- Alex Garfinkel discusses his father, Harry Louis Garfinkel, who emigrated from Divin, Russia, around the turn of the twentieth century to avoid conscription. He was followed to the United States by two sisters, four brothers, and his father. Harry heard there were landsmen (countrymen) from Divin in Charleston, South Carolina, so he moved there and worked as a shoemaker until he bought a mattress factory. He married Celia Hannah Lapidus of Charleston. At some point, Harry turned over the mattress business to his brother Sam and opened a junk yard, which grew into a successful scrap metal business. Alex grew up on Line Street, one of eight children. He attended Hebrew school at Beth Israel and briefly mentions the split between Beth Israel and Brith Sholom, the Orthodox synagogues. Alex talks about King Street merchants, his father’s businesses, and taking over the scrap yard as a young man, which exempted him from military service during World War II. He invited his cousin Max Garfinkel of Baltimore to join him in the growing business, and they remained partners for over forty years. See also interviews with other members of the Garfinkel family: Helen Rosenshein, Olga Weinstein, Sandra Shapiro, Nathan and Frances Garfinkle (Nathan spells the family name differently), Max and Jennie Garfinkel, and Philip Garfinkel.
- Lila Winter Lash, daughter of Fay Nebb and Louis Winter, was born in 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. She discusses her family history, including the Winter family’s early-twentieth-century connection to Charleston, South Carolina. When Lila met Alex “Al” Lash in New York, he was working as a kosher butcher in a family business that extended four or five generations back to the Old Country. Lila and Al, who married in 1947, describe Al’s training and career in butchering, kosher and non-kosher. Two years after they married, the couple moved to Charleston after agreeing to buy Joseph and Anna Zalkin’s kosher butcher shop on King Street. The Lashes recall the difficulties of running the business, including procurement, long hours, competition, and customer relations. Dealing with rumors that they weren’t kosher and storing their inventory during two hurricanes were among the challenges they faced. Lila provides anecdotes and information relating to Al’s love of bowling and his involvement in leagues.
- William Ackerman, an attorney and the developer of South Windermere subdivision in the West Ashley section of Charleston, South Carolina, recounts how he obtained the land, and who was involved in the design, construction, and sale of homes. After building began in the early 1950s, he decided a one-stop shopping center would be a useful addition, so he convinced Woolworth, A&P grocery, and Belk department store to serve as anchors. A number of local shop owners, despite widespread skepticism, moved their operations from downtown Charleston to the new suburban South Windermere Shopping Center, the first of its kind in the area. The residential-commercial venture was a tremendous success. Ackerman describes negotiations he held with major tenants, and recalls many of the businesses that have occupied space in the center. He also discusses the development, by Edward Kronsberg, and the demise of Pinehaven Shopping Center, in North Charleston. See also Mss. 1035-101, Special Collections, Addlestone Library, for William Ackerman’s December 5, 1996 interview.