Today, I received this comment from a former patient of my great-uncle Dr. Louis Tollin, in response to a post titled Maryland: Jewish Museum and genealogy.
Oh my; you are a relative of our beloved Dr. Louis Tollin of Edgemere, Maryland? There are thousands of us from coast to coast that he delivered and took care of our whole lives out of his office in the front of his home on North Pt Rd.
He would come to our houses in the 1950's in what I remember to be a Nash Rambler. I was a child then, but remember him pulling up. He was so funny, always telling jokes to keep us from being scared as he stitched us up in his office or gave us a shot, examined us for eyeglasses or made our medications himself in the little back room.
His son Max I believe worked at "Four Roses" distillery in Dundalk. Mrs. Tollin was his nurse and had red hair.
When I go back home and drive past the home that used to also be his office, it is sad. He was and is a legend in our town. Dr. Louis Tollin will always live on in the Sparrows Point/Edgemere/Fort Howard area of Maryland through the hearts of generations of patients.
What a great way to start a blogging day! Thank you, dear writer, for what is now my favorite comment!
I knew Uncle Lou from his brief summer visits to my grandparents' (his sister Bertha was my maternal grandmother) large bungalow colony in Kauneonga Lake, New York. The only tidbit I had ever heard about his professional life was that he was devoted to Sparrows Point and would never consider moving, despite family suggestions.
It really made my day to hear from this former patient (there was no name, email or location to identify the person or I would have written personally and thanked the writer).
I will expand on this at a later date and add snippets of documents as befits a genealogy blog! But for now, here's a photo of Lou (bottom left), younger brother Samuel, my maternal grandmother Bertha, and their parents Aron Peretz ben Menachem Mendl Talalai (Tollin) and Riva bat Tzalel Bank (c1910; Newark, New Jersey).
The story in the family was that Uncle Lou was afraid of blood. When he was accepted to medical school - the ultimate achievement for every immigrant family - everyone was worried. A relative found him a summer job in a slaughterhouse, which apparently cured him of his fear.
Uncle Lou/Leib was named for his father's illustrious ancestor, Rabbi Leib ben haRav Mikhel Talalai of Mogilev. Lou's father, Aron Peretz ben Menahem Mendl, lived in the Vorotinschtina agricultural colony (adjacent to the hamlet of Zaverezhye) , very close to Mogilev, Belarus, where the main Talalai family lived; Talalai were among the colony's founders. There were other early Talalai branches in Novgorod Severskiy (Chernigov gub., Ukraine), St. Petersburg, Moscow, and elsewhere.
Aron Peretz' wife was Riva bat Tzalel Bank - whom we called Little Grandma for her diminutive stature - was from Petrinisky near Kovno, while Tzalel's brother Gedalia and family lived in Keidan.
Louis was 2, Bertha 5 months old, when they arrived at Ellis Island and settled in Newark, New Jersey. Aron and Riva's family grew with the additions of Samuel (Shmuel), Abe (Avraham) and Harry (Hirsch). Zayde Aron's brother David and his family (his wife was a Visotsky from Bobruisk) also lived in Newark. Extended family had emigrated to New York, Philadelphia, Springfield/Boston, and elsewhere.
Are there any more of Uncle Lou's former patients out there?