But I used to be a damn fool like Momma, you know, on everybody,
you know what I mean? But anyhow, so I stayed five and a half weeks, morning, noon, and
night. And she didn't recognize no doctor or anything and she'd say, "I don't like him,"
then she'd point to the doctors, you know, and all that sort of thing. You know, she
didn't know. But in those days you didn't have...well, it's going back a long time...
didn't have anything, what do you call the breathing apparatus?
Oxygen. I don't know what it was, but in those days they only had, they used to put,
they used to put like a canopy...
A tent, or whatever, I don't know what it was. And I used to stay there and she'd watch
my face and she'd breathe, you know. But anyhow, Morris became a _o__aic_ Thank
God, he was the only one...Jewish people at that time...but he represented the
__because the man said business was taken care of. Only one, you see, the
Y\ c, ~-w had forone representative in a city like Savannah that had one member, see?
Now, if you were a doctor, you were a doctor. If you were a shoeman, you were...or
whatever. And they didn't accept everybody, but thank God we were the first Jewish people
and he was a _o___-_':_ So, oh, yeah, Morris wrote me. And they were going to
convention out West. I'll never forget that as long as I live. And was an
infant, you know, and they were going out there on a convention and Morris has got to go
because at that time he hadn't been travelling, you know. And Bessie was going home
the next day. She had her husband, Momma, Max and her baby was there, of course. Momma
raised her, but anyhow, so the day before, I said, "BessA, you going home to..bmma?"
I told her, I said, "Morris wants to go to this..." and I was packed and everything.
He was packed and I was packed. "And I'm going tomorrow morning, since you'll be leaving
tomorrow to go home, for the convention." And she started to cry, "You can't leave me.
You can't leave me. I can't live without you." I said, "Well, I've got a husband here
who wants to go." "I can't help it. I don't care about what husband or anybody else.
I can't live without you." I'll never forgive, I never have forgiven her for that. And
like a damn fool, I came home and I told Morris, I said, "Honey, you go." See, because,
it was a special trip, you know, out to Washington, where did he go, I've forgotten now.
Not to Los Angeles and not to, somewhere out further than...I've forgotten
now where it was, but anyhow, I said, "You go." I said, "I want to unpack
and I'll just stay, because you don't want me to go." He said, "Are you
crazy?" He said, "All right. You wasted five and a half weeks, six weeks,
you didn't breathe." And he didn't say a word. He used to come see Bess
in the hospital. Her husband used to go play pool. You remember Mike?
Yeah, I do remember Mike.
Yeah, so, he was good-looking, as smart, but he didn't like to work. But
anyhow, he liked what the other fellow had. So anyhow, this is funny.
He said, "Well, honey, that's silly. She's going home. She's got everybody
in the house." He says, "You're going." I went back to the hospital again
and I says, "I'm going, Bessie." She started crying and I thought to myself,
"She's g6ing to run my mother crazy, mamma crazy, I'd better not go." So
I got home and I told Morris, I said, "Honey, I'm not going." He said,
"Well, if you don't go, I'm not going." I felt terrible for him. And I
never seen anybody that...do you ever hear of anybody so selfish in your
life as that? She ought to have said, "I'm so glad you're going. You're
getting away." You know what I mean?
Let's go back to Collins, Georgia.
What you want?
OK, did you go to school in Collins?
Did you go to...
All they had was a, just a seventh grade and that's how far I went.
You went through the seventh grade?
Yeah, that's all. I kept on skipping classes.
How about Joe? Did he go to school there?
Joe, your brother, Joe.
Now he got .a job somewhere else, I don't...he, you know, wrote; he had
Jewish education. I did too. You see, Mr... father taught me
Hebrew and everything, see. I got a Jewish education after we already
were living here. When we moved to Savannah, I got a Jewish education and
When you lived in Collins, did you have a Jewish education?
No, 4-twas when we came here where I got a Jewish education. I used to,
Mr., /_ Joe's father taught me, see? He had a Jewish school.
I rtenng was crazy, I was ambitious anyway, and, wait a minute. And
then, even when we were in Collins and were children, I started to take
music. Piano. Didn't have no teacher. My mother, my father made me quit
because when I come from school, I had to help :them work in the store. He'd
have to go take a nap in the afternoon.
What kind of store did he have?
What do Jewish people go in the store? Regular merchandise, I don't know.
What was the name of the store?
Oh, please don't be silly. In a small store, people, they don't name no
They didn't name them?
So Joe went to school in Collins, and how old was he when he...
He didn't go to school in Collins much. He got a job in a small town. But
he had a Jewish education, don't you understand?
Uh huh. What small town...
What small town did he go to?
DUV13A Page 9
L: I don't remember. I should remember. Don't be silly.
P: No, no.
L: I gather he went to some other place, I should remember all those things.
After all, I'm human too, you know.
P: Yeah, well. How about my grandfather, Izzie? Where did he...how old was he
when he left Collins?
L: Well, he retired. He left college and went in bus...and bought a business
here in Savannah. He bought :, you know, a big store on...
L: No, my father, Poppa.
P: Your father, Okay.
L: On Henry and West Broad Street, I believe. It was a big store. And I'd
go to school and work, and he'd make me stay there. And at twelve years
old, I want you to know, I was a buyer there. But they also had a connection
with a bar. You know, people d6efit1,el used to be different. My father
was never a worker. Like your grandfather, with all due respect to him,
he'd go to meetings.
?: He worked.
L: But he worked, but never worked...if he'd a worked harder, he'd made a
success, don't give me the business. You want to know one thing about her
father, he had talent, see. And I remember, he was about...I don't know
how old he was, but he had talent, and my uncle, father, you know,
my-mother's father, he went up there to take, to take designing. He was
becoming a designer. He was about seventeen, eighteen years old, and,
you know, going on nineteen, I don't know. And he was...one thing about
your grandfather,..he was very talented. He was a designer, he painted, you
know what I mean? He used to, he never liked to work too much, but he was
a, he was, he would have made a good designer, see? And he was going to
design mmn's clothes or something, I don't know. And he went to Boston and
<(Y\V L\C\e_ ry i de, mV^y Lcnoa\eC
he lived with was a wonderful man, just like
my mother. 'Course everything...my mother had two nephews that came down
:am--st-ayed one time. She brought them over to this country, and one of them
right now is one of the most prominent rabbis in Nashville and one of them
is in Dallas. When I went there for the convention, I looked him up. It
happened that Mr. Lewis knew who he was, because, he says, "You know," he
says, "alway-s-me*t--ng-t-o-hav- big Bar Mitzvahs, something." He-had took
charge of it, you know. So I went to see him, and I made Morris go, and
he was just dying. And the boys, well, see, he Had two sons. He was so
____:__ that he used to take, I don't know what they did, I met them.
He used to take a sandwich to work for them, they both married _
P: How was my grandfather when he went to Boston?
