Camp st 2b
Juliet Greene born June 1st 1943- june 2020 This is her history and her past relatives story let me take you back to when my grandmother was only a child. I was about 4 years old when my aunt, grandmother and I moved into my father's building on Camp Street, it was sandwiched between the two cross streets - North Rd and Church Street, both cross streets had canals that run alongside it over which bridges were built to enable people to cross over to get to and from their homes, but Camp street was one of our very main and busy street.My fathers business a Bakery, sat above his building, its name was da Silva's Bakery from which came delicous and savory aromas of freshly baked bread at 6.00 a.m every morning when the Bakery opened for business, as the baking was done at night when everyone slept, he and his young sons worked the ovens. In the mornings when the doors were flung opened wide,it seems as if most of the people in town were there to buy for their families, fighting and shoving 3 or 4 ft deep, bread, pastries, fish cakes, buns, all ready for the breakfast table, ahh! yes! business was good,Next to the Bakery was a Photo Studio, which in those days, you paid to have a portrait done professionally by a photographer, inside the studio was dark with lights when shone into your eyes, were blinding, outside in his showcase were samples of his work, pictures of happy wedded couples, families, or single poses of people, everyone with a smile frozen on their faces forever. From the crowded glass show case, you could see that business was good.Next to that came two staircases leading upwards inside the building, one to my father section of rooms and the other to the other side - beyond that a furniture store or sawmill -why two names? because they not only sawed through logs and shaved wood leaving bags and bags of sawdust, and wood shavings, where people would come and buy to spread over blocks of ice when the ice cart came by, as sawdust soaked up the water from the melting ice. they also made and varnished furniture where customers came by to purchase for their homes. Ahh! yes, business was good, there too.Now came a canal, the Church Street canal ,where white houses were connected to bridges, on the first white building was a business downstairs with a sign which read:- da Silva's Money Lending - Money lent here, and paid back right here - This was Zadie's business, a tall guant thin man, always and forever dressed in black, wearing always and forever a yamulka on his head, underneath his black Jacket one could see strings from his prayer shawl peeping out.He was King of his empire, each and every house down the line of Church street was owned by him, also each and every house on the other side in North rd were also owned by him, plus many more blocks of houses in the street, in this town his thoughts sleeping and waking, working and pensive, were always about money and how he can make more and even more.Zadie, whose name was Jose Luiz da Silva was a Jew, a lone Jew in a country loaded with Christians, Catholics, Progestants,Hindus, Moslems, Jordanites, he stood alone, and stubbornly held on to his beliefs in the old testament,because in his mind it was the real and only Bible given to his people by Yahweh - God. Well here am I being told to climb that long long dark staircase that led upwards to my fathers quarters, who was, of course in the bakery serving his customers, tired from the long climb that my short legs tried to make my hands gripped by the hands of my Aunt Elaine,who led me down short corridor which was blocked by my fathers sister Agnes, she said with pleasure "here she is, you brought her" she took me into her arms kissed and hugged me, I looked into her eyes and saw such sorrow and wondered why. I also saw at the side of her nose a huge mole that had exactly 3 hairs growing out of it and thought it must be the mole, because she was not pretty. She told me to call her "sistah" which was odd because she was my Aunt as well.Behind her back was a door which led to a large room, that housed her and her nephews', she pointed down another corridor, saying to Aunt Elaine,"your room is at the end of that corridor, your mother is there setting up the bed" with that, my aunt Elaine pulled me along the corridor saying "Julie this will be our home now, your father kindly rented us a room in his building, you will be close to your father and he will be able to keep an eye on you, as I have to work" The room was a mess, with unopened boxes, of dishes, pots, linen, food, clothes and odds and ends, I was made to sit on the newly made bed, while my grandmother and aunt got to work, I saw that all the windows had a wooden bar nailed across the lower half by my father to prevent me from falling out of them, I looked around and was not sure whether I liked being here or not, maybe, I thought hopefully, there may be another child in the building.Upon waking i found no one in the room, i looked around