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A Portrait of Leila Weiss

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A Portrait of Leila Weiss

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A Portrait of Leila Weiss Gifted by Aaron AJ bioGraphbook com Copyright 2019 bioGraph LLC

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Portrait Interview on April 19th 2019

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Table of Contents Pictures 1 Childhood 12 Early Childhood 12 Summers 14 My Grandparents 15 School 17 Kidnapping Story 20 Robbers in the Tavern 21 College Telephone Stock Advice 22 Marriage Career 26 Meeting Ken Weiss 26 First Impression of Ken Weiss 28 Meeting the Weiss Family 29 Thoughts on Dating 30 Teaching Career 31 Hard Work Discipline 33 Religion Advice Other 35 Connection with Judaism 35 Minyan with Gladys 36 Favorite Quotes 38 Words of Wisdom 39 If You Could Have Dinner with Anyone 40

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Leila Kaufman on Armitage Ave in 1935

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Leila Kaufman circa 1950

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Leila Kaufman Late 1930s

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Sam Leila Gladys Late 1930s

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Sam Leila Gladys mid 1930s Sam Leila Gladys at the Tavern 1933

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Extortion Plot Sam Janice Leila Gladys January 22 1947 6

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Kenneth Weiss circa 1950

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Leila Ken Wedding July 3 1955

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Leila with her Teacher s Certificate June 2018 AJ Gladys Leila on Lasalle Bridge May 2017 9

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Leila Gladys in Elkhart Lake Aug 2014 Leila Gladys at Francesca s North Nov 2018 10

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Leila s 85th Birthday Party December 2017

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Childhood Early Childhood Leila My childhood started on Armitage Avenue behind a tavern in two rooms It was really a very happy childhood I didn t know that I didn t live in a regular house like regular people that washed clothes on Monday and ironed on Tuesday and visited on Wednesday My childhood was not like that at all But I didn t know any different I thought it was wonderful When my sister was about three years old we moved to a building which my father had purchased and we lived in an apartment upstairs of the tavern But we ate all our meals in the tavern and we came in and out of the door of the tavern Again it was different than the kids in the neighborhood but in those days nobody called on the telephone to their friends They just went and hollered outside the windows And not many of the neighbors invited kids in to play and have play dates in their houses so no I never invited people into my house to have play dates either No other kids ever came into my house It was a very happy childhood except for the fact that when I grew up when I was 15 my mother passed away and then it wasn t as happy of course My sister was five years younger than I was and I took care of her and we went to 12

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school My dad was a wonderful father and he saw to all of our needs that we wanted all we had to do was ask and he said yes or no When he said no he meant no There was no discussion He had no degrees didn t graduate from high school because his father He had done something at school and the school said for him to come in and his father refused He said If you can t do well and you don t obey in school then you can go out on the bread truck I need you to work I liked my childhood I remember having the measles Now they have a measles epidemic again even though vaccination makes it preventable I remember when I was younger laying in a bed in back of the tavern for 14 days in the dark because you would get All kinds of bad things could happen to your eyes and your heart from the measles And also nobody was to know that I had measles because they would have slapped a quarantine sign on my dad s business The health department always came around and then they quarantined you for a long period of time and he couldn t afford that When I had whooping cough I had the same thing He would not let us go and play with our regular friends but we either stayed in the house or since it was summertime an aunt took us to the beach and different museums so that we wouldn t be around other children and no one was to hear us coughing My mother knew what we had She complained to the doctor that her kids did not stop coughing He kept saying 13

