Respondent
Selznick, Milton H.
Interview Date
June 23, 1997
Abstract
Respondent owner, Selznick School of Riding, born 1906.
[T1S1] Respondent provides names of parents: Sol and Ann Pazol Selznick; father born in Kovna, Russia; Respondent came to America with family early 1900s; settled in Cleveland, Ohio where uncle resided; notes uncle father of David O. Selznick, Hollywood producer. Respondent provides background information: gives number of children in grandparents family; explains family move to Pittsburgh and association with Knickerbocker Jewelers at 5<sup>th</sup> and Wood Sts.; notes father raced horses at Schenley Oval; provides additional information on parents families. Respondent gives names of 3 sisters and 2 brothers, born on Herron Hill, describes large home with carriage house; recalls horse stable on Oakland Ave. near Forbes Ave. and path taken from Forbes Field and Phipps Conservatory to reach Schenley Park horse trail; describes horses being tied up in front of Kaufmann's Department store. Respondent recalls father's touring car and trips taken to Logan St. on Hill District: shopped for kosher food; notes family membership at Tree of Life Synagogue on Craft Ave.; later joined Rodef Shalom Temple; comments on 75<sup>th</sup> reunion of his Confirmation Class: 1921; explains religious practices in home; attendance at Osceola School.
[T1S2] Respondent continues description of parents: father fluent in English, mother more observant Jew than father; notes father ostentatious: drove large open automobiles; explains parents never discussed past, only future; describes visits to mother's family in Ohio: poor conditions of roads. Respondent explains family lived on Stanton Ave.; moved to Braddock (1914): recalls father's financial reversal; describes family home on Braddock Ave.; father's purchase of 1<sup>st</sup> pony for Respondent and purchase of first saddle at age 13; father raced horses in Homewood then Schenley Park where Respondent later had stable; recalls Schenley Oval built for horse racing. Respondent gives description of Washington Blvd. gravel road where people could promenade horses; Mayor's concern for horse's tender feet: covered gravel with dirt, describes pure American breed horses (Hamiltonian) pulled sulky; father in many races; few Jewish men entered; explains site of University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning former horse riding school, horses raced on Bellefield Ave. Respondent recalls attendance at Park Place School, only Jew; describes move to large house in Squirrel Hill after father recouped finances; reminisces on meeting 1<sup>st</sup> Jewish friends not associated with Rodef Shalom Temple; describes feelings "like being born again, whole different world opened up." Respondent provides lengthy geographic description of Squirrel Hill: 1919; comments on fire station and horse drawn engines; recalls work at pharmacy at age 15; privileged to know "wonderful group of Jewish boys, originally from Hill District"; many now deceased.
[T2S3] Respondent describes traumatic loss of best friend at age 19: pneumonia; discusses graduation from Peabody High School after 5 years: explains circumstances; notes father's offer for college: only if Respondent would become doctor, offer refused. Respondent mentions World War I: did not enter; drafted into Army during World War II. (20 minutes of tape blank).
[T2S4] Respondent repeats information from previous tapes; gives name of wife: Sheila Silverman, 37 years younger than Respondent, discusses their meeting and marriage: 1963; describes ceremony at Rodef Shalom Temple; her attendance at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA: veterinarian; gives names of son and daughter, their birth dates, education and careers. Respondent explains move from first residence: farm in Allison Park to property owned by Stanley Gumberg in Greensburg, PA: states reasons for move: Gumberg's desire to have partnership with Respondent in riding school; describes grounds and 22 room mansion and carriage house on property; comments on purchasing horses: prices paid and prices received for sale of horses; all pure bred: sent to Kentucky for breeding: finest stallions in the world. Respondent provides additional information on Gumberg family: describes home in Squirrel Hill, gives names of their 3 sons; discusses attendance at Temple Emanuel in Greensburg, PA; notes his children had ponies: not really interested.
[T3S5] Respondent comments on son's Bar Mitzvah: proud moment; notes little socialization with Jewish Community in Greensburg, PA; mentions Stanley Gumberg's illness: 1976, wanted to sell property; Respondent bought a part of the property; Sisters of Charity bought remainder: explains their work. Respondent recalls entering Army, World War II: 1943; worked in cavalry center: Junction City, Kansas; describes work with horses; served 2 years. Respondent comments on wife's interest in fox hunting; reflects on discharge from Army and return to sister's home where mother lived; notes mother's death: age 79; father's death: age 62; remained with mother until marriage.
[T3S6] Respondent comments on his love for horses; states prices he charged for lessons; reflects on enjoyable life and prestige he received from it; discusses places of employment in younger days and business father opened for him at age 16; difficult time. Respondent comments on satisfaction derived from work: enjoys working with his hands, does own stable work and equipment repairs.
[T4S7] Respondent reflects on life: notes logic and common sense important; wished he had made more money; describes raising children: wife in Veterinary school, not at home; lonesome time for Respondent.
Subjects
Gumberg, Stanley; Horses; Pittsburgh (Pa.)--History; Selznick School of Riding
Birth Date
1906
Profession
Business owner
Work
Selznick School of Riding0
Residence
Greensburg
Length (hours)
3.25
Interviewer1
Rubinstein
Interviewer2
Stolzer, Shirley
Indexer
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 106 FF 12
Identifier
ais196440.414
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh