Sunday, July 19, 2009

Matchbooks from Dubrow's

Purchased these off of eBay from two different sellers. The more faded one lists the Eastern Parkway (Brooklyn) and Lincoln Road (Miami) locations on them, and was dated as a 1940's matchbook. The third image is the inside of the more faded matchbook cover - war bonds! Proof that it it is from the 1940's. I love it. I especially love the use of "U'r" which allows it to spell out "DUBROW." The less faded one did not come with a date or have anything printed on the inside of the cover.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A letter from the son of Irwin's best friend

With permission, I am reprinting the email I received from the son of Irwin Dubrow's best friend. I think you can hear the tragedy of the family in his words, and he asked that his name not be reprinted in the blog.

"I am the son of Ira R Legon. My father was Irwin's best friend. The two grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn in the 1940's. He is my Uncle Irwin, as I have known him my entire early years, plus I know his wife Annie, adopted daughter Joanne, and of course Barbara.

I remember the day he commited suicide at the 7th avanue operation. It was a very dark day for the Legon family indeed. My Father said to me that the pistol had "slipped" thus putting the end to his life. I have many stories about your great uncle, however they will be for you and your family, and not your blog space. In 1968 your great uncle had a powder blue Jaguar XKE, he let me drive the car (in his lap). I have always felt that this was the most beautiful car manufactured. He lived in Upper Saddle River, NJ. Annie was there (we still use her marinade for chicken), as was Joanne, and Barbara was a newborn.

Twenty years ago we had Annie and Barabra to our home for Christmas dinner. (Not bad for some Jews). I remember Barbara crying as she realized the significance of the situation.

Now for you...We have many pictures of my Uncle Irwin, along with my father. They date back all the way to there Camp Winadou days in the early 1940's. The symbiotic analogy might help you as that camp was in Massachussetts. My family will be more than happy to send you all the pictures that we have, with the regards to your deceased family members. Uncle Irwin would want you to have these photographs.

We have reconsidered, and will allow you to post our message as a blog. My request is that you do not use my name, however everything else is for your choosing.

Last night my mother and I went through my parents' wedding album and found many pictures with your great uncle. We have an exorbanate amount of boxes to go through to find all we can about my Uncle Irwin. (I wish my Father was still living to give you the "skinny" on Irwin). I know for a fact that none of the photography includes any Dubrow's deli or restaurant operations. These are family photos and are cherished deeply. We will make copies once we compile all the pictures we have.

I remember all the operations, NY (7th ave), Alfie's (Irwin's restaurant), and of course the Miami operation, (to) which my grandparents always took the grandchildren.

I still can describe Alfie's, sitting at the 7th ave shop, and of course Miami. Did you know that your great uncle was also a Mason? I have the picture right in front.

I did *NOT* know George was a Mason. Fascinating. I love that I found what seems may have been the exact type of car George Dubrow owned (and perhaps died in) via the internet. I am looking forward to seeing pictures my new friend unearths, and have also discussed scheduling an interview with him this fall.

Finding more Dubrow relatives

Have I told you the story of how I discovered a cousin lived a mile away from me, but we never knew the other existed?

That is how the Dubrow family seems to work. There are so many Dubrow family members wandering this country - perhaps the world - and little by little they are finding their way to each other, often by way of this blog.

Alice Gruber Phinzy is the cousin I discovered this way. She is, it turns out, the granddaughter of Ruth Gruber, who is my grandmother's younger sister. Ruthie and Sylvia are the youngest two children of Benjamin and Rose Dubrow, and the only two born in this country. In a stranger coincidence still, Alice knows my hairdresser - not only that, she nannies for her son! The world is a small place.

I recently got an email from Richard Hume, who informed me that he is the grandson of Jacob Solowey, who is the younger brother of "Rasel Soloway Dubrow" - who I know as Rose Dubrow. The woman who married my great grandfather, who started Dubrow's Cafeteria. As he points out, this makes him my second cousin, once removed, but as his family did not see the Dubrow family much, I never even realized Rose HAD siblings. It never occurred to me.

Finally, I also received an email from a man who reports that Irwin Dubrow (manager of Dubrow's, son of George Dubrow, and grandson of Benjamin) was his father's best friend, and they were close family friends until Irwin's death. I am currently negotiating about whether I can share any of their family's stories here, but suffice to say there is a lot more to be learned about my family's history...

As I have said to many people, and probably here on the blog before, the exciting part about this process is watching the connections unfold. I am reading The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, which is all about the unfolding of history, layer after layer. That's what this is all about.