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it s an allergy of some sort and then my sister started to cough in his office and he said Oh my god Mrs Kaufman I m so sorry your kids have whooping cough And so he sent us home there was nothing that he really could do for it But whooping cough lasted a long long time It was a whole summer ordeal It was like six eight weeks of whooping and you have a real whoop to you when you have whooping cough Summers bioGraph Can you tell us about what you did over the summers as a kid Leila We played outside We played outside with the kids in the neighborhood We would stay out until late at night and run up and down the gangways and the alleys playing hide and seek We never went to camps or anything like that When my maiden aunt had vacation she would take us we would go to my grandmother s house and we would go to the beach She lived near Lake Michigan on Montrose and Sunnyside Oh and then my other grandparents had a farm in Grovertown Indiana and we would go on Sundays My parents would drive leave very early after they closed the tavern at midnight or 1 00am we would leave at like 2 00 in the morning They would wake us up and we would drive during the night and arrive there in the morning stay the morning and then leave maybe 5 00 6 00 in the evening 14

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and we could run around out there with the cows and the chickens During one summer when it was polio season we spent more than just a day at the farm We spent probably a month because my parents were afraid of You couldn t go to the beaches then You weren t supposed to go to movie theaters You weren t supposed to be around people And so they sent us to the farm and I was just around my grandmother and grandfather and the cows and the chickens Really did not do much because they had no electricity no indoor plumbing and no indoor water You pumped water You took a bath once a week in rain water that was collected in barrels during the week And if there wasn t enough water I guess we didn t take a bath I don t really remember much about that But people were not washing themselves constantly in those days My Grandparents bioGraph Do you remember differences between Sam s parents versus Gladys parents and how both of your parents grew up differently One difference was their religion Leila Oh one difference is Yes their religion My mother grew up on a farm where they all worked the farm Harvesting things in the harvest season And she went to a very small a little This Grovertown must have had 500 people if it had that It was just a whistle stop So she went 15

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to a very small high school They were not sophisticated people And they were I guess Lutheran in religion My dad was a very sophisticated guy in comparison to what she was used to His parents lived on Maxwell Street and Jefferson above or across the street from the bakery They lived in a beautiful apartment and had help There were 11 kids in the family and his father died when he was a young man He was 52 and it was The Depression hit and his father had owed money because he bought flour high and flour now sunk low But he paid off all his debts and then my dad and one of his brothers went into bootlegging to help their mother and their four maiden sisters still living at home My mother didn t come from a place where they had any help She didn t know from a cleaning woman and she never had a cleaning woman in her entire life even when she worked in the store with my dad all day long she would on slow nights on Mondays or Tuesday nights she would clean house at our apartment at night or wash clothes in the apartment There was no electric no washing machines no dryers You washed the clothes in a bathtub and rinsed them out and then hung them to dry over radiators or wherever throughout the entire apartment There was a big difference in where my parents came from But she was a very smart lady I think that she was the brains to organize my father on a straight and narrow path because she told him that he couldn t be with the mob and that he had to He would get killed if he continued to do 16

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that This was not a good way to live My mother didn t live very long when you consider I never realized that they were I thought they were both the same age But my dad was older by about four or five years than my mom She was really very young When they got married she was probably about 19 20 years old I just learned that recently when I went to the cemetery Westlawn and noticed the years on the gravestones I realized also then that when my mother died my father was 44 years old I thought he was an old man because he was my father but he was just 44 years old when we lost my mom When you think of it today he was extremely He was young School bioGraph Can you tell us about your experience going to school as a kid Leila Well elementary school was I cried a lot I couldn t make the eights the way that teacher wanted the eights made And I could only make them like a snowman with two stacked circles I couldn t make eights in a single motion the way she wanted them This was in first grade and the teacher would make you stay after school I was kind of heavy and I couldn t walk fast even at six years old and I would have I had an eight block walk to go home for lunch So if I got out of school late for lunch that meant I would have hardly any time to eat lunch And of course since I was a little chubby I liked to eat lunch 17

