This was sent to me in December 2008 by Evie Applebee.
Mr. Olishansky, my father, mother, Mrs. Olishansky and my late uncle Chaim Lang.
Standing in the back row, from left to right is my Aunt Rose Radin, Goldie Olishansky
(I don't know if she was the grenner or geller) and my aunt Hannah Lang.
William Kowarsky and Eva Lang
Hello Peter Teitelbaum,
I got really excited when I read your request for info about Papinyu.
I haven't heard that word (Papinyu) in years, but I did hear some very interesting stories
from my late mother... and I have her wedding picture that was taken in Papinyu. All my
very young years she told me about that place, which sounded like it was a country far far
away. She used to refer to that street as IN PAPINYU and until I grew up I never really knew
it was actually a street in Montreal. I would be delighted to share some of my stories with
you and would love to hear the ones that you have accumulated to date. The reminiscing
of these stories about that era would make me feel as though my mother was back here
with me. She passed away in 1999 at the age of 92. I am looking forward to hearing from
Sincerely, Evie Applebee
I'm so happy to have received this web site. I did browse through some of the
names and of course, I did recognize the names my mother used to mention to
me. I have attached my parents wedding picture and my photo as well. I will tell
you the story behind the wedding photo. Firstly, my name is Evie (Kowarsky)
Applebee born to Eva (Lang) and William Kowarsky. My mother came to Canada
from Lithuania and brought my father here from Vilna. My mother came to stay
with her sister, the late Rose Radin. My mother had her two other brothers here
in Canada as well.
Mom became quite close friends with Goldie Olishansky,
then met Goldie Richler and the Korzensteins. They all became a close knit
extended family. When my mom referred to Goldie, she had to distinguish
which one she was talking about, so then came the reference to Goldie the
Greener and Goldie the Geller (yellow). I think my mom lived for a bit with
the Olishansky's - I really don't remember that too well. Anyway, since my
parents couldn't afford to make themselves a wedding, the Olishansky's gave
my mother a wedding gown and my father a suit and they made the wedding
for them IN PAPINYU.
As I told you in my last e-mail, all my years of growing up, I constantly heard these
names. I can't say that I remember ever seeing them, but they all remained very
close. I have been volunteering at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors for
the last 6 years and am involved in many areas of the Centre. One day, a
couple of years back, I was asked to help out with their 'shop and talk' program,
where seniors are taken shopping shopping once a week. The Cummings bus
picks them up and brings them back and I just help out where I'm needed. On
that list was a lady called Ida Olishansky. I kept looking at her and was hesitant
to ask her if she knew anything about Papineau. She looked straight back at me
and into my eyes and yelled out "You're Eva Kowarsky's daughter." I was flabbergasted.
I finally met someone from that "foreign country". As it turned out, she was the
daughter-in-law of the Olishansky's who married my parents. She remembered the
wedding well and of course all my aunts and uncles. Ida must be well over 90 years
old now. It's so unbelievable how small the world is.
My mother never saw or knew she had a wedding picture. I used to ask her over the
years and she told me no one had taken pictures of the wedding. Mom lived with my
husband Irving and myself for 25 years after developing Alzheimers in her 60's.
When my Aunt Hannah passed away just about a year before my mom, her family
went through old photographs and came upon this wedding picture. By the time
they finally gave it to me, it was too late for my mother to see it. I have this framed
in my living room and a laminated picture of mom and daddy on our wall. I look at
the picture every day, and sometimes I just stop and stare and say, "they were young
once too." "They went through trials and tribulations just like we did and are." But it's
really hard to imagine momat that young and tender age of 17 when she was married.
Thank you Peter for bringing these memories back to me. I long for her and her stories,
but I certainly will be happy to go throughthe site and I'm sure, more situations will come
to mind through other peoples memories..
Gratefully yours, Evie
"I think my mother was around 16 when she came to Canada. I know she was married at 17.
