Born May 15, 1946 in Philadelphia, PA; the second child born to Louis Pollen and Bessie Pollen (Polonsky). I have a brother, Paul, who was born on March 25, 1949.
My mother had 6 miscarriages prior to giving birth to me. She bed rested for 9 months. I was born at the Woman’s University Hospital on May 15, 1946.
I have a brother Paul who was born on March 25, 1949.
My father Soloman died on August 8th, 1963. My mother remarried Martin Savedow on October 12th, 1968. He brought 2 children: Esther and Paul into the marriage. They were married in Yeadon, Pa. by Rabbi Charles Lacks.
I did not know neither set of grandparents were known to me. My father’s parents were unable to leave their homeland( Romania). My mother’s mom died giving birth to her and her father died after being infected by tetanus before she was born.
My Earliest Childhood Memory
My earliest memory is living at 52nd & Catherine St. where my father owned a Deli. I remember the Deli was rather small and outside there was a bubble gum machine where you put in a penny and received one gumball. I remember wanting a gumball and not having a penny so I found a rock and broke the glass and all the gumball came out. My Dad was really mad!! I also remember a man used to come into the neighborhood and you would sit atop of his pony and have your picture taken. my mom would dress me up in a cowboy outfit.
My mother was the youngest of 7 sisters. She was raised by her sisters as her mother died during childbirth and her dad died before my mom was born. The sisters were their own best friends and had an unshakeable bond. Their husbands knew better than to interfere with what the sisters wanted to do collectively. We celebrated all holidays as a large family either at one sister’s house or more often in a private room at a restaurant. We celebrated both secular and religious holidays. Those family celebrations are some of my best memories because as I left for college things changed.
Dad was a very quiet man. He loved classical music and it was always playing on the high-end stereo equipment. Our store was open from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm 7 days a week 365 days a year. After my Dad passed in 1963 Mom reduced the closing hour till 10:00 pm.
My Mom had hired help to both raise my brother and me while also helping out in the Deli as we got older. Her name was Lottie Vera and she was all things to our family. She stayed with my Mom into her marriage to Martin and continued with my Mom until she passed. She was a wonderful person who raised both my brother and me while also helping when my girls, Shawn & Danelle came to spend the summers with Grandma & Grandpa. Lottie was a true and valued member of the family. My father was a good businessman who people said was ahead of his time in marketing the food we served in the Deli(Sol’s ) and the location of his second store in SW Philadelphia near the airport. My Dad had the highest value of lunchmeat. He imported hams from Krakow, Poland baked them with his secret recipe sauce. His other specialty was corned beef. We had the only Deli store in the area. On a 4 corner square, there was a Pharmacy, Hardware, Fruit& Sol’s Deli. There were no supermarkets yet. Businesses were all owned by individuals. My mother was the money manager, and face of the business. She had a connection with our customers. She related so well with everyone. Mom was also a very good manager of money which my Dad was not. Mom made sure the store turned a profit and decided what each and every item would cost. She also ordered all the convenience store groceries that we stocked in the store. Dad was responsible for all the deli items.