Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday Apr 5

Attended circumcision of Clara's
baby at Hospital where he was
named Julius (Yiddish)

Afternoon I went rowing
with Jack Breitbart in Prospect
Park, the warmest day this
spring, it certainly was

I met and took home Miss
Schneiderman from South Bklyn

She is a nice girl and I made
a date with her for an outing
next Sunday at Palisades Park

She is refined but a quiet girl
well bred, and I expect to enjoy
a lot of her company next Sunday.

I have even been invited by
her parents to call often.


Matt's Notes

Papa wrote his new nephew Julius' name in Yiddish in the third line of this entry. My wife, who knows about such things, thinks it says "Yussel," but in any event it looks like this:

Yesterday I wondered whether Clara's ten-day hospital stay after giving birth to Julius was unusual, but my mother thinks it was typical: "I believe women stayed in the hospital for ten days in those times. I have a distant memory of Nana telling me that her 'confinement' was ten days..." I'll keep trying to confirm this.

Meanwhile, the malaise to which Papa has been confined for the last couple of weeks appears to be lifting, aided by the 65-degree weather and his pal Jack Breitbart. I'm starting to like Jack because he always shows up when wholesome fun is in the offing; the other week he unexpectedly materialized with opera tickets in hand, and now he joins Papa for an invigorating row in Prospect Park (he's kind of like the Tony Roberts character in a Woody Allen movie). We can only assume Papa wore his straw boater for the occasion, to wit:

And here's a shot of the lake in Prospect Park between 1910 and 1920:

Image source: The Lower lake, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, N.Y. Library of Congress call # LC-D4-72148

Prospect Park is, of course, in Brooklyn, so Papa must have gone out there in preparation to meet "Miss Schneiderman from South Bklyn." I assume he was set up with her by Jack Breitbart, who introduced them, perhaps, by the Park's "Rustic Boathouse" before sauntering off:

Image source: Prospect Park Archives

Papa's description of Miss Schneiderman as "refined but quiet" may imply a slightly unfavorable comparison to the opinionated, vivacious Henriette (a.k.a. the "20th Century Girl") with whom he's been recently preoccupied, but at least he's lightening up a bit. Looks like he dropped her off at her parents' home in "South Brooklyn" (he must mean the Brighton Beach area, where he would later raise his family) and made a favorable impression on them, so stay tuned.


Additional References

For more historical images of Prospect Park, check out their well-organized archives at

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