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Magical Moments of Youth
Best Memories of My Life


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I spent time in Woodmont in the late twenties and thirties from before I was a teenager until I graduated high school.  We would go there in April or May, depending on the weather. My father used to bring us to school and then we’d take the trolley – it was still a closed trolley in the spring – to Woodmont.  We stayed until Yom Kippur.
My parents were Samuel & Eva (Sarotcheik) Ruderman.  My father was a builder and helped build the Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont in 1927, and the social hall in 1947! He was from Latvia, and my mother was from Odessa. They would speak in Yiddish between themselves, and to us in English.  We lived in the Bagel Beach area.   He also built our house and two separate bath houses in the back, for us to use when we finished swimming. Our cottage was two stories and the bedrooms were all upstairs.  We were five siblings and we all got along pretty well together. My sister, Shirley Rubin, now lives in Hamden.
The people who lived near us were the Coopermans and the Feldmans (who had a big crap apple tree in their yard), and we lived behind the Romers. My best friend was Leona Romer. We did everything together: walking, swimming, and picnics on the beach. Sometimes the older kids would watch us. We would swim out to Barrow’s Rock when it was low tide. 
After breakfast in the morning, we’d go to the beach, swim, come back for lunch, and then go back out. We’d return in time for supper. Sometimes we’d roast marshmallows on the beach. The parents would make the fires and supervise.  There were a lot of kids on the beach. We used to get 5 cents and would buy Indian nuts or an ice cream cone from the ice cream parlor with fancy chairs.  All the kids in the neighborhood walked down to the Anchor and back—that was our exercise.  It took us half an hour each way and we’d go at dusk.  The trolley was a nickel or a dime.  The benches ran straight across the trolley.  I remember it stopping to pick up students for football games. Sometimes we’d take it to the other beaches, like Morningside and Walnut Beach. 
The adults used to congregate and play cards; the men would play pinnacle and the ladies would play bridge. I remember that our parents would take a holiday [vacation] for a week and would leave other people to take of us. Sometimes we would spend the day in Wallingford and visit relatives. I remember the Sauter Hotel where people from New York would stay. During August the waves would come up and we’d stay on the steps of the Sauter Hotel and watch the waves from the stairs.  
I remember that there were three little Jewish ladies who used to go to the synagogue and march around there every day and say prayers, two times a day. Two of them were Mrs. Romer and Mrs. Perry; I don’t remember the third. Later on, I became friends with Mrs. Perry’s granddaughter.  In the summer, the ladies had a bridge game in front of the synagogue and if we helped serve, we got ice cream! So of course, all of the kids loved to help!
When I think of Woodmont, I think of our summer home and the fun times we had.
My husband was Lewis Rosenberg (later changed to Ross) and he lived by the Anchor when he was younger. His grandfather Abraham had the cleaning business on York Street, Rosenberg’s dry cleaning. My husband was a shirt salesman and after we married, we moved to the Midwest.  We lived in Arizona, Las Vegas, and Iowca City, Iowa where I still live now.

1 Comment to FUN TIMES:

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Beverly Pava on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 11:15 AM
If you ever walked down Hillside Avenue in Woodmont, then you passed a white cottage on 133 with the sign "TA-KIT-EZ". It was in that cottage on the beach, where I spent every summer from 1929 to the early 2000's. I recall my parents wheeling me in the carriage all the way to to the VILLA ROSA on Sunday evening for ice cream sundaes. During the week my dad was back in Springfield working, so this was our treat. Most days we swam and had"cookouts" on the beach in the evenings. All we needed to do was run over to Allinson's and buy the hotdogs and marshmellows! We did all our marketing at the three stores around Sloppy Joes. Sometimes, we would walk to the anchor to the general store and the library! I recall performing at the Milford Summer Theater when I was older. Who needed camp? We had our girlfriends and the neighbohood boys to hang out with. We had the Capitol Theater in Milford and Savin Rock for entertainment. When Sam and I started dating, he would come to Woodmont on Sundays with my sister Milly and her husband who were driving down for the day. It was on the rocks at the anchor that we got engaged. After we married and had ou boys, they too enjoyed each summer, learning to swim, sail, motor boat, and best of all take long hikes with their dad on Saturday afternoon. Friday evening and Shabbos they all went to shul and it was in the Woodmont shul that they honed their skils at reading the Torah and davening. Sunday morning breakfast at shul was an experience. The women prepared while the men davenened and then all enjoyed breakfast together. Aaron Katman, then President, awarded our son Jeremy a lovely plaque for his participation in shul activities! It still adorns his shelf. The yearly card parties were fun for kis and adults. I even remember when the shul had a yearly dinner! I wrote a history of the shul when we celebrated the 75th year. Moses and his wife Vivian tell us that they got engaged on the rocks at the anchor. (shades of his parents). It was in Woodmont, twenty years ago this coming summer that our family got together to wish our oldest son and his wife and five children farewell, as they made Alyah to Israel. The cottage on Hillside Avenue was a retreat for the Fein Family, the Kimball family and the Pavas. We hope you remember us, we have certainly never forgotten Woodmont. When we were happy, we wold dance around the dinner table, there were squabbles when three or four or five women tried to cook in the ktchen at once. We celebrated simchas and mourned losing family members. There were broken romances and a few that that led to the altar.
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