Interview with Rose Weiss, April 28, 1967

Material Information

Interview with Rose Weiss, April 28, 1967
Weiss, Rose ( Interviewee )


Subjects / Keywords:
Miami-Dade County Oral History Collection ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
Miami-Dade County (Fla.) -- History.


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Dade County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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Fla, erq. 19 (i)
Rose Weiss
4a 2-8, 1967
Typed by 1MD

I: This tape was made on April 28, 1967, at the apartment of Mrs. Rose Weiss,

on West Avenue in Miami Beach, one of the new high rises, on the lower

Biscayne Bay side of Miami Beach. Mrs. Weiss at that time, 83 years old.

She has been at the beach ever since 1921, and was greatly known and loved

as a figure on Miami Beach. She was into everything, as this interview

will show.

I: It is the 28th of April 1967 and uh, yes this thing is working O.K.

Alright, well, Mrs. Weiss, if you will just start out by telling me

I can see by this clipping in the paper that you showed me, just tell

me in your own words how you came to Miami Beach, what made you come

here and uh ......

W: That was the first question that Petrie asked me when I joined the

Chamber of Commerce. I was one of the first members.

I: Oh were you?

S: Yeah. The Chamber of Commerce, infact the Chamber of Commerce is my

baby ____organization. I used to love it. I was a member for many,

many, many years. I was in business here, naturally, and uh, that was

the first thing he asked me and I told him. I said that I was a victim

of Asthma, up north, and I had a friend of mine that was here, and she

always used to write to me how lovely it is, and one of the doctors up

north said Rosie, you want to get relief, travel. And he mentioned

places to go to, and when he said Florida, I thought of my

friend. And I wrote her a letter, and she said, Rosie, come here you'll

feel better. And uh, after, uh, I'll get you a place in the hotel, hotel.

Grants Hotel, here on the Beach, the little one down there. And she said

Fla. Pers. #19 (2)

come up. So I packed up my things and I left my two children and husband

up north, and I took my baby, I wouldn't leave my baby, he was almost

two years old. I took the jeans.....the doctor now, uh, here, and I,

and as soon as I came here, I was here about three weeks, I found the

relief. I was able to breathe.

I: What time of year was this? What month, remember?

W: Yeah sure, it was the end of October.

I: The end of October. And so you came down and you stayed at.....

W: 1920, yes.

I: 1920, and it must have been at Brown's Hotel on the South Beach.

W: That's right, that's right.

I: And that was still a development, wasn't it at that time?

W: Oh no, I don't know. It was on theFirst Street, just the First

Street, and Ocean Drive.

I: What was Brown's Hotel like?

W: Oh, my dear. Well it was a club really, It was very nice, Mr. and

Mrs. Brown were very nice. And, uh, she had a number of rooms, and

she had some equipment there to take care of, no more than I got

here, believe me. A little place to keep food and cook. It was very

nice really, I was surprised, being just an undeveloped town, that I

should find even a little hotel like that.

I: You mean you had......

W: Yes.

I: Each one had a little kitchenette.

W: A little kitchenette. You know, you know. the Lincoln Road Hotel,

then, but of course that wasn't for me there, but I enjoyed it

very much, this one. And then Ib l ought the Royal, under construction.

Fla. Pers. # 19 (3)

Apartment House.

I: You bought the Royal Apartment House.

W: Yes. And then of course, I went home, and took my family here

and uh, now I'm living here.

I: What year was it that you bought the Royal?

W: 1921.

I: So, in other words, you came here in October of 1920, with your son,

you got relief, you decided you wanted to stay here...

W: Yup.

I: And then how did it occur to you to go into business here and buy

the hotel and everything.

W: Well, I made up my mind, if I am going to live here, and I felt so good

and I made friends here, it was unbelievable in-the one year how many

friends I made. And first, I went to City Hall, and I liked the City

Council, there was about five men there, in City Council, and from that

day to about three years ago I was sitting on City Council, listening

to the boys, how they operate, I liked it then, but I don't like it now.

I: We'll cover that a little later, about the changes, so, uh, how, when

did you buy the Royal, you said it was under construction, but.....

