Today is the 113th birthday of my paternal grandfather, Bernard Davidoff, M.D., of New York, New York; Queens, New York; Westport, Connecticut; and Palm Beach, Florida.
Bernie was born in New York on June 15, 1900, to Jacob "Jake" Davidoff, a pharmacist, and to Rebecca Davidoff. Bernie was the oldest of four children. Married to Mildred Davidoff, they were the parents of Jerry (my father) and Paul. Bernie died in Dade County, Florida, after a heart attack in or near the Everglades on April 3, 1967.
I think of Bernie as a "self-made man," up from the Lower East Side and very proud of it. I think of Bernie's sense of humor, which I think he inherited lock, stock, and laughter from his father, Jake — and which I think he passed along unaltered to both sons. I think of Bernie's combination of concurrent medicine practice in obstetrics and gynecology in Queens while teaching at Cornell University Medical School at Bellevue. [Cornell fact sheet on Medical School history]
This year, my mother told she suspects Bernie also performed abortions, improving the lives of the women who asked for them -- but of course also against the law.
I also think of how Bernie and Mildred bought into the concept of shared urban living/open spaces with their move to Sunnyside Gardens in Queens [Wikipedia / Fact Sheet from Greater Astoria Historical Society]. I think of how my grandparents worked against official neglect to re-settle to the U.S. a few members of Mildred's mother's German Jewish family in the early days of National Socialism. I think of their interest in Ethical Culture.
And I think of the elegance Mildred brought to their marriage, and their favor for Art Deco furnishings and impressionistic art.
At the moment, I have no photos on file for Bernie. If any of my relatives could supply a picture, I'd be grateful!