Friday, June 19, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

I keep running across boxes of old photos as I excavate my closet. Below are some Bloom family photos.
My paternal grandmother, Ethel Anna Pellicoff Bloom on her graduation day from High School in Camden, New Jersey:

Not sure about the names in pencil on the back of the photo

I have been told that I resemble Grandma Ethel. She passed away when I was about 8 years old, but she definitely made an impression on me. She was very artistic, crafty and musical. She used to sew Barbie clothes for me and for my cousins out of very lovely material scraps. Grandma was an avid bridge player and entered tournaments all the time. She was a member of the Eastern Star. It seems that these bridge parties were very fancy affairs where she was required to wear brocade cocktail dresses that she sewed herself. Ethel was often in charge of the table decorations for these get-togethers. I remember many fond hours of helping her craft carnations out of pink toilet paper for centerpieces. Ethel became involved in selling real estate around Los Angeles. I remember riding in her big 1959 Chevy Impala with her as she pointed out properties around town that she had sold.

Grandma Ethel was the only one of my grandparents born in the United States. Her parents immigrated from Russia. They owned a Kosher hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Every summer, my Dad and his two brothers, along with Ethel would take the train from Los Angeles to Atlantic City. The boys would do chores around the hotel in the mornings and then hang out on the Boardwalk and go swimming in the afternoons. Nice way to spend the summer!

Below is a photo of my paternal grandfather, Lawrence Aaron Bloom. Everyone called him "L.A." This photo must be from a time when he was quite young. I never saw him THIS skinny! L.A. came to the U.S. from a small town near Kiev, Ukraine. This photo could be when he was in law school, probably around 1910.

As far as I can remember from family stories, L.A. knew of Ethel's family from the Old Country and looked them up when he arrived. Eventually, they married, then Grandpa went to law school in Tennessee. After they were married L.A. and Ethel lived in Philadelphia where my Uncle Mort and my Dad were born. They moved west to Los Angeles in 1919 when my Dad was six months old. My Uncle Hi was born here. They settled in Boyle Heights, a predominantly Jewish area of Los Angeles. They later moved to Hollywood and then to West Los Angeles. After WW II, they moved back to Hollywood. My grandfather's law practice was varied. I know that he was attorney for many Russian immigrants involved in the movie business. He also handled real estate deals for some of the early developers in L.A. There is a street off of Alameda St., north of Union Station, downtown L.A. called Bloom Street. It is named after my Grandfather.

Lawrence A. Bloom

Grandpa Bloom passed away when I was 13, so at least I got a chance to really know him. He was a character, that's for sure! He smoked cigars non-stop. Even though he was a lawyer, he liked working with his hands. He had a big workshop in the garage of the "house" in Hollywood. He used all of his old cigar boxes for nuts, bolts, hardware, etc. My Dad inherited all the contents of the workshop. Eventually, my husband, Larry became heir to all of those nuts, bolts and cigar boxes. Grandpa Bloom was a Mason and a Shriner.

We visited my Bloom grandparents every Sunday, along with all of my Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. The house was a side-by-side duplex with four apartments upstairs. One side of the duplex was my grandparents' apartment the other side was Grandpa's law office. It was right on Sunset Boulevard, just west of Highland Ave., across the street from Hollywood High School. My Great Aunt Luba lived in one of the apartments upstairs. The building is still there. I think the downstairs is some sort of auto upholstery shop. It looks like there are still apartments upstairs.

I'm still looking for an old photo of my Grandpa's four sisters, Rita, Sonia, Anna and Luba. It was taken in a photo studio, probably in Russia, maybe Chicago. All of them have on fancy dresses with bustles, fancy hats and their best jewels. More excavation of treasures at our house is in order for this weekend.

More VPF.

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9 Comments:

At 1:06 PM PDT, Blogger Beth said...

Grandma Ethel's graduation dress is gorgeous and Grandpa Bloom looks very dapper, love the hat!

I think it's awesome that you know so much about your family history. Although I have most of our family's history through photos, I don't as much as I would like to about my extended family. Thanks for sharing Ellen!

 
At 1:23 PM PDT, Anonymous Paper Dolls for Boys said...

I love your vintage photos but I love the stories you have about your family more. Your family is lucky to have such a great historian documenting!

 
At 1:26 PM PDT, Blogger susanc said...

Great photos and great family history Ellen. I love reading about where families come from, etc.

I think you do resemble your Grandma Ethel.

 
At 1:39 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael's parents and grandparents were from Camden (and Philadelphia). I wonder if the respective relatives crossed paths?

Christine G.

 
At 9:16 PM PDT, Blogger woolanthropy said...

Those are fantastic photos. Your Grandmother is gorgeous. Her dress is gorgeous. Her future husband is gorgeous. And I can see your family resemblance in Ethel of the eastern stars.

 
At 6:13 PM PDT, Blogger Jean said...

The stories behind your photos bring them to life, this is especially precious to me as I have very few family photos of my parents and none of my grandparents. Its wonderful to see family histories being carried on.

 
At 7:16 AM PDT, Blogger Angela said...

My great-grandmother, Florence Martin, grew up in Camden, NJ about the same time. Maybe she knew Grandma Ethel!

 
At 4:00 PM PDT, Blogger carlita dee said...

Ohh. I love Grandma Ethel.

 
At 11:40 AM PDT, Blogger Mae Downs said...

I have the feeling you are referring to the Majestic Hotel on Virginia Avenue in Atlantic City and that you are related to Abraham Pellicoff. He was a cousin of my Great Grandmother Elizabeth Karlowsky Shapiro. The names, in pencil, are Sylvia Dash and Donald Rosenberg. They are both my cousins. Sylvia died many years ago. Donald lives in California. I can be reached at kkevinelizabeth@aol.com
Kevin Shapiro Mc Laughlin
Philadelphia

 

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