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David Ginsburg

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Death: Died in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Bernard Israel Ginsburg and Vetta Ginsburg
Husband of Alice Olia Ginsburg
Father of Bernad Ginsburg and Private User
Brother of Alexander Ginsburg; Sam Ginsburg; Jake Ginsburg and Jenny Stone

Managed by: Ellen Renay Ginsburg Caplan
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About David Ginsburg

    David was born in Los Angeles, on the tenth of July, 1905. His 
parents are Israel Bernard and Vetta Alter, immigrants from Bucharest 
Romania. He is their fifth child. His older siblings were Sam,  Anna 
(died at 14 months), Jacob(Jay), and Alex. After him, his parents had 
another girl, Jennie.  He is the first of his siblings to be born in Los 
Angeles.

     David was a very quiet child by nature, and generally followed 
directions. HIS sister however, who was a year younger, was a little more 
of a trouble-maker, and he followed her lead.  When it was time to have 
their tonsils out, Jennie went first and was such trouble that by the 
time they got to David, the doctors tied him down even though he was 
compliant!  

   David did not have a Bar mitzvah, which is very curious because his 
mother Vetta was a religious woman, and his father a founding member of 
the congregation Mogen Dovid.

   He had to walk both ways to school and carry his own books.  He was an 
average student or slightly above receiving mostly "B's" and some "C's" 
and "A's", David attended Jefferson High School from 1918-1923, taking a 
break after the tenth grade. During that year he work for a year at a 
fruit canning plant in or around Hemmet, Ca., to help his family 
financially.  Also as a teen, he went to stay with a cousin in the 
Concord area and worked there and the surrounding farms, during various 
summers. He had wanted to play the drums, but his parents were unable to 
afford the drums or the lessons.

     At Jefferson High in Southeast Los Angeles, he did well in his 
studies and had a flair for handwriting and Calligraphy.  He worked on 
the school newspaper, periodicals and the yearbook, and worked in the 
student store. He had lots of friends and was social.  He did not 
however, win any awards at the time.  Dave had wanted to be an auto 
mechanic when he finished high school but there were no "paying" jobs to 
be had, and as he needed to earn money, he turned down the many 
apprentice offers he received.

    After graduation, he held a few jobs, one of which was in a toy store 
downtown where he met Alice Enfield.  His parents did not accept her 
graciously, due to some facial and extremity disfigurements resulting 
from childhood illness.  .

     Right before his marriage to Alice,  he went to live in Yosemite 
National Park where he had secured the job of lodge manager through his 
brother Jay who had lived there for three years and had helped build the 
Awanee Hotel. Jay was one of the first chefs there.  Dave worked in the 
lodge  for two years running the gift shop.  He wrote very poetic letters 
and prose to Alice very often signing  himself "Dovishkenette". He loved 
hiking and spent much of his free time hiking through the back country.   
 

   After the  wedding, in 1929, he took Alice up to Yosemite for his last 
year.  His wife secured a job as a secretary to the superintendent of the 
park. They lived in a small cabin in the old village which was dismantled 
in the early 40's.  His wife shared his love for Yosemite and very much 
liked her work, but being so far away from her family proved to be too 
much for her. When he brought his wife back to Los Angeles, he and his 
wife bought a  liquor store, which was situated under their apartment. 
One night David was held up at gunpoint. Alice, hearing unusual 
commotion, came downstairs, only to see her husband with a gun pointed at 
his head. It caused her a nervous breakdown and she  had to be 
hospitalized for several months. The doctor suggested that they sell the 
store, which they did.

    Shortly after that, in 1931 Dave had a burst appendix. The infection 
had spread throughout the entire abdomen. The doctors told his wife that 
there was nothing that they could do. His only chance was to try to let 
the sun burn out the infection. They left him with three gapping holes, 
as the preferred medical intervention, to dry up the infection. The wound 
would not heal. In addition he came down with TB. It took over five years 
to overcome his maladies. Alice had to work since Dave couldn't. They 
moved into an apartment a block and a half away from his parents. David 
would go up to the roof and spent many hours lying in the sun, trying to 
heal. His mother would come every day to care for him, while his wife was 
at work. .  

   After awhile, Dave got back to doing light work. Following the lead of 
many extended family members, he applied for a government job. In the 
meantime, his father-in-law gave him a job as a baker in his bakery. His 
talents were expressed in creating desserts. 

    After feeling that they were well enough to have a child, Bernad 
Robert was born on March 13, 1937. In 1938 David secured a position as a 
civil servant, working for the state of California, and maintained this 
line of work until he retired. He lived on the east side of Los Angeles, 
aside from a year spent in Sacramento. The vacation spot was Yosemite. In 
1940 he purchased a parcel of land in East LA and built a home, copying 
the architectural plans of a home they had seen. The address was 1892 
Marney Ave. It was a two bedroom home with a living room,  an open den, a 
kitchen, an eating area, and a indoor back porch for a washing machine. 
There was also central heating.

     On August 7, 1941, Sandra Joan was born. Eight days later Alice's 
arm was operated on, to ease the effects of her childhood bout with polio.

   Within a couple of years after Sandra's birth it was revealed that 
Dave was having an affair with a woman at work and wanted to divorce 
Alice.  He said she was pretty and he was "proud to be seen with her in 
public". He wanted to take Sandra with him and leave Bernie with his 
mother because Bernie meant so much to Alice.  Alice would not agree to a 
divorce and so Dave volunteered for a service leave and went to work for 
the Department of War, as a trial separation. He was stationed in Alaska 
at a base on Adak Island, and then on Aitu Island, in the Aleutian 
Islands chain.  He sent mail and money regularly and wrote poetic letters 
to Alice. The reason for his absence was kept from his children until 
their teen years.  What his daughter remembers of the day Alice drove 
Dave to the train station, is him vanishing down a tunnel.

     When his service was finished, he came back to his home, having 
completely given up notions of the other woman. The reunion with his 
family, his wife and children, his  in-laws and mother, was joyous and 
anxiety ridden, as to be expected. It took awhile for all to get back to 
normal.  

   Dave returned to his job as a civil servant, working in the State of 
California unemployment office, where he stayed for the rest of his 
working days.  

   The favorite vacation spot continued to be Yosemite(although other 
locations were also reached. Dave would take his two children on many 
hikes. They would frequent the tops of Yosemite, Vernal and Nevada Falls, 
and he would tell them stories about his life in Yosemite.  He took them 
to the museum and post office and main buildings where he had worked and 
visited.  He was a supportive dad during those vacations, staying at the 
inexpensive places, but having fun.  

   At home though, he was not such a "hands on" father. Although he 
expected his children to preform well in school, he really didn't help 
much with homework or projects - it was all up to the kids to get their 
things in on time and done well.  Dave did not think that a "C" grade was 
OK. Although his children were involved in many extra curicular 
activities, he rarely showed up to watch them play or preform.

     In 1946, Alice became a secretary in a Jewish after school program 
which introduced her to many organizations in which she became involved.  
Dave however, only became involved with the social events of the Shule.  
Within the Couples Club of the American Jewish Congress, he was witty, 
social, self confident, and active.  He enjoyed himself and had some 
friendships outside of work.  His closest friend was Max Ross whom he 
knew from work.   

   For one Purim, he dressed up as Father Time with a sheet wrapped 
around him with much flesh showing!  He had fun with it. They spent most 
New Years Eves with the Shule extended family and the kids were included 
too.  He enjoyed watching sports on his Hoffman Easy Vision television 
with wrestling and Roller Derby being his favorites.  He even took his 
son and daughter, separately,  to football games where they sat on the 50 
yard line of a Rams home game in a box which belonged to someone he met 
through work. He took her to see Roller Derby games many times.  

   There were family events with all the Ginsburg cousins, the extended 
Alter family picnics with over 200 people, Enfield eating events at the 
beach, and Alhambra Synagogue Center, where Alice was Principal of the 
Religious School.  Summer had picnics at Alhambra Park and swimming.  
Because of Dave's humongous scar from his early years, he never went into 
a  swimming pool. He did however, go into the ocean  at Ocean Park, in 
Venice, CA. where his in-laws lived.  He taught  his children to swim and 
go beyond the breakers.

     In 1957, Dave and Alice had saved enough money to move from East LA 
where the school was becoming increasingly more Hispanic/Chicano.  They 
moved to the Fairfax area where many Jewish families had moved.     Their 
 new house, at 728 S. Spaulding Ave. had three bedrooms, a large living 
room, dining room, kitchen and eating area and two bathrooms.  It was 
across the street from the La Brea Tar Pits and eventually the LA Art 
Museum.  It was a duplex, so they received rent from the tenants upstairs.

        His son graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, East Los 
Angeles Junior College, and UCLA, and his daughter graduated from Fairfax 
High-school, and Los Angeles State College.   

      In 1959 Dave suffered a severe heart attack. His son, his 
daughter-in-law Ellen, and first grandchild (and only grandson), Yankel,  
had moved to Cincinnati. His daughter was on a Jewish Exchange Program in 
Israel.  This was to be the first of seven heart attacks during the next 
thirteen years. He could no longer work so he began selling insurance 
from the house and did that until his death in 1972.  

  He tried to travel, even going across country to New York, Cincinnati 
by train, and by bus to Quebec,  and even visited his son and family in 
Israel once. After a while,  it became difficult for him to travel 
without landing in the hospital.  He enjoyed his grandchildren very much 
and loved to watch them.  When his son moved to Israel it became 
difficult for him because they were all so far away.  He wasn't used to 
his family being so far away.  

   He had very little strength and sat a lot. He Ioved anyone who would 
play cards with him.   He didn't complain or confide in his children so 
they do not know his inner thoughts. He tried to do well for his family 
and wanted to help them if they needed it,  but he would never have asked 
them to change their plans for him. He did not want to be a burden on 
anybody.

     He told his children that the best thing that they could do in life 
is to leave the Earth a little better than they found it. He also would 
say to make sure that you get value for your money.

   David Ginsburg died in Los Angeles on August 7, 1972, the 27th of the 
month of Menachem Ov. He is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park in 
Culver City, California.
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David Ginsburg's Timeline

1905
July 10, 1905
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
1937
March 13, 1937
Age 31
Los Angeles, California
1972
August 7, 1972
Age 67
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
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