L: I'm trying to tell you. He must have been seventeen, eighteen years old,
I don't...eighteen, maybe. And he went to a wedding or something; see,
he took up design and he, your mother was there at the wedding, your grand-
mother was there at the wedding. And, you know, your grandmother had a
Madonna face, a beautiful face, only she was heavy, but he feel in love with
her. No, where were they? Yeah, that's right, he fell in love with her
and he married her. And she had a brother who was in the or
something, a tailor. So instead of taking up design and finishing or some-
thing, he went and went in business with his brother-in-law, see, and
that's where it was.
P:jWere you living in Savannah then?
L: Of course, we were living in Savannah.
P: Who lived in Savannah with you? Your mother and your daddy...
L: Well, of course, all of us, what's the matter with you?
Well, I want you to name them so we can get it on the tape.
So we can have it...
Who was living in Savannah with you? Your mother and your father...
Yeah, and my mother, listen, Max and Dave. Dave ___ the country too
after he got a job, you know. He acted better with _ you know,
when we bought...oh, yeah, and then, see my father couldn't...he never worked.
And finally, he sold that...finally, my Uncle George, he wasn't a good
businessman, but he was, he had ideas. Said there was a...what do you call
that...dairy, you know, cattle and all that's supposed to be sold in the
country. And he talked them into buying it. My father--he knew as much
about that a, well, I know a whole lot more -now than he did. And we
bought that, see, and my father,and Joe went in with him. But Joe is not a
worker either. And I went and got a job in town. I used to go on the bus,
back and forth to work. And this is funny--and finally, Joe left and Dave
worked a little while and he didn't like it either. You know, he used to
-viv-a=a c___,__ ,. that sort of thing. And they all left town, and your
brother, your father got married so early, see, he was the second C_'___ .
So that he, so they worked at _, I told you. Because he was married
before he was nineteen, I think, your father. I don't think he was nineteen
years old. My mother for him. You know what that is?
She mourned for him so. She ggp never met your grandmother or anything.
She was so on edge, she had a bishop for him because he was __
See, he.had a...he used to kind of paint a little bit, you know how it is
in those days. And he was going to take up designing. And Momma used to
starve herself to death, you know, see to give'a little money. And Uncle
took care of them. And he fell in love with your mother and married her.
They met at a wedding or something and she couldn't speak English and with
all due respect, your poor mother, she never learned how to talk English.
She just never, never became Americanized. But her face was so gorgeous.
She really had a Madonna face, didn't she?
I thought she did.
Yeah, but she never became Americanized, so that was her She
didn't wan to.
Did you go to to visit them?
Oh, sure. I let do.n-lthre~.-la-day), and she had some relatives that lived
in Syracuse, do youremember?
Yeah, my grandmother...
And I was just a young girl, and so I met a cousin of hers who had already
finished college or something, and he fell with me and he went in business.
He made a tremendous success.
o -yu k -anyh~ing about Milton?
I don't even remember his name or anything. Anyhow, why he fell in love
with me, I wouldn't know. But he did, see? And I was afraid of him, I
didn't know. I was a naive girl, and one time he, I came there on a Sunday
and he...Saturday or something, I don't know. Your mother was sick and
everything. She went to the hospital there, and so I went to see her again.
See, she was so lonesome. Anyhow, I
stayed with his.parents, see, his family, this boy. Your first cousins.
Andi that night,honey, he got up, together, and he had the most beautiful
dance in the club or something, he did/for me. Boy, he really went for
Skl-,~, Your mother, I didn't know how much in love he was with me,
but, anyway, when I got married, this is funny. So Morris, so we went,
we went to __. We were on our honeymoon, at that time already
Morris was successful, you know. He was a hard worker. So, and he had
business above them to push them. Anyhow, we
stopped over, we were on our honeymoon for a whole month. Went from here
to Chicago because he had relatives there. Had two aunts, see? His mother
died in childbirth, his father died a year later, so he went from
His grandma raised him till he was seven. And, so we met the
two aunts and the families, and then we went, I don't know, we went different
places. Then we went to __ ~ H-e had never known Lizzie or Mary.
I said, "Well, let's go see the family." He said, "All right. I'll go."
We Went to Hot Springs. Not Hot Springs, Niagra Falls, Syracuse. We went
there ard it was in winter. February, we got married eighth of February.
Boy, was that cold up there. Today I know I couldn't take it. But, a3
we went -,hz to see the family, spent overnight, see?
What year was that?
I got married, let's see. What year did I get married? I've forgotten
I swear to you. We were married quite a long time. We were married 45
years when he died.
And he's been dead 14 years now.
Yes. So, anyway, this is, so he met, and you know that cousin of theirs?
Went all the way from Syracuse, he found out that we were there. We just
spent the night there but Mary must have told him we were coming and do
you know the next morning he was there to see me? He wanted to check on
Morris and see me. Can imagine and Morris was jealous as hell. He didn't
P: When you first went to Oswego to visit my grandmother and grandfather,
how old was my mother?
L: How do I know. I tell you the truth, I think your mother was a little
older than your grandfather. Well; she was...
?: No, _,, me. She wanted to know how I was.
P: Ruth, how old was Ruth?
L: Oh, I don't know. They were all...
P: How many years ago did she get married? 45 and 55 and 4...
?: I was about three years old.
L: I think that Dave...yeah, you and Dave were...yeah, I don't think Danny was,
?: No, Danny wasn't born.
L: Well, anyhow, this is funny. So he came to see, check on me, see? He
wanted to know what kind of.guy I married and all. And Morris didn't like
it a bit. And I'll never forget, he got married and he went to Florida
one time --s your mother wanted to know about me and everything
about me, you know, and your mother told me about that. But, anyhow,
he died very young. He had a heart attack. He was very successful.
?: That was Milton Frank.
L: Yeah, I don't know what his name was.
?: I know it was.
L: And she go. ...his wife was not good-looking, and she remarried, she had
two children, married a young boy. I'll never forget as long as I live,
and we were on Broad Street and she called me one day. She said they were
going to Florida. So I went over to the hotel. that time.
And I met her, I took them to dinner. And _/'_ "_ her husband was a
young boy. Isn't that funny? There's funny things happen in this world.
?: That's right.
P: What kind of house did my grandfather and grandmother have?
P: In Oswego.
L: Let's not talk about it.
P: No, I'd like to know about it.
L: How do I know? I can't remember all those years, don't be silly.
you remember. I should remember. Now how could you...if you were a child,
a young girl, how could you remember--an old house? Isn't that silly.
And that's a silly question.
