yarn store owner
Interests: vaudeville, comedy, music
Activities: dancing, piano playing, traveling
Cuisines: soft food (no teeth)--hot turkey sandwich
189 Monticello Avenue
Jersey City,, New Jersey
Languages spoken: English
Height: 5'6"? small
Physical description: Small, wiry, had lost most of his teeth by the time I knew him; broken nose; wore wide lapel, dark suits of the time and a fedora.
Owned and operated a yarn store for 75 years in Jersey City, NJ. His father bought the property and stocked it with dry goods of many kinds; Abe went into yarns which he passed on to his son, Leonard.
Imaginative, creative, friendly, fun he entertained his customers as well as his grandchildren, Robin and Laurie when they were little. He saved Ben Franklin 1/2 dollars all year and when Robin & Laurie came to visit they would take a trip to some wonderful place to spend them (e.g., Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Asbury Park). He made up games for us to play when we came, even a board game called Baseball, a song about McGinty, and would play piano (while standing up) when we needed entertainment upstairs.
However, my grandfather was a controversial man to his family. My parents told me that he was selfish because he lived in a rather unstylish way. His store dominated his life, yet he didn't manage it in a conventional way, with inventory, books, and an eye to profit. He'd count his money everynight on the dining room table upstairs and wrap the money up in bundles. I'm sure he talked about the bank occasionally, but I was told that he hid the money in the store rather than putting it in there. The store was crowded, and was a fire danger, no doubt, because of the narrow aisles, and dry boxes. The building itself was in poor repair and my grandmother once fell through the floor as it had rotten out.
We had playground on the roof, however, and built a little "house" for our time there. We played in huge empty cardboard boxes in front of the store, and floated paper boats in the gutters when it rained. This was my stomping grounds, the stable home of my youth, because my parents moved so often. Even after we left the east coast in 1953, Robin and I would come back tospend summers with Abe until about 1958.
Abe went downhill after Irma died, and the store declined with him. He was robbed several times, probably because people knew of his eccentricities and that there was cash hidden around the store. Leonard moved him to assisted living (I was unaware of this and regrettably had lost touch with him) and eventually (5 years after Irma) he died of kidney failure.
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