Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Very Special Happy Birthday To Anna Kurtz Who Is 101 Years Old Today

We wish Anna Kurtz of Mountaindale a very special "Happy Birthday" today. This Centenarian celebrates her 101 birthday today. Anna who was born October 12, 1910 on Henry Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan has lived in our area for a very long time. She is one of three sisters, the other two being Sylvia (Goldress) Rosenthal, and Bertha/Birdie (Goldress) Rothstein. Her parents, Abe and Minnie Goldress, moved the family to Mountaindale in 1916 where Abe sold bottled propane, and worked as an electrician.

In 1938 Anna married the love her life, Joe Kurtz and together they had a son Chet Kurtz who was born in 1943.

When Anna (Goldress) Kurtz was born, William Howard Taft was our President, and six years later when she and her family moved to Mountaindale, Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States, and America had not yet entered into World War I. In 1938 when Anna married Joe Kurtz, World War II was looming after Japan had invaded China, and the president of the United States was Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The world changes and history Anna has seen unfold are monumental in scope. Henry Ford started production of the Model T (Tin Lizzie) just two years before Anna's birth in 1908. She was just a toddler when the Titanic sank in April of 1912. Pick almost any major news story or event in the 20th Century, and Anna was here as it unfolded, from the assassinations of Martin Luther King and the Kennedy brothers to the United States putting a man on the moon in 1969, Anna has witnessed history, seen first hand the dramatic changes in how we live our lives, and the technology which makes the world go around.

So Anna Kurtz, we wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY as you celebrate being 101 today.

*Note-The Manhattan Bridge was being built in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1910, the year Anna was born. (See picture of construction.)

*In conversation with her son Chet this morning, we learned that Anna is a huge fan of "Wheel of Fortune", and was upset that she missed one of the puzzles she should have known.

The O&W Steam Locomotive “Mountaineer” 405 started service in Mountaindale the year Anna was married (1938)...the painting of the “Mountaineer” heading south along the West Shore of the Hudson River is in 1938 or 1939. This “Streamstyled” upscaled train lasted only until WWII really got under way. The "Mountaineer" began regular service June 24, 1938 traveling a 135 mile route from Weehawken, NJ all the way to Roscoe, NY. The trip took just about 5 hours. The "Mountaineer" stopped in Mountaindale just in front of the Goldress home and business.

Anna blessed us this morning with an old Irving Berlin Hit from 1918 which she sang at our old High School: "Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning"...Wish I had brought a video camera with me! The Lyrics...which she recalled perfectly:

I've been a soldier quite a while
And I would like to state
The life is simply wonderful
The Army food is great
I sleep with ninety-seven others in a wooden hut
I love them all
They all love me
It's very lovely but

Oh!How I hate to get up in the morning
Oh!How I'd love to remain in bed

For the hardest blow of all
Is to hear the bugler call
Ya gotta get up
Ya gotta get up
Ya gotta get up this morning

Someday I'm going to murder the bugler
Someday they're going to find him dead

I'll amputate his reveille
And step upon it heavily
And spend the rest of my life in bed

The You Tube Video of this song: