Larry Geller's Family Tavern

by Larry Geller

My family retained their "tavern" on Ferry Street near Market after having moved "uptown" in 1924 to what eventually became the Weequahic Section. My paternal grandparents, Sam & Ida Geller owned the wood frame multi-storied and mixed use building for over 50 years that housed Sam's Tavern and a number of apartments; in fact, from time-to-time as a child I would visit them and my Dad (who supplemented our family income as a photographer while working long hours for his folks at the bar) and I can still recall the sights and smells so characteristic of that old building. The pool table comes to mind. The dim daylight filtering through the windows and settling on the worn but polished wood bar. The spittoons and barstools. The cigar, beer, mixed drink & cigarette odor had a particular pungency that I still associate with "tavern", "bar".

Experiences do shape our lives. My dad Maurice Geller now 83 and his younger brother Dave now 70 have never been known to taste any form of alcohol. The building as well as our two family home on Clinton Place were eventually sold along with the business, approximately 10 years after my grandfather's death and our decision to join the exodus to the suburbs in the mid '60's.

My dad's maternal grandparents settled in Newark on Somme Street, after moving their family down from Gloversville NY probably near the beginning of the 20th century.


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: