Taube did not approve of Ray’s future husband.
Ray (Rachel) Leber Pollay
Ray was born in March 1893 in New York City
She married Benjamin Pollay on Dec. 18, 1915 in Brooklyn, NY when she was 22 years old. Her mother, Taube, did not approve of Ben since he came from a poor family and she felt Ray could have done better.
Ben was born on July 15, 1887 in Minsk, Belarus to Hyman Pollay and Bessie. He emigrated to the US at age 20 in 1908 to escape the pograms in Russia. . In 1920 he was a shoemaker but by 1942 at age 54, he was in business for himself.
Ben and Ray’s Engagement Photo
Ray at her father’s gravesite
Rachel kept a kosher home but they were not observant. Ray loved to cook and bake.
Ben bought the “House of the Four Sisters” and one by one, Ray’s sisters moved in. Ben and his family lived upstairs in the front of the building. He eventually had to sell the building and moved his family to a larger 2 family house where they lived downstairs and rented out the upstairs. When their daughter got married, Millie, moved in upstairs. It was a great arrangement, since once Millie had children, her mother could always baby-sit for her.
Taube need not have worried since Ben became known to the family as “Ben-e-factor” since he was always helping people out.
Ray and Ben Pollay
Ben died on March 7, 1955, from Parkinson’s Disease. He was only 49 when he first developed Parkinson’s, but lived with it until he was 67.
Towards the end of her life, Ray lived in Long Island with her daugther, Millie. She died at age 75.
Ray and Ben had 3 children:
Hy was born October 16, 1916, in New York. He resembled his father’s family and was considered the scholar in the family He was known to be quiet and reserved.
He married Mollie and had 3 children.
He died from pancreatic cancer on July 4, 1975, at age 59. His died before his son became a Bar Mitzvah so Millie’s family made the Bar Mitzvah for their nephew.
Max, aka, Maxie or Mac, was born Jan 16, 1920, in Brooklyn, NY. Max was named for his grandfather, Max Leber, who died around the time that his brother Hy was born.
Max was a dashing bachelor like “Our Man Flint” and looked like his mother, Ray. He owned the Peekskill Dude Ranch and his own small twin-engine plane. He also had something to do with selling jukeboxes to bars.
Max died Jun 10, 1998, at age 74, in Broward county, FL, from complications during surgery. He was having aortic valve repair surgery and something when terribly wrong.
Millie was born about 1925 in NY.
Millie only remembers her grandmother, Taube, as being sickly. Millie was 13 when Taube died. While Taube was on her deathbed in Minnie’s apartment, Millie was asked to sit by her side. While she was sitting there, her grandmother called her, Leeba, meaning love in Yiddish. It was the first time Millie felt affection from her grandmother.
Millie in the backyard of 2054 78th St.
Millie’s remembers that her father would not let her wear lipstick. If she snuck it on, he would grab her with soap and water and wash it off. He believed the lipstick would draw out the pink color from her lips.
Millie married Irving (Cookie) Abramson. After her family moved from 78th Street, Cookie was one of their new neighbors. She was 14. He came over and said “Don’t you think neighbors should know each other”. When she was 16 he gave her a locket and wanted to go steady. Millie was 19 when she got married. Cooke was 20 ½. As of 2018, they have been married over 70 years.
Cookie was in the garment industry and even helped Bernie get a big account when Bernie opened his own business, Twinkle Town Togs. Cookie was successful and they were able to move to their own home in Long Island. Millie had her mother, Ray, live with her. Ray was 75 when she died.
- Family memories