My mother met my father in Europe when they were very young. Mom was in the circus as a
young girl.She was an actress, dancer and acrobat and at one point, when her parents didn't
want her to be in the circus, she ran away with troupe. I remember her telling me stories about
the Jewish actors she was with. My grandparents sent the police looking for her and again she
was brought back home. Her big dream was to be an actress. She was the youngest of 5 children.
My aunt Rose Radin (her sister) uncle Chaim Lang and Frank Lang (her brothers) were already here
in Canada. One sister, Tillie Michael went on to South Africa, where we have quite a large family
of first, second cousins, etc. Mom was the last of her siblings to pass away. Mom went to visit her
sister and brother-in-law and their families in South Africa after not seeing them for over 50 years.
She went there (alone I might add) in 1970 for one month. That was quite a celebration and the news
media came out to the airport to report this happening and take photos. My uncle in South Africa
(mom's brother-in-law) happened to be South Africa's Heavy Weight champion and held the title for
many years. My father was a university graduate and became a Dental Mechanic in Europe.
When he arrived in Canada, he could not work in his profession and had to re-take his exams.
Of course he couldn't because of the language and since he needed to make some money to survive,
my uncle helped him to open a men's clothing store and taught him to sew. So, out went his university
degree and so he became a tailor. He passed away at the age of 52 from cancer when I was very young.
My mom remarried after a time (she was always so beautiful). My second father was American and he
moved my mom and me to New York. After 3 years there, my second father felt that my mom really missed
her roots and family in Montreal, so we all moved back here. My two brothers - Martin 10 years older than
myself passed away a few years ago and my oldest brother Jerry, 12 years older than me lives here in
Montreal. None of us ever lived on Papineau and I'm the only one my mother really used to tell her stories
to ... maybe because I was the youngest and also because I was a girl. I do have her on tape talking about
the circus. It was one of her lucid moments before she drifted off again. My second father and mother were
married 10 years before he passed away after having a heart attack in New York January 14, 1970 when
they went to pick up my wedding present - 2 months before my husband and I were to be married, April 5th,
1970. We looked back in retrospect and realized that was the shock that caused my mother to develop
Alzheimers. When Irving and I flew to New York immediately upon hearing about my father, Irving (God
Bless Him) told my mother that we would always be together and never leave her alone. He kept his word,
because my mom lived together with us for 25 years until finally, when we realized she needed more medical
attention than we can handle, and things just evolved from the hospital where she was at for 3 years to
Mount Sinai where she spent the last 3 years of her life. My second dad was a wonderful generous, caring
and warm man who absolutely adored and worshiped my mother and she loved him. It wasn't written in the
cards for them to live that fairy tale marriage longer than just the 10 happy years they had together. She
was such a vibrant, beautiful, modern lady. Always dressed to kill in her silver or gold high heels, pantsuits
and everything from jewellery to lipstick and nail polish had to match. I guess I take after her in that and
many other ways. She attracted people to her like bees to honey. She would winter in Florida at the
National Hotel on Collins Ave. and 17th St. for 25 years - always in the same room and always with her
friends from the U.S. and Canada in the same hotel. She would always say that the season started
when she arrived. The entertainers in the hotel and the maids, etc. always congregated in her room
where coffee was always ready. Everyone loved her ... the shop keepers ran out to give her a kiss
when they saw her. I have never seen anyone have so many people love her for just her. The highlight
of the season in South Florida was when Eva arrived. I already said that. Mom would come home after
the winter and tell us these stories and I always felt that maybe she just exaggerated a bit, but when
I started to go down there to stay with her and look after her because we felt she no longer could or
should stay by herself, I knew that all was true, because when we walked down Lincoln Road when
we first arrived, all the shopkeepers came out of their stores to welcome her and give her a kiss.
She was special. When she passed away 4 days before her birthday in September of 1999 and we
were on our way to the cemetery, in the middle of a field, in the middle of no where, we saw a travelling
circus stationed there .... this was her last hurrah! It was as though they were actually there to send her off.
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