Family Stories and Connections

December 2005-5766

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if you have any news, photographs or information please email Craig
 

As family members add information I will be able to extrapolate that and fill in the details as I proceed with the genealogy. (my own available notes are in brackets ) Please email me with information and please try and scan images and send these as well. Failing a scan, please either send me the image which I will digitise and return to you if you wish. Email: craig.coussins@btinternet.com

NEW DNA PROFILES FOR COUSSINS-CLICK THIS LINE

The Coussins Documents pages


 
My mother : Sarah (Sadie Simpson) Ruth Coussins

If I had taken the time to ask more:

My mother lived a rich life of many experiences and she lived the life that she loved. She was fortunate in enjoying the job she made for herself and it enjoyed her. My mother did not have a broad view of the world but she was worldly. Leaving big decisions to her husband she was happy in the knowledge that he always managed to find the wherewithal to do the things that he and sometimes she liked to do. My mother was happy with her old age but sad that she was not able to continue to do all the things that she wanted to do with her career. Although she did have an extremely successful career, like any artist , she always felt that she could do more. Maybe not exactly better but perhaps differently. I asked her one day what she felt about glowing old. (not a typo)

Old Age, she decided, is a  gift. 
  
“I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be.  Oh, not my  body!  I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, the places where my lovely breasts were after the BC Ops and the sagging bottom. I do not like that a great deal.  And often I am taken aback by that old  person that lives in my mirror (who occasionally looks like my mother after a couple of whisky and orange juices!) but I don't agonise over those things for long. 

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less hair or a less saggy jowls.  As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less
 critical of myself. I've become my own friend.   

I don't chide myself
  for eating that extra cake, or for not making my bed, or for buying a completely useless object that serves no purpose but to annoy my husband and which takes up space on the table or sideboard or wherever it gets moved to.  I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.   

I  have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon and before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. 

Whose business is it if you Craig choose to read or snooze in the afternoon and then go to bed and sleep until lunchtime?
   You can as you glow older.

I will dance with
  myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's, 60's, & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over the loss of  someone dear to me ... I will. 

When living here in Spain I learned that speaking a foreign language is all about shouting louder and adding ‘a’ onto each word - doa youa have a pounda a beef a senor- whether or not they speak English is not the point as they always laugh and give me exactly what I want. Age does that for you. In some cultures we are precious commodities after all.

If I wish I will walk around in a swim suit that is stretched over an ageing body that may well need an iron, and if I go to the beach I will
 paddle into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set

That’s the great secret revenge of the aged, they, the younger ones,  too, will also get old. 

I know I am sometimes forgetful.  But there again, some of life is just as
   well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.   

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken.   How can your heart not break when you lose a loved
 one, a mother or a father, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets  hit by a car?  But broken hearts are what give us strength, understanding and compassion.  A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect. 

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to see my hair turn grey and then make sure no one ever sees that it is grey and make it blonde for as long as I want. That is my choice.  I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my
  face   So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver and be dyed if they should have so wished.     

As
you get older, it is easier to be positive. After five Cancer operations I have a choice to be positive or not. I choose to be positive. You care less about what other people think.  I don't question myself anymore.  I've even earned the right to be wrong.   

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free.
  I like the person I have become.  I am not going to live forever,   but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could  have been, or worrying about what will be.  And I shall eat dessert and put whisky in my orange juice every single day. (If I feel like it)


 

MARCH 2008

Philip Cussin Morrison sent me some great new images. I have just finished working these up for the website and
these can now be seen on the Morrison pages here:

http://www.coussins.org/Family/Morrisons.htm

 

15th December 2005

First of all I know that Tommy was a lance corporal in the medical corps. (see naturalisation papers from Abraham on the home page) Tommy was with Allenby in the second world war when he marched into Palestine and Tommy stayed on after the British left. Joining the Israeli Police Force, he eventually became paymaster general of the Israeli police force.  His only son was killed on the Lebanese border in the 1948 independence war.  (Tommy married Esther who was a Zionist and whose family had settled in Palestine many years before-CC.)

Papa Lou had an uncle who was alive when either you or Paul were bar mitzvahd.  He was tall, stood ram rod straight as a guardsman and must have been 90 at the time.  He was Uncle Hyman and I can still remember him walking arm in arm with Papa at that function. (His naturalisation papers are on the Morrisons page) This is a picture of Hyman aged 20-CC&PM

Gerry (Judah ) was the youngest brother (his obit is on the website)  and  I remember meeting Gerry in the lat 1980s at my Dads place and he was in fine form, charming, very interesting and lucid.

Leah of course was Many and David Eppel' s mother.  Many is still alive.  David too I think though ill. (David worked for the Jerusalem Post and a highly respected journalist)   His son is in the Israeli air force as they all live in Israel.  I was at his son’s Bar mitzvah at the wall in Jerusalem and have pictures some where. That was 1979.  Many’s son Jeremy is a civil servant working in Brussels.

There was an Uncle that  Daddy used to talk about, went to live in the USA who was a famous pantomime dame in the UK in the 30s, and 40s.  Billie – Curtis so that suggests he married one of the sisters. (He used to live in London for a while  (have written to many researchers in the British Theatre to try and elicit more information and the results are below-CC)

You know about Uncle Leslie being a war hero don’t you? (Uncle Leslie attacked a Japanese Machine gun nest during action in the Burma campaign. He single handed shot two and overpowered the rest. He won the Military Medal. I have written to various authorities to try and get more  information. We used to have a newspaper cutting about the medal award-CC)

Have more to add later, but that’s it for now.

Ricky Coussins

Note:

Uncle Leslie served in the Welsh Borderers in the Burma Campaign. We have traced the fact through the London Gazette of the time that he was awarded the Military Medal for outstanding bravery under fire. He took a Japanese Submachine Gun nest single handed and shot two of the enemy and clubbed the others to death. Apart from that he was really a very quiet man-Craig.
 


I recently found a Internet reference to letters written by Tommy Coussins in and around 1947

Letters from Great Uncle Tommy Coussins as Chief of Police in 1947 to the family of a friend, William Irvine.  Mr. Irvine was a missionary in Jaffa

http://home.earthlink.net/~truth333/BRG4-4-2WmIDeath.html


 

A new family connection from South America

My grand mother came from Zagare, Lithuania, to Uruguay in 1934.

Her name was Seine Murnikaite Rakuzim or Rakuzem.

Her mother was Ode Rakuzim , Rakuzem or Rakusen.

I have heard when I was a chid that she had family in Scottland.

The family of my grandmother was. Abraham Murnik, Ode Rakuzen,(father and mother), 

and 4 children. Chane, Frume ( they survived WW2 and died in Lithania

in the 80´s)

They wrote letters to my grandma in Uruguay for 50 years.

My grandma Seine and the oldest brother, Motl or Motelis, came to Uruguay.

She came from Cherbourg to Santos in the ship Asturias of the Royal Navy. 

I´m very interested to be in contact with the family!

Regards. Gabriel Gindel from Uruguay.

 

Gabriel's mum died in January 2008. He is sending photographs and documents to add to the archive.

Gabriel Gindel

2008/1/27, CRAIG COUSSINS :
My dear cousin. Hola.Cómo estás?
Shalom alechim.
 
 I wanted to wait for a while before contacting you again as you must be very sad at your mothers death. May she rest in peace.(Over Shalom). The Coussins family here in the United Kingdom and around the world wish you and our Uruguay family a long life.
 
Since speaking to you on the Internet we have recently been contacted by another long lost relative living in Los Angeles.  Initially by Meradyth Taylor and then her mother Esta who is now 86.  I have copied this email to them as they were also pleased to now that we are slowly bringing the Rakusins together once more. They are sendoing me some family phtogra[hs on Monday so that I can make copies of them for the family website. I am,  working on the website this week and in three weeks I will upload the new images and hopefully some new family stories.
 
When you have time Gabriel, please send me some photographs of your mother and grandmother and any photographs that we can add to the archive of family images.
 
I must plan a trip to see you and also our family in Los Angeles.
 
Por favor comunicarse conmigo; Please keep in touch
 
 
Best wishes to you and your family,
Craig

Ok. I will send you photos of my mother and  grandmother, Old and new also. Regards. Gabriel.

I am so happy to receive this email. How did you find us Gabriel?
 
We knew that there was a family link in Uruguay and we have been searching for you for over three years. Yes. You are related and we are your family. We were in contact with someone else but that did not seem to develop.
 
This is wonderful. Your family came over to visit my Uncle Leslie in the 60's I think but Uncle Leslie is dead now and we had no information other than there was a visit think he said that they were in the Toy Business. My uncle Leslie Coussins,  brother of my father Isaac (also known as Jack)  and Harold, was a Toy manufacturers agent. When they came over to Scotland they also met Uncle Hyman who was my Great Uncle and brother to my Great Grandfather Abraham. We are related from that part of the family. I can give more detail from the website Gabriel.
 
My wife and visited Vilnius last year to try and get some information from the Jewish Centre in Vilnius. We got a lot of information on the Jewish population in Lithuania but there was little on our Family from Zagare. I have some information on Zagare and Lithuania on the website-www.itsourfamily.co.uk  and the older website
 

Sent: Friday, 4 January, 2008 7:30:46 PM
Subject: Re: Shalom from Uruguay

Yes, I have photos from Lithuania and Uruguay, but not digitalized yet. I'm an architect,39 years old. I was in Scotland in 1997, in Glasgow and Edinburgh. I have a son 5 years old, an my wife is computer analyst. I send you a photo of my son. .  Regards, Gabriel

 

Peel and Curtis: They appeared at the Birmingham Hippodrome
on the week commencing 8th Feb.1932. The manager
of the theatre wrote, "Peel & Curtis proclaim the fact that
they are the only two Scotch Jews in captivity. They
supply a racy Humorous act in which agreeable singing
is cleverly intermixed".
This 'snippet' of information was supplied by
Max Tyler of the Theatre History Archives.

Meredyth Taylor tells us:

Billy Curtis married my great Aunt Bessie Cousins. They settled in California. They had a daughter called Esther/Estelle, Esta-

His Hebrew was Lazarus and his last name was Julius, which became Curtis when his family came over from the old country (they were probably from the same region that Grand-dad Coussins was from.  He was #9 of 10, born in Edinburgh, right below Arthur's Seat, which was the Jewish ghetto at the time.  He was born July 21st 1896 or 7, and died in February 1981.  He would have been 89 yrs old.  He left home at a very early age, probably 13 at most, and began traveling Great Britain and the World---he was in South Africa as a very young man himself.  He also came to America as well, but return home at some point, met and married Bessie.  Esta and I miss him very much.  He babysat me a lot when I was very young.  I loved hanging-out with my grand-dad---he was great at telling stories.  He would put me on his lap and would always begin by saying "and now voyager..............." He loved to cook.  He made the best Latkies and turkey vegetable soup I've ever eaten.  To this day I can't eat a Latkie without comparing it to my Grand-dad's. 

I'm not sure but I think my Grand-father was already in California at the time when television was just getting off the ground (1952/3), and he never mentioned any offers of a T.V. show to my mother---but it would have been wonderful to have had Billy on T.V. ................BTY, Billy was "Leslie William or William Leslie Curtis, depending on the phase of the moon.

Lazarus Julius (possibly Barnstein) In the days when people came to the United Kingdom and America , if the immigration officers of that time did not understand the last name they either dropped it or changed it to one that they could understand. (Esta)

January 2008 -5769

Hi Craig,

 
I'm your (3rd) cousin Meradyth, daughter of Esta (Fay and Leah's niece, and daughter of Bessie).  It's uncanny that I should come across your web site---there's been something nagging at me to see if there was any information about Peel & Curtis" on Google, and this is where I found your site.  Bill Curtis was my grandfather; Esta's father and Bessie's husband.

My mother and Murtel, were the only girl's between Great-grandma and Grand-dad's children---and my mum was very close to all the Coussins boys.   However, if you want additional information on Peel and Curtis, she'd be the one to talk to.

I have many pictures both old and new of Esta and me, and Bill and Bessie (plenty of Bill as a Dame in Vaudeville), which I'd loved to share with you and the family site.  I have an unbelievable story about meeting Kay Kent one afternoon---and of course her connection to your parents.  But I'll have to compose that and send it to you another time---it was one of those serendipitous events that happen infrequently in most peoples lives.  I've been fortunate to have had many of these events---much the same as our meeting in cyber-space by virtue of "Peel and Curtis." 

However, here's a story that your dad told me when I was very young---you probably know it as well:

 
1)  One afternoon your dad, Harold and Leslie were playing in a field close to home in Glasgow in the Gorbals.  So there they were minding their own business when a Polis (Policeman)  came by and told the to get along as they were trespassing.  The Polis wanted to scare them, so he asked them their names:  Jack said, "I'm Jack Coussins", Harold said "I'm Harold Coussins" and then Leslie said "I'm Leslie Coussins."  The Polis took a long look forward and replied: "oh, so your brothers?"  and Jack said "no, we're cousins.......evidentially (on that response)  they had to run for their lives as the Polis was pretty angry as he thought they we're pulling his leg.
 
2)  I also remember arriving in Scotland and meeting Alan Cousins in my 17th year---we got along pretty well, and he took me to see a number of the local sites, including my first visit to St. Andrews.  It seemed that every town we stopped in had a butcher shop selling Haggis.  Having grown up in California, I'd never heard of such a thing, so I asked him about it; you know, what was it?  He assured me that we'd go hunting for wild Haggis before I returned to L.A.  I'm sure the Scots have great fun taunting foreigners with the same reply---but I still chuckle when I think about it. 
 
It's wonderful corresponding with you....It's wonderful finding family---I have so little of it being an only child, and Esta is getting old, and I would like to stay in touch with whatever family I have left no matter the distance. 
 
Esta and I will get together and send along our favorite pictures very soon, and I'm sure she has quite a few stories she'll be willing to share.

Meradyth L. Tayler  380 e Kingsley Avenue  Pomona, CA  91767  Phone:  909-623-4023 Nimbus380@aol.com  E4Esta@aol.com

California

if you have any news, photographs or information please email Craig

 

The Peel and Curtis  Style of one liners
You Know You're Jewish When...
 
You spent your entire childhood thinking everyone called pot roast "brisket."

You grew up thinking it was normal for someone to shout "Are you okay? Are you okay?" through the bathroom door when you were in there longer than 3 minutes.

Your family dog responded to commands in Yiddish.

Every Saturday morning your father went to the neighbourhood deli (called an "appetizing store") for whitefish salad, whitefish ("chubs"), lox (nova if you were rich!), herring, corned beef, roast beef, cole slaw, potato salad, a 1/2-dozen huge barrel pickles, a dozen assorted bagels, cream cheese and rye bread (sliced while he waited) .. all of which would be strictly off-limits until Sunday morning.

Every Sunday afternoon was spent visiting your grandparents and/or other relatives.

You experienced the phenomenon of 50 people fitting into a 10-foot-wide dining room hitting each other with plastic plates trying to get to a deli tray.

You had at least one female relative who pencilled on eyebrows which were always asymmetrical.

You thought pasta was stuff used exclusively for Kugel and kasha with bowties.

You were as tall as your grandmother by the age of seven.

You were as tall as your grandfather by the age seven and a half.

You never knew anyone whose last name didn't end in one of 5 standard suffixes (berg, baum, man, stein and witz.)

You were surprised to discover that wine doesn't always taste like cranberry sauce.

You can look at gefilte fish and not turn green.

Your mother smacked you really hard and continues to make you feel bad for hurting her hand.

You can understand Yiddish but you can't speak it.

You know how to pronounce numerous Yiddish words and use them correctly in context, yet you don't exactly know what they mean. Kinahurra.

You're still angry at your parents for not speaking both Yiddish and English to you when you were a baby.

You have at least one ancestor who is somehow related to your spouse's ancestor.

Your grandparent's newly washed linoleum floor was covered with the Times, which your grandparents could not read.

You thought speaking loud was normal.

You considered your Bar or Bat Mitzvah a "Get Out of Hebrew School Free" card.

You think eating half a jar of dill pickles is a wholesome snack.

You're compelled to mention your grandmother's "steel cannonballs" upon seeing fluffy matzo balls served at restaurants.

You buy 3 shopping bags worth of hot bagels on every trip to the city and ship them home via courier post . (Or you walk or drive for 3 hours just to buy a dozen "real" bagels.)

Your mother took personal pride when a Jew was noted for some accomplishment (showbiz, medicine, politics, etc.) and was ashamed and embarrassed when a Jew was accused of a crime .. as if they were relatives.

You thought sleep away college was only where non-Jews went ... Jews went to city schools ... unless they had scholarships or made a private  school.

 Sunday night and the night after any Jewish holiday was designated for Chinese food.

You're proud to be Jewish - and you pass these jokes on to all your Jewish friends!

THINGS I KNOW THAT I DIDN'T LEARN IN HEBREW SCHOOL
>
> 1. The High Holidays have absolutely nothing to do with marijuana.
>
> 2. Where there's smoke, there may be salmon.
>
> 3. No meal is complete without leftovers
>
> 4. According to Jewish dietary law, pork and shellfish may be eaten only in
> Chinese restaurants.
>
> 5. A shmata is a dress that your husband's ex is wearing.
>
> 6. You need ten men for a minion, but only four in polyester pants and white
> shoes for pinochle.
>

> 7. One mitzvah can change the world; two will just make you tired.
>
> 8. After the destruction of the Second temple, God created Latkis.
>
> 9. Anything worth saying is worth repeating a thousand times.
>
> 10. Never take a front row seat at a Bris.
>
> 11. Next year in Jerusalem. The year after that, how about a nice cruise?
>
> 12. Never leave a restaurant empty handed.
>
> 13. Spring ahead, fall back, winters in Boca.
>

> 14. WASP's leave and never say good bye; Jews say good bye and never leave.
>

> 15. Always whisper the names of diseases.
>

> 16. If it tastes good, it's probably not kosher.
>

> 17. The important Jewish holidays are the ones on which alternate side of
> the street parking is suspended.
>

> 18. Without Jewish mothers, who would need therapy?
>

> 19. If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. But if you can afford
> it, make sure to tell everybody what you paid.
>

> 20. Laugh now, but one day you'll be driving a car that you cant see over the dashboard  and eating dinner at 4:00 PM in a retirement home.
>

> Signs on Synagogue Bulletin Boards
>

> 1. Under same management for over 5763 years.
>

> 2. Don't give up. Moses was once a basket case.
>

> 3. What part of "Thou shalt not" don't you understand?
>
> 4. Shul committees should be made up of three members, two of whom should be
> absent at every meeting.
>

> 5. Sign over the urinal in a bathroom at Hebrew University: "The future of
> the Jewish people is in your hands."
>

> 6. My mother is a typical Jewish mother. Once she was on jury duty. They
> sent her home. She insisted SHE was guilty.
>

> 7. Any time a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white
> bread, somewhere a Jew dies.
>

> 8. It was mealtime during a flight on El Al. "Would you like dinner?,"the
> flight attendant asked Moshe, seated in front. "What are my
>choices?," Moshe asked. "Yes, or no," she replied.
>

> 9. An elderly Jewish man is knocked down by a car and is brought to the
> local hospital. A pretty nurse tucks him into bed and says, "Mr.Gevarter,
> are you comfortable?" Gevarter replies, "I make a nice living...."
>

> 10. A rabbi was opening his mail one morning. Taking a single sheet of paper
> from an envelope he found written on it only one word: "shmuck." At the next
> Friday night service, the Rabbi announced, "I have known many people who
> have written letters and forgot to sign their names, but this week I
> received a letter from someone who signed his name.... and forgot to write a
> letter.

