Zarakov Family

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First Name:

Last Name:

Irwin Charles Berly

Irwin Charles Berly

Male 1913 - 2000  (86 years)

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  • Name Irwin Charles Berly 
    Born 29 Aug 1913  Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 Jul 2000  Florida Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I98  Zarakov Family History
    Last Modified 23 May 2016 

    Father Louis Berly,   b. 03 Jan 1876, Odessa, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 May 1956, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Mother Rebecca Schlosberg,   b. Abt 1885, Riga, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 Jul 1957, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years) 
    Married 23 Nov 1899  Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Rabbi Jacob Goldfinger (per marriage certificate)
    Family ID F59  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Sylvia Rosenfield 
     1. Judith Berly
     2. Cynthia Gwen Berly
    Last Modified 6 May 2016 21:45:35 
    Family ID F66  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos Irwin Charles Berly Family Photo
    Irwin Charles Berly Family Photo
    Scrapbook Photo:
    Bottom row: Michelle Kaitz, Tammy Kaitz, Lissi Pinstein
    Row 1: Cyndy Shotten, Susan Kaitz, Jane Kaitz, Charlotte Kaitz, Louis Shotten, Peggy Green, Judy Pinstein, Sylvia Berly
    Top row: Jimmy Kaitz, Annetee Kaitz, George Spector, Ruth Spector, Bill Kaitz, Sonny Berly, Scott Green, Mike Green,… (At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.)

  • Notes 
    • Per Irwin Berly, Samuel died when Irwin Charles Berly was 6 years old.
      Irwin remembers when Samuel died, authorities came to his home because they mistakenly thought Sam lived there, but the authorities were confusing William's child with Louis' child who died earlier at age 4-6 months.

      Samuel Berly had been punched in the stomach and had choked to death on his vomit behind a drug store.

      Scrapbook Photo:
      Bottom row: Michelle Kaitz, Tammy Kaitz, Lissi Pinstein
      Row 1: Cyndy Shotten, Susan Kaitz, Jane Kaitz, Charlotte Kaitz, Louis Shotten, Peggy Green, Judy Pinstein, Sylvia Berly
      Top row: Jimmy Kaitz, Annetee Kaitz, George Spector, Ruth Spector, Bill Kaitz, Sonny Berly, Scott Green, Mike Green, Scott Pinstein, Mrs. Leo Beck, Leon Pinstein, Leo Beck.

      Interview with Charles Irwin Berly - 1998

      I only remember what my father told me, you know. When he (Louis) was fourteen or fifteen, he came to America by himself. A few years later, Zadel (William). Zadel changed his name to William, because he took sick and they gave him a new name in the synagogue. My father called him by his original name, Zadel. Because if his name was William, it would have been Velvel. Because my brother-in-law's name is Walter, and his name is Velvel.

      My father told me that Zadel was a very tall man. Maybe 6'6" and blond. My father was 5" 6" and jet black hair and his sister, Chaika (Ida Steisel) was a redhead. That's why my hair was red. He said when Zadel was growing up, they (the Russian Army) came to the shtetel on the Bug River, and took him away to be in the Czar's guards. Because the Czar only took people that were blond and very tall and when the war was with Japan in 1898, William (Zadel) deserted, because he didn't want to go to war and came to America. He (my father) never said he (Zadel) was married. Zadel met Chaika (Assa) in Boston and it turns out that Ida's father was called, Yosef the Litvak, who was married to his aunt in Russia. Either my father was telling me a funny story. My father told me that Zadel came to America and wasn't married. (Note there are INS documents and a translation of a marriage certificate from Russia that verifies that William was married to Chaika in Russia, prior to immigrating - mz).

      I don't remember any of Chaika's relatives, such as you suggest, like Morris Ash.

      All I remember about Chaika Kramer (Chaika Kramer was the sister of William and Louis Berly), and she probably passed away when I was very young, my oldest sister, was friendly was Neste, and they had things in common. And don't forget, that in my family of 10 kids, I was like the 6th child. So my sister Sadie was maybe 10-12 years older than me. At that time she had to be in NY and I knew that Chaika had a son that ran a bookstore at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge (Herbert Kramer). Herbert remained for some reason, very friendly with Sarah's family, but less friendly to my father's family. Why, I don't know. It might have been the argument when William died, my mother accused Chaika of causing Williams death, because he had horrible asthma from being a fur cutter for 40 years. And he breathed in all the dust. When they got older, they had property, there were houses called double-three deckers. We lived in a 17 room house and our houses were back to back. And she would send Zadel to go the thing to try and salvage coal from the clinkers, cause they gave heat and hot water and all this to … service to these giant apartments.