?: You didn't think they had a palace, would you?
L: I don't even remember what it was.
P: AWhen did you meet Morris?
L: Oh, for God's sake, I met him. During the war I went with three boys at
one time. Everyone of them, I went with three boys.
?: World War I, Doris.
P: I know.
L: Yeah. And I'll never forget, I think I was the only one saw him off.
See, he came to Savannah because, you know, family was very
prominent in Savannah, you know, they had a beautiful store here, you know.
The old man was very successful, you know, and he brought them over here
and he worked for him for awhile, see? And it...he had, I think, more
ready wear and all that sort of thing, you know. And I think he got a job
in a small town. He said he was going to make money, he wasn't going to
hang around. -Ut when he came to this country aetg Chicago, he used to
work, go to school and work all night almost, see? You know what I mean?
P: Um hum.
L: And he was the one...he was some worker. I wish the rest of the family
were like that. But anyhow, he came to...and the old man, I guess, paid
him well. They were lovely people. And, oh, _father came
from the poor in Atlanta. I know the family. And that's the only
relatives he had, see? And then he saved up two hundred dollars and he came
and went into business with Barney's uncle. A young uncle. He had been
married in Europe or something and divorced, and he married this New York
girl, and they went into business with him. And the uncle used to brag what
a wonderful businessman he was, but actually it was the hard-working busi-
nessman Morris was, see? So, anyhow, they had to get somebody to help them
during the war, you know. And I was the only one who saw him off on the
train. Isn't that funny? I'll never forget that. When I went with three
guys at the same time, but one guyAwas crazy about. Came from a small town.
Wouldn't even remember his name, but I was crazy about him, but he was a
playboy, see? He'd come to see me only time, and my momma knew and she
didn't even like him. But, oh, I went with three, four of them.at the same
time. If I do say myself, I went out. But I worked with Mr., because
see, I worked for a man who had a store next door, ready-to-wear, next door
to Morris' store, see, and that's how I knew him.
P: When Morris went off, was he in the army?
P: Was Morris in the army?
L: Well, naturally.
?: Well, not naturally. There's a navy too.
L: Yeah, but, no, he went in the army and he was...
?: She's got a picture of him.
L: Yeah, I, he just didn't stay long. He became a sArgeant, you know, and
so, he came back and I got married.
P: Did you know youZ,e- g99' .
L: My mother, my mother was crazy about him because she knew he was ambitious
and he was so et$'e er, you know, and considerate, you know what I mean?
P: Um hum.
L: And how many young fellows are? You know that. He was so considerate and
so thoughtful. I'll never forget, we became engaged, how many, how many
girls he, you know, the first thing, we became engaged, I'll never forget,
and we lived on Bolton Street before we were married. And I see a beautiful
red car comes up and the man said, "Mr. Levy sent this t you." I was
home. It was a Saturday or something or Sunday./ "Take it back. I never
heard of such thing." So Morris said, "Well, I just want to give you a fine
gift." So I said, "Oh no. I don't vaimMT accept anything until I'm
married." I didn't. And, well, anyhow, we got married and that's it.
P: When did my grandfather and grandmother come from Oswego to Savannah?
L: Oh, well, when we got there on our honeymoon, your mother said she didn't
feel well. And your father, your grandfather, never made a living in his
life, you know that, I don't have to tell you. And she was just, and the
climate. It was so cold up there in Oswego, you know, near Syracuse. And
she said, oh, she'd like to get away because she didn't feel good. So, my
husband was a smoke, see, and he was, your father, your grandfather was a
tailor. And my husband was running business, see? So, I think it was
on Broad Street.
?: Yeah, it was in the store, yeah.
L: So, he says, "Well, if you want to take over the alteration department,
you can come down." I never will forget, the first time he and Harry, his
partner, bought an apartment house on 35th and Montgomery. This is funny.
And, so, I had three bedrooms. So, but all due respect to your poorjgrand-
mother, she took advantage of people in ways, but anyhow, she didn't
mother, she took advantage of people in L__ ways, but anyhow, she didn't
like to work. She was a sweet person and she had good sense but one thing,
she didn't like to do things. Your mother, you know, I don't have to tell
Oh, go ahead, continue.
Anyhow, so I, so I says, "All right. I got three bedrooms. You stay here
till you get settled." And I had a big porch, you know, those old-fashioned
porches. And honey, they stayed two, three months with us, and I used to
do, like a damn fool, do all the cooking. She never did anything. And,
so Morris got so sick and tired. He says, "Honey, what in the world...what
is the matter with your aunt, your sister. She's imposing on us." He
said, "You're just a young woman," and he said, "you have to do everything.
They can't live forever with us." So I told her and she got mad, but she
thought I was going to live...she said, "I thought we were going to live with
you." I said, "You did?" And that's the God's truth as I'm sitting here.
I said, "I'm just a young married woman." I said, "You got a husband and a
couple of children." I said, "You mean to tell me that I've sat there
cooking and wait on you and you're to live with me from now on?" "Sure,"
she said, "that's what I thought we come down for." I said, "I'm sorry."
I said, "My husband's finally getting sick of it." And with all due
respect to your grandfather, you know, your father never liked to take orders
from anybody, you know that.
Yeah, I knew that. That I know.
All right, see, I'm telling the truth. So you see, he wouldn't take orders
from Morris. You know, Morris was a very fussy, look, nothing succeeds
like success, right? And there was two people in that store. And he,
and, -- those people failed, see? And he was the first one that
took this...oh, yeah. We were married, yeah, that's right, and the crash
came. See, and he lost almost everything he had in the business. So, it
', o:I, mcx \
was either buy or sell, as she, yeah, His wifewas a typical
New York...yeah, they had two children, I think. And it was either buy
or sell, see? And Morris used to be a heavy buyer of clothing and every-
thing, and everything went down the drain. We were married just one month.
Ah, one year. And, so, what happened. Oh, yeah, it was buy or sell. Well,
they thought thatcher people were wealthy. They were 'O some-
thing, I remember they weren't so wealthy, but you know, in those days, ten
thousand dollars was a lot of money, see? Ten thousand's like a hundred
thousand today. So, Libby, got married a year after I did. And her husband
was an accountant, and he had two, he had two accountants here, I mean, two
clients here. Do you remember they used to have ejie ?
?: Oh, sure.
P: Well, one of them was there, I'm telling you, he was...we thought it was
him that was the smart one. Paid him twenty-five thousand dollars.
1uc oA-5cY fifteen thousand dollars and fell in love with Libby, who's
only his...oh, and the same Marcus's...they had a brother that lived in
\t_________ My cousin, Morris and that's how we got to
know them, see? So, finally Morris-called New York C checked
on him. And he belonged to the finest club and everything and he was
older than she was. And somehow nobody will tell you the truth, see? Well,
anyhow, it doesn't matter, it was the worst marriage you ever heard of in
your life. And they moved to Baltimore. And he was a terrible husband.
