The Steel Pier – Atlantic City, NJ

To all:

We already have the Steel Pier video on DVD. The Gureasko video needs to be screened first and then converted.

The Steel Pier Video covers a span of just over one decade from about 1929 to 1940 or so. It was shot by someone who worked at Bell Labs who was an early movie hobbyist. He came each summer and filmed whatever he saw. The water circus at Steel Pier in those days was where many of the great circus acts spent their summers. It was only later that this all moved to Sarasota and the Ringling Bros. crew. It includes clips of all the great circus acts of the 20’s and 30’s including high wire acts, animal acts in addition to the water circus acts. There are many shots of Uncle Marty in this on the diving horse and doing stunt work on boards while they were being towed by high speed motorboats. There is also a shot or two of him backstage.

This film is basically a compilation of out takes. As a result is a bit disjointed and sometimes repetitive but always fascinating. The edited film was put together for the owner of the Water Circus at Steel Pier. The out takes were given to a friend and fellow performer of Uncle Marty’s. This women was the sister of Uncle Marty’s predecessor; the performer who went blind (possibly as a result repetitive hitting the water ) during the horse diving act. Since the person on the diving horse was supposed to be a women, Uncle Marty went off dressed as a women. In one scene you will see that when he takes his bathing cap off there is long hair sewed into the back. I talked once to people in Atlantic City who have set up a museum showing artifacts of Steel Pier. They were not aware that a man ever went off on the diving horse.

Marty once told me that the way you could tell whether it was him or his predecessor on the horse was to see how they held themselves on the way down. According to him, she went down like a performer with her head held high (possibly a contributing factor as to why she went blind). He went down like a gymnast with his head buried in the horses mane. He also once told me that the greatest danger was not the fall or hitting the water, but making sure he was not kicked by the horse after they landed in the water.

The women who was the original custodian of the film used to do an act that featured her and a dog on a high speed towed board. I am not sure when she turned it over to him

Laura, your mother also has a copy of the DVD. You can see it when you visit her if you want.

Hope this is all interesting to you.


Some notes on the origins of the Bobrows

its great to see the snow ball we have created together- it started by my cleverly answering ericas question about ruths mother’s name and my answer was “mom”- fortunately erica told me to get real.

the following information should be included in the archive- and double checked of course.


I believe grandma ruths mom answered to Dora lehrner- or that could be dads moms name

… both were doras I think .  dads mom came from Kaminetz podolsk near Minsk and close to your grand mother yetta who came from slutsk. could have been Ukraine or belarussia.

u can find the name Bobrow or Bobrov in many places in Poland and Russia- often the name of a river or town   spelled many ways bobruisk as an example. I think there is a specific Bobrow village I tracked down. since it’s root comes from the word for beaver our family crest is two buck teeth on an appropriate heraldic shield. there are several little beavers on the shield and it is said that the true shield has a bite taken out of it. you might check that.

only recently I had a delivery man tell me I was Russian since the name is pretty common in moscow – obviously they survived WWII thru the cunning of architectural dam building. it is thought the the entire Bobrow beaver tribe survived in wetsuits eating Deedee Reese peanut cookies.

let me know when u would like lecture 2 love dad

Family Photos from Michael now online on Picassa

Hi everyone,

I have posted most of the photos that Michael scanned to Picassa. They can be found here: and

Also, I posted some photos from The Kanter/Wise family reunion last summer to here:


More Stories from Chick

Some Gureasko anecdotal stories you all might enjoy.

1. Spanish American War stories.

We all know that Louis Gureasko was in the Spanish American war and spent time in Cuba during the conflict.  For the record, he was a Corporal.  His unit was 7th Cavalry, Troop L.

What you may not know is that he was not the only Gureasko to volunteer and serve in that conflict.

Also serving was his younger brother Sam, father of Henry. I do not know his outfit, but know he served in the Philippines during the Morro insurrection following Admiral Dewey’s victory over the Spanish fleet in Manila harbor.

According to my mother (Hilda) her grandmother was very angry at her father for having so inspired his younger brother.

For those who are interested, Jamie has the Spanish bayonet and Jon the Spanish sword that Louis brought back from Cuba.  And I believe Michael has the Spanish musket he brought back.

2. Turkey & Khazar

As many of you may know it is likely the bulk of the Jewish that settled in Poland, Lithuania and northern Russia arrived there via Germany starting in the 17th century at the invitation of the Polish king of the moment.

Much of the Jewish population in the Odessa and Black Sea area (where the Gureasko came from), however, probably took a different route.They likely settled in that region via Turkey which was historically very friendly to Jews.  It is a fact that he Ottoman Empire invited Jew to settle following the expulsion from Spain in the 15th Century.

It is likely that all or at least a significant portion of the Gureasko family came to the Odessa area via that route.

