Marion’s Memories

Marion no date

Marion, ca 1945-1949

Although it was the second weekend in December and, like everyone else we had plenty of holiday tasks to be doing, Judy and I decided it was time for another trip to the Connecticut State Library in Hartford. We hadn’t done a trip in a long time, and we always enjoy the excuse to get together. We don’t have as much opportunity as we’d like to catch up in person on all the happenings in our lives, especially the genealogy ones. Then, I thought, since I would already be as far as Hartford I should see if it would be convenient for me to go on down to visit my husband’s cousin Marion who lives very near New York city but still in Connecticut. So I got in touch with her and invited myself.

The time with Judy in Hartford and at the Library was, as usual, fun and refreshing. There is something about spending time with a friend who has known you for so long that is renewing. We acquired some new information on the projects we were working on and learned about another resource available in the Library. We have gotten into a bit of a rut about how we use the Library, but learned that there is a large newspaper collection on microfilm that we hadn’t known about. I wonder what else they have that we don’t know about?

Saturday morning I headed on south and west in Connecticut. I had called cousin Marion and had her good directions for getting to her house, and so managed to get there with no problems. We had just enough time when I got there for her to start showing me her most recent pottery and sculptures (she does amazing work!) and to start talking. Then we headed for the train station to pick up cousin Jean who was coming to join us. These two represent two different Levine family lines: Marion a branch that stayed in the New York City area and Jean one of the Syracuse branches.

I had two general genealogy goals for the visit: to get Marion to talk about her parents and grandparents and to try to record some of this; and, to look at some of her pictures and get her stories from them. I took my digital recorder and my new present to myself, my Flip-Pal scanner, and intended to make use of both of them. Which I did. I’m still a rank novice using the recorder and have trouble getting the volume right, but I did get some of her memories captured. And the Flip-Pal worked like a charm.

Marion is the daughter of Esther Bialke Pintel and Samuel

Bella Pintel

Bella Pintel

Malin. Her mother, known in the US as Bella, was the daughter of Myriam Levine and Alter Pintel. Myriam died in Poland/Russia, leaving young several children (either two or three, this isn’t clear yet). Grandfather Alter remarried and they had two more children. He emigrated from Poland/Russia in 1909 and the plan was for his wife and children to follow as soon as he could get settled. Bella was able to join him in 1913. Unfortunately though, World War I intervened and the rest of the family was not able to migrate until 1921.

Sam Malin in factory-marked

Sam Malin in a sewing room

Bella worked as a seamstress in New York City until she married and had children. She then stayed home for several years. She probably met her husband, Sam Malin, as a function of living and working in the same area in Manhattan. Sam had signed as a witness on her father, Alter Pintel’s Petition for Naturalization attesting to knowing Alter since 1917. They were married in 1922.

Marion’s father was a man of few words and one who didn’t show his feelings easily or often. Bella on the other hand was known for yelling, particularly at him, and for letting you know exactly where she stood on an issue. One time they came to visit Marion and her husband Al and before they arrived Al asked Marion to tell her mother not to yell at Sam because it made him uncomfortable. So Marion talked to Bella while they were out in the car, going shopping in another town. She said, “Ma, please don’t yell at Pa while you’re here. Al doesn’t like it.” To which Bella responded: “I don’t yell at him.” Marion laughed about this and allowed that her mother did yell, and that she had discovered the same habit in herself as a young mother.

At the end of his life, Sam fell and broke his hip and was hospitalized. Marion and Bella went to the hospital to visit him, and the nurse was in his room when they got there. So Sam introduced them: “This is my family. This is my daughter, Marion. And this is my wife, Bella. God gave her to me.”

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