Sunday, July 17, 2005

A little backstory

As many of you know, or have gathered reading this blog, Dubrow is the family name of my grandmother, Sylvia Kaplan. They were the Dubrowvinskis, originally, and came to America from the little town Pahust (or Pogost, according the Jewish genealogical site I found) just outside of Minsk, in what is now Belarus.

Benjamin Dubrow emigrated with his wife Rose in 1914. His sister refused to emigrate. He and Rose had five children: George, Lila, Minnie, Sylvia, and Ruthie. Benjamin opened Dubrow's in 1952. His son, George Dubrow ran the Manhattan Dubrow's until 1955, when he died suddenly in a car accident. George's oldest son Irwin then ran the Manhattan Dubrow's until 1970 when he committed suicide. My mother recalled that he killed himself on the same day that Janis Joplin overdosed and died. Which is a particularly weird juxtaposition considering that my father, Grant Lyons, was a close friend of Janis' in high school. In any case, the Manhattan Dubrow's was actually close for a short period of time in until a new owner and manager could be established.

My grandfather, Irving Kaplan, came into the business late. Paul Tobin, Benjamin Dubrow's grandson, had been running the Manhattan restaurant and enlisted my grandfather's help. They ran it together for the last decade of its existence, but the declining garment industry and the cost of Manhattan real estate prevented it from remaining open.

5 comments:

Cousin Joanne said...

Dear Eve,
Sorry I haven't been in touch sooner! I'll make my excuses in a more private forum.Congratulations on ALL your good news this year, including this site!! I have to confess this is my first visit to it, but it looks GREAT. I hope to contribute to it sometime soon, beyond my New York magazine article (thanks for running--and praising--it!). For example, SOMEwhere I have (nondigital, alas) color pics of the Manhattan store, e.g. of the mural there and of your grandmother near the counter. Also, back in the 1980s I interviewed your grandfather, Paul Tobin, my mother, and some of the Manhattan store help and wrote a LONG piece about Dubrow's (never published), which I hope someday to find in the fire trap that is my apartment. In the meantime, I'm writing for two reasons: (1)I have a question--I'm doing a Google-type search of my uncle IRVING GRUBER (my father's brother) and discovered that he's mentioned somewhere in your blog (he was a legal consultant to your grandfather at the Manhattan store), but I can't seem to find the approrpriate entry!! Can you please direct me to it? Thanks! and (2)In my cursory preliminary look at your site I noticed that you have PAUL TOBIN described in two different ways--in some places as Benjamin's grandson and elsewhere as his son-in-law. Note that Paul is Benjamin's grandson!!! He is Nini and the late Sheila's brother, and therefore one of Minnie and Max Tobin's children. (Minnie, of course, was one of Benjamin and Rose's five surviving children.) More later, but I just wanted to relay my question and correction ASAP! Love, Joanne (jfgnyc@earthlink.net) P.S. My best to your folks.

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Eve said...

Oh Christ. Spamming this blog? Please.

And the verification system has now been turned ON.

Shlomo Muslim Ph.D. said...

My grandfather also came from Pahust. We should compare notes.

Eve said...

Ok, what notes do you want to compare? I don't have a lot more info about my family. What do you know about the village?