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Leon Rudelson's Trip with Grandpa

by Carol Dondick

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Leon Rudelson, born in Denver, Colorado in 1911, moved to Los Angeles when he was two months old. When he was 5 or 6 years old, the family lived at Temple Street and Beaudry, across the street from his grandparents, Morris Strear, listed in the 1930 Census as a cattle dealer, and his wife, Rose Katz Strear.

Leon spent a lot of time with his grandparents. He sometimes slept at their house, so he could accompany Grandpa to the San Fernando Valley, to buy a cow or a pig to take to the slaughterhouse.

The two of them would get up very early, take a gift of some homemade bread baked by Grandma, hitch the horses to the wagon, and head out to the Valley, where Grandpa had a friend who lived in Roscoe.

When they arrived, the men would visit, bargain, have a bit of schnapps, and eventually reach an agreement on the sale of a cow. They would load the cow onto the wagon, and if the animal wouldn't cooperate, Leon would be put to work. His job was to twist the cow's tail, which made the cow climb into the wagon. Then the boy and his grandfather would begin the long trip back to Los Angeles, where the cow would be delivered to the slaughterhouse.

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Copyright November 2002. All Rights Reserved

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