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Komonee Grocery Store on West Jefferson Ave
by Sharon Kaiser
All Rights Reserved. Do not copy photograph without permission
The photo shows Jake, Mame and Anna Komonee in their small grocery store on West Adams, about 1923. Jake and Mame were my grandparents, Anna my mother. They arrived in Los Angeles in 1922 from Montreal, Canada. Originally from Lepel, Russia, Yude Kaminoff and Mame Barkin emigrated separately to New York City, then went to Montreal where they married in 1918. My mother was born there in 1921. Her brother Ben was born in Los Angeles in 1932.
The young Komonee family left Los Angeles and went to Chino, for a period of time then moved to Cummings Street in Boyle Heights in 1935 or 1936. Then, sometime in 1938, my grandparents, mother and Uncle Ben moved to 230 North Chicago Street in Boyle Heights. They lived on the first floor of the apartment house which was a half block off of Brooklyn Avenue and around the corner from the Breed Sreet Shul. Next door was another apartment house whose upstairs tenant, Mrs. Fine, used to throw hard candies down to me. She called me a shayna maydl. I used to ride Uncle Benís tricycle around the block. After Jake's death, my grandmother and uncle continued to live in the apartment until 1953 when they moved to Kenmore Street in Hollywood.
Brooklyn Avenue is now Cesar Chavez Blvd. The shul is listed as a National Historic Building. The Chicago Street apartment building is still there Ė with cement instead of grass in the front yard.
I grew up hearing stories of Boyle Heights in the 1930's and 1940's - of no locked doors, 'red' cars and shuls. My mother and grandmother loved Los Angeles. They both passed away while residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging, in Reseda. Mame died in July, 1980. My mother died December 7, 2002.
Sharon Feuer Kaiser
Copyright © November 2002. All Rights Reserved
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