See, she had a child. He was selfish and mean and never he woke up/two
*weftsk-sme Well, anyhow, the crash came, yeah, and Morris and...he
used to stay with us all the time. And he played something, instrument,
the violin, something, I don't know. He was wonderful at company, socially,
but he didn't have a good bone in his body. He was mean as hell.
?: That was Ben, Doris.
And you know, it's the funniest.thing. If you didn't know him, you'd think
he was the most charming man in the world. You know. He was very cosmo-
politan. You remember him, don't you?
I remember, yeah.
But, honey, he was the most selfish and most meanest man ini:the world.
And, in fact, when she had an operation one time when they lived in Florida,
I made Max take me down there, and in three days I lost five pounds. I
couldn't eat or sleep. He was so mean. Anyhow, so, Morris says, "Ben;
would you lend me ten thousand dollars? I'll pay you interest." He says,
"Yeah," in those days, he says, eight percent is as much as you could get
get, see? He says, "Yeah," he says, "if you pay me eight percent and then
I want ts collateral, your stock." See, he wouldn't take..not only eight
percent but collateral of the stock, in case Morris would fail, he'd get
everything, see. So Morris was so anxious to get rid of his partner and get
in business for himself. So he said, "All right," so he signed those papers.
Well, he went on Street, and I'm telling you, there were two people
that had failed in the same store where he-Td'-be-there now. And when he took
the store, he rented it, they said, "Morris, two people already have failed
in there. You're going to lose everything you got." He says, "I don't
care. I'm going to take a chance." Well, I don't have to tell you he-had
a hard --e getting credit and everything, but he had guts. Used to get all
the mea, i-h ; the salesmen wouldiwait on them, he'd go to the bosses,
see? I never will forget, there was a line--I was there with him,. C
S he wanted so bad and they wouldn't sell it to him. So he, it took
him two, three days to get to the boss, but when--he finally githese-, he
says, "You know, Morris, I like your guts so much," he says, "I'll give you
a credit regardless." And that's they did. But anyway, I'll
never forget as long as I live. And thank the Lord, you know, I tell you,
I didn't but a skirt, I didn't buy a pair of stockings for one year, you
know, when the crash came. Not one single,..but then, thank the Lord, he
started to do well. He didn't have to leave the v "~ ~you know, we had
to rent that. He ran the store. But anyway, it's a funny world. But
your grandfather didn't want to work for him, see? Because, he didn't take
no, he didn't take no orders from anybody. You know, your, you know, her
father. You didn't know him so well, did you? Well, anyhow...
She knew him.
So he found some of...your father wanted to move Jacksonville. He'd heard
somebody wanted something, I don't know, Jacksonville or something. So
Morris lent. him, went to the bank and he lent'him the money. I never will
forget--eighteen hundred dollars. As long as I live, I'll never forget it.
And your father, your grandfather started to make a living. You know,
tailoring and everything, you know. In fact, he had so many customers,
Morris used to send them. And he never even mentioned the money. So,
well, I don't care. He's not the only one. Everybody in the family owed
us money. And they owe me today, but I don't give a darn." Thank God.
That's not the idea. But I never will forget, when Dave was getting older
already, and your brother, Dave, is the only one that had ambition in the
whole damn family. This is funny. And he was all boy. He was goingr.to
school. I don't know, you know, when they lived here yet.
He wanted to work,see he went to school and he wanted to work. And he lived
on Street, not far from Momma. And I never will forget as long as
I live, so he says, "Uncle Morris,give me a job or something." He says,
"I want to make some money." So it happened that Morris always knew the
big shots, you know, from one of the tencentN stores. What store was that?
H. L. Green.
Yeah, well, anyhow, that's where he went. So he knew this district manager,
see, Morris knew him. And he went to the district manager and he gave him
a job, and that boy worked night and day. He really did. And he came home
one, two o'clock in the morning. He was perspiring in the summertime. You
know, he used to work in cellars and all. And your mother used to complain
to my mother so terrible that don't care how hard her son works.
It's not her son, you know what I mean? And she...but I didn't blame her.
It was her child after all, you know what I mean? But, honey, Momma used
to tell me, says, do something, I can't stand it any longer."
Said, ",c\C-Y runs me crazy." So I told Morris, I said, "Honey," I says, "I
don't care for myself,"but she's telling me, but I didn't give her, you
know, I was younger, but Momma couldn't take it. So I says, "She's just
running Momma crazy and I don't blame her. This is her child." I said,
"But you talk to him and if he don't have to work, he can quit anytime
he gets ready." He walked to him and he talked to Dave and he says, Uncle
Mor...he come home dirty, you know how it is, and he say, "Uncle Morris,"
he says, "I appreciate your doing that." He says, "IAnot paying norattention
to my momma and father." He says, "I want to work and make a few dollars.
I don't want to be poor. I'm going to work myself to death," he says, "but
I want to work." He says, "Now, I'm going to tell my mother to stay away
from you and Aunt Mary," see, "and my mother" see? And so they went and he
told his mother and she stopped nagging Momma, you remember?
I/remember that, but I remember...
And then, and then Morris got him a job in Macon with the same firm. See,
he was such a hard worker, and he got him a job with the same firm. Well,
No, Mary; uh huh, that's wrong.
Dave went with H. L. Green in Savannah, then they transferred him...
Yeah, that's right.
That's right, that's right, and he went up north, but he became, at twenty
he became manager for the store in Macon, am I right?
Yes, just about right.
That's right. See, your grandfather was, I mean, Dave, your father, was
Dave, her uncle, Dave.
...was the only hard worker in the whole damn family. My brothers, none of
them worked. They don't like it, they don't like it. With all due respect
to your grandfather, he had talent, but he'd like to go to meetings instead
of work, see? And sometimes we'd drive through, Morris and I, and he'd
meet us for breakfast, see? And heAhave to go to meetings and to do anything
he'd go on to meetings and all. Your mother used to have eti-pta-en fits.
I remember, but, he was a talented and he was a wonderful tailor. You know
what I mean?
But he just he should have made, he would have made a wonderful designer
or he'd ofmade something, not out, not in business, you know what I mean,
n He was no businessman, in other words.
That's the word.
He was no businessman.
Oh, terrible. And he said, ?" Well, now, I
won't tell what happened between your grandmother and him. Oh, boy, and
everytime...and, you knew, one thing about her mother--she used to have a
lot of confidence in me, didn't she?
Yes, she liked you.
