Thursday, May 08, 2008

Jean is renting a condo in New York for her upcoming trip. She indicated her plan was to there by taxi.

Someone asked her if the info she had incuded the address.

This sparked an old memory stream.

I was probably nine or ten years old. My mother was sending me to Portland to stay for a few weeks during the summer with my aunt Mollie in the care of my grandmother.

Grandmother spoke very little English. Her treat was to spend some time with her Yiddish speaking friend Mrs. Schahtz.

We embarked on the Toonerville trolley that pulled our sleeping car to the Wallula Junction to hook onto the Mainline train for Portland.

Arriving in Portland we collected our luggage including my Colson full size bicycle bought for me so that I could "grow into it".

We exited the station to the cab stand. The courteous driver stowed our luggage in the trunk of the vehicle advising grandmother there was a fifty cent charge for the bicycle.

We installed ourselves in the traditional passengers seat and the driver cranked the engine.

Where to?

Grandmother responded, " To Mrs. Schahtz' house."

Yes, Mrs Schahtz' house. But what is the address?

Grandmother knew the house. Grandfather had driven her there several times in the big blue Auburn but she had absolutely no idea of the address. If she had it in her purse the stress of the moment panicked her.

I want to go to Mrs. Schahtz' house. Mrs. SCHAHTZ!

The driver jumped out of the cab and litterally threw up his arms and shouted, HOW SHOULD I KNOW WHERE MRS. SCHAHTZ LIVES.

I, imbued with the admonition that children should been seen and not heard sat by as a very quiet witness.

Actually the driver not wanting to loose a fare plus the fifty cents for the bicycle, disapeared and returned momentarily with a Portland telephone directory. He skimmed down the column of "S'
and called the first names of the three likely suspects. Grandmother identified a likely Schahtz and the cabbie took us to the right one first off.

It occurred to me years later that we could have called my aunt who had to have the address to pick me up.

For years a family catch phrase when one of didn't have an answer was, "How should I know where Mrs. Schahtz. lives?"


Blogger Mike Barer said...

That is so funny, some 60 years later.

6:31 PM  

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