Text Box: Benjamin

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Samuel and Theresa Spaiser
(note: the Polish transliteration of "Spaiser" is Szpajzer) - the family came from Poland.
Samuel is the son of one Leibush Szpajzer)

The Spaiser family originally lived in Bensonhurst, very near where I grew up on 82nd street at Bay Parkway. While I grew up in an apartment the Spaiser family had a home on 84th street. I understand it was a nice home and I believe all the kids (my dad, Ben, Dave Flora and Millia lived there at one time). But those that were already married moved to their own places - like us. I don't know about the daughter Leonie who only lived to 21 years or why she died.

I don't remember when my grandparents Samuel and Theresa died since I was too young  - 2 and 3 years old respectively . After that I guess the family moved away since I don't remember anyone of the Spaiser family living in Bensonhurst.

I remember Millia and husband Jean living in upper Manhattan as well as Lila and Sol. I remember my uncle Dave and wife Suzanne living first in Hempstead NY (Long Island) then in Huntington. Dave and Suzanne were my "godparents." Uncle Ben took over the family weatherstripping business, and lived in a house in Riverdale, a nice section of the Bronx above Manhattan. Since dad always had a car we visited everyone a lot.

The business was mostly field work by a team of men who worked on various buildings under construction as well as inside homes, often expensive homes of the rich and famous. My dad was among the workers (Ben took over running the business). The business office and shop was first in downtown Manhattan and then moved to 125th street and was split into the office area and the shop. In the shop were machines that made all of the custom brass moldings required to properly insulate windows and doors. This was all custom work.

At one time or another both myself and my sister Annette were employed there (as a family favor) when we needed jobs. Annette worked in the office and I worked in the shop. In charge of the shop was "Johnny" another French expatriate and one very nice guy. He died just recently (I believe in 2006), I suspect in his eighties. After many years of being a bachelor he married in his forties and so I believe he leaves a family.

As you can see in the family tree below, Flora died when I was quite young but I remember it very well. That was the first and only time I saw my dad cry. I also remember all the nice times we had at uncle Dave's places in Long Island and how much he liked me (I was interested in his machinery and in lenses and prisms - the budding scientist in me).

When we left he never failed to give me a bunch of lenses and prisms that were slightly defective (small chips etc.) but from which I could make telescopes and stuff. As mentioned somewhere else, I thought my uncle Dave died at the young age of 44 but according to the family tree he was 58. I think that is a mistake but if he died in 1952 I was 12 years old which seems right. I saw him the day before he died (we went to visit). He was in a hospital bed and with his sweet smile he waved goodbye not ever suspecting that would be the last time. Later that night he had a fatal stroke. I believe this was because of the rich (French) diet of fatty food including the geese he raised and slaughtered for holidays.

The Spaiser family was not religious and celebrated the Christian holidays. I understand uncle Dave usually dressed up as Santa for Christmas. As a result we too had Christmas (less the tree) in our apartment and the Spaiser family would send me Christmas gifts, especially uncle Jean (Millia's spouse) who always was very generous.

Later I spent a lot of time with uncle Jean on Black Lake, where he had a house. He was a big time fisherman and as described in my memoirs "Kauneonga Lake Days." At first he went with his son Ted but Ted was older and stopped going to Black Lake so I got the privilege. Eventually I even got the right to go out on Black Lake without uncle Jean as explained in the linked website.

genealogy courtesy of Reuven Singer             Family picture

Top of family tree

  In Poland


Level 2 (Descendants of Samuel Spaiser) - part A

Level 2 - part A1

Level 2 - part B

Site Revised and updated 11/09/2005

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