And )now my sister hates her guts, I don't know
why. Everything she got in her house, well, it was mine. And I been won-
derful to them all the time. And they a-a-may-have a lot of money right
now, but she hates my guts. And my brother was not good...well, anyhow,
that's another thing. She looks like hell, by the way. I told them you
were going to call. ee.e
He don't care if you don't, but, that's another story. But, anyhow...
Are they going to go out to dinner with us tonight or not?
No, she hardly ever goes. Since a couple of months ago, I said they had
never been to that new restaurant. I said, "I wonder if she'd go with me.
She hates my guts." Why, I don't know, I been so good to her and her family,
her son and everything. If it wasn't for me, he wouldn't be in Atlanta. I
hate to tell you what went on. But, she hates me. I don't know if it's
jealously or what. I don't know what it is. Sister-in-law, she would,
they lived, her son lived in Titusville too and he wasn't ever ambitious
either. He's a...
You know Allen,don't you, Doris?
Yeah, you know, he talks alot, but you know. But anyway, he used to sell a
little insurance and work in the store. See, he wanted to get a...there was
an old store for rent, for sale, or something on the corner, and he was
going to go into business, and not be with his father or mother, because
everytime I'd see them, the daughter-in-law would complain to me...she
knows Doris.. used to have a fight. And I used to make peace between
knows Doris... jL used to have a fight. And I used to make peace between
them all the time, and he didn't talk to Mother, I said, "Why don't you
tell your mother off sometime?" He says, "You know I don't like to fight
with Mother." You know, he's one of those easy-going guys, isn't it?
Yes, Allen is.
Well, anyhow, so the one that when they came down here, I said, "Why the
hell don't you go, come and talk...why don't you leave Thomasville and go
to Atlanta?" She was originally an Atlanta girl and her father was a nice
man. He was a druggist but he died young. Mother's...she married all right,
though, believe me.
You know her mother married.
She did, believe me, she's all right. But she's sick now. Well, anyhow,
this is funny. So what happened? Oh, yeah, so finally this little store's
friend, he said, "well, I don't know." He says, "Momma would like to have
us here some." I says, "So just write me a letter." See, my brother has
no control of ; my sister has control of everything. See, she
gives him an allowance, you know. Oh, boy...
Let me call him a minute.
So anyhow, this is funny. This whole thing I gotta finish. So here's
Allen going to business _. I says, I says, "Let me tell
you something. You are not going to do well." First thing, he's not a
good businessman. Second, I says, "YouAfight with your mother and father
all the time." And the daughter-in-law--she was a good girl--she's got a
funny voice, but otherwise she's a good girl, you know. And they had four
children already I think. Their boys were twins. They were darling boys,
by the way. And I says, "It's not going to work out." So one day he called
and, oh, yeah, so, they wanted me to lend them the money to buy the building
so I lent...so my sister-in-law, not Dave, but sister-in-law writes me a
letter and note how she signed it,see? She's the business...she's the brain,
you know, she don't give him control of anything. And I know it and she
knows I know it, see? So anyhow, to make a long story short, I tore off
where I signed the note, you know? And I said I'd still...I wrote the
boy a letter. I says, "Here. I'm lending to you this money." I said,
"I don't want no note, When you make good, you'll pay me." But I said,
"I still say, you should go to Atlanta." So sure enough, I guess his wife
talked him into it, and they went to Atlanta. And she went into the real
estate business. I want you to know, she made a lot of money. And he went
in insurance. He claims he does wonderful, but I don't, if he's like my
brother, I don't know, I hope he does alfright. Well, two girls went to
college. She told me she was paying the tuition, and I thought she'd...
I said, 6~ge ~6'C& L wc. 1thlii thought my hair would come out. She'd only
pull me out. She wanted her son to be a big shot. Well, I know he's not.
He's full of conversation. But anyhow, they're doing all right. So both
the girls...say the oldest one has got a lot of guts. She's a nice looking
girl, don't you think?
Uh huh, I even said it when she was little.
Oh, yeah, very pretty. She's tall and she was kind of heavy but she thinned
down. She used to come here all the time. Iq have a nephew from Columbia.
He used to take up...used to work with retarded children in Atlanta, and
he's the bestest natured thing in the world. So now he's taking up nursing,
you know. See, he wants to be a nurse, a man...a...
A male nurse.
Well, anyhow, she used to come with him. Make him ride their car. He had
a little car, she had a little car. They'd come here all the time,see?
She'd come here with him. And I never will forget, well, anyway, but right
on I wouldn't tell, but it's just...she finished college and she started
to work for a distillery in Atlanta. And she'd come here all the time.
Anyhow, well, anyhow, she's the kind that's got more guts than the law
allows. And a big mouth, see? Selfish as hell. But it's good for her, I
guess. And now,Athey're sending her all over the country, I understand, to
represent the firm.
Yaah, and the other one is not as good looking but she's a sweeter girl.
See, this one is selfish as hell. She never said...as good as I been to
her, I've never had a thank you note yet from her. But, anyway, that's
all right too. I don't give a damn. Let them do/)for themselves. But
she's, she's 24 years old, and I think the youngest one already finished
college. She's got a job. But the twin boys are finishing, they got this
year. But one of them is handsome. And I don't mean .__ Even
cy7L~ -- -^
when they were little, we'd go to Thomasville. You know, when their
grandfather from Atlanta died, she moved to Miami, you know. Yol
__ And I was her best friend. I've always been her best friend.
Why, I don't know. And one day, she said, "Mary, come on let's go to
Thomasville." I says, "All right. What do I have to do..." I was in Miami,
you know, for five years. And she moved there, and she run me crazy. One
day, and the kids were little, and they put me between them all the time.
I could prove it to you. I don't know why, they always liked for me to
sit with them. There were two grandmothers there...they wouldn't come near
therg..well, and it happened all the time. When Dave had a fiftieth anniver-
sary, remember, we went...you didn't go with us.
No, I didn't go to it, but I remember it.
Well, they had such beautiful parties anyway.It was nothing anyway. But
those two boys were grown boys. They af~try were in college, see. "Aunt
Mary, don't you sit with anybody but us." And they had two grandmothers
and wouldn't you think they'd sit with their grandmothers? And I'll prove
it to you. "Aunt Mary, don't you sit with anybody. We want to sit..."
Put me in the middle. The oldest one is handsome. And the other one
is not so good looking. He had trouble with his eyes or something. He
wears glasses with a lovely voice. And they're taking up business admin-
istration, I think. They came to see me one time, I think. But, anyhow,
that's their family.
END OF SIDE 1A
DUV13A Page 29
?: I remember her sitting on the porch, was it Montgomery Street they lived on?
L: On Bull Street, when she died she lived on Bull Street.
?: And they had a porch.
L: Enclosed porch.
?: Arid she used to-sit on the porch and rock. And she had two little
I got pictures of it, you know, right here. Her hair was your
color. A little bit lighter.
L: You want me to tell something about my mother? She was 71, I think, or
72. Poppa was 71, I think. He had two operations, one after another, died
in my arms in the hospital. Second operation he had a heart attack. My
mother died, I think she was 71 or 2, I don't...I think 72. But she never
had a grey hair in her head and she was fair. My sister Libby's the only
one who's very fair. See, I look like my father. And Libby looks a little
bit like Momma, not as pretty. My mother had perfect features and everything.
I'm built like her a little bit, but, anyhow, she gave birth to nine children;
she raised seven. And do you know, when she was dying, she said, "Look,
at you, my child, I don't have a grey hair." And she was sick for 15 years.
Heart condition. She fell down the stairs and that...anyway, so and she
said, "Look at you. You're getting grey." I said, "Momma, I don't mind.
I don't care if I get white." "Oh, my child, I wish I could get white instead
of you." I said, "Momma, I don't mind it." She said I was trying to pacify
her, see? But when I buried her, she didn't have a grey hair in her head.
And she had to have a bath everyday of her life. And she changed her clothes
everyday, I want you to know. She'd crawl and do things, see? Of course,
my sister Beth's husband _. I made/fwhen we were on Bull Street,
see? I had to...see, my father wasn't working anyway. Lost everything he
had. When I came back from my honeymoon early, he was going to go into
bankruptcy, my husband wouldn't let him go into bankruptcy, oK o
bankruptcy. And that's...I took care of him ever since.
They lived on Bull Street all that time?
Um hum. And when my, my husband got my brother or Mike's brother or
husband a job at Ben Friedman, you know...here's a guy, made it all on his
own, became a multi-millionaire on his own. Nobody gave him a nickel. And
do you know that, that all th years that my mother lived, when I was
married, I had to pay, I paid the rent always. And then I had to supply
them with clothes and everything. I used to deny myself every...and Bess
had to live with them because her husband couldn't pay rent. And look,
when she was in the hospital, five and a half weeks in the hospital, six,
three doctors. Who do you think paid the bill? My husband did not say a
word. Could you believe it? Now, you know, that's...sometimes when I
I didn't know there was nine children.
I thought there was just seven children.
Nine. She had two sons, died, she said. I didn't know. She said they
were a couple of years old or something, but died. She said she had nine--
three daughters and four boys she raised. Well, you know what, and my
momma was beautiful, wasn't she? Everybody loved her. And she, you talk
about cleanliness. Honey, the tablecloth on the table had to cleaned here.
My father wouldn't even sit down till she sat down. She waited on him, you
Did your father work any of those years?
No ma'am. Mrs. Levy took care of all of them. My husband used to say, he
said, "Honey, you know," he put up with everybody's business, even my
brother Joe lost Y0Y but he put him in business somewhere, Cd Aie\, L\d.;'
tl\e I don't care about that. You know what I mean? But, my
husband used to always tell me, he says, "You know, honey, if it wasn't for
the family, I sure would be a wealthy man." I had to support them. Listen,
I used to have my mother in and out of hospitals. Never without '
nurses. My father never...he had the best of everything. Nurses and doct...
everything. And Bess, always. But now, you know how she treated me when I
was so ill.
Yeah, I know.
When I came back from Hopkins. Honey, she wouldn't move from here to &fe
somebody, she'd have to run everyday out of town. I told her, she'd say,
you know, well, what's the use of talking about my illness. I've been in
the hospital so many...I've had so manyperations I wouldn't know where I
wasn't operated on, that's all. I had a deviated septum here. Had that
done in Atlanta; I couldn't breathe. I had her in...what's the name of
that hospital in North Carolina?
Duke. I had her twice, couple of weeks at a time. She was always sick,
that's the truth. But she'd give in, see? And I had, I had a checkup and
he said, "You're all right, but you need, you have to have an operation."
I couldn't breathe, I couldn't sleep at night. Had that. And then I went
from, I went from hospital to hospital, that's all I can tell you, all my
life, didn't I? I was in Hopkins five and a half weeks, six weeks, something
like that. And fhen my doctor, you know, he was a gynecologist, and he
says, "You know, Mary," he says, "I had a sister who died with the same
thing you had," he said, but you know what? I was a free bleeder. See,
and they didn't know where it came from. I first started, I, finally I went
to Atlanta, went to Baltimore, went to everywhere--Philadelphia. They
couldn't find out what was wrong with me. My doctor was one of the best
in Savannah--couldn't find out/I was a bleeder. And finally when I went to
Hopkins, no, and finally I said, I went to Hopkins--they found that I had,
oh, I was there three days, that I had a tumor. This is funny. Between
my uterus and my spine, would you believe it? Did you know I had that?
Yeah, I know it.
And they operated, and I was a free bleeder. See, and I almost E\s to
death. You know, I had it operated on three times, and of course, if it
wasn't for Dr. the best in the world, I wouldn't be here. But he
says, "You know, Mary," he says, "I had a sister who died of the same thing
you have." And the last time I went, I'll never forget, you know Cecil's
brother-in-law was a doctor. You know, he's a pediatrician. He used to
come every day of his life to see me. And I told Libby--Libby happened
to come in to see me. I was so sick, and I said, "Libby," I was going up
to the operating room at eleven o'clock. They wouldn't let anybody in my
room for five weeks. But, so she, they let her in by eleven o'clock to
stay for fifteen, twenty minutes. She didn't stay but a few days in
Baltimore. So, I gave her orders. I said, "Listen, Libby, I'm going up-
stairs, and they're operating on me again." I said, "I don't expect to
come down because Dr. '_not happy about it." I said, "Don't you
call anybody, don't anyb...call Dr. Goldberg and he'll call Morris. I
don't want you to call Morris until it's over with." So she said, "How
can you talk so.calm?" I said, "Well, Libby, we all have to die and I been
through so much, I don't care. I been through so much agony." Libby will
tell you. And so she called Dr..Ggoldberg Yight away when I was upstairs,
and, honey, he didn't have no office hours that day. I heard his voice in
the back...and every doctor and nurse was in this operating room because
it's just a phenomena. There was Libby, you know, my guts, I guess, kept
me. That's what he told me anyway. So, I heard Dr. Gol...and Dr.
wouldn't let anybody touch my pulse but him. I had no pulse probably. So
he said...I heard Dr. Goldberg, so I said, "Doctor, let my friend in."
He said, "Oh, no, Mary, nobody can come in. I'm sorry, he can't." I says,
"He's my dearest friend and he comes to see me everyday." See, his hospital
where he worked was two blocks away, but, you know, on account of Cecil,
we were so close, I don't know, I never saw anybody like him. And he came
right away. Closed his office, didn't have any office hours. He came.
