Update on Ellis Brothers

Ellis Brothers Furniture neon sign, Binghamton, NY

The good news first: since it was the Contemporary Furniture store owned by Ellis Brothers that burned down, and since there is an alley that separates Ellis Brothers’ two stores, reports of Binghamton’s long-standing furniture store’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The bad news is that half of Ellis Brothers’ business will have to be rebuilt. But, they’re fairly confident they can restore what was lost. More here.

Happy Birthday to My Oma!

Completely off the subject of signs and completely on the subject of stories, here is a very special happy birthday to my maternal grandmother, who is 95 years old today!

Oma in 1930Oma in 1930, Amsterdam, Holland

Her life is simply amazing. So amazing, in fact, that about five years ago, when she turned 90, we decided to record several of Oma’s stories for posterity. It got somewhat out of hand and turned into an hour and half long documentary. The short version: Oma grew up in Amsterdam, married my Opa during World War II (where he was working in the Fokker Airplane plant, repairing/sabotaging Nazi planes), emigrated to Australia in the late 40s, then emigrated to America in the late 50s. We lost Opa in the early 90s and for several years, Oma lived quietly in Beverly, Massachusetts. She remarried an old family friend, Dr. Grady Spires, when she was 87 years old.

Well, that wasn’t quite the short version, but it’ll have to do. Here’s a sampling of the documentary, a favorite old story about Opa’s car during the Australia years:

Happy Birthday, Oma! And many more…