W: 21...and I took all -

I: About how long did it take you to make up your mind to live here?

W: Well, I'll tell you the truth, I made up my mind in a month. Spent a

month in this place, it was like a paradise. I felt in that year I

was living in Shangrila. I'm so happy, because suffering with asthma

for ten years or more, and to get rid of that disease. When I got

busy, I loved the place, I loved the people, I liked to help everybody

Fla. Pers. #19 (4)

and everybody....I got into welfare work through the schools. I was

child welfare chairman for all the schools. I started with a little

boy, want to hear that?

I: I want to _you know, you said

talking about being up north, you never did tell me where you lived

up north.

W: New York-and Brooklyn.

I: You lived in Brooklyn.

W: Brooklyn.

I: Were you born in Brooklyn?

W: No. I was born in Europe.

I: Well, I didn't know that.

W: Oh, yes.

I: You were born in Russia, Poland.

W: Poland, that's right.

I: And then when did you come over here?

W: 5 years, not quite 5 years.

I: You were five years old when you came over here.

W: And in private school at six of course.

I: You went right from to, did you go through Ellis Island? Well,

you wouldn't remember, probably.

W: Why! Of course I remember. When we landed he it was the Garden,

they called it. The Castle Garden. That was the name. \ my

father was here first. He was two years and then he sent for us.

Fla. Pers. # 19 (5)

And my father and his cousin was there to meet us. At the Castle Garden.

And we got on a trolley car I remember, a horse car, and we went a few

blocks and then we got off and that was in New York, on Stanton Street,

I remember the streets, I remember...

I: Good, tell me about it, because that's part of the stry too, you know.

W: And from there, from there, we, I got it all down in my book, we went

to ... Dade had a nice little apartment ready for us, and we stayed

and I entered school. I remember the teacher taking me, I couldn't speak

a word of english, you know, but the few words I picked up

and uh, I uh, she uh, and in the early days

in school, years ago, they didn't have as many young teachers as now,

yes older. And she took me on her lap, and she picked up my

and it had lace on it. Oh, she said, how pretty. I said my mama

makes that for me. You see, my mother was very handy and she kept me

dressed like a queen. Like a rich child. And the teacher was so pleased

with me, and I learned very quick. I was promoted,

I went until the 7th grade. And then I went to work. I went

to work when I was thirteen years old.

I: Well uh, were you in school in Brooklyn?

W: No, New York, still New York. After I married....

I: Oh, I see....

W: After I married, I went to Brooklyn.

I: Well, where did you go to work when you were thirteen years old?

W: Well, a factory, a brush factory. And I had to walkfrom, well, we lived

on Columbia Street in those days, on the other end, like Ocean Drive

Fla. Pers. #19 (6)

and this is West Avenue. That's across the island. It was just about

as afar as that, to go to the factory where I worked. It was just

on the riverside. And I lived on the other side of New York City.

I: And what did What was that?

W: Like the ghetto, was what they used to call,it. Like here, South Beach.

It was over there too, on the east side.

I: Yeah. Down near the Brooklyn Bridge.

W: The east side.

I: And then you used to walk over to the west side, then how long

did you work in the brush factory?

W: 5 years....2 and one half dollars, I started on a week, and then he

gave me a raise later to five and at that time I stopped workingin

that place and then I got another job, in a place called Green Point.

I: That's in Brooklyn.

W: Do you knew something about this New York?

I: Oh, a little bit, I lived there for a few months.

W: So uh, I uh, The same business. And uh, it was toohard for me. I went

to night school, and I got up at 5 or 5:30 to get ready for the place.

The place was out in Green Point and that was ten blocks from where

I lived.

I: It was too much.

W: Yes. And in the winter, the snow was higher than I was. And I went

there and it was too much for me and my mother and dad said no I

didn't have to go to work there. Then I took up designing-things.

Fla. Pers. # 19 (7)

I: Is that something youlearned at night school?

W: No, no my mother was very handy, I designed dresses and my mother she

had a friend who had a little shop and she said, let Rosie come to me

I'll teach her. So I did. Well it wasn't long, I wouldn't say

and I said yes, after that I wasn't satisfied, I saw an

ad in the paper. They um, wanted artists.., they're paid while learning.

Oh, that was me. I was afraid to tell my mother, and I was afraid to

tell my father. I said I'm not going to go to Jenny any more. I said

I'm going to try this job. You can't understand Jewish, but I'll do

the best I can for you. My father said to me; What do you want that

for' to make picturlech, picturlech is pictures, you know, picturlech,

I says yes. I always wanted to do something art or something. I didn't

have the education to go any further at that time. I don't know if I

have it now. (laugh),:.

I: So your father said you wanted to make picturlech.

W: Well, I went there and I applied for the job and I faked my age. I was

at that time, not even 17, and I said I was 18. And I make my hair

I had a head of hair, I made my hair a little bit up, and I put on

a dress I would : to a a party, the dresses in those days, and I

made myself nice and I went up to that place. It was on the Flyline

building.nin New York, way up high in the studio they had an open roof

not an open roof a light roof. Yes, that's right. And I went up there,

and a rather nice gentleman sitting in the office, in one of those

frenchmen, tall, handsome, beautiful man. Oy a got so nervous, you know

what and he looked at me and I said, I came because you had an ad in

the paper that...he said sit down and I sat down. He said: what's your

Fla. Pers. #19 (8)

name? I said Joan Rose Heiser. He said what's your name. I said Joan

Rose Heiser. Oh my, what a novel name. pictures.

Oh, I said, no sir. No, I wouldn't have used my name on your pictures.

It's misrepresenting, and that way I started to talk. He says how old

are you? Oh God, I was so nervous, I said 18 years old, so he said my,

my, my, why you look like twenty. Oh I was (laugh) I can't tell you how

relieved I was. So, suddenly he says, what do you know, do you got any

experience? I says no, I says I really was,

in those days they had drawings and little things copy papers I was very

handy, and my teacher used to put them Ulon the wall. After I used to do

drawing and pictures, still have one I did So he said, let's

see, he takes, he had this book, he takes the clock and puts it on the book,

he says sketch that and walked out. _____

I didn't know what to do, that was crazy. He knew I was lying, he was very

smart. Then he went out and I worked He came back and said

how you doing? And he looked at it, I didn't know how good it was, he said

that'll do. Oh, what was the matter with me, I mean

he said come with me. And I went in and he opened the door to the studio that

he had 20 girls there.

I: He opened the studio and there were x anx 20 girls there?

W: There was about 20 girls there and uh, they all came from different colleges.

Some were designing materials from carpets from wallpaper, and all uh,

different kinds of, one was a cameo. You know, she was so beautiful, that

woman. I forgot her, Miller, Miller, I remember the name. And then, she

was a real little doll. And he used to use her as a cameo for the books.

Now this studio did work, watercolor, for an outstanding magazine organization.

Fla. Pers. # 19 C91

Sometimes you see in an organization what is called commercial, something

like that. Well, he put me between two girls and he says, would you be

interested in all that? Yes, yes, between the two girls and eet Miss

June Rose Scieter, and please help her around and show her what to do,

And everybody said hello, and that made me feel like home, it was

wonderful, really. And then I started in and the first picture I made.

painted, was George Washington. I thought that was too much. (laugh)

I: What did your father say to George Washington?

W: I was so proud. AH he xls, you know, this year you will have to go

to life to a penny in the candystore. Claugh) George

Washington. Oh God, what a job that was!

I: What was, what was your father's business?

W: He was also in the brush business and he was a musician in the Russian

army, a trombone player. And he knew a lot, he traveled alot and he

was a lot. Oh, going to shows with him, operas, all this is

But he didn't see the

I: He didn't see the + So how long did you work at the studio?

W: I was at the studio nine months, it was too bad, that they failed and went

into bankruptcy. But he gave me a letter, he gave I have to tell youm about

this more about this studio. (laugh).

I: Well, I'm going to run out of tape, that's all I'm worried about, I only

have two hours with me so.....

W: I modeled there.

I: You modeled there?

W: Hm, hm, For baking, Royal baking powder.And, uh, ....................

Fla. Pers. # 19 (10)

and for uh, cigarettes, a spanish man was on it

I: Turkish cigarettes?

W: Yeah, Turkish, Turkish, September..... You see, that's my trouble now.

Fatima Cigarettes .....

I: Fatima Cigarettes?

W: Yes, is it Fatima?

I: Yes, it used to be Fatima. I remember them.

W: Well, that's it. I had dressed up, they had a woman in the ---------- you

know. I was all dressed up with and the snakes, oh with everything.

And a pipe, you know, like a pipe, and I was laying on a beautiful......

I: Your father must have been wild about that

W: He didn't see it. They wouldn't give me, it was against the

ruling. And I said I don't want to be recognized, my God, people in those

days, you know, they think, you know how they used to think, He said no,

Miss Scieter, he said, all I'll do is push up your nose and nobody will

know you. That's the truth, if you push up jx nose I'm a different face,

you know. So, I was set, BUT, he wanted me to Cleopatra.

All dressed, ready to go, and she opened up the sheet, here, and he wants

to show my naked leg. I said, no maam, I'm not going to do that. And I

didn't do it and I didn't undress, and I thought he would get angry, but

he really admired me for that, you know. days, isn't that something.

I: you married when?

W: Oh, I married in 1909.

I: And then after you were married you moved to Brooklyn?

W: Yes, moved to Brooklyn and stayed there about 10-12 years and I came over here.

Fla. Pers. #19 (11)

I: And what was your husband's business in Brooklyn?

W: The last business he had was also in the dress business.

I: So he was working in the dress business, and then your asthma was

presumably getting worse. That was, you know......

W: Yes, yes, you see, the asthma started, I caught cold and I made exodus

and I got bronchitis, and after bronchitis it turned into....oh, I was

very sick for so many years. Noy, of course, I try to bring up my

children the best way I can, as you see I am .....

I: You were very successful, you couldn't have done better then you did.

W: Like everyone says, I'm a very rich woman. Bringing up a family like

this. I, we had a little hard time, as you know, The big beast, I call

it, you know, the big blow, the big bust and you know,.......the depression,

we had here, but I pulled out of it and uh, I do the best I can. But my

activities was a big story.

I: Well, we'll get to it, I just wanted to get a little bit of your background,

before we got into this other part. But I think it's interesting too that your

whole life, life on the beach, you came from Russia and it's so

much a part of American Jewish life, down living on the East Side and what

Harry Golden says about the East Side.

W: Well he spoke, you see my father had a shoe store on Livingston Street...

I: Livingston Street
when I read
W: And I used to help my father. So yTXmHKN iX X3M his books, I met him

when he was here. I uh, and I started a school there, cattycorner,

like this, and my father's store was on this corner. It was just what

he said, 2 cents plain, you know with the sodas, and the turkish man with

Oh this is a different story entirely. About Livingston

Street, I didn't like.

Fla. Pers. # 19 (12)

I: Well, what I thing Harry Golden has written, and I think your story is

more unusual for the Beach, but I think it is important that you came

from there here, because it makes quite a difference. So you came

here and you bought this apartment house in 1921, what was the name of

it again?

W: Royal.

I: Royal, and what was the address? Where was it located?

W: 211 Collins Avenue.

I: That was about 2nd street and Collins. And who did you buy it from?

W: A man that was building here, Levitt.

I: Levitt:

W: Levitt, Mr. Levitt.

I: And can you tell me a little bit about the apartment house?

And how many rooms there were?

W: Sure, there was about 15 apartments, I have, the corner ones were

two bedrooms apartments, and the middle ones were efficiencies. And uh,

in fact, before it was finished, uh, Mr. Hall, years ago, not now, ynaxxx

age, was the same man ....

I: Not Chuck Hall.....

W: No, no, no, I don't mean that, the school, don't mention Chuck, he's

supposes to come see me. You listen, no, no, Chuck is not the one I'm

talking about, Mr. Hall was the Superintendantt or schools,

I: Joe Hall....

W: No, this is Joe Hall, this is another Hall. And Mr Hall and his family

came over to me if I had an apartment. And I told him I had all the apartments

but they're not ready yet. And he said, can we move in for the summer?

So I didn't have the stove yet, I didn't have nothing yet, so I called up

Fla. Pers. # 19 Q3)

Mr. More, I decided to do business with them. I said Mr. Mere, I have

to rent an apartment, could you please help me out, and send me up one

apartment furniture and everything, and he said I sure will. Everybody

helped me, everybody, that was just wonderful things. I had the help

no matter who I went to. Even credit _____So I bought

the stove, I was expecting some money to come from the north, but it

wasn't up here. And at that time you didn't have a bank here. So I

went to this Southern Banks and I told them the story and he said who

I am and I told him, and then I told him I knew Mr. Goobler, he was a


I; On South Beach

W:; No, no, he died, he died, and I need 50 dollars, for a stove, you know

in those days I could get a two burner stove for fifty dollars, good

enough, and if he would extend me the money ahead of time, and if

he wanted to call my bank up north and see if it was alright. And he

looked at me __and, not the old man, not the old brother

the other brother, But Newt's uncle ......

I; Newt \ 's uncle?

W: Uncle, and his father just died not long ago. Oh, he and I was like this.

So I went into the Southern Bank and I asked him to give, if he would do

this for me. And he put his hand -in his pocket and he said I'm not going
I'll give
to take it out of the bank,x 1 "xgatwega you my money. And he gave

me fifty dollars in one day. I said don't you want a receipt or nothing.

No. But you don't know me, I'm a stranger here. He says, I know you, I look

at you and I know you. I thought that was the nicest compliment I ever had.

(laugh) And I got the fifty dollars, and I got the stove and Mr. Hall was

the first tenant, and then it was easy. I very quick.

Fla. Pers. #19 (141

I: Well, where did your clientel come from, this was in 21, when did you

open 21?

W: 21 no it was opened in 21-22. I started with mostly cubans, a few

cubans rather, and some from Miami, who came here for the summer.

I: In other words, they were people ffKiXMXbX who lived in Miami

who just wanted to escape the heat

W: That's right, yes.

I: Well, in 1921, if you can kind of shut your eyes and remember, what

was down in your neighborhood, down there, there weren't many houses...

W: No it wasn't, the Manor Vista was building, not the same one, the Manor

Vista was right in back of me on the Ocean Front and I was onCollins,

and uh, there was hibiscus, a hibiscus place, way down further down

like now the dog track, And there was, the same man that was building

my building was building the Newmall, a hotel on First Street. And then

the hotel on the corner of, next to me, on the corner of Second Street

was the Sea, Sea something Hotel.

I: Well now, both Harvey and Smith Casino were still here,

W: Oh sure, yes, they were there before ......

I: Well, where were they exactly?

W: The Smith Casino was down on, way down on Conner(?) Street, The

last street down on the ocean. You see, and Harvey, Dan Harvey's Casino

was on First Street, on the ocean.

I: First Street and the Ocean, on the ocean side.

W: On the ocean side, and then we had a few other things going there.

uh, Magee had a, on this side Magee had a stand for short orders, you know,

luncheon, and uh, and then there was, I don't know, there was a few stores

on that block, three stores or something like that I can't remember.

Fla. Pers. #19 (14)

I: Fine, but wasn't there the steamers....

W: On the ocean

I: On the ocean, the boats were still running weren't they?

W: Yes, the boats were running, but I was, the horserace was just finished.

And I went on the boat, and the boat had a flat, I remember,

I: You mean a

W: Yes, yes. And I went out with the few people that were

to get out and it was so I had an attack on the train.

And I was and when I got off, so help me God, Istarted

breathe like I used to get the injections and the relief and then we

Then I walked on the trolley car, later, later, later, later, a year

later was the trolley car (TAPE CHANGE)

I: A little idea, a few dates in here to....

