1926, my grandmother, Carmela Adamo, Sr, bought and renovated our house on 69th Avenue. She added a six window porch with stained glass at the top of each window. In 1962, my father, Anthony Adamo, again renovated our house. He replaced the six windows and discarded the stained glass.
Jeffrey Himmelstein’s mother, Frieda, who lived across from us, salvaged the glass and made a window for her living room. Last year, the new owners of the Himmelstein house renovated their house and put the stained glass window out with the trash.
My son, Michael, was passing and saw the glass window and remembered the story I had told him. So, he took the glass and brought it back to me. My husband, Mike, built a chapel on our property and placed the stained glass window inside.
Carmela Adamo D’Angelo
George Keuling – Jul 15, 2010
What a great story. That only proves, “what goes around comes around.”
Herbert Teicher – Jul 16, 2010
I promised Jeffrey a mystery ride to the Catskills and when we arrived at Mike and Carmela’s charming country home, we had no idea what was in store for us.
Although they had not seen Jeffrey for almost 50 years they knew at first sight who he was. At that moment Carmela reminded Jeffrey of the stained glass windows and a bit later he had such a nice surprise which brought him so close to tears when he saw the windows which had been long a part of his childhood home on 69thAvenue, just across the street from the Adamo’s.
Mike had made a shrine out of bluestone, taken from the mountain top quarry just above his house. The centerpiece of the shrine were the windows, which had been reframed by Archie Himmelstein, and now had been restored with the same level of love and craftsmanship by Mike. Jeffrey spent a moment alone in the shrine and when he came out it was quite obvious how deeply he had been touched.
Then we all sat down and talked about that Camelot of places called Middle Village with the stories and laughs knowing no end and indeed parting was such sweet sorrow.
That evening we called Frieda and she was delighted to hear the story and then there was one more twist to the tale of the windows. She and Archie also took an old wooden sewing cabinet that he restored and today is a centrepiece in Frieda’s home in Florida.
The cabinet had been Carmela’s mother’s!
In Yiddish there is a wonderful word, “Mishpukah”‘ which means family or relatives. It certainly would not be a stretch to say that the Himmelstein’j and the D’Angelos are “Mishpouka” through this delight of a history with the windows and the cabinet which had been loved and enjoyed by both families.
George Keuling – Jul 17, 2010
I think when you use the word “Mishpukah” it not only brings to mind the Himmelsteins’ and the D”Angelos” but I would like to say it brings together anyone that was born or lived in “Middle Village”.
Stay Healthy and keep in touch,
Louise Muzio – Jul 18, 2010
What an incredible story and a tribute to Mike’s artistry and the reverence that you both have towards family history.
Vincent Esposito – Jul 23, 2010
That was one heck of a story, and really illustrates what a great neighborhood we grew up in.
It only exists in memory now, but what memories they are, and what a great job everyone does in keeping our Middle Village memories alive on this website, It’s the closest thing we have to reliving it. We are so incredibly fortunate to have this forum,
Let’s keep it going as long as we can.
Herbert Teicher – Jul 31, 2010
There is one more anecdote to the story of these windows. Carmela would often see Frieda Himmelstein shopping at Buckstein’s Grocery and noticed that she often bought grapefruit juice. One day Carmela asked Frieda why she always bought the juice and she answered that it helped her keep her figure in place.
When I asked Frieda if that was true about the juice she, with her well known modesty, denied buying it. But there is no doubt in my mind that Carmela has all the facts in place and Jeffrey remembers that their fridge always had grapefruits or juice.