> 11. Three Jewish women get together for lunch. As they are being seated in
> the restaurant, one takes a deep breath and gives a long, slow "oy." The
> second takes a deep breath as well and lets out a long, slow "oy." The third
> takes a deep breath and says impatiently, "Girls, I thought we agreed that
> we weren't going to talk about our children."

> 12. And one final favourite: A waiter comes over to a table full of Jewish
> women and asks, "Is anything all right?"

 

 

 

 

21 st January 2008

Hi Craig, Philip and Meredith

One easy one.  My mother and father never lived in Leeds .  My mother was a Brighton girl (Hove actually!), but did spend some time in Glasgow with Daddy (Harold of course) shortly after they were married.  This was in the old days when you couldn’t see the hills behind the city and everything closed on Sunday.  My mother counted the months, days and hours she spent there. So you can see she didn’t particularly relish it or the north of England either.  She told me that once when in a bar with my father and noticing that the locals were just drinking steadily she asked them why no darts? ‘Och lady’ they said, ‘if we had darts we’d be sticking them in each other!’.  Times have changed now, of course, and I am very fond of Glasgow .  Spent many happy child hood days there.   By the way I have quite a few holiday stories that involve you in Southwick Craig!  I also distinctly remember your Dad reading a letter that you sent home from South Africa saying you now knew the difference between a filet mignon and a grilled steak.  As you put it, ‘about $30!’.

 Actually Philip, re the name, it could be that this was the case, but the name Shai is actually a name in its own right.  I have friends (Jewish ones of course) whose kids are called Shai.  It is Hebrew or Aramaic (an older language than Hebrew which, in biblical terms was comparatively recent) for gift.  By the way, the mourners prayer is all in Aramaic though using Hebrew characters.

 Meredyth my father talked very fondly about his Uncle Billy and how much he liked him.  So I knew a bit about him too. There is a famous story about a UK TV exec in the very early days of TV (pre or post war not sure) approaching Uncle Billy to do a TV show of his act (I think it was his Dame act as I recall the story Daddy told me), but he turned him down flat.  As he said ‘what and use up all my material in one performance.’  This was a major issue for many of the performers in those days as the act would be used many times in many theatres around the country.  With much less mobility and no mass media this was, of course, very possible. 

 Finally on Papa – he claimed to me he was also a an acrobatic comedian (as was Chaplain). This means, I think that he did a lot of acrobatic falling over, a bit like the Chaplain drunk act (see the film Chaplain with Robert Downey Jnr. for an example).  Being war blind killed this opportunity for him after returning home.  He still said though, that the nigh patrol that blinded him saved his life.  As this was the day before the battle of the Somme you can see why he thought this.

 Will write more later.  Need to go now and listen to my little one play the piano (started late and am the baby here! So I have an 11 year old son and 6 – shortly this week to be 7 – year  old daughter.

 Lovely to talk with you all.  We should try a skype call Craig!

 Fondest best wishes

 Ricky


From: CRAIG COUSSINS
Sent: 21 January 2008 10:36

Subject: Siberia

21st January 2008

Ref:

Meredyth asked:

I also think that Fay told me Great Uncle Hyman went to Siberia (maybe in the seventies) and found some additional family up there---do you know anything about this?????  