I: There was no public school here in 1921 on the Beach

W: Yes there was. The school was started in the late 20's.Katie Dean,

Katie Dean was the first principal, and I came in 21 and my little boy

was in kindergarten and this woman, Mrs. Bailey used to have the kinder-

garten, by the little park, which is still there, on the ground and my

daughter went in the third grade, my son is president now of the Miami

Beach Federal and he was in the second grade. You see, and uh,and then

I went right up with the school, yesterday I got my answer

from my PTA work, you see. Now the little boy is a charity that I started

on this beach, with the Christmas baskets and the Thanksgiving baskets, I

worked year after year and to plant Christmas trees in the park and I was

responsible for the bands in the park. You name it I was in it.

Fla. Pers. #19 (15)

The library, Mr. Chase and I got the first money for the library.Then

the women's club took it over, you know. And that was for the library.

I used to go around when we had the bond issue, you ought to see the
mazEy I got from people.I uh, went around to see that people vote,

that go to the beach, I love the beach and I did everything to help

build the beach. Mr. Pnacoast and I used to go certain places and

we used to plant trees, and I was always.....I got pictures to prove it.

And because of the trees, I took part in the beautification of "km each

I was first in everything, mention uh, I was

responsible for, not responsible, I took a part in it and uh, all my

life I gave to Miami Beach my oath we would grow. Oh boy, Not as much

from here, they come from the north. They were human beings, I wanted

to take care of them. They called me for an appointmentand it took

me a month to get rid of this or that, and what's his name,

was new at that time and he called me about a childless family that

came to him for help, She was a little woman she had a little baby,

a Chinese woman and I uh, helped her with the baby, I took the baby

to my house, a little girl, and she St Francis

it was the where Mr. Fisher and the other man's hospital.

And I did all that for her.

I found a nude girl on the beach there, I didn't find her, the police

found her, a nude girl, and they gave her clothes and they gave her

you ought to see they made her holler....

I: She lived here on Miami Beach?

W: Yeah, I made her holler _________to the City

Council, they got a place for women, you see, if you got trouble. Well,

all these things are from Miami that happened. And Uh, uh, when I called

Fla. Pers. #19 (16)

the Police Department that she saw a woman 5 o'clock in the morning,

to go out in the pool, and she

and she was supposed to commit suicide. I got that straightened out.

Oh my goodness, and then I had a case where a dope fiend, with the dope

society, she was the most handsome woman, and she used to go out on a

spree with men. I was sitting in the living room of my apartment and

the door was open and she went from Ocean Drive down to Collins from

my door. I see her by my hall. And I run after her. And I ran

after her and I though she was going to be killed. xQfxEmxs2m y Because

she ran out and a car was coming, a car selling ice cream. And I

pulled her back and took her to my home, and spoke to her. At first

I thought she was drunk. Then I recognized she was doped._

I had to play detective I had a chief here,

he wait with me, wonderful. The chief got it?

I: Yes, uh, I'm just moving a little bit.

W: Oh, I'm trying to hurry it too much.

I: No. No. If I ask you to stop .....

W: So I went to the chief, I called rather. I said come here,

two men, the detective, Don&Williams, two men. I always had them, I thought

I would be in trouble, you see. Uh, and they came over and they told her

uh, she wants to run home, I said no. I says my two brothers is coming home

from work and I'm going to tell them to take you where you want to go.

I: You with the police?

W: Oh, of course, So, she laid there, and I called even the doctor in. The

doctor was right next door to me, and he was the chief for the

hospital. to much. And they came in and I said would you

please see, They're not they're coppers! (laugh)

Fla. Pers. #19 C17)

we had to take her to the station, here, and she threw up

up her arms and I told her that I'll see that she don't stay in jail.

And then she used to call me a few times, they'd bring in some bad

women, some drunk women, and I swore that I was in kxn in, they wouldn't

believe me I used to go in jail, sit there and talk to then and see

if I could do something for them. And that woman who wanted to commit

suicide, they took her in, and I told them to give her blankets before

I got there. And I brought her clean clothes, and my God, the

could go on and on and on. But it's not for print, you know?

I: I understand that. Well, let me go ask about your more business life,
xthruh this
and what...did you support yourself and your family, iiH apartment

and did you ever get any more apartments or did you have the same one?

