A Commonplace Book

Kim Chernin’s mother Rose, describing life in the Bronx Cooperative Housing Projects in the 1930s:

There was a wonderful mood in that cooperative. Something you just wouldn’t see anymore in the world. There, it was common for the children to be named Leon Trotsky Blume or Vladimir Lenin Jones. You’d be walking past the building and you’d hear a mother shout, form the fifth floor, ‘Leon Trotsky, come right up here if you don’t want to get a smack. You can’t fool me, Leon Trotsky, I know you wet your pants!

Kim Chernin, In my Mother’s House, p. 100

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