I Wonder What My Grandfather Would Say?

April 21, 2016 § 8 Comments

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Happy Boxing Day And Birthday To My Grandfather Ben Benjamin.

December 26, 2015 § 1 Comment

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Salvatore Ferragamo Windows, Christmas 2015.

December 26, 2015 § 1 Comment

In 1955 my grandfather, Ben Benjamin, then the general manager for I. Miller shoes embarked on a European trip to help improve the production value of the I. Miller shoes being manufactured in Europe.  In the letter below, written while they were in Italy, Salvatore Ferragmo’s sister, Rosina Ferragamo, is mentioned as worth seeing.DSC_9246

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Here’s To All The Unique Dads, Near And Far, Past And Present.

June 21, 2015 § 6 Comments

How could I not post this on Father’s Day! Here’s to my ‘one of a kind’ dad Arthur L. Benjamin.

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For The Veteran In My Life.

May 23, 2015 § 1 Comment

A short film for Memorial Day Weekend.

Photographers, what kind of camera is my dad holding? Fashion enthusiasts note the Hermès Birkin style handbag.


The Pump With A Certain Bow.

April 23, 2015 § 5 Comments

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Among the family slides I found one of a shoe and wonder if it’s the pump my grandfather told me about as a child.

Then I created a little pump with a certain bow on it…and that’s what kept us busy…Well that little shoe, forget now what the name… we had a name for it…And I kept on creating new things.  – Ben Benjamin

Ben Benjamin Appointed By United States Secretary Of Labor As Special Employer Representative To Meeting In San Juan, Puerto Rico.

March 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

A year into this blog and I’m still searching for the year that my grandfather went to Puerto Rico.  I found another news clipping recently, but again with no date.  My guess is sometime in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s.  He bought his house in Florida in 1957 and retired from I. Miller shoes sometime after 1955…back to the library.Puerto Rico ClippingGrandpa FL

Happy Boxing Day And Birthday To My Grandfather.

December 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today December 26th, Boxing Day has a very special meaning for me. It’s the day my grandfather, Ben Benjamin was born.

THE HISTORIALIST:INTRODUCING BEN BENJAMIN [1891 – 1982] | DESIGNER & SHOEMAKER | PART 1

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Sam, Dinah and Benjamin Benjamin

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Benjamin Home Movies

December 9, 2014 § 6 Comments

Growing up there was a rusted metal box in one of our closets that was filled with cans of 16mm film. As a child they seemed kind of creepy to me. Trapped memories. We had no way to watch them. By the time I was old enough to appreciate their value they had started to disintegrate. They had that vinegary smell that old film gets. Now working at a post house in New York that transferred film to tape, on one of my visits to my mother’s I put all of the film in ziplock bags and took it back with me on the plane to New York. I was able to transfer most it. A few rolls were badly melted and fused together, so had to be thrown out.  Most of the film was so delicate that we opted not to clean it before we transferred it. Again like the family photos there was little information written on the film boxes. –Sometimes I think of the journey that the photographs and films have made. Leaving New York, traveling thousands of miles to sit in a closet for years untouched then back to where they started. I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing them come to life. When I began my blog almost a year ago I posted this clip, so some of you who have been following may remember it. It’s a short sampling of some of the film footage I put together when I was working in Post Production.

Elusive Memories And The Crash Of 1929.

November 29, 2014 § 12 Comments

I’ve imagined for so long the stories that were told to me that they’ve become part of my own memory. My dad traveled when we were children so my sisters and I spent a lot of time with our grandfather. He taught us to remember who and where we came from and no matter how much money you have you’ll never be poor if you know your history. He wasn’t what I would think of as religious, but lit candles every Friday night and said prayers. He believed in Jewish Mysticism before it was trendy and told us about a man in London that he met when he was young who read the bumps on his head and told him about how in the future everyone would be watching a box. When he couldn’t sleep at night he would lay in bed imagining fantastical machines he would invent and later tell us about them. I also remember him telling us that he didn’t suffer during the great depression because he hadn’t put everything in the stock market. Seemingly conservative – but also extremely open minded. Because of his heart condition my parents were very protective of him. I remember when my aunt had cancer and I overheard them saying they were afraid to tell him how bad it was, keeping him from the news until she died and making sure he was sitting down with a glass of scotch when they did tell him. I never understood why they didn’t have faith that someone who had experienced so much loss wouldn’t be able to handle it — he did. He told us he believed in moderation. Maybe, because of his humble beginnings. That having too much of anything wasn’t good and took pride in telling us that he used the money he did make to bring his brothers and sisters to America.

We always made a profit. Even through the depression in 1929 and 30 we still made a profit.  We didn’t lose any money see?  Ben Benjamin talking about Schwartz and Benjamin.(from the tapes I made as a child)

I recently found this album full of beautiful unmarked photos.  I never knew my grandfather when he was healthy and physically strong so it’s fun to see him in a different light and amazing to remember the adversity that he overcame from his Dickensian childhood. I’m guessing they’re from the late 1920’s or early 1930’s.

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