J Paul Blake (68) draws a WHS connection:
When I think about WHS Band Director Frank Scocozza and how we were the only marching band in the city that did real precision routines, I marvel at the terrific performances by the Texas A&M Fightin' Aggie Marching Band. The precision is incredible. For those who wish to view the A&M band click on this link; Fightin' Texas Aggie Band's final performance of the season. Paul
Chinoy Jewish family history:
David Chinoy (Chancellor 56)
Last week, I read a review in the New York Review of Books about David Ben Gurion (‘This Obstinate Little Man”) and filled in a few puzzle-pieces about my Jewish education. I always wondered why my paternal grandparents and my parents never attended synagogue although we were very “Jewish,” and why I was educated in a Hebrew school (Bet Yeled) where I learned Hebrew as a spoken language rather than learning Yiddish. My grandparents met after coming here from Russia about 1905. They were avid Zionists, so that was the environment in which I grew up.
The article talks about the Zionists being proponents of learning Hebrew and having as their focus of Jewish life organizations such as the Socialist “Workmen’s Circle” rather than a synagogue. Now I realize that is why Fred Decter (60), Paul Lyons and I took a bus three afternoons a week to the Hebrew school our parents started instead of walking a few blocks to a local schul. Eventually, I had my bar mitzvah at B’nai Abraham, where my maternal grandparents were congregants and where there were three bar mitzvahs every week because there were so many 13-year-old Jewish boys. Great memories now made clearer. David
Marc Chinoy (Chancellor)
In response and supplement to my older brother David’s comment above, add to that the simple fact that Grandma Chinoy and Grandpa Chinoy (who died when I was still an infant, and of whom I have zero memory) met during a women's labor riot in the “Triangle” in NYC, where he saved her life. She told me this at least a dozen times when we were boys on Leslie Street, often in the kitchen while she was making Ingberlach as treats for us. She never spoke either Hebrew or Yiddish to me, but she and her sisters, Gussie and Ethel, talked in some kind of blended language which I knew was not Hebrew from the Hebrew that was being taught to you and I at Bet Yeled.
There is no one true Yiddish. It is a blend of Hebrew and Old Russian plus slices of Old German, Austrian, etc. All that virtually stopped being a part of our lives when we moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL where I was taught just enough Hebrew to be bar mitzvahed. Dad never spoke Yiddish in front of us, period and it is unclear how much mom knew.
Mom's father, Grandpa Friedman, hid most of the Jewish aspects of his life, although in his last years, when he started to paint, under our mom's influence, he signed a couple of the pictures Hyut (sp?), which was his family’s name for him when he was a boy. Most of the pictures he painted were signed “Henry Friedman.” He got our grandmother to try painting as well and she signed as “B Friedman” (Bertha, although who knows what it was originally). “Friedman” was the name given to either Grandpa or his father at Ellis Island, although he rarely discussed that aspect of his history.
Chinoy (sometimes spelled “Kinoy”), was a blended name roughly meaning "From China" according to our Grandma Chinoy. She told me the name was given to Jewish families, who probably entered Europe through Spain from North Africa, and then fled Spain during one of the many Inquisitions. Arthur and Earnest Kinoy were almost undoubtedly relatives.
Grandma's family name was probably (not sure) a blended name which was Pasachson (sp) which roughly means “Son of Peace.” She married Step-Grandpa Haim (which meant “life”) after our Step-Grandpa and his wife died. The two couples had been friends for years.
Another evolved family name was “Biber,” which was given to hat-makers in Austria (?) who made hats from beaver (aka biber in Yiddish) pelts. Not sure whether Gussie or Ethel was the “Biber” by marriage. Way to much of family history was either lost or distorted, sometimes out of fear, I suspect.
When we were boys, we lived in what we referred to as “Grandma Chinoy's House” on Leslie Street, the same street where as a boy Philip Roth lived somewhere down the block. Check out Goodbye Columbus, which has zero to do with his actual childhood.
It is too easy to let all of this slip away! From as young as I can remember until we moved south, Grandma told me the stories, many of them several times. Marc
Eliot Braun (1/64) shares a phot find:
I found the picture, below, among papers from my parents' house while in the Atlanta area on a visit to my brother David. The photo is dated circa 1948 and the Leslie Street neighborhood. Eliot