This Is How It All Happened

I approach this task with uncertainty, because all my facts are second-hand. No one I know of who was present at my parent’s wedding, August 29, 1920, is still alive today. Except my cousin Jack, whose mother (my mother’s sister) was pregnant with him and he claims that this fact makes him a spectator. I cannot make this claim, because I was born a full nine months after the wedding.

Dad and Mom first met when they were both working at the Denver Dry Goods store downtown. Dad was in charge of the delivery and shipping department and Mom worked in the notions department that also wrapped gifts for delivery or shipping. Mom hated it when she had to go downstairs to the shipping department, because she didn’t like the shagits (male non-Jew) in charge who always gave her a bad time. They finally met away from the Denver Dry when my mother’s stepsister had a party and my Dad and his family were invited. “You mean, he was a Jew all the time and never told her?!!!

One thing led to another, as usually happens, and they started dating. Dating in those days meant going to a twenty-five cent movie and a eighty-five meal down on Larimer St. at the Manhatten Restaurant. Believe me, that was really stepping out in those days. Of course they used the street cars coming and going, so they could sit close to one another. I repeat, I wasn’t there. so this is all heresay.

After about a year or so, my Grandmother put her foot down and said, “Enough is enough. Either you two make up your minds to get married or you don’t see each other any more!” I’ve written elsewhere how my Grandmother’s word was law to her children, with no higher court of appeal, so the marriage was planned. After all, my Mother was twenty-one years old, going on twenty-two, and was on her way to being a old maid at this rate. Genuge, enough.

So the wedding was planned and the place of the marriage to be almost an almost home wedding. To explain: my Grandmother owned the Star Bakery, although her second husband thought he did, but that’s another story. The bakery faced on West Colfax Ave. and the cross-street was either Elliot or Decatur St. The retail store was in front and there was minimal living quarters behind the store all in one building. Right next to the store was the bakery and the two buildings were separated by a “gesilah” or passageway. The gesilah was open to the sky but closed on three sides by the buildings. In front was a brick wall with a door to the street on West Colfax. The passageway was about six foot wide and, approximately, forty foot long. Other doors on one side led to the kitchen behind the retail store, and one door opened to the bakery itself. This was the site of the wedding, which was held on a Sunday afternoon, and a good time was had by all. I don’t think there was dancing in the gesilah, but I was not there and can’t say for sure.