W: No, I lost in a way, to the boom and then the trouble I had, I couldn't

lend, it was terrible conditions out here, few years,

but I started it and I went from there to 8th Street and Collins Avenue

and stayed there and I did well there and from there....

I: Was that new.....8th Street

W: No, I leased it.

I: What was it, a hotel, or.....

W: No, it was an apartment house.

I: You had another apartment house, other than the first 'one. Right.

W: Yes. And uh, A friend of mine helped me out. And I leased it, excuse me,

And from there, I went to 47th Street.

I: And what year, what year did you enter 8th Street about.

W: In the 30's. About 30....34.

I: And that was a bad year.

W: At that time, jsut at that time.

Fla. Pers. # 19 (18)

I: And when did you go to 47th Street?

W: Went to 47th Street about a year or two after 8th Street. I went to my,

first I leased and then I bought it, also with Ben's help. Everybody

helped me, I was so grateful for this, the people here. It was the whole

block, ten stores, and I think fifteen apartments and uh, I uh, I was in


I: Tell me about the I'd like to hear about that.

W: Real Estate business, yes ......then I built a home

across the street, on 47th Street, a beautiful home. Then I came down here,

right here on West Avenue, and the building is still there. And from there,

I gave up, I got sick again and you know, worries ......

In the boom days, I was right in it. I was with a company

in Ft. Lauderdale. A whole solid block. Withthe First National Bank on

it and the Post Office, the city Post Office in it, 10 stores, all rented.

"Upstairs, ten offices, all rented. It was fine, lovely. If it was minr,

I could do but as I say, I was only a small it. A little
stake. But these two men who put in two hundred thousand or more 1,

And just then the boom was there Cairplaine noise) then the five

thousand dollars I begged him, sell it. We were poor. (noise). I was

nothing in those days. Well, the world, then a bust. (laugh) Oh, we couldn't

do a darn thing. When I turned it over the the man to sell it if he can,

but if he can't it would be alright, but you ____ a year and

a half. You know, to carry on....Well, anyway, we lost it altogether.

And that was the boom for me. (laugh) Oh, what I went through. You know,

sometimes, of course I took sick with the aggravation. I borrowed money

in my bank, and I put it in the Southern Bank, at that time during the boom

we had banks already, you see, and I had to borrow from the mortgage in

Fla. Pers. # 19 (19)

Ft. Lauderdale. I got money in this way. And then I put it in the Southern

Bank to pay the mortgage for Ft. Laudale. 1700.....1700 and I ran. Saturday

morning to the bank to ....

You always run when you see me coming. I said, I haven't had the time, but

not now. I said I must run to the bank. He said, what bank, I said Southern.

He said, Don't be in a hurry. Don't rush.What's the matter with you? I said

you know you can be arrested for such a thing. Alright, alright, I didn't

say nothing, I didn't say nothing. ________\ \

I didn't take his advise, I ran. I ran there, uh, a big crowd there, you know.

Early Saturday morning payday. You had to stand in line, I remember. And uh,

I hurried up and put my money in, and I see a man in another you know, one

was full. And he was watching me, watching me.

Rosie? That was Reilly, Mr. Reilly, from the awning business. He said,

did you get it all Rosie? I says, no, what all? I just put my money in.

God, almighty. Then I had to go someplace, I didn't go that place no more.

I got sick. I went to my bank here and started a here, but I wanted

Mr. Peck was the

presidentAnd he said, what's the matter here, you look like a ghost.

I said, look I hurt. So he signed the statement and he says, false alarm.

I said .. is a false alarm too. False alarm. So I a little easier,

But one day, in one of my apartments, I didn't want to go there and he came

back and he got sick and I got sick, and the __ prospered. All the time,

busts. And then, my lawyer and then I had nothing. Wiped out


I: And this was in 36? 37?

W; No, no, no. That was in the 30's, during the boom. The three big B's I

Fla. Pers. # 19 (20)

called it. The bust and oh, my goodness. It was terrible. And I told

you, Ibrought my family, I worked hard all my life. And I was always

never complaining,