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    By Abraham Gulko, circa 1988, after editing of his notes by his nephew, Arnold G. Gulko (son of Abraham's brother, George). The history spans from between approximately 1905-1925.

    Before I begin my arrival on this planet called Earth, I have to describe not only the topography of the terrain, but also the important towns in the region and the surrounding seas, for they will have a great bearing on the future events.

    Across the southern part of the Crimean peninsula is a stretch of mountains that blocks the northern air and protects the southern shore cities from the bitter cold of northern Russia. This condition naturally helps the people to enjoy milder climate and draws a lot of tourists to come to the southern shores of the Crimea all year round.

    Another important factor about the region of Crimea is the composition of its population. Besides the Russian people that observe Greek Orthodox Christianity, we have a lot of other groups of people that coexist with each other separately.

    There is a large population of Tartars. When the Chinese hordes of Genghis Kahn invaded most of southern Europe, and after many years of occupation they were driven back, a lot of them chose to remain in some of the previously occupied land with the Russians and constitute a large part of the Crimean population. Then we have a large segment of German people who were mostly on farms around our city. They cultivated fruits, vegetables and raised some cattle and provided us with fresh food. Next came the Greek people that live in our town and were mostly fishermen. They provided us with a supply of fresh fish.

    Another segment of our population were called "Krimtchaki" or "Karaim". They were a very old Jewish tribe that resided in our region for many centuries and were a closed tribe that did not assimilate with anyone. They prayed and observed Jewish laws, but their pronunciation was different than the European Jews (Ashkenazi). Instead of pronouncing "Boruch Atto Adeinoy" they would say "Barach Atta Adanay". They were very rich people as they imported Turkish tobacco and manufactured famous Russian brands of plain cigarettes, and also cigarettes with holders - such brands as Maytop, Mesaksudy, Stomboly. These were shipped to the rest of Russia and also to other countries.

    The trains that came from north Russia and Simferopol, the capitol of Crimea, stopped in the center of our city of Feodosia, which is a city of 60,000 people, so anyone can reach any destination easily. On our side of the station you face the sea and on the opposite side you reach the business section and the residences. The first thing one sees at the seaside is a restaurant built on the water, so you can spend a pleasant evening having a light bite and enjoy the refreshing sea breezes. To the right of the restaurant is a long wide cemented pavement, so people can stroll leisurely in a two-way traffic. Along the way there were many benches for weary walkers to rest.

    Finally, the pavement goes out to the right and serves a lighthouse and also as a wave breaker so our harbor was protected from storms and big waves.

    Crimea was known for its varieties of grapes. The native population and tourists would buy a few pounds of grapes and sit on those benches facing the sea to enjoy the delicious grapes for their fine flavors and also for health reasons. We had "ladies fingers" grapes (long white grapes in the shape of a finger). We also had large black grapes that had a fine perfume aroma.

    Along this cemented pavement a few times a year, they had very high diving boards and they staged competitions in figure diving. These competitions attracted big audiences. We also had row boats, and the water at night shone with silvery streaks from tiny fluorescent fish in the sea. It was very romantic.

    Turning left from the restaurant on the water is an entirely different view and entertainment. First you come to beautifully landscaped homes. These are very rich people's homes and they have private beaches. When you look down from the hill you see professional landscaping done by real artists with all kinds of color schemes.

    Continuing past these homes you come to the public beach, where you pay a very nominal fee and one enters the middle section of the beach which is covered with a very fine sand. Here, families come together with children for picnics and swimming. The public beach has two private sections: to the right is a women's section where the ladies can suntan and swim in the nude; and on the other side is a beach for men who enjoy nude swimming and sun bathing.

    The passengers that arrive from the north, besides enjoying the view of the sea, are impressed with a beautifully built tall hotel called "Astoria". The ground floor was designed after the Paris type of open air cafe. You sit and enjoy a light meal with some small talk with your companions, or you make new friendships. The visitors to the hotel came from all parts of Russia and foreign lands.

    The Astoria was a tall cosmopolitan building built with an artistic touch: not only at the entrance, but every room in the hotel had different ceiling designs and different color schemes. Also its interior was decorated by Viennese people using furniture imported from Vienna. This hotel was the talk of the town.

    My mother (see photo here) had 5 sisters and one brother. The oldest sister, Nesia Isakson, was very rich. The Isaksons were engaged in the wholesale supply of groceries for other business people in town and they also supplied all the farmers in the surrounding territory with their needs. After they passed on, their eldest son, Roman, was more modern and aggressive. He was the one who built the "Astoria" hotel.

    As in every town, large or small, there is always one favorite street where people love to promenade, not only for social contact, but also to do some shopping. That street was Italianskaya Ulitza (street), a very wide paved street and its main attraction was, naturally, a popular movie house which had special seats, some with private boxes, for those that could afford them. But most people paid only a few "kopecks" to sit on plain common benches. The movies were silent and for snacks they would buy "semethkes" or poppy seeds or pumpkin seeds (we did not have potato chips or popcorn). These snacks were very cheap and very popular; and while the moviegoers watched the picture they would eat the poppy seeds and throw the shells on the floor. By the end of the evening the floor would be covered with shells.

    Past the movie house was located all kinds of stores where people would shop at leisure for their needs; but one store of distinction and interest was a top quality bakery shop. From a few blocks away you suddenly began to smell the delicious aroma of fancy cakes with large varieties. As I always like sweets, my mouth was drooling, but alas, I did not have enough change to allow myself the luxury.

    In addition to the favorite street where people congregated, there were some outstanding personalities. One of them was a very rich lady, the wife of a big farmer. She was a heavy set woman who walked with a large brim hat. She weighed over 200 pounds, and always complained about her weight and a heart condition. So her friends would tell her to go on a diet, eat less and stop drinking alcohol - which was sensible advise. But she would always answer "if you don't drink, you die; and if you do drink you die - so it's better to drink and let the doctors cure me.

    When I finally arrived to my family, I was the fifth boy: one baby before me died after he was born. When I saw my mother in tears, I asked her why she was crying? She said "after four boys I prayed for a baby girl, as they are closer to mothers." She was greatly disappointed - besides I was a small, ugly, skinny, crying baby, so she had pity on me and began to take good care of me.

    As I slowly grew up, I used to catch colds every other week, so my mother began to build my resistance by feeding me Cod Liver Oil. It turned out in life that in later years the fates drew us two very close together.

    Finally I became of school age. To emphasize how strict the teachers were, I shall describe how discipline was imposed. The teacher "Pavel Ivanovich" was a very slim, tall man, and he walked like a giraffe, moving his head with big hair, like the mane of a lion. One day he heard a lot of noise coming from our room. We had in our class small kids like me and other kids 2-3 years older and they were like big men. Pavel Ivanovitch, without saying anything, but noticing who was making the noise and commotion in our class, ran in, grabbed two fellows by their collar, and brought them by force into a large corridor where he shoved them to the floor and then made them remain in their room until five o'clock for misbehaving. In spite of all his strictness, we learned a lot by the time we finished four grades of public school.

    After I graduated from public school I could not continue to study in my town, so I went to Kharkov in the Ukraine to enroll in a night school. But the weather there was inclement and too severe, so I caught a bad cold and had to return home.

    At that time there was forming a group of fellows in the same situation I found myself in. They wanted to get a high school diploma and then continue and go to college to learn a profession. They approached me to see if I would care to join their group. The idea was to hire teachers from High School and to condense the 4-year course into a single year.

    There were about 15 fellows in this group. Some were grown men working in some business in our town. One was a bank teller, and others had finished public school a few years ago. So to complete 4 years of high school educational subjects, we studied from early in the morning till late at night - it was a superhuman task to condense and assimilate so much knowledge into your head in so short a time. But where there is a will there is a way; and so we completed this course of training.

    Finally, when it was time for examinations, only 2 of the 15 completed the course and received a diploma. One became a lawyer, and the other became a doctor (Leon Resnikoff). He eventually came to the United States and served in the U.S. Army as a doctor during the war (World War I). When he finally retired with pension he settled in White Meadow Lake, New Jersey.

    But in spite of the fact that I did not succeed to get a high school diploma, I received a considerable education in many subjects, and this helped me a great deal in my future years. It gave me the found- ation to acquire the proper approach to learn the English language, as I came to the United States with no background in that language.

    I come now to my family situation……….

    My father had a brother, Solomon. He lived for many years in Harbin, Manchuria (near Vladivostock). He was a well-to-do man with varied connections - some legitimate and some not so kosher. He had connections with Chinese people with whom he could converse and who were known throughout the world as the finest counterfeiters of any kind of documents.

    After some length of time, my mother became lonesome, or maybe she became jealous. She decided to go all the way to Harbin on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. This railroad is a single line East and a single line west - and it is a very long ride. But love knows no boundaries and time is not important.

    We had for many years a steady sleep-in peasant girl "Sonya" who took care of our large apartment of six rooms and also did some cooking. I was the only one left home of all my brothers. My two oldest brothers, Joseph and George (Uocucp, Zpuicca) with the help of my uncle Solomon in Harbin, obtained fake passports to come to the United States. Another brother, Leon (reba), through the same uncle, went to Shanghai, China, to come to the United States. But he was sympathetic with the communists and did not want to come to the United States to be exploited by the capitalists.

    Leon left Shanghai as a stowaway on a ship that went to Italy, and there he joined a group of Communist sympathizers that went to Russia. After suffering from hunger, and the cold of freezing freight trains, he finally reached Crimea. But due to lack of food and the burden of traveling in freezing temperature he developed scurvy.

    After arriving in the Crimea, Leon joined the communist party and became a reporter for the local communist paper. He did this for a few years, but when the communist party found out our father had been a businessman, a bourgeois, my brother was thrown out of the communist party and he lost his job on on the paper. He then became an accountant and found a Russian lady, fell in love and lived with her very happily for many years. When she became ill and passed away, my brother grieved for her and, being of poor health from his sufferings, he had to retire from work.

    The Russian Government gave him a very small pension and sent him to Causasia to live in a small unheated room. I used to send him, at regular intervals, new wardrobe items, such as shoes, silk stockings, and ladies wear which he sold on the black market to supplement his expenses.

    It is now a few years later and he has passed away.

    Around 1915 the German armies broke the resistance of the Russian Imperial armies and penetrated deep into Russian Territory. They reached Crimea and entered our town during the war. The morale and discipline of our citizens broke down. Robberies and all sorts of crimes were committed and many, many people carried revolvers. The Germans were highly disciplined people and knew exactly what measures to take to remedy the situation. They pasted large posters throughout the town notifying the people to bring all the firearms to a central depot for disposition. They indicated there would be no questions asked as to how they came to possess the firearms and they were given 3 days to surrender their guns without penalty. After the allotted time, if they were caught carrying arms, or having them in their homes, they would be subject to severe punishment.

    The German military presence was so convincing the people formed long lines to get rid of their firearms. Thereafter we enjoyed peace and tranquility in our daily life. But they did not stay very long, perhaps they had extended their lines too far, but in any event the Germans withdrew and our lives returned to the old days and the old problems.

    After my mother went to Harbin, Manchuria, to join my father, I was left with Sonya, our housemaid, who took care of me. That was before 1917, when the Russian Revolution engulfed Russia in a civil war. When that happened mother faced a gave problem. Imagine any mother faced with total separation from her child, with the prospect of not seeing that child again. On the other hand, if I were cut off from mother, I don't know what would have become of me. I had no control of money as I was only 13-14 years old.

    But my mother was a very brave woman. She left my father in Harbin; got dressed as a Russian peasant woman with a cheap dress and a kerchief over her head to look older than she was (as she was a small, but good-looking woman). She carried a flat Russian straw basket (karzinka) in which she had packed food, such as hard boiled eggs, cooked chicken, Jewish salami, bread, and fruit. These were covered with napkins and on the bottom of the basket she carried a small gun.

    What protection that gun could give her is beyond me if you are confronted with a mob of lawless young hoodlums bent on stealing, robbing and killing people - just for the fun of it. But I guess the gun gave her a little sense of security. It reminds me of a little girl that goes to sleep at night with a rag doll or teddy bear - she feels more secure.

    So my mother, after horror-filled experiences on the long Trans-Siberian Railroad, reached our city in the nick of time and we were finally reunited. It was as though God was waiting over us - just as he saved the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery.

    The revolution spread throughout Russia and it changed our lives radically. For a short time, first the revolutionary leaders established a Socialist government with "Kerensky" as its head of the House of Representatives ("Duma"). But that government did not last as the communists were very strong and their leaders, such as Lenin, as the father of the radical communists, and the fiery orator and organizer Leon Trotsky organized the Red Army with his slogans "Proletarians of the World organize, unite down with capitalism", etc. And so they seized the initiative and their group spread to most parts of Russia.

    Later they met some organized resistance from the remnants of the Tsar's followers, such as Russian aristocrats, intellectuals and rich people, known as the White Russians army. The communist Red army and the White army fought each other for several years. In Crimea, these two forces clashed often so our town changed hands every few weeks. You can imagine what kind of life people have under those circumstances.

    First of all there was a great shortage of basic food. Each person in the family was issued stamps for rationing. So much allowed bread a week, so much meat, etc. Then we had to stand most of the night and day in long lines for rationing, and sometimes when it came your turn to be next, they were all sold out. The bread was so bad, made of wet yellow corn, that it was really indigestible. When it seemed safe to go out and look for food, people would walk around the town, when suddenly you heard machine guns go rat-tat-tat and the people would frantically run for cover and wait until things calmed down. There were many innocent victims during these skirmishes.

    When our city changed hands, each military side had spies who would reveal that some people were sympathetic to the other side, so their homes were entered during the night and all male persons were grouped together and shot and buried in a common grave. But the Red army was more brutal. They would do the same to the White army sympathizers, but instead of shooting them they tied bricks to them and dumped them into the Black sea.

    When my mother came home from Harbin, my life changed considerably because my father was about 4,000 miles away where we could not communicate with him. I assumed responsibility as the head of the house and did most of the errands outside and inside the house.

    Then came the crucial moment that changed the fortunes of our family. The opportunity came suddenly and unexpectedly, and we grabbed it at once. The White armies had been beaten by an overpowering Red army and were pressed against the Azov and Black seas. They were thoroughly beaten and needed more men, ammunition and weapons which they could not get in time. So they appealed to the British government which sympathized with the White army's cause. The British sent transport ships to save those men and their families from complete annihilation.

    Two or three transport ships packed with White army men, women and children (like cattle on the lower deck) came to our city's harbor. Meanwhile mother heard that there were some other people who wanted to leave with the ships; and we got in touch with them and approached the Captain to please take 11 more people anywhere on the ship in return for money. Some of these were going to relatives in different countries, some to England, France and Italy; but we had two brothers and relatives in the United States.

    I had a problem; there was a law that any male 17 years of age could not leave the town. So we went to a rabbi in our town and he changed my date of birth from January 16 to September 16, 1903. That is how I have two birthdays.

    The Captain put us on the upper deck, exposed to all kinds of inclement weather and high seas. We finally sailed to an unknown adventure, not knowing what was waiting for us on the next day. We passed the Dardanell Straight and reached the Greek Island of Lemnos. It was a large almost uninhabited island where the British government put up thousands of tents in rows to house all the Russian White army people and their families. For our group of immigrants the Captain had to put up a special tent because the White Russians did not want us.

    While on the island for a few weeks I did a thriving business. I had with me my father's hand hair cutting machine. I did a wonderfully profitable business because there was no competition.

    After a few weeks the ship was going to Istanbul, Turkey, and we went to Istanbul to await our visa to enter the United States. With the departure to Istanbul began another phase of my traveling experience.

    By nature I am a conservative man, even when I was young, but as long as I was on the ship I had to be involved with new experiences everyday.

    Coming in to Istanbul was not simple, as every country was afraid of contagious diseases that prevailed in other countries. So before entering Turkey we had to be disinfected by going through their disinfecting machinery. That also meant we had to drag our heavy trunks and valises with us to be fumigated.

    Finally we entered the Capitol of the Orient. It was such a different feeling as compared with the Russian atmosphere. Especially running away from a revolutionary upheaval where human life had no value. Indeed, people were actually slaughtered and there was a severe shortage of food and clothing. In Turkey life was normal, peaceful and this was a really cosmopolitan large town. It so happened that my first cousin from my rich aunt from Feodosia had escaped from the Russian revolution a year before and was in Istanbul. She offered to let us stay with her until we got our visa to enter the United States where my two brothers and Uncle and Aunt were living in Yonkers, New York.

    While living in Istanbul I met a Cossack boy my age and we organized a new business. There were thousands of Russian refugees who had fled Russia and they patronized night club cabarets. They had plenty of money and were eager to learn the news from Russia and to read Russian books. So we obtained daily Russian papers and books and sold them. We did a terrific business.

    During the day we had spare time, so we would hire a row boat on the beautiful Bosphorus. Then we would buy a whole watermelon, and eat and swim in the Turkish waters. We have beautiful memories.

    Finally it came time for us to depart with official papers from the American Consul. We said goodbye to the Orient and sailed to glorious America. We sailed on a Turkish ship, by the name of Gul-Dzemal (Beautiful Rose), but it was far from beautiful. It was run by a Greek captain and crew and they were miserable, tough and cheap. They fed us baked beans everyday. As a matter of fact, the passengers rioted on the ship when it reached the Straights of Gibraltar. The Governor of Gibraltar came upon the ship and told us that he cannot do anything for us as the captain had sole jurisdiction to give and carry out orders.

    So we proceeded on our way to the golden shores of the United States. But one incident happened on this ship that I shall always remember. When we went for our ration of beans we formed a line. Mother and I would go together so that I could have two portions. Mother would not each non-kosher food and had brought with her some hard boiled eggs, kosher salami, and cooked chicken. So I had her portion of baked beans.

    After you received your share of food you entered the open front deck where two sailors stood guard to prevent you from going back to get another portion. So all the passengers had to eat the beans standing. My mother could speak some Turkish and Greek, and she approached one of the sailors to ask him nicely that she did not want to eat, but was tired and wanted to rest near her baggage. Instead of refusing her politely, he pushed her and knocked her off her feet and she landed on the wooden floor. When I saw that I ran up to the sailor and punched him in the nose, and with that one blow the sailor started to bleed. The other sailor came to his rescue and I repeated the same blow, so he also got a bloody nose. Then they grabbed me by my arms to pull me to a lower deck where nobody could witness the beating they would give me. But my mind was working fast. I grabbed the upper deck railing and with my powerful hands they could not tear me away. By then the captain heard the commotion and confronted the sailors and me. After a passenger's explanation he let me go with a warning not to get in trouble with the sailors.

    Soon after the incident with the sailors, we began to feel the approach of the American Continent and the Captain announced that in a few hours we would approach New York harbor. The sun was going down in the west and the waves were battering our ship as darkness enveloped the skies. But our spirits were high with the knowledge that soon we would enter one of the greatest and mightiest nations in the world. In those day when someone said he was an American, he was treated with the highest respect and consideration.

    After a while we came closer to the harbor at night and began to see light showing in the far distance. All the passengers gathered on the upper deck and we all made a great noise as we realized the light we noticed was the light of the New York City skyscrapers all illuminated as though in honor of our coming to their shores.

    And seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time and the brightness of the night skyline of tall buildings one began to feel the might, the greatness, and the power of one of the greatest countries in the world.

    So we anchored in New York harbor to await daybreak when we were to go through Ellis Island for disinfection and custom proceedings. Finally we were discharged on the Battery shores, where we were supposed to be picked up by our Uncle and Aunt from Yonkers. But due to the distance and traffic they did not arrive in time. So my mother and I were left standing on the pavement with our valises - so down hearted and alone.

    Suddenly a little man came over and began talking in Yiddish. Why are we standing here? After our explanation he took our packages and put them in his car and took us to "Hias" offices off Lafayette St. He told us not to worry, and that he would locate Mr. Sclarew (our Uncle). When we arrived in the "Hias" building, he gave us a room and told us to wash up and come down for supper in the dining room.

    The dining room was packed with immigrants from all over the world. As it happened it was Friday night, so we were treated to a 7 course dinner including fresh sliced Challah that we had not seen for years, matzo ball soup, chicken, dessert, coffee or tea, and cake. Our eyes popped out since we did not expect such royal treatment. I shall never forget such thorough attention and efficiency as was displayed at the time of our greatest need.

    After supper the man found my Uncle and after an affectionate reunion he took us to Yonkers to his spacious private house where we stayed a few weeks until my two brothers got an apartment on 100th St. between Amsterdam Ave. and Central Park West. It was an old-fashioned house, 6th floor walk-up, with a gas meter. If you had no quarter, you could not cook anything. But our spirits were high as you saw all around you stores filled with merchandise and the food stores had plenty of food.

    After the fourth day I went to work with my brother George, who taught me the pocketbook making line. I started to make $13 a week and felt like a millionaire. So we began to plan for our future life in America.

