Photo taken in:BacauYear when photo was taken:1939Country name at time of photo:RomaniaCountry name today:Romania
This is a photo of my mother, Dorina Fiul, together with her children, proud to wear ?strajer? uniforms: me, on the left, and my sister Lola (Eleonora) on the right. Mother was a very sensitive person, and she felt, I think, that we would love to have a photo dressed like that. The photo was taken in Bacau in 1939. The uniforms were made by my mother, and we wore them at parades, when king Carol II came to Bacau, on special occasions. I was born in 1926 and my sister, Eleonora, was born in 1930. My parents were busy with their work, they were both taking care of the inn my mother inherited from her adoptive parents, and didn't have much time for education, but I think they had some pedagogical insight: my father never spoiled us when we were small, he was severe, stern, and unflinching when it came to working in the garden or the stables. Only later, when I grew up, he told me that he used to watch us sleep, and pet my hair and caress me. He did beat me, usually for pranks, not something worse than that, I was always taking uncle Bern on, because he was the funniest character in the family, and when mother found out, she always called for father to punish me: father had huge hands, the size of shovels, he would just spank me, then dust his hands and go back to work, without a word to me. Although mother was fair, and she always called for father to punish me when I did something wrong, she was the one to take care that he wouldn't hit my head or hit me too hard. Father taught us the value of hard work; when my sister and I were 11, or 12, my father told us: 'Don't expect me to support you like you were a pair of blind horses, you have to learn hard work and make a living!' Even our life at home was closely related to horses. My parents never had a holiday or a day off, for as long as they lived, and I regret it deeply; all they knew was work and more work. I went to a state elementary school, and I had two great teachers I will never forget, husband and wife, the Carjas. We studied two grades with him and then two grades with her. They were an elderly couple, in their fifties I believe; we addressed them with 'Mr. or Mrs. Teacher'. He was a very kind man, and she was a bit quick-tempered. I remember I was punished only once during elementary school, I had to stay on my knees, that was the standard punishment back then. I was in the fourth grade, and the teacher, Mr. Carja, caught me reading under my desk 'Doxes'. I was a collection, 'The adventures of Dox submarine', which came out weekly, and all the kids were dying to get their hands on them. Very popular were also the 'Bill Gazon' or 'Al Capone' collections. My parents gave me money to buy the leaflets, and I used to run to meet the postman five minutes earlier. In school I was usually the prank master, but I was a bit afraid of the teacher. One of my colleagues was Dolfi Drimmer, he is now the dean of the American-Romanian university. His parents had a ribbon factory near the school, and he was the best pupil in our classroom. He was a chubby boy, quiet and obedient, while we were more into football and running around. My sister went to the same school, but when anti-semitism came, in 1939, she was forced to leave it, when she was only in the fourth grade.