My mother (Hilda) told me that she remembers one of her older relatives telling her specifically that the family came to Russia via Turkey.  This came up when she was reading the Massie biography of Peter the Great.  She told me hat she had always wondered when the family moved from Turkey to Russia but realized when reading the book that it was not the family that moved.  Rather, it was the border that moved following the conquests of that region by Peter the Great and later Catherine the Great in the 18th Century.

Some of you may also know something of the Jewish Kingdom of the Khazars.  This kingdom is a historic fact.  It flourished in that region from about the 8th to the 10th century (give or take a hundred years or so) until it was destroyed by Tamerlane and then following that absorbed into the Kievan Kingdom.

My mother also told me once that another older relative also indicated that some of the family in that area might have been descendants of Khazarian Jews.  I cannot vouch for this, but might give it some credence if only because only scholars at that time really knew of the Khazars so the story could only have come down through family lore.

3. The Hollywood connection

As some of you may know, we had one or two relatives with Hollywood connections.

The best known of these was the actor Dane Clark, ne Bernie Zanville.  Dane Clark was a featured player in many movies through much of the 40’s.  From what I gather, his parents might have been 2nd cousins of Hilda, Ruth, Marty, et al.

I know my parents used to visit with his parents when they were in Florida.  He had a very solid career and was always featured.  In most 2nd world War movies there was always a tough talking, city-wise infantryman or, if in a submarine, torpedo man written into the script.  This part was generally played by either Richard Conte or by our cousin, Dane Clark.  He crops up periodically in old movies on TCM or TNT.  He was pretty good.  But he never wanted to have much to do with the family after he made it in Hollywood.

Interesting aside on the Dane Clark connection.  His grandparents were from the old country and very superstitious.  After losing several children in infancy they came up with a plan designed to fool the angel of death.   When the next baby born turned out to be a girl, to fool the angel of death they named her Bubbie (Yiddish for grandmother) on the theory that when the angel of death came looking for an infant she would only find a grandmother and go away.  It worked.  The baby lived.  So the next time a baby was born and it turned out to be a boy they named it Zadie (grandfather in Yiddish).  This baby also lived.  Zadie or Zadel was Dan Clark’s father.

4.  Hollywood connect (2) – the Hungarian side.

On the Hungarian side, Hilda, Ruth, Marty, Joan had a number of Hungarian relatives on their mother’s side.

One of these was Lazlo Shaffer (brother of Alex Shaffer, proprietor of A la Vielle Russie in NYC.

Lazlo was head cameraman and therefore a big gun in UFA, the German film giant in the 20’s and 30’s.  Among other things, he was head cameraman (or so I was told) when they filmed The Blue Angel with Marlene Dietrich.

He came to the US briefly in 1934 with Max Rheinhart.  My father, at that time, tried to convince him not to go back to Germany as Hitler had already begun his rise to power.  But Lazlo thought he was safe and went back.  Later he came as a refugee in 1939 or 1940.  But he could not regain the status here he had in Europe.  He ended life as a film cutter in Hollywood.  I know that Ruth used to see him occasionally when he was in Hollywood.  Michael, Danny you may remember some of this.

Genealogy and Current Day Notes


This is probably common knowledge, but just in case, here’s everything
from Ruth and Jack (I confess I don’t always remember which Rodin
belongs where, etc…) I’d love to see anyone else’s tree so I can get
it straight in my head!

Ruth Gureasko and Jack Bobrow
4 sons:
Danny Bobrow 3 children with Eileen: (now married to Toni)
Kimberly Jennery
one son: David Brosius (not biological)
Deborah Bobrow
Jordan Bobrow

Michael Bobrow 3 children with Iris (now Susan): (now married to Julia)
Beth Pressler with Steve:
one son: Samuel
one daughter: Sarah
Erica Bobrow
David Bobrow with Liza:
one son: Jacob
Leslie Thomas (step-daughter by Julia):
one son: Nico (I think I have the name/spelling correct)

Rusty (Robert) Bobrow 3 children with Susannah:
three daughters: Johanna Bobrow, Elisabeth Bobrow, Laurel Bobrow

Ricky (Eric) Bobrow with Kathleen:
one son: Ayden Graham (formerly Rafael Bobrow)

I really hope I didn’t totally miss anyone – that would be
embarrassing, since I know them all so well!

–Kimberly Bobrow Jennery


Thanks Kimberly. That’s actually very helpful for me. Even though I know all of you, it’s been many years since I have seen most of you.

On the Rodin side, springing from Hilda and Lou, we have:

Doris & Charles (Chick to most old family members)

Charles (Chick) Rodin –
2 children with first wife Alice
Jon married to Brigid with 2 children, Sam and Molly
Jamie married to Robert with 3 children, Jake, Cory and Alex
Helen married to Ray, stepdaughter from 2nd marriage to Rita
Justine and Melissa, stepdaughters from current marriage to Bobbie

Doris Kanter –
3 children with first husband Bob
David married to Laura (not his sister :-)) with 1 daughter Julia
Laura with 2 children, Tatiana & Matthew
Janet married to Wyatt with stepdaughter who’s name escapes me at the moment who also has a child
2 step sons with Herb
Steven is married and has a daughter, but embarrassingly, since I haven’t seen them in 15 years or more, I can’t remember their names.
Andy has 2 kids, Ian and Emily



Ok, Jon, you are bad.
Janet is married to Wyatt Peterson.  His daughter is Lexie.  She has more than one child, but Janet will have to fill in the names.
Steven is married to Whitley, daughter Stevie.
Can’t promise I spelled everyone right.
We should include the Wise/Kanter kids on these emails.  I have some of their email addresses.

What I would like is to get a good family history going back.  We know Hilda, Marty, Ruth, Joan, and they had a 1/2 sib,Jackie and a step bro, Irving.  I know their father was Louis Guereasko, but don’t know their mother’s name. Also I would love a written record of the cousins, Eddie, Esther, Pearl, Edna, I know there were more….I would hate to lose some of our family history……

Michael’s Notes and Questions

it sounds like you both are working on the family tree. that’s great .

i have a somewhat comprehensive tree i will get to you with info from my generation backwards if i can figure how to export… please confirm what u both are actually doing so i can help and we can make it into one. we should have your generation carry the story ahead in a single document.

also there is much unrecorded narrative of the louis gureasko family- brothers sisters that perhaps doris, chick danny and linda can provide. doris said she was thinking of writing some of it.

important questions like where did the gureaskos actually come from- my info was some where near odessa on an estate of a count guriev. variations of name- gurievsky eg. hilda had said there was some notation in a family bible that they migrated from spain in the 1490s during the inquisition. chick has some of this lore.

where did louis gureaskos wife dora lehrner come from. my recollection was a town called ungvahr in northern hungary- now a soviet city with a different name.

also there is a stephen gureasko, linda yangs brother. and children of jackie gureasko- louis gureaskos son by a second marriage to esther half brother to hilda, ruth marty et al. doris – verify if stepbrother or halfbrother.

they both are/were located in the southeast or texas area. there is one of jackies children named martin gureasko after uncle marty who is a prominent christian gospel singer….

please add beth’s name and leslies correct email to the distribution in future. i have inserted the addresses above.

looking forward to your stuff…


Some Notes and Stories by Chick

I hope someone is writing this all down.

Left out of all of this mix are the children of Joan, the youngest of Louis and Dora Gureasko’s children.  She was married to Artie Pressman and the lived in Flemington, NJ and had three children.  These are Lenny (who died young in a motorcycle accident), Sandy (last name Doris will have to supply) and Eddie.

Sandy has also been doing extensive research on the family.  Doris is in touch with her and can hopefully contact her for her input.

Also left out is Jackie, a half brother of Hilda, Marty, Ruth and Joan.  He was born to Louis and Esther (aka, the wicked step mother).  Jackie had two children.  Martin L. Gureasko and Jacqueline.   Both live in the south somewhere and Martin L. last I heard was in a Christian rock band.

Also left out was a half brother, Irving, who was the son of Esther and came into the family when Louis Gureasko remarried after the death of Dora.

Wonderful story about Irving.  As I heard it, he was a marine in combat in the South Pacific (Guadalcanal) in WWII.  He and other nearby marines ducked into a shelter under fire.  As they introduced themselves, one of the other marines turned to Irving and said, “I think you are my brother.”  It seems that when Esther divorced her first husband she had two sons not just one.  She took the baby (Irving) when she left, but not the older son.  The older son knew there was a younger brother, the younger son (Irving) did not know he had an older brother.  They met for the first time under fire in the South Pacific.  Or so the story goes.

Louis Gureasko came to this country in the 1880’s with his father.  As I understand it his father came first with the older children after being warned that there was a pogrom in the offing and that he  might be targeted. He then brought his wife (Doris can you supply the name) some time thereafter.  The younger of his children were born here, but am not sure where the cut off it.  Dorothy, Edyth and Max, the youngest of this brood were born here, but I am not sure beyond that.

Max was father of Russ Gureasko and sisters Ronnie and Florence.  Ronnie and Florence are still alive and may possibly be the only one’s left alive from that generation.

The only other one from that generation who might still be alive is Gladys (Stetzer).  I am not sure.

Gladys is the youngest sister of: Louis Gureasko (New Orleans – Married to Beate, father of Jacqueline and step father to Jeanette Dreskin, a medical illustrator and living in Greenville, SC plus…

…Eddie Gureasko (married to Esther) who is in one of the pictures who was father to Linda Yang and Stephen Gureasko…

…and Pearl and Edna.

