Photo taken in:YambolYear when photo was taken:1931Country name at time of photo:Bulgaria, 1878-1944Country name today:Bulgaria
I, Larry Anzhel and my taller Bulgarian friend, Vulchan Vulchanov. We were ten years old, so the year must have been 1931. Our house was opposite his. This photo was taken in the garden of his house. On the back of the photo there is an inscription in black ink: 'A souvenir from Yambol to Leon Anzhel from Sofia'. The photo was most probably sent to me by my friend Vulchan Vulchanov when I had already moved to Sofia, with my mother and brother Marko. My name is Leon Yako Anzhel but I go by Larry. I was born in Yambol on 24th September 1921. I have three older brothers from my father's first wife, whose name was Yafa. Their names are Isak, Hiskia and Marko. My mother was my father's second wife and her name was Yafa, too. I lived in Yambol until 1932. At that time it was a peaceful, provincial town. Only the central streets were paved with something resembling cobbles. The electricity lit the town in 1924 or 1925. I remember that there used to be cafes, garment shops, cosmetic shops, and the cinema was nearby. The 'Tundzha' textile mills existed at the time. On the outskirts of Yambol, near the Tundzha River, there were the so-called 'bahchi.' The 'bahchi' are vegetable or fruit orchards, which are rented and taken care of by gardeners, Bulgarians, who had acquired their skills in Hungary and Central Europe. They had come from some place near Veliko Turnovo. Very often in spring and summer the women would go to those gardens with their children, and went for walks there because it was cool under the branches of the trees by the river. Their main aim was to buy fresh vegetables but they often remained there longer because of the coolness. They used to take food along so the walk was actually an outing. The children used to play; the women would knit and talk to each other. My father died in 1932 and was buried in Sofia when I was eleven years old. After my father's death our family became very poor and we decided to move to Sofia.