A Family Grocery in Polish Camden: Memories of Leona Burdalska

1545 Mt. Ephraim Avenue Camden NJ about 1950 AUDIO INTERVIEW: LEONA BURDALSKA LARGE Leona Burdalska Large, born 21 October 1931. Left us on 2 January 2023. With daughter Deborah Large Fox Audio File transcript 19 APRIL 2017 L: Leona D: Deborah Deborah: This is my interview with Leona Burdalski Large, my mom, and she is … Continue reading A Family Grocery in Polish Camden: Memories of Leona Burdalska

Holy Kiełbasa, or Why Mrs. D Ate the Butter Lamb

When I was a child, and for many Polish Americans today, having the kiełbasa blessed by the priest was important on Holy Saturday. We ate kiełbasa year-round--with bread for lunch and kapusta for dinner or plain for snacks--but eating the blessed kiełbasa? Only on Easter Sunday. I don’t know if having the kiełbasa blessed is … Continue reading Holy Kiełbasa, or Why Mrs. D Ate the Butter Lamb

Trick or Treat/Smell My Feet

            Tripping over the too-long hem of my Casper the Friendly Ghost costume, I elbowed my way past my friends, the Lees Avenue Gang, to the top of the steps and held out my pillowcase. We all chanted:             “Trick or treat             Smell my feet             Give us something good to eat!”             “And who do we have here?” … Continue reading Trick or Treat/Smell My Feet


By Deborah Large Fox LAURA             During the last week of July 1940, the residents of Camden NJ sweltered in a heat wave with temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees. The sun beat down on the alleys and brick row houses of the hard-working people, who got little relief from open windows and noisy fans. The employees … Continue reading CONFLAGRATION: THE TRAGEDY OF LAURA JAKUBOWSKI

Measles, Mumps, and Isolation Memories

While Boomers did not experience quarantines on this current worldwide scale, we endured the mini confinements of pre-vaccine times. Waves of measles, mumps, and chicken pox would spread through neighborhoods and keep us indoors. We had no online social networks, so any contact with friends was reduced to waving from behind doors or windows. My … Continue reading Measles, Mumps, and Isolation Memories


     “Child, what are you drinking?”      Usually, we could hear a nun approaching behind us. Those clacking rosaries and heavy footsteps gave children advance warning before the wrath of heaven descended upon their misdeeds. I must have been extra tired that day because I heard nothing, not even the rustling of the voluminous black habit Sister … Continue reading COFFEE TIME WITH SISTER WILHELMINA