Gladys had two children.  Cynthia who is in one of the pictures and Richard (who I believe lives in Houston).

Doris will, I hope, supply the names of the other brothers, sisters and cousins of that generation.

I believe Louis’ father came from near Odessa.  His mother came from a city called Kamianets-Podilskyi, also in the Ukraine.

One last note.  In the event none of you know this, Dora (mother of Hilda, Marty, Ruth, Joan) has TB for several years and died in the Flu epidemic of 1919, shortly after the birth of Joan.

And I think that is about it for the moment.

Hope this is helpful.  please feel free to ask questions.

Aunt Edie (Edy, Dedee)


I found a story for all of you — one that I didn’t know.  I was searching the net for Edith Gureasko (our beloved Aunt Dedee  as we pronounced it).

I found the link below to a scanned newspaper — the Toronto Blade from
August 14, 1916.

There is a picture of Aunt Edy, and a story:

Girl cripple gives blood to save plague sufferer.

“A pretty 19 year old girl from Brooklyn  … ”

Amazing what you can find on the Internet.  What Plague was there at that
time — and why in Toronto?

Anyone want to follow up on this.



The “plague” referred to was almost certainly polio; the “summer plague”
or “infantile paralysis”. There was a major outbreak of it in 1916 and everyone was in a panic. It also holds with using Aunt Dedee’s blood to make serum, since she was a polio survivor.

University of Toronto had a fledgling vaccine research program [thanks, Google]. So that may have been why she gave blood in Toronto.



Just thought I’d add my two cents in response to my dad’s email.

The article is actually in the Toledo Blade not Toronto, though why it was reported in Toledo is still a good question.

There were two epidemics going on in 1916. The first, most likely reference, is the polio epidemic–officially declared 2 months prior to the article in June of that year with its origin in Brooklyn.

At the time scientists and doctors did not know that viruses existed. They had only recently figured out about bacteria and perfected serum therapies (immunizations). That is probably the “serum: she was donating her blood for. I assume she was crippled due to Infantile Paralysis aka Poliomyelitis aka Polio.

The other possible, but unlikely, plague that they may be referring to is the precursor to what is now called the 1918-19 pandemic influenza or Spanish Flu.

My money is on Polio due to the fact that the paper was published in summer, when polio is normally spread, and the fact that Edith is from Brooklyn where the 1916 epidemic started.

Here is a very interesting article about the 1916 Polio outbreak.



This is all so interesting.  I haven’t thought about Aunt Dedee in years, and it brings back the warmest feelings to me to think of her! And she must have died went I was still very little.  I remember the thrill of getting to ride on her lap in her wheelchair at my grandparents on Hubbard Avenue. But I don’t remember how she is related.  Was she a cousin or aunt to Hilda, Ruth, Marty and Joan?  Why did we call her “Aunt” ?
Very cool family lore and also a little history lesson as well.


Aunt Edie was Hilda, Ruth, Marty, Joan’s Aunt.  Or technically my great-aunt.  And your great-great-aunt, Jamie.  I believe she was the nest to the youngest of the preceding generation.  Despite polio she was self-sufficient.  She was a dress-maker with a devoted following.  She lived in Brooklyn and in the 30’s at least owned and drove a car that was fitted out with hand controls to compensate for her polio.


she was the greatest – her unqualified love and great sense of humor made her the natural heart of the family. she never saw herself as handicapped.

after louis gureasko died, sundays were spent at her apartment on eastern parkway where many in the family would congregate (smoking up a storm- chesterfields i recall)- and partaking in a deli spread that rivalled any bar mitzvah’s. always much laughter- a special occasion was when uncle marty came back from wwII and we all celebrated at her home

she was fiercely independent and drove a 1948 chevrolet coupe with hand controls. she would drive around the country as often as once a year with uncle marty visiting all there relatives. in 1958 i bought the car from her for $100 and with friends drove around the country for the summer.

we last saw her in 1966 when we- iris and beth- moved to california and stopped in miami beach to see her. uncle marty was living with her at that time and she was in a late stage of cancer. til the end she was always encouraging to anyone she knew.

i stayed at her apartment once when i was a teen and found out that she wrote poetry daily- encouraged me to try it or if not that find something i could love for a lifetime.

erica was named after her.

Test of Private Post – Login to View

This post will only be seen by people who have logged in. I am using the “Members” plug-in for WordPress, and restricting access to users who have logged in who are designated Contributors (as well as the admins, Ricky and Kimberly).

Anyone who posts as a Contributor can designate a Post as private by using the settings at the bottom of the WordPress page for creating or editing the Post. I will be explaining to everyone how to create and edit posts over the next few days, once Kimberly finishes setting up all the family members as Contributors on the site.

Here is a screenshot of the control area for restricting access to content: