Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thirty...History Dinner

Question #25: "If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?"

I would LOVE to sit down with my great-great grandfather and my great grandfather Charles Czarlinsky and Benjamin Czarlinsky (my youngest son is named after both, Benjamin Charles).

Allow me to give you a brief (yet fascinating) history of my family: (courtesy of the Cole County Historical Records)

Charles Czarlinsky was born in Prussia on October 20, 1850. At the age of eighteen he immigrated to America, settling in Jefferson City. With no resources other than his own intelligence, thrift and industry, for awhile he carried a peddlers pack.

He established a store in Koeltztown, Osage County, which he conducted for several years before coming to Jefferson City in 1888. He became manager of the J. Siegfried clothing store where he remained ten years. He then helped organize the Globe Mercantile Company on March 3, 1899 with a capital stock of $10,000, he being Secretary and Manager of the company. The store was located at 210 East High Street. On May 1, 1900 he purchased controlling interest of the Globe Mercantile Company. It was later called the Jumbo store. Several years before his death, the store was moved to 304 East High Street.

Charles was united in marriage in March of 1897 to Minnie Davidson of St. Louis. They had two children. Solomon, who was born in 1898, assisted his father in the store and managed the business after the death of his father until his own death in 1934. A second son, Ben, was born in 1900. Charles Czarlinsky died in 1928, universally respected and one of the leading citizens of the town.

Charles was a member of the M.W.A. and the I.O.O.F. lodges of Jefferson City and also a member of the Hebrew Church. He made his home at 107 East Miller Street.

Ben Czarlinsky was born in Jefferson City in 1900. On finishing school he traveled and worked in the west for a number of years, returning to Jefferson City in 1925 on account of his fathers failing health. During World War I he served in the Navy.

In 1925 Ben was married to Miss Gladys Schatzkey, of Texas. They had two children, Betty Jane and Charles (this was my grandfather). Since the death of his brother, Solomon, in 1934, Ben was in sole charge of the business. They stocked an extensive stock of high quality merchandise, catering to the more discriminating customers of the Jefferson City trade area.

Ben was a member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Rotary Club, a Mason and Shriner, and active in various other fraternal and civic organizations.

...My grandfather, Charlie eventually took over the family business which eventually became a high end men's clothing store called Czarlinsky's. I was a freshman in high school when the business closed it's doors.

I would have loved to have known my great-great grandfather and my great grandfather. Their history intrigues me...and I have several relatives that were survivors of the concentration camps...I would love to have known them personally, to have loved on them, to have soaked up their experiences....

Because my ancestors are of Jewish decent, I would serve traditional Jewsih foods: Babka... a chocolate-filled challah (egg) bread, brisket, farfel... small pellet-shaped egg pasta...etc.

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