it was strange,light and airy, but a frightening place for a 4 year old that finds herself without anyone to speak with - I called out "Auntie? "Grannie?" no answer, I slid off the bed on my tummy, dragging my doll "Chuckles" by the hand I entered through the partially opened door, and looked down the long long corridor, but saw no one in sight. I paused wondering what to do because, even that small, I knew my grandmothers temper for when I was three she had beaten me unmercifully because I had wet my bed, and as a result she came under the wrath of my father,my mother and my aunt - since then she had not laid a hand on me - but the memory of the blows from her strap and the look on her furious face still haunted me then and even now.I decided to enter the corridor and go in search of her - pulling Chuckes and telling her not to be afraid I arrived at Sister's room peeping inside I saw unmade bunk beds lining the walls and a table with 4 chairs, no one was in there, standing there wondering what to do, I heard laughter, I turned towards the left following the sounds of voices and entered another room, there in front of me were two closed doors housing the bathroom and toilet - then towards the right a larger opening that led to a crowded kitchen. I stood there in shock, for never before had I seen a kitchen that was black, black walls, black floors, black ceiling, I do not know if it was painted black or if it was black from years and years of soot - because emanating from Coal Pots, stoves, and firesides were smoke that crawled up the walls and settled along the roof, someone had thrown opened the windows which sucked out some, but not all. I surveyed the scene, people I did not know or saw before were busy cooking their brew, my father's sister - my aunt Agnes who told me to call her "sister" faced the only big iron stove, she was feeding pieces of logs into the blazing fire, my grandmother was stooping on the floor beside her coal pot chipped wood to put inside of her coal pot to start her fire going, when sensing a presence she turned and saw me. she said "Julie you got up - do not come inside this kitchen it is no place for a child - come let us go back" upon hearing this my Aunt "sistah" leaving her Iron Stove came over and took me away from my grandmother saying "I will take care of her and gave her breakfast" maybe my father had told her about my beating - I do not know, but she took me to the big scary bathroom, where I relieved myself, then to her room of unmade beds, made me sit and eat delicious bread from my fathers bakery and eggs, Grannie came back and handed her my rompers and underwear for me to change into. After which I was released and told there were two places to avoid - the kitchen and the stairs, Not knowing what to do, and left to my own devices, I return back up the long long corridor placed Chuckes on the bed telling her to be quiet, and not to pee pee the bed, I took my little skipping rope and walked back up the corridor trying to skip i saw a door that was next to my fathers suite open and a little black face peep out - happiness knew no bounds, a little girl about my age, I went up to her "Hi" "Hi" she said timidly "what is your name?" "Ann - and yours?" "Julie - would you like to skip with my rope?" "yes" "come outside your room" "I I cant" "why not?" "my Mother is not here, and she told me not to leave the room" "come out some more let me see you" she pushed half of her body out - she was odd, she had no neck, her head sat on her shoulders and it turned just like Chuckles - like on a hinge - I stared then recovering, handed her my rope "come on come out" "no - can I skip in here?" "yes" she took the rope and disappeared inside her room.After awhile and with several tries she partially opened the door and handed me the rope "I cant do it, my room is too small" "ok plenty of room out here" "No I cant come out - where is your mother? gone out too?" "she is in the States" "where is that?" "dunno some country out there - my father lives next to your room" I pointed, her eyes opened wide "Mr da Silva is your father?" "yes - my Grannie is in the kitchen, so is my Aunt"Just then my grandmother who was on her way to our room, on seeing me said "Julie come here" I told Ann bye and obediently followed her to our room "who is that girl?" "Ann" "where is her mother?" "out" "ok come and eat lunch,"Later that day, wearing my pajamas and getting ready for bed, my Aunt Elaine came dashing into our home "quick quick Mother get Julie dressed her father wants her now" "but she is ready for bed" "you have to listen to him, get his daughter dressed, her grand father is here" "what?" said my grandmother with horror "old Silva is here?" "yes he wants to see his grand child" I was taken out of bed, stripped redressed, a sandals forced on my feet, hair quickly hastily brushed and my Aunt grabbed my hand and dragged me to my fathers door where she tapped on it - my father opened it, and took me from her.