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andybarlow
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« #135 : April 24, 2024, 12:35:55 AM »

Please post that evidence about Cedar Knolls Home and Sing Sing

I'd like to help but at present I'm busy with other matters and my subscription to a genealogy company lapsed many years ago. Some censuses are free to search but it's very time consuming and may well not provide any useful results. Take the 1950s census which was recently published. In theory you can search the census free of charge at https://1950census.archives.gov/ which I tried a couple of days ago. Putting in "Harry Goldberg" and "Bronx" should have brought up some useful information but it didn't. I think OCR is used without any human input, surnames are only linked to the head of a family and there are no advanced search facilities.

Having given up on free searches I went to ancestry.com. I used them many years ago when I was building my own family tree but once I completed my tree, I didn't need their services anymore and my subscription lapsed. The site suggested I log in using my Google details and to my surprise it recognised my email address, said I had an account and let me access the 1950s census free of charge. Within literally seconds it gave me the information I wanted and provided links to other items relating to Harry Goldberg. When I tried to get information from the other links however I was informed that I needed to renew my subscription to get details which is fair enough but one I'm not considering any time soon.

In the last ten years I've probably changed my computer six times and any useful information I had has long since disappeared. In the book Grey mentions Wilson declaring war on Germany (6 April 1917) and subsequently describes Noodles' enforced stay at Cedar Knolls. He then reveals that his stay at Cedar Knolls lasted 18 months and when he left there, Prohibition had started (1920). This implies to me that his stay at Cedar Knolls started in the second half of 1918 or in 1919. Noodles renews his friendship with Max similar to a scene in the movie.

I don't want to deter others who may want to look into Grey's reported imprisonment in Sing Sing but I am aware of comments from people who have tried it. I believe between 1930 and 1950 there were two or three Goldbergs according to a guy who had a Jewish ancestor imprisoned in Sing Sing but the comments were that it was impossible to say whether any or none of them related to Grey.

A couple of further points:
1 - In The Hoods Grey states: "I'll treat it as escapist stuff, omitting time and slightly camouflaging the place" whatever that means. In the book Mano Armato it's slightly different: "Una specie di storia romanzata, cambiero le date, alterero un poco la verita, aggiungero qualcosa di fantasia." which Google translates as:"A kind of fictionalized story, I'll change the dates, I'll alter the truth a little, I'll add something fictional. "
2 - Of course since Harry "Noodles" Grey can't be in 2 places at the same time and unless the family were being untruthful, according to censuses he wasn't in Sing Sing on April 1 1930, April 1 1940 or April 1950 (snapshots at a particular single day). As I've stated before I've had no success in tracking down any of the family in 1935. I've not searched 1945. It's also stated in the 1920 census that Harry was a boarder with the Rosenfeld family in Clinton Ave Bronx on 1 January 1920.

« : April 24, 2024, 03:35:43 AM andybarlow »
gabriele.723
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« #136 : April 24, 2024, 07:34:21 AM »

Leone said Harry told him he wrote The Hoods while he was doing time in Sing Sing in the '50s; since it was first published in 1952, either he's been there in 1950 or '51 or I suppose it was a few years earlier, or maybe he just meant he *finished* writing it when in Sing Sing e.g. the book was already well under way before him being imprisoned (supposed he ever was).

Now: I can't do it because it's an impossible task for a non-US citizen, as you can guess, but some of you guys could look into Sing Sing's admission registers and data-cross that information with census records; if we'll discover he was actually in there, maybe we could see the crimes he was detained for (gang activity or something unrelated).

For the other thing, Harry's photo, we'll never be able to see it at this point unless it can be sourced from some database like Ancestry's, unless there's an other way I can't think of.


« : April 25, 2024, 06:22:45 AM gabriele.723 »
andybarlow
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« #137 : April 27, 2024, 09:18:27 AM »

Ron Arons has recently died. He discovered that his great-grandfather was an inmate in Sing Sing, decided to compile a database of Sing Sing Jews and subsequently wrote a book called The Jews of Sing Sing.

I believe that his database covers the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, has 70 Goldbergs and is no longer searchable. There are 4 Harry Goldbergs, none of which are our guy but of course some inmates use aliases and errors can occur.









Regarding the Jewish reformatory school in Hawthorne, Mount Pleasant, Westchester, knowing how Grey manipulates dates and facts, there is the possibility that he stayed at Cedar Knolls earlier than given in the book. There are others who have taken the name Harry Goldberg but I haven't come across any that lived in New York, were born in 1901 and had Russian parents.





Regarding dates the first edition was published and copyright


« : April 27, 2024, 02:11:46 PM andybarlow »
gabriele.723
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« #138 : April 27, 2024, 03:40:15 PM »

Great job man!

Btw does it mean he's never been in Sing Sing since none of the four HG is him?

« : May 02, 2024, 04:22:00 AM gabriele.723 »
andybarlow
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« #139 : April 27, 2024, 11:24:18 PM »

Great job man!

Btw does it mean he?s never been in Sing Sing since none of the four HG is him?

It's not conclusive but it's likely and it illustrates how difficult it would be to get definitive proof. I'm not a U.S. citizen either. I suppose the positive note is that Leone was interested in fables rather than making documentaries so "The Hoods" was perfect for him. He and his writers made a very good movie out of the source material.

« : April 30, 2024, 11:00:58 PM andybarlow »
gabriele.723
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« #140 : May 02, 2024, 04:24:56 AM »

I mean, if, according to Ron Aron's database, those four Harry Goldberg are the only ones who have ever been to Sing Sing from the 1910s to the 40s and none of them is our guy, then it's final, isn't it?

andybarlow
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« #141 : May 03, 2024, 01:01:15 AM »

I mean, if, according to Ron Aron's database, those four Harry Goldberg are the only ones who have ever been to Sing Sing from the 1910s to the 40s and none of them is our guy, then it's final, isn't it?
As stated in a previous post there are 4 Harry Goldbergs in Ron's database, none of which are our guy but of course some inmates use aliases and errors can occur.  Personally I don't think the evidence we've got is 100% conclusive but it's something readers need to decide for themselves. From a marketing point of view, a book claiming to be written in Sing Sing by an ex hood will attract more sales but publishers should have some responsibility regarding promotional claims.


« : May 03, 2024, 05:30:54 AM andybarlow »
gabriele.723
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« #142 : May 03, 2024, 06:00:08 AM »

How did you look into Ron's database if it's no longer available?


andybarlow
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« #143 : May 04, 2024, 12:01:40 AM »

How did you look into Ron's database if it's no longer available?

I found copies of old information from fansites and the internet I didn't know I still had on one of my External Drives.

« : May 04, 2024, 12:05:01 AM andybarlow »
gabriele.723
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« #144 : May 05, 2024, 04:13:19 PM »

As a whole I think we're unconsciously looking at a semi-fictionalized story of the life of Bugsy Siegel (Noodles) and Meyer Lansky (Max).

I'm sure Harry Goldberg knew quite a few things about both of those big shots (he even mentions them when he describes the Murder Inc. being set up at the Atlantic City conference in 1929), and the more I look at the big picture the more I'm convincing myself they were the characters he modeled himself and Max on.

Benjamin (Ben) "Bugsy" Siegel  - who was a Ukrainian Jewish himself - started off in a street gang in the Lower East Side (when he befriended Meyer Lansky, Polish Jewish himself, just like Max, as his surname Bercovicz suggests, who's been his best friend until his death in 1947), was arrested for raping a woman, reportedly first smoked opium in his youth, was a notorious womanizer, had a quick and very violent temper, was a member of the Murder Inc (he did contract killings for the Syndicate), owned a fancy apartment at the Waldorf Astoria (Noodles owned a condo at Pennsylvania), Bugsy and Lansky were close associates of Frank (Costello).

Noodles and Max's gang seems to be modeled (at my eyes, at least) on the Bugsy and Meyer Mob, which acted as a predecessor to Murder Inc... funnily enough one of his associates was also called Moe (Sedway).

And, last but not least, Murder Inc.'s secret headquarters was a coffee shop (Midnight Rose Candy Store in Brooklyn).. this sounds so much like Fat Moe's bar which served as Noodles' gang's headquarters with one of the phones ringing before they've been given the details of the next hit.



Any similarities?  ;D

Fun fact: De Niro tried to arrange (in vain) a private meeting with Meyer Lansky himself in order to prepare for the role, but he turned down.

andybarlow
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« #145 : May 10, 2024, 09:02:06 AM »

In the book I've not noticed any significant similarities re  Bugsy Siegel (Noodles) and Meyer Lansky (Max). However no doubt Grey, Noodles and Max would have been flattered by the comparison with such important individuals.

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