Friday, September 08, 2006

Hungry Jews

This one also comes from the Passover transcriptions - my cousin Joe recalling his days working at Dubrow's. As you may have gathered, a lot of people in my mother's generation worked at Dubrow's for a summer or two. Joe's mother was Lila Adler (nee Dubrow), and one of Ruthie's older sisters.

Joe: There’s nothing worse than hungry Jews, in July. I worked for uncle Max a lot, during the summer, and I was behind the counter, and I can tell you, when they get off the train, I can tell you –

Ruthie: I didn’t know you worked there.

Joe: Oh, many summers – grandma said, “you’re gonna go to camp.” “No, I’m not going to camp.” “Who do you think you are, the Prince of Vales?” Someday I’m going to write my biography, I’m going to title it “The Prince of Vales” ...she would say, go to Canada. Well, that was when I didn’t go to Canada, and I worked there. And there was one woman, every day, wore the same sweater, and she would say “I vant a piece of corn.” And I go to the corn, and she would say “Not that one! That one! Not that one, that one!” Every day, that corn, this corn, that corn, this corn. Then you’d finally do it, she’d look at it, “no, maybe I don’t..” It was a ritual. Every day.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

With hot milk? Or without milk?

Another from my Passover transcriptions. This comes from my mother, Bonnie. What I love about these stories is the equal affection with which customers and employees are recalled.

For this one, it was hard to capture because it relies on hearing my mother use a Yiddish accent, much as in the one Ruthie told earlier. I've done my best to convey the humor, but you'll have to use your imagination a little as well to really hear it.

Bonnie: No, my favorite Dubrow’s story is…somebody who was behind the counter who was not English speaking, is trying to serve oatmeal to someone, and is trying to inquire, “do you want it with hot milk…or without milk?” And so the person says, “With hout milk!” “With hot milk? Or without milk?” “With hout milk!” Back and forth for awhile – finally, it dawned on him, the person, give him the oatmeal, and the milk on the side. Isn’t that great! “With hout milk!”