Growing up in Los Angeles

A Refugee in Hollywood

"They called it C.A.R.E. at the time—Cooperative American Relief for Europe—"

"About two years [after we arrived in the United States], my father had an opportunity to buy a dress-making factory, and he had some money and my mother had some money, and they invested it with another partner in this dress company and he bought that. It was actually called Classy Lass Dress Company.

They chose to live in a Jewish neighborhood, even though they didn’t want to be identified as Jews. But they sent me to a school that was about 80% Jewish, Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. I was told I was now an Episcopalian, and I went to the Episcopal church in Hollywood.

Hollywood was still pretty glitzy, And I had a friend who lived in Hollywood, and he was not Jewish. He was a refugee, also, from Belgium, but because we spoke French, we got along pretty well.

We collected pennies. In those days, a penny was worth something, And then we gathered all the pennies together, and we came up with a grand sum of $70—71, all in pennies! And that was a fortune in those days! And we gave it to the war effort. They called it C.A.R.E. at the time—Cooperative American Relief for Europe—and it was a care package. They used to send a lot of packages to Europe and to the refugees."