My Brooklyn Boyhood Martin Lemelman

Gun charm

You might say I was an archeologist of my own childhood. While researching Two Cents Plain: My Brooklyn Boyhood, I realized that the best way to make my story come alive was to explore the few photographs and countless documents my mother Gusta saved over the years. She kept everything.

As I went through her papers, I discovered old report cards, letters, bills and receipts. In addition to her $200.00 passenger ticket for the Marine Marlin, the boat that took her from war torn Europe to America, I found a rent receipt for $65.00, the last rent receipt for Teddy’s Candy Store, the store I grew up in. These papers became a physical and emotional bridge to my childhood.  I included many of them in Two Cents Plain: My Brooklyn Boyhood.

Ticket for Marine Marlin
This is the ticket for passage to the US from Europe.
Father's identity card.
Father’s identity papers.
Report cards.
A grade school report card.
Postcard of Brooklyn Bridge.
A postcard of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Newcomers welcome brochure.
A welcome brochure for new Jewish immigrants.
Child's health record book.
An appointment book for child health care.
Postcard of Youngsville, NY.
A postcard of Youngsville, NY
Postcard of the Brooklyn Bridge at night.
A postcard of the Brooklyn Bridge at night.
Last lease payment on the candy store.
The lease papers for the store.