Menachem's Top Matches
About Menachem Bacola
Written by his daughter Lenora:
Max (Menachem) Bacola was born on September 13, 1898. Due to an error on the part of the person deliveriing him, caustic drops were placed in his eye, resulting in 90% diminshed vision in one eye and a far lesser amount in the other. However, this handicap didn't dampen his desire to learn about the world and the people in it. According to Moises Koen, his nephew, both of his parents, Ezra Bacola and Dinoula Colchamiro, were born in Alexandria, Egypt.
He attended the 'Alliance Isrealite' school where at the age of four he learned four languages: Hebrew, Greek, French and Turkish, all with unique alphabets. He added some Albanian being so close to that country, and later English and Yiddish to his collection of tongues. Wherever he traveled he was always conversant.
As the eldest son, he was privileged to be chosen to accompany his father on a business trip, however, when he awoke the following morning, he found his leg tied tthe bed, Jessoula dressed and waving a good bye. Ezra said he would take the son that was ready on time.
Max's daughter Lenora remembers some of the oral history told to her, that has been passed down through generations. One story was that when Alexander traveled in Greece, he alway stayed in Jewish homes with the explanation that Jews were so small a minority, they would never seek to overthrow him. Max's description of Ioannina and Paramithia wwere unbelievable to her because he insisted that he went ice-skating on the lake in the winter and that storksbuilt nests on the roofs of homes. Lenora's greatest regret is that she refused her dad's offer to teach her to speak Greek.
Max arrived in the U.S.A. in 1914, and was admitted as an enemy alien because Turkey, who still controlled Ioannina, was an enemy then. The hopes that he would attend Medical School were thwarted and after trying several businesses, including the proverbial 'restaurant' in Boston, he followed the careers of his family, the Leon Colchamiros, with whom he lived. Max became an expert
in dealing with stretchable fabrics and began inventing parts for power machines that would ease and speed the the production of the garments being manufactured.
On the 27th of March,1921, Max married Sarah Shapiro. She was the daughter of David Shapiro and Leah Zlatoyapko, who was born on the 15th of December 1902 in Kremenchug, Russia. Their first home was on 102nd Street in Manhattan, but soon moved to Kings Bridge Road in the Bronx.
There they had their 2 children, Edward, born on the 7th of January 1922, and Lenora born 41/2 years later on the 7th of May, 1926. After a year they moved to Brooklyn. In the following years they moved from Boro Park to Bensonhurst then to Brighton Beach and in 1940 to a home on 35th Street and Avenue T. All through their early years the children were shown pictures that accompanied letters from Greece which now is an important album of the grandfather,aunts, uncles and cousins who were eliminated because of hate.
During this period of time Max became and Air Raid Warden and policed the local area to see that lights were not visible during air raid drills that took place. Little did he know the fate of his father, his siblings and their families.
In 1943, while Ed was in the Army, stationed in Cheyenne, Wy, Max, Sarah and their daughter Lenora took a train trip to California, visiting with Ed four days and continued on to the Golden State When Max saw the white houses built on the California hills, he exclaimed,"It's just like Paramithia!" Soon after that, the decision was made to make the move there, and in October it became as reality. After being a tremendously successful businessman in New York, he began anew and became one of the original "California Fashion Creators" along with Mr. Stewart of Catalina and Fred Cole of Cole of California.
Soon after WW II Edward joined the firm which was manufacturing children's bathing suits under the name of NORA LEE. Some years later Max's sister Bimbo's son Gino joined them in the successful business.
Max was also involved in community affairs and served on the Board of Sephardic Temple of Los Angeles, was a member of the B'nai Birth, a Shriner, the Treasurer of the Sephardic Club of the City of Hope and was an ardent Zionist. Ed followed his dad's lead and became a Mason.
Max suffered a series of three heart attacks, dating from the early 60's and each time he bounced back with a positive attitude. After the second one in the late 60's he decided he would conquer his fear of flying and finally meet his brother Sion and his family as well as Bimbo's daughters and their families.
When Max and Sarah returned from their second trip to Greece Max and suffered his second heart attack, he decided to create a family tree with information about each of the 11 brothers and sisters of the Colchamiro clan. It was a tremendous task since there were nearly 100 cousins to be accounted for.
Max Bacola died from a cerebral hemorrhage, on February 13, 1979. But not before he finished a family tree, for which ALL the future generations of the Colchamiro Family are truly thankful.