Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Grandpa Died in the Hotel Dorset

Construction of the Hotel Dorset, a 19-story, 240,000 square foot building in New York City, was completed in 1927. It was was then demolished back in 2000, to make way for renovation and new construction of the Museum of Modern Art.

Between the Hotel Dorset's being constructed and being demolished, my paternal grandfather, Herman Aaron, died there, on April 20th of 1939. He was 77 years old, and had lived in the United States for 74 of those years. He came over from Germany when he was a child of 3, sailing from Hamburg on the SS Teutonia, and arriving in his new country on June 2, 1865.

He died before I was born, so of course I never met him. Nor do I remember hearing anything about him as I was growing up. I'd never even seen a photograph of him until a couple of years ago, when my sister Wylie sent me some information which included a copy of his obituary. This had a photo of him. When I saw it, for reasons I still can't fully explain, tears came to my eyes... somehow there was a connection between this
man and me, and one that stirred up my emotions. Below is a portion of that obituary.

I was also sent a copy of his death certificate, which said that he was buried at the Kensico Cemetery. I found their website, and it looks like a lovely, peaceful place:


mister jeter harris, hizself said...

hey ... it'z me ... jh!
dat wuz verree nice to find owt abowt yer grandpa.
an u know wut else wuz nice? heerin yer voice an da voice uv gamma!
i liked it alot!
thank u fer bein a part uv mi contest!
luv--yer frend--jh

Jaya said...

Well, thanks for visiting, jh! And I'm enjoying being in your contest very much- and for anyone reading this who doesn't know about the contest, here's where you should go to learn all about it:


Peg said...

enjoyed the post about your grandfather.

Jaya said...

Thanks, A.A.L. - I'll be posting another story about HIS father, my paternal great grandfather, soon. Well, actually not so much about HIM, because I know so little, but about the very interesting graveyard he was buried in!