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But I enjoyed school There were no Jewish children in my grade school at all but I wanted to go to Kelvyn Park So when I graduated from grade school I went to Kelvyn Park I was an outstanding student there because it was a very blue collared neighborhood and the boys were all in industrial arts and auto mechanics Nobody in my classes had any intentions of going to college or even thought an inkling in their minds about going to college I knew that I was going to college because my mother had really wanted to go to college and couldn t From when I was a little girl she always said When you go to college and I had it in my mind that I was going to go to college My dad could have gotten me a permit immediately to go to Roosevelt because he was well connected with many political people in the area He could have gotten me a permit but I didn t want it I wanted to go to Kelvyn Park Later I said Now I want it and I ll go to Roosevelt Because one of his good friends Charlie Gross daughters went to Roosevelt They came on one bus to go there I would have to go on an Armitage Avenue streetcar down to Kimball Avenue from Kilbourn to Kimball and then take the Kimball bus down to Wilson I enjoyed Roosevelt because everyone I met there was planning to go to college All of a sudden the boys were very smart I realized there are smart boys in the world who took classes like chemistry At Kelvyn Park there were only girls in the chemistry classes and the teachers would make allowances because we were only girls He wasn t as hard on us because 18

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we were girls which is wrong It s just like when Of course I went to college and I had a good time at the University of Illinois but not as good a time as my husband did Kenny told me that college was the best time of his life Never again were things going to be as good as going to college And he told our first child Gladys that they were going to be the best years of her life which she didn t find to be true When I started working I realized it was wrong to expect the same pay as men The women teachers and the men teachers were getting the same pay but we expected the man to do the heavy lifting and he always did They always did And in reality that was wrong Women today complain they don t get equal pay so therefore they have to do the heavy lifting just like the man does if you expect equal pay You can t expect that only the men go out when it s a blizzard outside with the kids for recess or if you have to lift things up on top of a shelf that s not their job It s your job It s the same You re getting paid the same pay If you expect them to do more then they get paid more than you That s why I don t get excited about all these women s lib things because the women kind of want it both ways They want you to do something extra but they want equal reward But at any rate I saved that box points to furniture box for you boys to put out there and I should have lifted it myself 19

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Kidnapping Story bioGraph Backtracking can you tell us the kidnapping story from when you were young in the tavern Leila Yes Well there was this Suzanne Degnan a little girl who was dismembered on the north side around Lake Michigan and up around Ashland and What s the other street Touhy My parents got a letter saying that the same thing was going to happen to their two daughters if they did not pay an amount of money And my mother of course wanted to pay immediately And my dad said Now we can t pay these people immediately because once you pay we ll pay forever This is not right We have to stick it out So he contacted I don t know how the FBI and the FBI told him what to do and he did it I remember one night my mother I thought Why is she coming up so early The tavern was still There were people still downstairs in the tavern Why is she upstairs here so early And she s sitting with us and she s talking with us and hugging us and she really seemed to be distraught But I didn t know what distraught meant then I was in seventh or eighth grade in elementary school and my sister Janice well she s five years younger So she was little My mom was very nervous because my dad had to go and deliver this package She was nervous that something would happen to him that he could get killed or what would happen And she wanted to be with us And then of course he came home and they had 20

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caught the young men who were sent to prison I still didn t know that night what had happened The next day I knew when the Chicago Daily News arrived at my school and wanted to take pictures of the kids who were almost kidnapped Of course the school would not allow them to take the pictures But when I came home from school that day they took pictures of my mom and dad and my sister and I and we appeared in the newspaper And then everybody in my school knew of this famous thing that had happened to us My dad was very It was hard for him But he was tough He was a tough guy That s one of the things that got him kicked out of high school was the fact that he was always He wouldn t take crap from anybody I mean especially if he thought they were wrong But he was a good guy and he was smart though he didn t have a formal education Robbers in the Tavern bioGraph How about the time that he caught the robber in the tavern Leila Oh well that was just him Again he wasn t about to hand over a couple thousand dollars to people like that He always had guns in the house And on Fridays when he cashed checks he always had the gun down behind the bar And he was quick maybe not such a good shot because he did wing one of the guys as they were going out and 21

