Daily Life

Jack Borenstein's Memories of Daily Life in Ostrowiec as a Youth

From an interview with his granddaughter Danya Borenstein

Winter & Ice

“In the wintertime, you know what used to be …it’s not like here ..we lived in a hill, in the winter you would slide down…not far there was a lake….in the winter, we used to get ice….not too far away…someone chopped up the ice…and the ice was put up like a house ..and was covered with wood chips .

The ice was used to keep the soda water cold and was stored in a steel tank. If you had a store and you wanted to sell something in the summer, if people come in and the water is not cold … it doesn’t taste good…. people wouldn’t want it. People had to make a living.

Herring & Pickles

I remember another thing, when they used to sell…. they called her Chana Rivka and they sold herring, it was in barrels...you went in and picked out a herring… Its not my hometown but the whole world changed…People now didn’t live like before.

There was a lady there, she sold pickles. The pickles came in a barrel, so we bought a pickle and some sauce....and that was so delicious…I remember people, that must have been 20 years or 30 years old and they looked like a hundred….and in the same place…

Shoes & Tailors

There was a son that made shoes…so I always got shoes from him custom made…that was more expensive….it was more expensive…we didn’t go in to a store…even a suit, we had custom made. Material for the suit…. they left a piece to make a hat from the same material. You took the material to a hat make to make a hat. For children, if you needed another suit, (my father) took the old suit and made a suit for myself.

That was life…(how) people lived...nobody lived till a hundred ...like people live here….”