    My mother took charge of the domestic affairs. She cooked our favorite dishes from our Russian connection, like Russian Borsht with flanken meat, stuffed cabbage, and Russian style pilaf. After mother finished serving I helped with the dishes. Then mother liked to go out for a walk. Our apartment was situated between Amsterdam Ave. and Central Park West, so I kept mother company as fate always brought us together.

    With the beautiful landscape of fine trees and well-placed shrubberies all around you, the air in the park was always cool and refreshing. As you walk through the pathways you see couples, lovebirds sitting on well-placed benches - hugging and kissing. After a while we would find a bench and relax and talk about our new situation and what mother planned for the near future. It was so peaceful and invigorating to relax in the park.

    To reassure the public of their safety at night, you would see a big Irish policeman pass the benches and say "hello, nice evening tonight". He did not carry a gun, just a hand baton. Today people cannot enter this beautiful park for fear they are going to be robbed, maimed, killed, raped or drugged.

    Comparing the events of 1920 with the present time, so much human moral and family fiber has deteriorated that what the future holds for the people in the United States and the world over, and for that matter for the planet called Earth, is really tragic and frightening.

    During the time that we escaped from Russia and arrived in the United States, the Red army has cut off the Trans-Siberian railroad toward the extreme part of Eastern Russia. Those that lived in Manchuria (Harbin) and Vladivostock could no longer travel back to European Russia. My father was cut off and lived in Harbin, so he began to get papers to leave the city and go to the United States through Japan. He finally reached the State of Washington and then came to New York. See his photo and U.S. Naturalization papers here.

    My father's brother knew some Chinese who could counterfeit official documents, so that is how my father was able to escape. When he arrived in New York we were reunited as a complete family. He got a job in a fur shop as a skin stretcher and dryer, and we moved to Brighton Beach where we got a very nice apartment ½ block from the ocean. There life was easier and we began to enjoy life a little better.

    After a while my mother became a business woman, so with my father's salary and my salary she began to save and bought a house on Neptune Ave which contained 5 apartments and a store. That real estate brought in more income and soon she bought the next house and became a landlady of 10 apartments and 2 stores. This property supported her financially and she lived there for many years until I met my wife and got married.

    Next I shall describe how the events in life lead a person to meet people and determine their destinies.

    As I had learned the pocketbook line, I worked on Bond Street in one of the bigger manufacturers of all kinds of pocketbooks. I had a co-worker and friend, a German fellow a few years older than me. As we were going home to 14th St. Union Square, he asked me if I would join him and come to an open house party where boys and girls get together. A Russian fellow played mandolin and the crowd sang along. All kinds of songs were sung, a medley of Russian sentimental songs, popular English songs and the Yiddish songs that bring tears to your eyes. He assured me I would enjoy the party and would have a good time. I objected to going because I didn't know the girl who was giving the party, but he insisted that - through him- I would be welcomed. So we came and after introduction to the lady of the house she said just walk in and make your own friends.

    As I walked into the living room, it was crowded and on the sofa was a young guy playing and singing some Russian melody and everybody was making noise. As I entered I saw four young ladies sitting on the floor near the door singing and talking, and Doris Aminoff was facing me. The oriental image of her appearance, with the beautiful dark skin face and jet black hair with bun on top immediately struck me. I was familiar with Oriental people from my town in Russia. Seeing that Doris was smiling at me, I welcomed her gracefully with the Oriental salutation. With the hand first to the heart, then to the mouth and then to the head and said "Selahim Aleckim". She immediately and properly answered "Aleikim Selahim". Then I got interested, so I sat down to talk to her to discover that she comes from Sarmarkand and that she speaks Russian.

    Naturally we hit it off well that evening and we made an appointment to meet next morning at 9 o'clock to go to the 125th street pier to catch the boat ride up the Hudson River and spend a day on the boat and on Bear Mountain, where we would be with the rest of the gang.

    So I came home and told my mother that I have a 9 a.m. date and she should wake me up by 8:30. But when mother came to wake me, I was snoring and she had no heart to wake me. I rushed to Doris, but came late and we missed the boat. Doris was crying because she could not spend the day with her friends.

    So while standing near the taxi that brought me to the pier, I said "my girlfriend is crying: how much will you charge to take us to Bear Mountain?" We finally agreed on a price and he knew his way and we arrived there before the boat. All her friends were surprised to see her. So we again enjoyed the singing and merrymaking and came home with the group on the beautiful boat ride on the Hudson.

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