Israel Edward Press, O.D. 1920 – 2015: Part 7 – Back to the Future

Dad’s decision to stay in Logan was predicated on it being a special place, in a special time to raise a family and maintain a practice.

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There are many memories wrapped up in that office-home at 4800 North 10th Street, at the corner of 10th and Louden, from the office phone of GL (Gladstone) 7 – 0900 to the improbable storage places that became more difficult to navigate as we grew.  The synagogue at 10th & Rockland, Cong. B’nai Israel – just one block north of us – was a significant focal point of our communal life.

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I had the pleasure of reminiscing a bit last year about experiences there, recounted on page 23 in this report from The Pew Charitable Trusts on Philadelphia’s Changing Middle Class.

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Dad had a branch office at 109 E. Butler Avenue in Ambler, PA.  In that location he hung out his shingle as “I. Edward Press, O.D.”.  Aside from his pursuits in education and optometry, Dad was a huge fan of football and baseball, both of which he played as a teenager.  He went to his first Phillies game at Shibe Park when he was 14 or 15 years old, and was hooked as a fan.  In turn he hooked me, and some of our best bonding occurred at the Park which was renamed Connie Mack Stadium.

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My mother had significant health issues, and I’ll cut to the chase by saying that my parents were divorced before my mother’s inability to function resulted in her being consigned to Ashton Hall Nursing Home in Northeast Philly until her passing in 1987 at the age of 62.  In the interim my father married a widow from New York, Fay Portnoy, and they initially resided in Philadelphia beginning another phase in his life.  The phase changed states after several years, and they relocated to Flushing, NY, enabling them to be closer to Fay’s immediate and extended family.  My father confided in me that he never wanted to leave Philadelphia, though Fay’s family accepted him as one of their own and he was well-received and widely regarded in Kew Garden Hills.  He and Fay had a very loving relationship right to The End.

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About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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