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made a hole through the plate glass window of the tavern But they didn t take his money He was very conscious of things He knew that those guys were no good because he already knew his clientele that he cashed checks for on a Friday And he recognized right away when they walked in that this was not going to be This was up to no good that they were not his regular people that were coming in bioGraph Did you know where all the guns were when you were a kid Leila Yes They were above our china cabinet in our dining room upstairs We were told never to touch them and if we were told never to do something we never did it We did not there was no If my father said You don t wear lipstick until you re 25 you didn t wear lipstick til you were 25 Whatever he said and he was always right The truth of the matter is I realized I just always obeyed him Whatever he said I took as the right thing to do College Telephone Stock Advice Leila I remember when I was at college and I always got very good grades in high school and in grade school but in the first year of college I got a lot of Cs I was not a happy camper I told my dad I don t think I m college material and I don t think I can do this or that I should do this and you should waste money He said Did you try the 22

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best you could And I said Yes He said Then you ll be all right and there s nothing wrong with a C There s nothing wrong If you ve tried the best you know how then continue on and don t worry about the cost I want you to continue on and you ll do well So he was always right because it would have been wrong for me I wouldn t have been What would I have been able to do I knew I might have to work many times in my lifetime You never know what life brings to you And if you have to work you should be able to support yourself If you re lucky you won t have to work In those times women did not work But in my parents time the women were working Most of the women worked if their husband owned a grocery store or a small store or whatever and most of the Jewish people that s what they owned They owned taverns or grocery stores and their wives worked in those stores They weren t cleaning houses or they weren t working as secretaries My mother had worked at Illinois Bell So she was a telephone operator But she quit working when she got married and she worked in the tavern So they didn t hire somebody in the tavern so whatever she made they kept But she did get telephone stock which enabled them to buy their building I still own the telephone stock to this day I never sold it There were many times when things were We needed money and we could have sold it But somehow or other we didn t sell it We made it through and we didn t sell it and 23

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it always It just divided up Now it s no longer just AT T It went to Ma Bell Little Bell Southern Bell Eastern Bell and then that all changed But all the stocks that I own were the stocks that came from that gift that my dad gave us when we got married which was 3 000 worth of stock Then later after we were married for a while my dad very smart After we were married for a while and he realized that who we married was going to be alright he gave us Northern Illinois Gas Company which is now Nicor Gas And that gas and in fact they just dissolved it a couple of years ago was about 2 000 worth of that kind of stock And he said the 3 000 was like the wedding gift but this 2 000 was just like extra That s not a lot of money when you think today but it is a fairly nice size portfolio and it gives me interest But you ve got to hold onto it That s the thing And sometimes you think things are bleak and you think Oh god How will I ever get through this financially We won t make this And then you do You somehow or other You stop doing something else but you hold on to the investment And in fact once your grandpa The only time I ever said no to him was he said You know everybody was taking a loan on their houses one of these What do you call them Home equity a loan on your house I says I ain t taking a loan on the I m not signing it I would have had to sign it And he says What do you mean you won t sign it I said I m not doing that I said This is all the money I have this investment in this house at this 24

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time A paid up house I said We don t need a loan I m not taking a loan He wanted it for a business thing I said You ll have to figure it out some other way And he did figure it out some other way Otherwise if you once take a loan at that time because I m a small time saver I save nickels and dimes not thousands If you wait to save a thousand dollars Grandpa couldn t see saving a dollar or two dollars I saved dollars and two dollars He was waiting until he d get a thousand dollars to save and sometimes you never get the thousand dollars to save But if you save the quarter if somebody would give me a ride home from school when I was working and I was married and they Kenny or my dad would give me a quarter I had to pay car fare and it would be 50 cents for the day if somebody gave me a ride home because they were going that way and I had 50 cents I didn t spend I put it away and saved it because it adds up By the time you save little bits and little bits of money you save big We were married five years before we felt we could have a child And I was diligently saving little by little so that by the time Gladys was born I had 3 000 saved and I felt that 3 000 would carry us through until I could go back to work 25

