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About Me

My ancestry: I have had the honor of having many people tell me over the years that my ancestry is very much like something out of  some "war-torn Spielberg movie," and it may well be true. Indeed, my ancestry is riddled with bits and pieces of some of the most tragic times in world history. Anyway, here in full, is my family tree's history as far back as the stories go that I have grown up hearing and/or the details I have been able to keep track of  and remember over the years.

My grandma, Sonhjia Kannovkawitz  (Bubba as we called her because Bubba is the Polish/Russian word for granny) was born in a 2 room log cabin in Vorkuta, Siberia (now the Former Soviet Union, thanks to the results of the Golf War in 1991) on January 7, 1910. Bubba was  the youngest and last child born into a family of an astonishing 22 siblings, 13 brothers and 9 sisters, bringing the family's total to 23 children). With such a large family, tragedy and sickness were very frequent. The family was penniless and often went for 2 or more days without food. After one child died of Cholera and 3 more died of malnutrition, the two oldest brothers ran away and were never seen or heard from again. Searching for a better life, the remaining 17 siblings and their parents (of whom I have heard only the vaguest details about) moved to Sakiai, Lithuania in the 1920's. This move was also partly in due to the destructive horror sweeping over Russia under the rule of the Czar Nicholas II who ruled during that time. Bubba came to South Africa from Lithuania in 1929. My mother was born in Pretoria, South Africa on December 18, 1943. My mom's dad (of whom I know very little about) died when my mom was only 4 years old because he was executed for being accused of being a foreign spy. My mom grew up, poor,  in a tiny apartment with 3 older brothers and Bubba worked 6 days a week in a bike shop just to make ends meet. Despite being Jewish, my mom attended Catholic Schools taught by Nuns, and had very few friends. Grandma Bubba died in 1986. My mom's 1st oldest brother, David, currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her 2nd oldest brother, Notch, lives in Israel. Her 3rd older brother, Heggie, lives in Sydney Australia, but my mom has many cousins, nieces, and nephews in England, Denmark and some  parts of Europe. 

Fay Chaplin, (my dad's grandma and my great grandmother) was born on the Lower East Side of New York in 1892. Her mother died of T.B. (Tuberculosis) in 1901 just a few days before President McKinley was shot. Her father never remarried and Fay grew up as an only child. Her father was an exceedingly strict and overbearing man, often lashing out very cruel and inhuman punishments for misbehavior.  Growing up with aspirations of wanting to be in Vaudeville and be an actress (a dream she carried with her until her death and one that many people in my family thought very foolish), Fay married Grandpa Jake (as we used to call him since I don't think anyone remembers his full name anymore) in 1914. They had a son in 1916, my Uncle, Aaron Chaplin. Aaron went on to become a WWII veteran (receiving the Purple Heart Award for saving a fellow soldier's life at Omaha Beach, Normandy on June 6, 1944). Aaron is now 88-89 years old and currently dying of Bone Cancer. My dad's mom (Charlotte Chaplin) was born  in 1918 and the family moved to Chicago in the 1920's. Grandpa Jake was one of the very rare, very few lucky ones who didn't loose everything in the stock market crash known as The Great Depression on October 31, 1929. 

In 1939, Charlotte met Paul Friedman at some community convention and the two married just 2 weeks later. Paul is my dad's dad and the only grandparent I have left alive today. My dad was born on December 20, 1941on the South Side of Chicago in a two floor, brownstone house. His sister (my aunt Cookie, was born 3 years later on November 17, 1944, and my Uncle Larry, was born on April 6, 1951. My dad grew up being pampered by colored maids and going to the finer schools, and leading a rather rich life style. Grandpa Paul ran a personally owned liquor business in Chicago for over 40 years which is where the family got most of it's money. Grandpa Jake died in 1979 of Syphilis and Granny Fay (as we called her) died in 1988  at age 96 of old age (but she had to be put in institutions and hospitals more then 15 times throughout her life for attempting suicide and for sever chronic depression). Grandma Charlotte died on December 11, 1998 after suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for 17 years. No one in my family wants to have anything to do with Uncle Aaron because he never even once visited his sister for the 17 years she was in the nursing home and didn't even bother coming to her funeral. Needless to say, he will die as a  very lonely, very rejected man. To make matters worse, no one wants to speak of Granny Fay because everyone thinks she was crazy. When my dad was born, she spoiled him rotten but when Cookie and Larry were born, she completely ignored them both and didn't want to have anything to do with them. Why she favored my dad, I'll never know, but back to the subject at hand.....

My grandpa, Paul Friedman (this might not of been his Russian name as it was the custom for all immigrant officials to automatically change almost all foreign names upon that person(s) arrival into America) was born in Minsk, Russia on December 5, 1916. After Paul's father (which would be my great-grandfather) died of starvation in a concentration camp somewhere in the Godforsaken wilderness of  Siberia and his mother was brutally murdered by the Kazaks, my grandpa came to America through Castle Gardens in New York with his only remaining family member, his older brother, Morrie, in the late 1920's. Morrie died in 2003 at the age of 98. My grandpa Paul is still alive today and is 88-89 years old, and is our family's last link to the old country, but remembers absolutely nothing of his childhood anymore. dad, seeing he was starting to fall into the anti-war movement in the 1960's, went to Israel for a change of scenery, and worked on a chicken farm and in the steel mills for several years in Rishon le Ziyyon, Israel. My mom moved to Israel when she was 18 and worked for 12 years on a Kibbutz (a Jewish community) as a nurse's aid. While on a trip with some friends, she met my dad in the lobby of some hotel and and they were married 6 months later. They came back to America and my brother was born on October 24, 1974, in Skokie. I was born on July 8, 1980 in Skokie. We moved to Glenview when I was 1 year old in 1981, where we have remained ever since, thus ends my story. 


The basics:

Name: Leora Friedman

Age: 25

Height: 5'1

Weight: Not telling...(alright...I'll give you a hint: I'm bigger then a size 5, but less then a size 14.)

Hair: Auburn (currently dyed blonde)

Eyes: Brown

DOB: July 8, 1980

Occupation: Dog handler

Home State: Illinois, U.S.A. 

Religion: Jewish

My pets:: Some tropical fish, 1 albino hamster, and 2 cats (I used to breed mice for a hobby when I was a teenager)

Hobbies/interests/favorite things: British/Irish/and Scottish Movies and TV shows on BBC, (I like many other kinds of movies too). I'm a huge fan of Monty Python. Drawing, shopping, Japanese Animation and Manga comics, Elfquest--especially Skywise (^_^), lots of sci-fi and fantasy stuff, anything regarding The Lord of the Rings and J.R.R. Tolkien (^_^), Celtic/Irish/Scottish/Bagpipe music. (I also love many other forms of music including heavy metal, and classic rock). Reading (I'm a regular bookworm), collecting various comic books and graphic novels, current events, world history, both modern and ancient history, archaeology, and paleontology. I'm also a computer geek and I have a fascination with weaponry and I collect swords and other types of weapons for decoration (No guns! I hate guns!).

My personality: I'm very quiet and very shy so I have trouble making friends because I often keep to myself. However, I can also tend to be very hyper and talkative if I really get to know someone well. I'm also very obsessive compulsive and superstitious and I believe very strongly in jinxes. I can be very outgoing and selfless and I have a good heart because I'm always helping and giving to those less fortunate.

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