      And where we even lived in East Boston, I remember hearing my mother warning her (Chaika) not to tell the storekeeper to bill them to bill them for pounds of salt, which were easily pounds of candy. But she didn't want her husband to know (that she was eating candy). And the diabetes and everything, she (Chaika) lost her leg and became bedridden. And that kinda broke off the feelings between my family and hers.

      And I never knew Sammy (son of William and Chaika Berly). All I know was when I was about 6 years old, a policeman came to my house and said to my mother that your son has died. It turned out that Sammy was killed in a fight for a spot to sell newspapers. He fought with an Irish kid, a gentile person, over a spot to sell newspapers that sold for 2 cents a piece. If you worked at this and you made a dollar a week, he was lucky. It was a lot more money in those days than today. I remember when a postage stamp was 2 cents. We didn't have airmail or parcel post or anything like that. A card was one penny.

      The only thing Louis (my dad) told me about his father and mother. They all lived in a house in a Shtetel on the Bug River in the Ukraine where the Bug River converged with a larger river. The name is the back of my head and I can't spit it out. On one side of the river, the Jews lived, on the other side, the Goyem lived, the gentiles. The only time they would meet is when they were swimming in the river in the summer time and they'd come face to face or in the wintertime, when the river froze, they would drive their wagons over the ice. He said his father was named Israel. That's my name Irwin. I'm named after his father and that's why my grandfather on my mother's side was mad, because Charles, the name of his father came second, not first. He always called me Charles, my mother's grandfather. He never called me Israel.

      Anyway, in those days, everybody was arranged. His grandfather (I believe Israel is referring to Israel Steisel's father-in-law) picked this man (Israel Steisel), because he was a wonderful student in the shull (Israel Steisel). That was a big pride, to have somebody that was very, very learned in the bible. And he also played the violin. And now you know why the Zarakovs play the violin. (Note: Barney and Stanley Zarakov played the violin).

      My father (Louis) said, that his father (Israel) was not a businessman. At one time, his grandfather and his house with all the …. When the daughters got married, all the sons lived with the daughters' parents house. When the sons got married, they went to live somewhere else. He would send Israel to Odessa to sell the wheat and Israel would sell the wheat for less money than the grandfather bought it. He was a poor businessman. I never knew what the grandfather's name was because he went by Zadie, which means grandfather.

      Note: Irwin Berly is referring to Zarlotta Berly's father, who had many daughters and whose husbands lived with them. Zarlotta's father went by Zadie, which means Grandfather. Hence the reference to grandfather in the preceding paragraph. Mz

      Irwin doesn't believe that any of them came to America.

      Olive Kramer had a very poor coming up as a girl. Peter, I don't know anything about. Olive had married an Italian, from the mafia. Because my father would tell my mother, when they were picked up stealing from a store and Ida (Olive's mother, who lived in Boston) was very much embarrassed. He (Olive's husband?) tried stealing some scarves or something and there was nothing that Ida could do. So if you want to know anything about Olive, maybe my sister Peggy Green or my sister Ruthie, she's about 89-90. Ruthie probably knew Olive, as she was about 6 years older than me. Ruthie might know something.

      The only one that I was personally involved with was Herbert, who married the redheaded girl (Nancy Hart) in England during World War I. She was really a very beautiful woman as I remember. And had flaming red hair. And she happened to be a Jewish girl from England and they had children. For a while they used to come and visit. But then again, the only thing I know, a funny thing happened. You have an uncle Saul Cooper. About 30 years ago, maybe more, suddenly out of the blue sky, Sarah calls me (Sarah Berly Zarakov, my paternal grandmother) and she says, you know, she says, I understand you work for the government. I say yes. Sarah says, I have a son-in-law, a new son-in-law, who is looking for a job. So I went to my boss, cause you can sometimes deal under the wire and hire somebody without going through real civil service, you know what I mean? I told him about the background Saul had and that he'd probably would fit in with this department and the office. And he told me to tell Saul to go down to the Custom House or someplace to file a civil service exam with the Corp of Engineers. And they hired Saul and they put him this new department and before long he rose to a much higher position than I had. I was stuck in this job because I had to wait until the guy ahead of me left. He never left. When I left, he left six months later. So I knew Saul, so every once and awhile, Saul would come over or we'd meet in the hall and he'd tell me that Herbert had come from New York to visit. And on the beach, we had a house in Nantasket Beach, and Saul's wife worked in the drug store on Nantaket Avenue. Because besides everyone was a pharmacist (on Wilma's side of the family). I remember when your grandfather, when he was 70 years old was in the paper when he tried out for the Olympics. He was a wonderful skater, (pause) , when he was younger. When I first knew him, he was much older than me, you know. He really was past his prime as a skater maybe. But he (Barney Zarakov) had a drugstore, I remember he played the fiddle, he was a violinist, he was a pharmacist and that his son and daughter became pharmacists and now his grandson (Milo Zarakov) became a pharmacist too. Runs in the family.

      About Ida's daughter, Olive, I knew a little bit more, who had an unsavory reputation, because of her husband. And Ida was ashamed that she had married or lived with this Italian. We really don't know as I was very young. And Olive was also a friend of my sister Sadie, my older sister. The only one who might remember anything is my sister Lala (Lillian) who lives in California, that just passed away. If she was still alive, maybe she would have a memory of Olive and Neste and those people.

      Ruthie, my sister, lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, her last name is Spector. Ever since George passed away, she's been very unhappy with the family, especially with me. Maybe she's mad that I didn't come to the funeral. Trouble was that nobody told me, you know. She's angry because… but if they would have told me in time, I surely would have gone. Ruthie's phone number 1-617-566-9633. She lives on Hillside Terrace in Brookline 02146. Ruth was born in 1907.

      I also had a brother Sam, who died at three months old from being circumcised. My mother never talked much about it. All I know is I had a brother named Sam and William (Berly) had a son named Sam. They were named after the same person, whoever that might be. It might have been an uncle or something.

      I can remember my sister and I, one sister pushing Eddie in the baby carriage, and me pushing Esther Mary in the baby carriage (this was in 1924). They were the age of a brother and sister. Two of my older sisters moved out of the house in embarrassment that my mother had a baby when my sister was pregnant. Laughs. Ethyl didn't wait for her older sisters Sadie and Celia to get married. She met Sam Price and at 17 years old she was married. They (Sadie and Celia) didn't get married until they were 21 or 22, when they were older than her.

      I remember when I went to war, WWII, I had 2000 Indianhead pennies. And some $ 2.00 bills that they had stopped printing and that was my fortune. I collected these pennies working in a drug store when I couldn't get a job as an engineer during the depression. I decided that I'd become a pharmacist and I went to work in a drugstore and a man said that he would lie on my service. And I would take lessons from a black doctor who taught people how to be pharmacists. You didn't have to go to a college in those days, you just had to take an exam. So I worked for him in the drug store and studied with the pharmacist and the doctor teaching and just before I was supposed to take the exam, I took sick. And they found out that standing in the drugs store working 15 hours a day, 80 hours a week for $ 15.00 so the man would write in the paper that I had worked for him so many years. So I went to Washington and I got a job in the census bureau and then I got a job with the Corp of Engineers. I gave up pharmacy because I couldn't stand on my feet anymore. I used to work 10 hrs a day, everyday at least. I had to get there in the morning at 7 AM, wash the floors and clean the fountain and make sandwiches. And make my own mayonnaise. Cigarettes we sold for two packs for 25 cents. Some brands were 10 cents, the cheap brands. On Saturday you worked late, I f you worked two shifts, because you had to go down at 11 pm to bring in the Sunday newspapers. People would come by the drugstore to buy the newspapers. And then on the side, I used to help the pharmacists. In those days you made all the prescriptions, from scratch. I made pills. If a person wanted Boric Acid, I'd take it out of the can and put it into a hot package. I used to make liquids, emulsions. There was one cough medicine that was all liquid and you'd drink it and it would make you choke (laughs). That was it. When I took sick and had a breakdown because I was working too many hours and had a girl friend and I got no sleep, so I gave that up (the job or the girlfriend?) and I went back to work.

      I have two brother-in-laws who are pharmacists. I guess they sold their stores, but I think they work part time.

      I remember when I worked for Sheer Drug, when I was sick. We had a hospital we used to furnish drugs to. And I had to rush down there with the medicine. And digitalis was then a big drug. There was a fellow from a company called Abbott. He would go, and because we had the hospital, if you wanted to buy a vial of digitalis, they would charge, let's say $ 5.00. The hospital would only pay 50 cents. Because of the connection he had with the hospital, the hospital would buy the digitalis for 50 cents and sell it to the drug store for 50 cents. And he (the druggist) would give them (the hospital) reasonable prices on the drugs. We would rush the medicines down to the hospital when they needed it, because this small hospital didn't have a pharmacy, like they do now in the hospitals. So I was always running down to the hospital or being sent out in a little cart to deliver ice cream sundaes for 15 cents. You were lucky if you got a nickel tip.

      Getting back to Ruthie, you can call her or write her. The only one that knew you (Milo Zarakov) and your father well was because you happen to live in Manchester (NH) was Peggy (Berly) Green.

      One time when I was in California, Peggy and I went to visit your father (Stanley Zarakov) in Yucca Valley. He had just bought the drug store from the previous owner. I guess he had remarried someone with two small kids. And we ate in the only restaurant in town I guess. It was an Italian restaurant. That was before he bought the fancy house. Because the next time Peggy went to California, I didn't go with her, so she went to visit Stanley, he had a pool and everything. Actually I did visit that house, I remember.