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Marriage Career Meeting Ken Weiss bioGraph Can you tell us how you and Papa Kenny met Leila My best friend was getting married and it happened to be to Papa Kenny s cousin And they were getting married at the Belden Stratford Hotel And I lived on Whipple and Devon which was a long distance from the Belden Stratford Hotel But even though my parents had two cars my dad told me to take the bus and the streetcar I said It s a long way He said Don t worry Somebody will take you home And that was the best thing that ever happened I didn t have a car I had come on two I had to take two buses I had to take this thing down Devon a bus down Devon and I go to Broadway and then I had to take Broadway and go over to Belden That s a long way It took me a while to get there In those days they didn t have prenuptial dinners We just went for the rehearsal So we got there and Grandpa had come from work He was working at a He had to go into the army He was classified 1A and he couldn t get a job as an accountant any place because they knew he was going to go off And he kept getting student deferments from college 26

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bioGraph What year was this Leila It was in the Korean War This was in the 1950s So he got a job at this accounting place that he really didn t like but it was the only thing he d got And he had made up his mind that he was going to forget these deferments because he was only taking these goofy courses at this point just so that he could prolong not going into the service So he came to the Belden Stratford from work We rehearsed and then when it was time to leave I learned that he lived right by me on Talman and Devon A long walk but walking distance from Whipple So he said he d take me home But he said Would you mind I haven t eaten dinner yet Would you mind we ll go I want to stop and eat dinner And I said Sure But I ve eaten already so I must have eaten at 4 00 that evening in order to go on my journey We stopped at this Chef Alberto s on Lincoln Avenue and Peterson and he ate and I just had a cup of coffee So I was a really cheap date And then he drove me home and then the next day was the wedding and we went to the wedding and we stood up at the wedding And afterwards one of his friends said It s Labor Day Let s go to the races and we ll go out to dinner the next day And he said But we don t have dates And so Eddie said Well I ll take Leila and Grandpa said No she s going with me And that s how we met 27

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First Impression of Ken Weiss bioGraph What was your first impression of him Do you remember Leila Oh I liked him a whole lot and I really pursued him Once I went out with him I really liked him But he had gone out with a very good friend of mine and he wasn t very nice to her He used to He would tell her he was going out first coming over later and we d have to be in the dorms by midnight He d come over at 10 30pm And he s supposed to come over to take her out for the whole evening And he came late She d tell him to come to a dance in a navy blue suit and he d show up in a plaid suit I mean he was not I didn t trust him I thought he s not trustworthy but I thought to myself he s so nice He s so nice to me And he came once down to Champaign but then he was going into the service because now I met him it was early September And by October he was gone into the army bioGraph When did you start to trust him Leila Well I decided to trust him after his mother called me and told me I was engaged to him He told his mother he was going steady He had asked me if I would go steady with him Well going steady meant to me I couldn t quite figure out what that meant see I wasn t too swift I thought going steady you re going to Fort Leonard 28

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Wood to the army and I m down in Champaign What s going steady I couldn t quite figure that out But the next morning his mother called and congratulated my parents and then I realized I was engaged Meeting the Weiss Family bioGraph So they welcomed you right into the family Leila Well they welcomed me to the family But what really And all during the time Grandpa was in the service every Friday night I would go over and visit my motherin law and I would eat dinner there I went there every Friday night But then when we were going to get married it became a problem that my mother wasn t Jewish All this time it never occurred to me to say that my mother wasn t Jewish My step mother was Jewish But my mother wasn t Jewish and my mother in law was very upset about that And it hurt me terribly because I thought why would you think I m any different now I ve been coming here for a year and a half and you like me and now all of a sudden there s something wrong here that my mother who is long gone wasn t Jewish That this makes a difference I guess to her it was you should be Jewish which really upset me a lot But we got through that We got through that And again my dad was a smart man My mother inlaw wanted She had a list from here to there of people for the wedding and my dad didn t say anything but then he said to me We can have a nice wedding and it can be at the 29

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Orrington because you could bring in your own liquor in Evanston at that time And he said We can have a nice wedding and I ve got 10 000 to spend Whatever you can bring it in If you bring it in less the wedding you can have the cash And knowing your grandmother she brought it in and I got bioGraph A bedroom set Leila I got a bedroom set But I didn t have all these cousins And you know I didn t know these people and we didn t have that large of a family and we were not inviting all these we invited a couple of My father was from a family of 11 kids He didn t invite all his brothers and sisters Some of them he never saw and they never knew us anyway We weren t fancy enough for them They lived in real apartments and had real lives So they didn t come to the wedding We had 100 people to the wedding and that was the wedding And it was fine I have pictures It was fine It was perfect And I had a bedroom set Thoughts on Dating bioGraph Do you have any dating or relationship advice for Jordan Emily and the new generation Leila I can t think of anything That s hard The new generation is different and it s harder I think it s a lot harder You just have to if you find the right person you just have 30

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to because when all is said and done in life having the right person and loving that person that s what the whole life is And having kids with that person that s all you can ask for You can t ask for anything else My mother said that when she was dying She said she had lived a full life And I couldn t understand How could she have lived a full life when she was only 39 years old But she had the love of my father and she had two kids with him and that was her whole life She had everything that life has to offer You ve got to pick the right person and that s it bioGraph You did it Leila I did I did And I knew right away that I really liked him But I was afraid because I thought he s too nice to me He said Well I liked you I didn t like her old girlfriend really She only had basketball tickets And then it made me think I had been dating another fella and I had basketball tickets I guess he really didn t like me either that much though I went with him for a long time but I had those basketball tickets in that first year So I thought to myself well basketball tickets are important I guess sometimes Teaching Career bioGraph Shifting gears a little bit can you tell us about your career as a teacher Leila I went into teaching because I could not take fourth year Spanish in college That was quite I was not a person 31

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who wanted to waste money or credit and when you came into the University of Illinois if you had taken I only took two years of Spanish because I went to Kelvyn Park and I didn t realize that you needed four years of the language so you didn t have to take it in college And so School of Education took you in and you didn t have to take any more Spanish Spanish 103 in college almost did me in And the only way I got through that class was because he gave you a list of books to read in Spanish and then you came in and told him about the books And somehow or other I don t know how I read these books in Spanish because I couldn t read Spanish and I couldn t speak Spanish But I managed to come in and tell the professor all the time about these stories It was a disaster and I said Please I have to get into a school that will get me off of Spanish 104 And that s how I got into the School of Education bioGraph Can you tell us about your career teaching What age you taught and Leila Well I really wanted to teach little ones I wanted to teach preschool kindergarten up to third grade When you get a state certificate you get a state certificate from kindergarten through eighth grade So when I went to the University of Illinois they put me in a fifth grade class to do student teaching When I came to Chicago they said they don t honor the state certificate and You did your student teaching in fifth grade You have to teach upper grades I didn t like upper grades But I was stuck Now I m 32

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stuck I want to teach in Chicago and I m stuck So I take the upper grade exam and I didn t pass the first time I was not a happy camper I couldn t do the math section Then I realized you could take the PE section So the second time I studied very hard and I knew where I had fallen down I had to extend my vocabulary and learn the definitions of words I really studied hard And I took the PE section instead of the math and I passed with flying colors That s why I only like to teach third or fourth grade And that s why when I would sub for Rachel I really liked teaching the kindergarten or first or second grade I never really wanted Sixth grade was a terrible disaster Sixth grade I couldn t handle at all The girls were all over the boys and the boys didn t know what was going on And they were always fighting and carrying on and I just I was not happy Hard Work Discipline bioGraph What motivates you to go to work every day over several decades Leila The paycheck And because I enjoyed it The first five years when we were married and I taught I didn t have kids But after that whenever I worked I had four kids First I didn t want to go back when I had only one child I didn t want to leave Gladys But I had to Each time I went back When I started subbing we needed the money and I had a lot of kids at home I would be at work and going nuts and thinking about the kids at home and what was I going to do 33

