3 thoughts on “Chapter One

  1. I consider myself one of the Latino Chosen. My family moved to Wabash Avenue in 1952. I attended all 8 years of elementary school at Our Lady of the Assumption on Evergreen accross from the now famous Manny’s El Tepeyac. As a wide-eyed young mexican-american boy growing up in a thriving 1950′s Jewish community I was fascinated by the bearded black-clad orthodox jews, the delicatessen where Kantor’s got its start, the mysterious architecture of the synagogues, the strange language of the Jews, the Jewish weeklies with their strange looking alphabets, the Jewish hermit who lived in the abandend shack in the vacant lot behind our City Terrace house. We shopped at Moe’s hardware store on Wabash, at the Jewish five-and-dime on the corner of Wabash and Evergreen, and rented from the Harmatz family. Our home was a duplex, but had the old world archetectural features, the moorish arches, nooks and spires, of the Spanish revival homes that had been so well maintained by their post world war Jewish owners.

    I remember the Jews as warm and welcoming. Our basketball coach was a young Jew by the name of Archie who, it is said, volunteered to coach the catholic school’s teams because he was attending Cal State Los Angeles in City Terrace and wanted to do community service. I had a crush on “an older woman,” the teenaged Jewish girl who worked at the Malabar Branch Library and read us stories on a weekly basis.

    This was my universe as I was coming of age. The boundary was as far as your Western Flyer could take you and get you home before the sun went down. Somehow I didn’t notice how quickly things were changing. The Jewish bakery on Wabash was soon a Panaderia and the Jews were quickly relocating to the westside. How quickly it all went away. I was lucky to have had these experiences., My little sister, 7 years my junior , missed most of this.

    I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “Jewish pickle” but I miss the five cent Jewish pickles we bought at the Jewish five-and-dime in my old Jewish neighborhood.
    Thanks for reviving these memories for me. I will be in to visit when I’m back in Boyle Heights.

  2. Dear Mr Kippen,

    I am the program chairman for my graduate medical club, Phi Delta Epsilon. I have been most interested in your bookstore/library concept and project since I heard about it in the LA Times. Then I also heard part of a radio interview with you.

    I would love to have you speak at a PDE dinner meeting which we have once a month at a restaurant in Beverly Hills, 3rd Tues evening– a group of doctors and their guests. I think you could tell us a lot about the literacy needs of our community and what we could do to help. Certainly , our group would have thousands of books to give ! In fact, we could ask them to bring books to give that same night if you thought this was a good idea.

    We meet before 7 PM, have dinner ~ and then the speaker for ~ 45 min 8-9 PM with Q & A.

    Please contact me with your thoughts: Myra Feffer, MD # 310 470 8878 (home )

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