By GERRY POSNER (This story first appeared in November 2014.)
Once upon a time when life was simpler and gentler, there was a street in the north end of Winnipeg which was like all other streets in the city except in one significant way. Everyone, but for one family, living on McAdam east of Main Street was Jewish.
From a 1994 reunion of former McAdam Ave. residents:
Front row – Linda (Shuckett) Waldman, Gail (Caplan) Bender, Brenda Mindell Odwak, Martin Sodomsky, Belva (Cham) Wilder, Carol (Frank) Woodward, Sharon (Mondell) Wolchuck,
Kenny Sodomsky, Behind Brenda her brother Earl Mindell, Barry Caplan, Terry (Yates) Erlichman, Penny (Mondell) Ganetsky
Ed. note: As we noted in the November 12, 2014 issue in which this story – & picture, first appeared, there are far more faces in the photo than names in the caption.
One might speculate how this might happened and no doubt there are various reasons that might be given, but the reality was that in a period between 1950 to 1970 ( give or take a few years), there was no trouble rounding up a Minyan on McAdam.
Who were these people, what did they do for a living, were they friendly with one another, what became of the kids who grew up then and what memories of that time do they have? Tough questions with uncertain answers in part.
What we can say for sure about this group is that they got along well with one another. There was a feeling of community and they had a spirit of forgiveness for the transgressions of someone else’s kid trespassing on their property or making noises at late hours or for that matter in the early morning hours on a Sunday reserved for sleep. ( just how much this quality of forgiveness has been carried out to the next generation will be evident if there are not too many complaints about how this article left out a name or had the wrong address or mixed up crucial facts).
The names are not as difficult to list without going to a Henderson’s Directory as you might think. All that was needed was Paul Nusgart, Brenda Odwak, Jack Rusen, Cheryl Singer, Linda Waldman, Adeena Lungen and Sharon Wolchock, all graduates of McAdam Avenue. Just to hear the names once again brings back a storehouse of memories. Here is a list of the addresses and the families who inhabited them.
North side of McAdam at Main Street:
195 Ben and Clara Lungen, children Paul and Adeena who owned and operated Lungen’s Meat Market, a butcher shop right at the same address
191 a duplex- main floor Minnie Waldhorn and brother Max Waldhorn. They also had their sister Fanny Mandell living next door at 187. On the second floor was the well known lawyer ID Rusen
187 Manasha and Fanny Mandell, Merle and Ruthy
185 Bill and Minnie Mindell, Earl and Brenda (how odd that a Mandell and a Mindell would live next door to one another)
181 Max and Idy Nusgart, Paul and Ruth Carol, later succeeded by the Greenberg family, as in Lawrence and Lois with sons Jeff and Alan
177 Phil and Adele Sheps, David and Arthur, followed by Charlie and Molly Rusen, Jack and David ( the first family connection as Charlie and ID were brothers)
175 Max and Annette Caplan, a sister to Nathan Stall also on the block across the street, Barry, Sandra, and Gail,
171 Bob, Molly and Hilda Schulz the owners of the Deluxe Theatre Coffee Shop in the Deluxe Theatre and the only non-Jews on the street (Ed. note: In a letter we received following publication of Gerry’s article, writer Allan Margulius (who lived at 170 McAdam) noted that the house at 170 McAdam later belonged to the Brick family: Fred & Cynthia, and children Marsha, Ira, Robbie, & Lisa.)
169 Bernard and Ruth Mondell, Sharon, Penny and Errol (McAdam Avenue, like no other, offers the triple M hockey line, as in Mandell, Mindell and Mondell – a hockey announcer’s worst nightmare)
165 Kaplan – daughters Annette and Bert and Sonny and Dave succeeded by The Frank family, Carol and Minnie and Ernest Green and their five children Coleman, Cheryl, Chuck, David and Ricky
163 A Mrs. Rose Billinkoff, as she was known to the kids of that time, grandmother to David Billinkoff and with her a daughter, Ada
161 Jimmy and Rae Gobuty, daughter Elaine and son Michael followed by Ike and Fanny Glesby and 4 daughters, Carol, Marilyn, Donna and Barbara and even later, the Gillman family
155 The Levin Family who moved later to 146 McAdam and after the Levin’s, Lionel and Minnie Katz, Jerrold and Bernard
151 The Stern family( Ruth and Bill) and children Maxine, Neal, Gary and Shayla who later moved across the street (there seemed to a definite inclination to remain on McAdam since a number of residents moved from one side to the other)
147 Max and Molly Byers, Bloomie and later Benny and Fanny Pressman, Irwin and Eddie
145 Dave and Bert Shuckett, Linda and Richard
141 Evelyn Blankstein and her mother Mrs. Lena Blankstein
194 Another duplex with the Collarman family as in parents Mendel and Rachel and son Howard in one part and in the other, Myer and Rose Nackimson, Eddie and Janice followed by Sid Green
190 The Adilmans as in Jack, Joe and Sybil later followed by the Portigals, Evelyn, Sheila and Chassie. Also at this home were Annette and Danny Butler with their kids Mark and Nadine
186 Albert and Sylvia Israels, Martin and Richard
184 Duplex: Bill Malchy family to include daughters Naneve and Melissa and Mr. Jacob Shuckett Sr. followed by Cantor Orland Verall
180 Dave and Sara Hyman, Jackie and Gary
176 Art and Gloria Sodomsky, Ken and Martin
174 Bill and Sukie Pitch, Harvin and Marsha and later the Stewart family and then Manya Margulius, Marty and sister, Caroline and The Frank family (Ed. note: In another letter we received following publication of Gerry’s article, writer Sharon Niznick Glass noted that the Frank family preceded the Margulius family. Sharon wrote that Carol Frank had lived in the house before the Marguliuses and that she boarded with them for two years while she went to university. As Sharon wrote: “When I told people where I was living, they always said: ‘Oh, you’re living in Carole Frank’s house.” Sharon added that she didn’t know who Carol Frank was until 50 years later until she was introduced to Carol Woodward in Palm Springs – who proceeded to tell Sharon that her maiden name was Frank.)
170 Joe and Mickey Margulius, Ilene, Teddy and Allan (yet another family connection- see next door)
168 Zeke and Bert Greenberg, Reta and Arnold
166 Jack and Molly Secter, Lloyd, Norman and Lily Ann
162 Sid and Frances Katz, Paul and Hart later followed by Dave and Dorothy Yates, Terri
160 Nathan and Gertie Stall, Shelley, Morton, Phyllis and Richard
158 Jack and Geila Sheps, Cheryl, Sam, Maureen and Michael
156 Lewis and Lucy Cohen, Ernie and Larry
152 Leon and Clara Cham, Noreen, Belva and Ricki followed by the Ruth and Bill Stern Family
148 Sam and Claire Posner, Ken and Ricki succeeded by Dr. And Mrs. Cham and children Bonnie, David and Susan (a second Cham for McAdam-perhaps it was the rhyme on the name that attracted them there)
146 Harry and Myrna Levin, Michael, Julie, Esther Ruth, Jonathan and Daniel
Back in the 1950’s, on a given summer night, you could hear the voice of Molly Secter bellowing out “ Norman, where are you” all the way from the Levin’s at the eastern end to Main Street at the western end. Or perhaps you might see Charlie Rusen in front of his home practising his golf stroke.
This we know for sure. That time and period has ended and with its demise we lost real neighbourliness and the certainty of being able to look to someone on the street to help out no matter the problem. McAdam had all of those qualities and more. Just ask any of the descendants.