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to get through the night I d get out at 3 30 what I was going to do from 4 30 til 10 00 at night If I were a teacher today what your Aunt Rachel does with having parents calling her on the phone and doing all this on the computer I could never have worked like that I don t know how she does it bioGraph You raised her well Leila Obviously I did Well she wanted to be a hairdresser And I made her go to college because I said to her that this was an opportunity If you can t afford it you should go to community college I feel And then go on But to tell you the truth the first two years your freshman and sophomore years should be your most fun years at college That s the time that s the most I think you re maturing you re getting the most out of friendships and things like that in the first two years And if you miss this you can t go back and get it So I said Rachel someday you ll sit with your brothers and your sisters and they ll be talking about college and you will be talking about beauty school bioGraph She s stayed in school ever since you said that Leila That s right She s still there to this day But it gave her and it gives her has always She s made a good living She ll get a great pension when she s through So it helped her to do that You can t say Not that there s anything wrong about being a beautician But I could just see your aunt doing somebody s hair and them not liking it and start hollering at her and she d start to cry That would not be good 34

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Religion Advice Other Connection with Judaism bioGraph Can you tell us about your connection to Judaism and how it s evolved over time Leila Well my dad felt he found this reform temple My mother would never go to the little shul because she didn t understand it I mean she didn t understand when they read in Hebrew and so she wasn t going to go But he found the reform temple and we started going I started going to temple I did not want to go into Hebrew School because I was too old My sister did it for a little bit But at least she was younger going to Hebrew School than I was because I must have been 12 years old or so and I didn t want to go to I was with the little kids in Hebrew School but I went on Sundays and I learned the history and I learned about the holidays And my mother went for the high holidays she would go to services there because they were in English And so we were bioGraph Do you remember the name of the synagogue Leila Beth El Leila It s the Japanese restaurant Beth El That s the 35

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reform temple that I belong to bioGraph Where exactly is that do youLeila It s on Dundee Now it is That temple that I belong to is on Dundee and Right by Charlemagne Right over there Minyan with Gladys bioGraph Today you go to temple or Minyan with Gladys Can you tell us about that Leila I ve always since my mother died and my dad I remember when he came home from the hospital and he had to tell us that she had died because the last I used to go every day after school after high school I was in high school to the hospital And he told me I couldn t go on Monday and Tuesday because I had to do something And it was because she said when she saw us on Sunday she never wanted to see us again She was in too much pain and she didn t want us to see her like that So when he came home he immediately took out a prayer book and he got some of the prayers together and we did them And it always helped me And I would always talk to God in my own way That s why I go to cemeteries too Some people don t go to cemeteries But my dad used to take us girls every Sunday to the cemetery Now my sister never goes to the cemetery because she can t stand it because she was little and she was being 36

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dragged to a cemetery But I was older and I don t know it helped me It helps me all the time But I don t read Hebrew bioGraph And so going to Minyan Leila It helped me I only had to go for 30 days And I could have stopped But when Gladys said she was going to go for the whole year I said I ll go with you for the whole year And it helped me When people would say they went to a bereavement group or they went to this group or that group and I used to say the Minyan is my bereavement group And what is a bereavement group It was getting up in the morning every morning and saying I have some place to go and get rather than just laying in bed til 10 00 12 00 and then get This way you get up you go you say the prayers and there are nice people around you and they re sociable and they talk They re not talking about your particular tragedy We re talking about whatever is in the world or how are you or are you doing something What are you doing today I think sometimes in bereavement groups you have to get up and say how are your inner feelings and all this stuff I really don t get that Instead I talk to myself a lot bioGraph Out loud Leila Out loud Yes I do I talk to myself a lot but I feel that Minyan was my bereavement group That year was good And one of the ladies called me just a few days ago She wanted to know because I haven t been there for so 37

