a tree grows and yout
a tree grows in brooklyn
i remember this book from my childhood. pretty sure the one we had was this cover, but am not 100% positive.
the reason why i wish it was the exact one in my memory bank is because it was the most depressing book cover i remember seeing as a kid. powerfully evoking loneliness and sadness.
memories. memories from childhood. a lot of books on our shelves, a lot of reading. repeated trips to the library and bookstores, and books from school, workbooks, fiction from the school library.
books as entryways to other worlds. worlds like Brooklyn and beyond. pretty exotic after growing up in Lincoln — and especially Omaha — Nebraska.
my mom grew up in Brooklyn with her older brother and younger sister. she and her family lived in various duplexes in what i think was the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
Flatbush is such a weird word…. and it makes me think of Tina Turner, in my fuzzy mind i think, oh yeah, Flatbush City Limits. but it’s really Nutbush City Limits. Tina Turner is on fire!
so there is this super strong connection to Brooklyn for our family.
my mom’s family moved in with her grandfather, Jacob Chernin, for a while at 603 E. 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11218. they lived here during the time of the 1940 census.
according to his daughter, my Aunt Frieda, Jacob Chernin “[d]id ornamental iron works, pretty tables and lanterns. Stuff you don’t need in a depression. The Depression came. So he went to Pratt Institute. He learned to read blueprints and that’s when he went into structural ironwork. Structural is like fireescapes, doors. On Fifth Avenue, the fancy glass doors with the iron works. A lot of it was Jacob.”
“Chernin Iron Works was his company. However, it was not a steel company, but a firm that manufactured iron products like gates, railings, fences, etc. They made the iron railings that were in the front of my parent’s house.” — Aunt Frieda, his daughter
my mom’s family then moved to 3016 Avenue L, Brooklyn, NY 11210 (Avenue L and Nostrund Avenue).
and then moved to 1554 E. 29th Street (Avenue P and Kings Highway), Brooklyn, NY 11210. i remember visiting this last house.
my Grandpa Wertheimer was a tool and die maker, and had a company called Keystone Electronics in Manhattan.
i think this is the last picture of my mom and her brother and sister.
then much later…
Brooklyn this week
my awesome nieces give me hope for the “yout” of america.
i have a thing for trees.