      I had never seen Stanley before then and I had only seen his father, Barney, a few times.

      About Lottie's (the wife of Israel Steisel) sisters was somebody in New York, my father called her the Tanta (The Aunt). And she was like the dictator of the Berlly's in New York. The reason why my name is Berly, my father came to this country, his uncle, Tanta's husband, met him at the ship in Providence. And when they said to my father (Louis), "What's his name?" His uncle said, "Berly." My father's real name was something like Stoichel. My father didn't know what the man (immigration) was talking about and he happened to write Berly. The New York Berlly's spelled their name Berlly. So that's how we got this wrong name. Then when William (Zadel) came to this country, he took my father's name, Berly. He dropped his own name (Stoichel) too. They all became Berly's rather than Staichels (Spelling and pronunciation differ throughout the interview), like Peggy. Peggy's middle name is something like Staichel. When my father came to this country and met his uncle, he thought his uncle was Americanized, but he (the uncle) had only been in the country 6 months. They took my father to New York, as a kid, and got him a job in a factory making felt hats. His job was to steam the felt and stretch it, a cloth it was, with his fingers and in boiling hot water. So you would do it and you'd get blisters and you'd have to wait until the blisters to heal so you could work. As long as you worked everyday in the boiling water, the blisters didn't come back. But then you would have two months of no work, when you went back, you'd get blisters all over again. So my father started to become a tailor, or something like that. But that's how the name became Berly.

      They (the NY Berlly's) would come from New York, the Taunta would ride on the back of Peter Berlly's motorcycle. They had a son Peter Berlly, a daughter Evelyn, a sister Esther, a brother who ran a cab company. It's a funny thing, Peter's daughter and grand daughter have a condo near where I live. I met Abe's Berlly's sons, Jack Berlly, who also lives in Florida. They didn't seem to want to be friends. Whenever I meet them they hug and kiss me but never talk to me. I cried a long time. They live in the same condo, a Morris Berlly. Yet, as kids we were very friendly. I remember her as a kid of 17 years old and now I meet her the next time and she is 70 years old. I met Jack Berlly. Her brother Mo (Morris) Berlly died fairly young, around 65. When your 80 odd, 65 is a kid. Bruce, the youngest child of Peter. Peter and my father grew up in the grandfather's house and became more like brothers than cousins. They were side-by-side everyday. They had different mothers, but they were in the house with all the other kids. When they came to this country I remember my father would take my mother and other people to New York to visit and they (the New York Berlly's) used to come to our house, 20 people at a time. We were like their vacation home. One of Peter's sisters married a man called Sandrew. He had a cleaning plant in Pittsfield. We used to go there to visit. When I first came here (FL), Sammy Sandrew was still alive, a very old man in the 90's living with his daughter in Florida. I assume by now he passed away. The sad thing about Peter was, I went to see Peter when I found his sister and he was living with his second wife in Florida, in Florida, in a hotel with a room with a kitchen. I was supposed to see him again, but then about two or three weeks later he was crossing the street and a cab came down and killed him and his wife. Here he was, 91 years old. At that time, I didn't see Sammy because he couldn't come to the meal we had to try to get together and he lived with two daughters someplace in Florida. Jack Berlly had a son named Edward. Jack lived in Pembroke Pines and Esther Landel's (Spelling?) children lived someplace else in Florida. I hadn't seen these people since I was 20 years old as kids. Peter saw me and said, "I'd know you anywhere, you're the spitting image of your father (said in a kidding voice). But I look my mother, you know. (laughs). He didn't want to live with the children. His wife was about 7-8 years younger than him, I assume she is his second wife. When I used to go to New York, I'd always went to Peter's house. Abe Berlly lived in NY and at that time the houses had no toilets, no heat, and they were five stories high, you had to walk the stairs. But we'd have fun and visit. I remember we went one time, and Peter's older brother wanted us to come to the cemetery to see the gravestone he had picked out. I didn't want to go, I was a kid you know, around fifteen. I don't have to see a gravestone. But he was very proud of the one he bought. And the Tunta was like the dictator. She ran the family. The father wasn't alive then. When I knew her she was like the patriarch or matriarch. The Tunta was a Berlly. She died in New York probably. I never saw her in Florida. When I went to see Peter, he was about 30 years old and his mother was about 60 years old. See if Jack Berlly is in Pembroke Pines, he might know more about the family. Evelyn knows all the Berlly addresses who came from New York. Paul Sandrew has a son who is dentist. I remember I was up in the Catskills, a Chalet that belongs to my daughter Judy. I called him up and said I was his cousin. He told me his father was living in Connecticut. He wasn't interested in talking too much with me.