Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Home Sweet Hayarkon Street

December 13, 2008, evening.

After a full and thrilling day, I had one more stop to make. I learned that after my father was hired by a construction company in Israel, we moved from the Jaffa rooftop to an apartment on the beach in Tel Aviv. Uncle Ziggy and my grandparents continued to live on the roof.

My newly discovered cousin, Moishe Halperin, drew me a map to where the apartment had been. (Moishe's memory is incredible, only surpassed by his warmth.)

The cab drove me around the dark blocks til we found it. Deserted and out-of-place in its setting, the house sat just behind the US Embassy. Moishe remembered that the wood floors had beautiful rosette inlays. I strained for a whiff of memory - high ceilings? fresh flowers?

Afterward, I walked the easy distance to the wide beach. I took in the distinctive smell of the Mediterranean, the soft tan sand, the slow black waves rolling in. Here was where Peter the Giant Schnauzer vanished. Here was where my parents walked every day with him, then without him. Here was where I played and began my ife-long romance with salt water.

I struggled with the urge to take off my clothes and plunge in, settling instead for a handful of sand to take back with me.

Yoram weighs in:
Dear Roma

It's always a pleasure to hear from you and follow your amazing quest. I know this house in Hayarkon St. - it is very special... Everything here is back to normal (till next time.)

I know the house in Hayarkon St. only from the outside, since I have passed there many times. Actually I spent long hours in this neighborhood looking for a building shown in the background of a picture of my Grandparents (he was Kammerman from Przemysl). The picture was taken in 1947 near "your" house (it is number 88) and near "London Garden" of Moishe's sketch.

Read you last post in David's Blog - very inspiring. Looking forward reading and seeing you again.
Dear Yoram,
Great to hear from you. I'm glad everyone is a bit safer there. What more do you know about the history of the house on Hayarkon? We were there in '51. I'd love to hear about it. Moishe only remembered that we lived on the 2nd floor (and the highly decorated floors).

I feel a strange pull to go back...

love, Roma


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a good writer you are. and I very much like the use of graphics and pictures. Like the handwritten map.

February 13, 2009 at 10:24 PM  

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