Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Simons

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

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

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

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

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


Hariklia said...

It's a great photo, and a great story.

Gary said...

I have a photograph of my great grandfather with the exact same background. My great grandfather died in October 1918 from the Spanish Flu as well. His photo is attached to a stylized board and under it is the signature of "L. Boressoff 355 Grand St. cor Essex St, N.Y." Do you know where more info can be obtained about this photographer?.

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

thanks, Gary, for posting. I sent you an email ... I would love to see your photo and post it to this site with your family's story if you agree.