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long And it s because I got lazy Getting lazy when I moved here I got lazy bioGraph Had some other stuff going on Leila I had other things going on and then bioGraph Some people call it recovering probably Don t be so hard on yourself Leila Well but I got lazy I got lazy Favorite Quotes bioGraph Can you tell us do you have any favorite quotes or mantras that you live by I know Papa Kenny s was always good stuff Leila Good stuff I think I was always with him on that page I thought everything is good And I m lucky I feel that I have the best children and grandchildren I think that they re all good Nobody is any trouble There are people that have troubles and people will say gee their girls were always fighting They had so much troubles with them I never had any trouble with any of my kids Haskel was annoying but never trouble There s troubles and then there are troubles I mean nobody got into any bad things They were good And now I find out that they did have little problems but they always stuck together and they figured the 38

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problems out and they didn t tell me But they used to say Grandpa used to say she always finds out everything Because sometimes when he would get a ticket someplace and he d never say that he got a ticket I would have a fit And then maybe months later somehow or other I d find out he got a ticket and he said She always finds out everything So be careful Words of Wisdom bioGraph Are there any words of wisdom other than everything you ve said for the last hour A thought that you d like to share with future generations and what do you want your grandchildren and maybe one day in the near future your great grandchildren to know about life Leila They just have to be honest and stay on a straight path Don t wander around from one thing to another You ve got to get on a path and stick to it I mean you can t be once well though I told your grandfather He was going to do this thing and then he did that for a little while and then he picked insurance And I said you ve got to be kidding Because he had an accounting degree and I thought gee But he didn t like the accounting degree I said All right If you go into this then you have to stick to it Don t tell me next six months from now you re going to do something else You ve got to stick to something and I ll stick with you and you ll do it But you can t wander all over the place You can t be here one day and then the 39

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next day you re flying a kite someplace We have to be on a path Keep focused And know your stuff As your grandpa always said luck doesn t get you all the way all the time You have to know your business When people say Oh you were lucky sure luck has something to do with things Sometimes it s just by chance If you re smart that s what will get you going Have your sights set and you work hard and you know what your If you re in business then you know what your business is You really know it better than anybody else so that you re smarter than anybody else about what you are doing But you just can t be lucky and fly by the seat of your pants and think that that s going to carry you all the time It catches up with one I think If You Could Have Dinner with Anyone bioGraph If you could have dinner with any person or a group of people who comes to mind Could be from history or someone famous or anybody in the world Leila No it would be with all those people in that book Those were the people I d love to have dinner with bioGraph Are you talking about the picture book or Sam s Tavern Leila The picture book And I really would I think about it all the time that if my parents could see me today they d 40

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be very happy Because I ve come a long way I think I fit in better now than I thought that I would I remember when we moved to Northbrook I said to Grandpa I don t fit here These ladies are not me And I don t get it But I muddled through I muddled through life and now I realize all of a sudden I was much better than any of them that I thought were so fabulous I got more out of life I think because they always say to me the people that I thought had it so much better You have such nice children Why are they talking to me now They never talked to me before Well I must have worked hard at it and not even knew that I did anything I got the best out of it 41

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Our Philosophy W e believe that life writing is essential to living that writing life is a privilege right and responsibility that written words captivate the atmosphere of lived experience that there are as many styles of life writing as there are lives We are zealous preservers of memories and legacies Preservation is not just the recollection of ancestors and origins but also pre serving a proactive form of service for family community and posterity Our mission is to create narratives that enlighten entertain and inspire while preserving stories that are vital to life bioGraphbook com

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bioGraphbook com