Saturday, January 15, 2011

Morris Rosen: in memoriam

My paternal grandfather was born in 1887 and died in 1959, on January 14, in The Bronx, New York City. At present I do not know where he was born, but I hope to be able to locate the town or at least the region in the future. I believe the town may have been near Kiev, but I have not seen documents that identify its location. His death at 72 was caused by a heart attack. I recall too little, unfortunately about him: had I keener ear perhaps I would have heard more but perhaps Yiddish was spoken when news was not for my ears. My recollection is of a sweet-tempered person who was loving and who loved his wife and family. I also recall that he had been a presser and probably before that a tailor, which was a job typical for eastern European Jews (including Russian Jews). What I do recall vividly is a metal brace that he wore to help support his back; he probably suffered from arthritis, since his job as presser required him to bend over while working for long hours. The brace looked horrific and wondered how it could be worn without causing harm in its own right. My grandfather's job permitted his two sons to attend high school, college, as well as universities, where they earned degrees in medicine and law. Rose, his wife stayed home with the children; I do not recall that she had a job. Their relationship was loving and companionate, but then I only saw them when I was a child. Though time has tended to dull or caused me to forget specifics, I do have a certain recollection of a man who adored his grandchildren and they in turn loved him. He was proud of his sons, and what they had accomplished, although his younger son, Jack, never realized his potential, having died at 39. I have selcted three pictures: Morris and Rose probably in the 1930s, Morris and Rose shortly before he died in Canterbury Connecticut, where his son George had a summer cottage, and Morris with his sons Jack, the younger, and George, the elder.

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