Monday, April 25, 2005

Working at Dubrow's

Happy Passover to everyone!

I just came back from Miami and so I've got some renewed energy for this project. My aunt Beth, Irving Kaplan's oldest daughter, told me a funny story about working at the Manhattan Dubrow's one summer. It was about 1958, and she was 18 or so, and her younger sister, Bonnie (my mother) had already worked at Dubrow's. So when Irving put her in charge of answering phones, and asked her "do you know all the prices?" Beth said "of course!" - not wanting to appear less competant than her younger sister. But in reality she didn't have the faintest clue what the prices were. So she just made them up.

In re-telling this story, Beth said: "I didn't know there would be so many people calling...I thought maybe two or three people..."

At the end of the day, Irving, who was a meticulous businessman, counted out for the day. He was not pleased. Beth said she can still hear him saying to her in that tone that meant trouble: "Beeeeeeeeth..." (The inflection is hard to capture in writing.)

Beth said she went home that night and learned all the prices. But she only worked there one summer. "They couldn't handle having me there any longer!"


Joseph Adler said...

Donald Margulies, one of our most respected American Playwrights (DINNER WITH FRIENDS, COLLECTED STORIES, SIGHT UNSEEN, etc...) wrote in his introduction to his newest play, BROOKLYN BOY... "Once urban flight took hold, the last vestiges of my parents' Brooklyn vanished. Streets and subways were no longer safe. The Sheepshead movie theatre was converted into a roller-skating rink; the Elm Street Theatre became a bank. Ebinger's Bakery, famous for its chocolate blackout cakes, went out of business and DUBROW'S CAFETERIA, BEST KNOWN FOR ITS KASHA VARNISHKAS, CLOSED ITS REVOLVING DOORS."

Eve said...

Hye, Joe! Good to see you here! You must have some good Dubrow's stories, no?

Thanks for the quote. I posted it here on March 1, 2005, as well - but it's a good quote and it can't really be shared too much.