I says, "Let him in." I says, "He, I know," I says, "he's not working in
his office," and I begged him. He said, "All right, but he can't come near
you." I said, "I don't care, as long as he's in the room, he'll be satisfied."
And sure enough, that's how. Well, anyhow, he used to pack me and I used to...
you see, you have to know something about illnesses. You know, you're still
young, but you know, I was a young girl then. And it was the packing would
come out and they would just almost. He packed me again.
And I said, "Well, how am I to live?" And, so, he said, "Mary, my sister
died of this same thing. I hate to tell you this." He said, "I want you..."
he says, "you've got guts. That's the only thing that's holding you." He
said, "So, don't give up." So they put me on the table. My back was
killing me. And they put a doctor to watch me. See, I had a doctor to
watch me for two, three days, morning, noon and night. Besides, there were
three nurses. And finally, the thing shot up again. I said, "Oh, oh,
Mary, you're really going." So, Dr. '_came running and do you know,
that it wasn't,see, it didn't cover the see, you'll have to find
out...today's wonderful. He found out that a big vein in my insides would
stay open and they didn't know where it came from, see, and they didn't
know what to use. Today they've got all kinds of things for bleeding, for
everything in the world. Don't you understand? People don't know what
are. Today they take it all for granted. But he didn't know. They
didn't have anything in those days. Huh?
Well, anyhow, to make a long story short, honey, he kept me there and of
course, then they called Morris. Oh, yeah, Morris used to call me every
night. And so, he call...and so Dr. ___ used to go home at four o'clock.
He had no children, but all he did was operate, see? So four o'clock, he
aaid, I says, "Doctor, &ew you sitting in my room." I says, "Doctor, why
don't you go home?" He said, "Mary, I'm not going home till Morris calls."
I said, "He doesn't call until about six thirty, seven o'clock when he comes
in from business." I said, "You've got to...you can't do that." He said,
"yes, I am." They brought him something, cup of coffee,)something, I don't
know. He sat there. Morris called me and I could hardly talk, see? And
he says, "What's the matter, honey?" I said, "Oh, you woke me up." I
wouldn't tell him. I didn't tell him. I had guts. So he said, "What's
the matter?" I said, "Well, you woke me up. I was fast asleep." He
says, "Oh," he apologized, "I'm so sorry. Well, go back to sleep." Well,
when I closed the phone, Dr. __ started to laugh. I thought he'd never
stop. He said, "Mary, how could you not tell your husband?" I says, "No,
I don't want him to worry, because he worries so much about me." So Joe
was in Baltimore the next morning and he came in-r.-
Baltimore, a lot of our friends, you know, Baltimore was my second home.
And he came in the store and told Morris about it. And Morris took the
first plane, of course he came down there. Otherwise he wouldn't know.
And I wouldn't let Libby tell him. Isn't that funny?
How...are you getting up?
Well, my God, I talked my head off. I talked for two hours almost.
Well, how old was your father when he died?
He was about 71.
When was that? What year?
I don't remember the year. I should remember the year.
How many years has that been? Let's see.
A long time. You see, he was, and he had a prostrate operation.
No, he had a kidney operation. You know, stones? And then a week or two
later, see, he was operated, I had him in the hospital and took him home.
Who did it all? Me. And he had another. So they had, doctor said, "I
have to operate on him." So, I guess he couldn't take it,see? And Momma,
Bess and Momma came to see him and they walked home. And during that time,
I saw...the nurse went out to get something, and I saw he couldn't talk
anymore and he held on to my, held on to his arm, my hand and I kissed
his hand and I shook his hand like that, and he died right in my arms.
Momma did too.
S.:he buried here in Savannah?
Where else? Where else would he be buried? That's a question number one.
Well, listen, a lot of people...
My mother died, she died. She lived a year or so afterwards. She was
fifteen years. But you never had a grandmother like that
maybe. Never. Nobody did. You didn't know her so well, did you?
Yes, I did..
Yeah, I guess so. Oh, she was so good.
Sure, I remember.
S-- ^ my brothers used to come to see her, see? F\_Vo_______
she'd stay five minutes...they all livedout of town most of them. All but
Max; he lived with her. And they'd stay five minutes and-ggpal run to
the movies. And so she says, "My son-in-law stays with me, comes to see me
everyday. My sons can't stay. for ten minutes with me." You see,what I mean?
My brother Dave and all of them. Never. Your father. Mind you, Mother's
Day they never even sent her a card. They'd never think of it. You know
what I mean? It's terrible, isn't it? At least Max used to stay till after
every Sunday, yau know, when she was living. Libby, Libby's a good
woman, but she's had plenty of choice. You know, the last time I had that
terrible operation a couple of years ago?
No, first when I came back to Savannah I had a gall bladder operation.
I lived where my brother lives, you know. AThey gave me as much attention
as this, see? And I said, "I have to get away from them," because I didn't
have no place to go. At least here I could get a cab or something, you
know, some friends I had...at that time I had a lot of friends living around
here. They're all gone but, and so, I moved away. I couldn't stand it down
there, see, the way they treated me. "Oh," she said, "oh, Mary, when we
move to Mia...Savannah, and she marries a wonderful cook, I wouldn!:t have
to go in the kitchen. She'll cook." And sure enough, they imposed on me,
see? And I just had to get away. So when I had my gall bladder operation,
I went to the hospital, St. Joseph's, and I stayed there a couple of weeks.
And I asked her...I didn't have a maid then...my maid was sick or something,
I don't know. There was a girl, somebody told me about, I says, I says,
"This girl--she came to see me in the hospital." I says, "You go down...
my sister/will let you in, I'm going home tomorrow, my sister/will let
you into the houseA he'll tell you what to do to clean up." So, I was
going to pay her by the hour. See? This is what made me move. And so
he was going to bring me home from the hospital. She comes with him to
take me home, but she wouldn't let him move...she wouldn't let him stay
with me five minutes alone, see? So, as she put me in the back and sit
in the front _SA, you know, and I had the...and she...so this is funny.
We drive up to my apartment and I got an apartment. I got an apartment
some other place and then the woman who runs the apartment building, her
husband worked for us for thirty years, so she says, "Oh, Mrs. Levy, I got
a wonderful apartment for your brother right..facing...you remember, next
?: Yeah, I know where he lived.
L: So anyhow, so I get to my apartment. I see this old colored girl sitting
there. I said, "I thought you were in the house?" She says, "Well,
nobody will let me in. Said she had done, woman said she can't be bothered."
