Visit us At 5th and Market Streets on Independence Mall



It's Your Story

Admission

Members Free
Adults $12
Seniors (ages 65 & up) $11
Youth (ages 13-21) $11
Children (ages 12 & under) Free
Active military (with ID) Free*
 

Discounted admission rates are available to groups of 15 or more people. Group visits must be booked in advance through Group Sales to receive these discounts and other group options.  

 

*As a Blue Star Museum, we additionally offer free admission to up to 5 immediate family members (spouse or children) of active military personnel from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  

My Grandmom Bessie

My Grandmom Bessie: My Grandmom was big – big of voice, big of body but most of all big of heart. I was her first granddaughter and I think her favorite person in the world. My parents lived with her when I was born and that cemented our bond. I have many photos of the beautiful knitted outfits she made just for me and of her proudly holding me – her shana maydela.

As I grew older my cousins, brother and I couldn't wait to sleep over at Grandmom and Grandpop's rowhouse on a shady street in Logan. I loved waking up early, smelling the coffee and listening to the sounds of Yiddish and Russian being spoken in the kitchen below our “back bedroom”. Right after breakfast we were sent to buy the day's food. Even though we were only 6 or 7 we were trusted with this important duty. We would go out the back stairs and head to the kosher butcher – Hi – we're Mrs. Feldman's grandkids and here's her list. No need to have money, it went on the account. Next the grocery – same deal. The neighborhood store owners knew Bessie well, and I think were afraid of her. They wouldn't dare to sell us inferior goods. We felt so grown up.

We never had these responsibilities in our suburban homes where everything was a car ride away and nobody even knew who our parents were, let alone trusting to “an account”. I loved cooking and baking with my Grandmom. I don't know how she prepared dinners for 20 or more in the “little kitchen” - a tiny room behind the eat-in kitchen with zero counter space. To make her famous strudel she would let me help her spread the ultra thin phyllo dough across the entir e dining room table and fill it with fruits and nuts. Mmmmmmm. I was so proud to have had a hand in that.

To earn extra money Grandmom would tell fortunes by reading coffee grounds. This was when her personality would shine through. The entire neighborhood was her customer base. There was the famous story of her “seeing” the imminent death of one of her patrons. She refused to read his grounds and after he left she was shaken and told her friends what she saw. Unfortunately, she had seen the future correctly this time and he was hit by a car not far from her house.

My cousins, brother and I continued to sleep over until Grandmom Bessie passed away when I was 16. The house was sold, including those 4 poster beds I later wished I had. I have often driven by that house and my memories are so vivid I can still smell the coffee.