Philip replied:

Hey Craig, Grandpa Hyman did indeed go to Russia in 1960/61 as he found out that he had a niece still living there unfortunately she had passed away but he did see her grave. I met her father in Leeds  who I recall grandpa calling him Shai, my mother knew him as Uncle Shai. I expect that "Shai" is the diminutive for "Moshe" or Morris who was the oldest of the brothers and Craig, in Morris's basement he kept all his shoe equipment and I remember the various sizes of  "awls" and the very hard thread that he would use for stitching the shoes, I remember that Denise and I were playing somewhere in the garden and I am sure that Harold and Pam lived in Leeds or did they  Philip

I will ask Ricky if Harold and Pam ever lived in Leeds . I don't think so but then again I do not really know. Ricky will fill that in.

Also Philip. Do you remember where in Russia he visited? Siberia seems so unusual for a visit.

Moscow, St. Pete etc are normal but elsewhere there were not too many Jews.

Apropos the shoe making:

I am a shoemaker and indeed , as a family, we have a history of being shoe makers. Maybe coincidence but then again? I would have said that its in the genes but then I don't make jeans, only shoes. My brother Paul makes jeans though-may its in his -sorry about that(:-o))

Craig

Maybe I should set up a discussion site that allows us tro answer all these truly interesting and imnportant questions. I will speak to my web designer and see what he will suggest

 
However, it's wonderful to meet all of you.  Who would have thought this could ever have happened.  I'm truly grateful for this experience.
 
Craig, I'm meeting with my Rabbi tomorrow and intend to give him all of this information.  I'm not positive, but as I said before---the Chabad--Lubavitch are like the Jewish version of the Mormons.  Genealogy is very important to them and they keep adding and growing their information as time goes on. 
 
Esta has mentioned that great-grand-dad was a produce seller, which is probably where my grand-mother (Bessie) and my mother got their love of fruits and veg.  Certainly coming to California was the right place for them! 
 
Since I'm Great Grandma's name sake, I was hoping that somebody had additional information on her.  Esta loved her very much.  She told me that she had the most incredible red hair you've ever seen----she said it was a deep maroon color; like the color women get out of bottle these days, and that she was the sweetest, most loving person in the world to all of her children and husband.  As for the shoemaker's in the family, I wish I could make them, I have some great ideas---all I do is collect them.  I've lost count on how many pair I have.  Esta was a great one for collecting shoes too.  I thought it came from her---now I know where we got the bug. 
 
It's raining in Southern California right now, despite what the song says........Craig, I need to get into my garage and look for the information you're asking for.  It just might take a few days for me to get to it (there's a 5 days storm forecast as of today, and we've had some really hard rains lately.  I know what your thinking , don't say it....but for California, these have been doozies).
 
Craig, I know that Esta will be contacting you in the next few days.  Hopefully she'll have some additional info. that she can add to the mix.  What about Murtal (sp) or David.  They must have some information too---especially David from what Esta says, he spent a great deal of time with Great Grand-ma's after he had finally met her. 
 
Ricky, I'm not sure but I think my Grand-father was already in California at the time when television was just getting off the ground (1952/3), and he never mentioned any offers of a T.V. show to my mother---but it would have been wonderful to have had Billy on T.V. ................BTY, Billy was "Leslie William or William Leslie Curtis, depending on the phase of the moon.
 
Here's some Billy Curtis FAC's for all:
 
His Hebrew was Lazarus and his last name was Julius, which became Curtis when his family came over from the old country (they were probably from the same region that Grand-dad Coussins was from.  He was #9 of 10, born in Edinburgh, right below Arthur's Seat, which was the Jewish ghetto at the time.  He was born July 21st 1896 or 7, and died in February 1981.  He would have been 89 yrs old.  He left home at a very early age, probably 13 at most, and began traveling Great Britain and the World---he was in South Africa as a very young man himself.  He also came to America as well, but return home at some point, met and married Bessie.  Esta and I miss him very much.  He babysat me a lot when I was very young.  I loved hanging-out with my grand-dad---he was great at telling stories.  He would put me on his lap and would always begin by saying "and now voyager..............." He loved to cook.  He made the best Latkies and turkey vegetable soup I've ever eaten.  To this day I can't eat a Latkie without comparing it to my Grand-dad's. 
Bye to all for now.............
Meradyth
 
 
 
 
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