I just felt so terrible. So we opened the door and I didn't know the girl
was a sick girl. And they dropped my bag and everything down before she
ran out, my sister-in-law, and five minutes later, he ran out, see? So
the girl, I couldn't move, you know. And she told her what to do, little
things, you know. And I had cooked a few things before, you know, see,
because I knew my sister-in-law already. So I had it in the freezer. So
that's how I ate, see? But the only time I saw them, so the girl cleaned
up and she I don't know, she left. But I used to crawl
out of bed and just help myself, see? Never made me a cup of coffee. And
the only time I see her is when, oh, yeah, he'd say, "If you want me around,
going to the grocery store, if you want me to buy youp something, I'll buy
for you." You know. But if I had company and she knew, she saw, because
we were right next door to each other, she'd be the first one there, see?
You know what I mean? To show how thoughtful she was of me.
(Chuckles) I don't know. You know, her mother and I used to argue, but we
were sisters-in-law, you know what I mean, like sisters, you know what I
mean? Sisters argue too. You know, she'd complain about your father and
DUV13A Page 38
we'd take .him out and she'd complain and we'd take him out and give him
hell and it was anyhow...but, and my sister-in-law, Hannah, my brother
Joe's wife, she was the most wonderful woman who ever lived. I'm telling
you. She had a, see, she had a heart operation, had two. And the last
time, of course I was up there, and her sister was up there from '___
you know. And so, if the doctor would let her have company for five
minutes, she would send for me. See? She'd send for me. And her sister
~iosft got one time into a restroom, she said, and she balled her heart
out on me. "I'm the sister, you're the sister-in-law. How come you go
in there?" I said, "Because she sends for me." See? Jealousy because
they weren't too close. wasn't pretty but she was a wonderful
S person. She was ugly. Oh, you knew Hannah.
?: Um hum.
L: I'm telling you, she was a wonderful person. And she had a brother, only
one brother. And he got married. He was in the same kind of business that
we were, see, and he had...what do you call that, he had to go up into
the mountains those days...
?: A resort?
?: A resort?
L: No, it had some kind of something.'in the chest or something.
?: Oh, oh, oh.
L: But it wasn't a heart attack.
?: No, TB.
L: No, it wasn't TB.
L: Asthma, or something, anyhow. He lived there a month after he was married.
He married the wrong girl. She was pretty but she was terrible. So when
he got through with that...his mother always had, she raised those children
because she had, her husband died very young, and she had two girls and one
boy. And so when Max went into the army, he went in to the navy, and he
used to board with them, see? So he met Hannah, and he met her, and she
was so neat and clean and everything. And Hannah had no guts, you know; all
the women went up to my brother Joe. He had the most beautiful features of
the whole family. He really did. You didn't know that because he was always
Well, I thought he was pretty good-looking.
But, I know, but, honey, he was something. But his features were perfect.
They were perfect. How did I recognize him when he was dying, you know,
when I saw him in the _. I said I never realized how
handsome he was, but anyhow, he would, the women all went for him, because
he was a chaser. And, but she just didn't have guts enough to chase him,
and so he thought, and she was so clean andineat, and he used to board with
his mother; so that's how he wanted to marry her, see? And she had a pretty
sister who got married before she did and lived up north. So anyway, he
said, "Mary, I want you to meet the girl." So we went to Charleston, and
I fell in love with her too. And she came to see Momma and Momma liked
pretty girls and she was very homely, wasn't she?
But, I said, "Momma, she's a good wife for him." And I said, so I says,
"Joe, tell me, why are you:marrying her?" He says, "Well, because she's so
clean and so neat." He loved clean people and neat. And he said, "Another
thing," he says, "no other men are going to chase her. I'm sure of her."
As I'm standing here, that's the truth. Because he was a chaser. All the
women went after him. He had a way with them. I don't know what it is.
Anyhow, she had a...so, the brother went to Norfolk, Virginia and he married
this girl he married from Baltimore or somewhere. She was a beautiful girl
but she had nothing 6n the ball. But, honey, he made the most terrific
success in the insurance business. Terrific. He made millions. And he
sent one son, after he finished college, he went into the navy, I believe.
And during the war, the second war, he went to Europe and came back on a
freighter because he wanted to know how it was. And he stopped in Savannah,
the freighter stopped in Savannah, you know, in our harbor, and he was over
at the house. Anyhow, he, so when we went home, his father, he made so
many millions, he didn't...I mean, wasn't they, their suffering in the
work anymore. So he was holding the business for his son. This is funny.
You never heard that about that, did you?
?: Yeah, I had, but Doris hasn't.
L: But, anyhow, this is funny, so he said, "Well, son, now you take over my
business, the insurance business." He said, "What am I going to do with
all that money?" He bought him a beautiful big car and everything, you
know, and he said, "now, you do that." He said, "Dad, I hate to tell you,
Dad, but I don't like the insurance business." He said, "I'm sorry, but..."
He says, "What do you mean you're sorry?" See, he used to come to see us
all the time, you know, the father. We were very close. /Used to give all
his men that worked for him vacations in Florida and all that sort of thing.
He'd stop here to see us. So he says, "All right, what do you want to do?"
He said, "I want to become a builder." He said, "Builder? You don't know
anything about it." He said, "But I like it, and that's what I want to do,
if you don't mind." So Ben says, "All right. I'll give you a chance."
He said, "Build us a house on the beach." That's the God's truth, see,
Ben told us that. So he built them a house on the beach and it was a
___ He said, "Now I know you." So he put him into business, and tkan
Jag sold it to a big corporation. Well, it wasn't long and Ben died.
L: And she came once or twice. I never liked her. But anyway, he was a
wonderful brother. And with all due respect to my poor brother, he left
her well, you didn't know that, did you about the will that he left.
?: Joe's will?
L: No, no.
?: Oh, Ben's will?
L: Ben's will.
?: I know about that will.
L: So he left a will. He used to send her money all the time. You know, she
was so sick and all. AndAleft a will. I don't know how much cash he left,
I've forgotten now. But he left a will and in those days two hundred dollars
a month was a lot of money, especially when you lived in a little old country
town. He left them two hundred dollars a month. He knew if he left them
outright, Joe would blow it in. Two hundred dollars a month for fifteen
years. Would you believe it? And the last year when Joe died, that
expired. Isn't that funny?
P: Let me ask you one more question. Where did the name Lipsey come from?
L: I don't know. Lipsey, I don't know. I understand that my father's name
was a different name and Uncle Joe and Uncle Wolfe came first to this
country. I'm not sure. And when they landed they said it was something...
was it '_or something, I don't know what. And they said
something about Lipsey, and so they took the name of Lipsey. Actually, I
don't think they were born with that name. I'm not sure what happened.
I don't know. Anyhow, I'm sick and tired of talking, my God.
END OF INTERVIEW