Saturday, April 16, 2011

Have you ever …

Every night, before I sleep, I lay in bed and read a little history.  Than, utilizing the dream cycle, my mind processes the new data and places it in the  context of that already acquired.  Sometimes the sleep is sound; sometimes it is fitful and I approach, or actually do, awake.

Last night I read a chapter from “The House of Wisdom”, and can safely say, my sleep pattern can be grouped with the latter.  Granted, I doubt it was the subject matter – rather, it was probably the combination of foods I had ingested which made me feel like I had been drinking.  Still, I awoke to see a pattern …

In following the R1a1 migration, we have followed a migration from east to west.  In the East, in India, among some Hindu, the Cow is held Sacred.  In the Middle East, from the dawn of agriculture to the notorious Biblical incident -- involving Aaron, Moses and that Golden Calf – the Cow, Calf or Bull were deemed to be Sacred.  In Greece, man emerges from the Bull and we have the Minotaur – which relates to the animal headed divine figures of Egypt.  Travel to the furthest geographic reaches of the period, to Iberia, and we find the classic Bull Fight – Man against Bull, Mortal against the Divine, the lower creature who emerged from the Sacred Bull, at war with the “Godhead.”

Spain, the furthest point in the spread of Islam during the Golden Age; the place where knowledge stops at the precise time it is expanding in the eastern regions.  It is the age of Translation and amplification in the Islamic east, and the age of emerging anti-Semitism in the Spanish and emerging Frankish west.

The is a flow and symmetry to the course of history, knowledge and cultural development.  Perversely, it is the uncultured nomadic Arab, enamored with the wisdom and scholarship of Persia and India, who balances, counteracts, the ignorance emerging in the west.  But that age of Arab enlightenment is short lived, and they fall back into their pattern of murder and mayhem.

In the tenth century, the Golden age crumbles, as a new age of Semitic scholarship arises in the Germanic city of Worms and spreads, is driven or propelled, eastward into what would be created as the Russian Pale – the ancient migration and trade zone of our R1a1 ancestors.

Patterns of knowledge and ignorance.

The uncultured and ignorant Arab persists in that role – those who claim Arab status, but do not fit that role, are really from other groups.  In the east, the Persian have been curators of knowledge for as long as there are records of such.  On the Mediterranean coast, those who claim to be “Palestinian Arab” are, based on yDNA, not “Arab” at all.  Those with ancient ties to the land of “Palestine” are, most likely, descendants of the Judean Tribes of Issachar and Zebulon – the symbiotic tribes of merchants and scholars, the developers and archivists of wisdom who, we are told, were established, over three thousand years ago, by a Biblical Moses.  If they honored themselves, rather than bowed to falsify of the murderous illiterates, these Palestinians would claim their rightful place as merchants and scholars – as many of their people have after venturing to those nations free of Arab domination and a culture based solely upon suicide generated mayhem.

Have you ever awoken to see a pattern?  Have you ever taken the time to think, to place things in context, rather than just accept the ignorance of “traditional” thought – the transient beliefs invoked by those seeking to dominant through the destruction of Humanity, and suppression of Wisdom … those whose guiding light is to bring the most harm to the most people … before it is realized that they offer nothing but death!?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Abram (nee Lipschitz) Lipton c.1873-c.1910

One of the most annoying aspects of genealogy is the lack of data.  We lack records, basic information; even when we have them, we still discover that they are incomplete.  Even when there is a clear mandate for detail, or accuracy -- as with the United States Census -- tens of thousands of people are unaccounted for.  Often they are missing from a critical point in their history, and our inquiry.  Sometimes the information is there, but in a form that requires us to make assumptions and determinations -- with hardly any evidence to support them.

Just such a situation exists in the quest for the facts behind Lawrence Lipton.  Given his Jewish background and stated place of origin -- in Eastern Europe -- we immediately know that his family name was NOT Lipton ... no more than it is the name attached to my lineage.  Given that Jews in that period tended to Americanize their names, and that Lipton was most often the choice of those with the surname Lipshitz, it was no great surprise that this proved to be the case with Lawrence Lipton.  What was a surprise was the fact that his given name went through TWO transformations -- a birth name of Israel, then the unusual immigrant name of Isadore, and finally the literary name of Lawrence.

In a biographical sense, the information on Lawrence tell us all we need to know about and artist & author whose time has -- with the exception of anything that might be gleaned from "The Holy Barbarians" -- passed.  Published in 1959, "The Holy Barbarians" is credited for "making" Venice, California -- making it a place for those who would create the 60's anti-war generation to congregate.  "Barbarians" also contribute to the counterpoint basis for television sitcom "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (1959-1963) and provided the descriptive beatnik role model for the character of "Maynard G. (Walter) Krebs".  Lawrence Lipton documented his viewpoint on his experience with the dawn of a transitional period in American history.  But what do we know of him, or his family?  What do we know of the history which shaped the man and bring us to the writer/educator, Pace University Professor emeritus, James Lipton?

Certainly not as much as you will learn in this blog.

Lawrence's father, Abram (nee Lipshitz) Lipton, was born in, Russian controlled, Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century.  His surname, "Lipschitz", is one of the few exclusively Jewish surname known to exist; it pre-dates the vast majority of European surnames.  We can document it's usage in Slutz (Russian) in the mid-sixteenth century, and connect it to the Wahl (elected) who was the "Jewish King of Poland for a day" (or, vaguely short period in which he was appointed to serve as transitional King until a Christian Polish monarch could be chosen). 
The Livshitz line is noted for its intellectual scholars and Talmudic scholarship.  Arguably, the surname dates to the Roman era border regions in Western Europe -- certainly, the line is connected by marriage to the ancient Rabbinic line of The Rashi -- a Talmudic Scholar of the tenth century Frankish city of Worms (now in Germany).     

Short of locating his naturalization papers, we currently have no information as to Abram's actual date & place of birth, or his parents names -- hence there is a broken ancestral link to the Livshitz scholars, King Wahl and The Rashi -- who is claimed to have been a descendant of the Biblical King David.  However, the 1920 census has Rosa et al naturalized in 1904, based upon an arrival in 1898 -- while possible, it would raise questions as to the parentage of brother Harry (nee Pon Lipshitz) who was born on 10 Jun 1900, and Lawrence had been born in October 1898.  The 1898 date would therefore unlikely, and infer Abram arrived in the States after September 1899 {while we normally speak of nine month gestations, since Greek times, it has been known that ten month, or 305 day, gestations are not unusual}.  Of course, Harry could have been a preemie -- but, in that period, survival with a gestation of only six, or, at most seven,   months would seem to be rare.

Thus, given the Census data related to Naturalization, we can infer that Abram left his pregnant wife to immigrate to America -- and that this occurred some time at the end of 1898, or, possibly, the begging of 1900.  We also know {from the Lawrence biographies} that Abram died sometime before 1912.  The 1910 Census shows Rosa as the sole parent, but also has her "married" -- as opposed to widowed -- for 15 years; that indicates Abram died between 1910 & 1912. The question is: What did he die of, what was the cause of death?  A question to which currently have no answer -- nor do we actually need one.  The real issue is: When did Abram arrive?  And that is answered by a search for Lipshitz in the New York Passenger Lists for 1820-1957 -- where we discover that, on the 13th of August 1900, a 23 year old married merchant, named Abram Lipshitz, arrived on the "Bulgaria", which departed Hamburg on the 29th of July.  The ship's record also tells us that his passage was paid by an aunt -- Chane Meissl.  Assuming this is our Abram, he arrived too late to be recorded in the 1900 Federal Census.
As shown here, there were several possibilities in the search records.  One appears to be too young, the other, age 40, is married and is therefore a possibility .  Another is 28, single and lists a brother residing on Manhattan's West 52nd Street.  Finally, there is a married merchant who arrived on the 7th of April, lists a brother-in-law residing on Henry Street, and appears in the 1900 Census as a boarder (with the Epstein family) at 13 Hester Street. {One remaining possibility, Abrahan Lifsch├╝tz, who lists his father, arrived 15 Nov 1898, claims to be a widower from Slusk -- three discrepancies which make it impossible for him to be Harry's father .}  Her we have the data on the August arrival and alternate possibilities:
_(INSERT)1900Aug13 ShipList_Abram Lipshitz(Married)

As we can see from the following, the April arrival was born in November 1873, making him roughly four years older than the age which appears in records related to Lawrence's mother, Rosa (nee Lipshitz) Lipton.
_(INSERT)1900Mar25 ShipList_Abran Lipshits(Married)

We therefore have two choices for Abram Lipshitz -- one born in November 1873 and in the Census records; the other Abram who arrived in August -- therefore denying us further collaborative documentation.  As we can see with the detailed insert, each of the two possibilities  offers residential alternatives to the family actually being from LODZ.  It is possible that Rosa and the children were residing in Lodz, with her family, prior to departing to join Abram in America -- which logically fits a four year separation.
_(INSERT)Possible_Lipshitz Fathers

Apart from any information that might appear in the Naturalization Papers, there is very little more we can learn about Abram (nee Lipshitz) Lipton from the available paper trail.  Until is further data, we shall assume he was born in November 1873 and died some time in 1911-- though a death in, but prior to April, 1910 could not be ruled out; therefore, Rosa could have counted her as married for Census purposes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tracing Lawrence Lipton (1898-1975)

One of the nice things about Ancestry.com – their records are cleaner and more accurate than those of EllisIsland.org.  Case in point, the arrival record for Lawrence Lipton (nee Israel Lipschitz) his mom and two siblings:

Ancestry:

1903Jun02(Capture)Israel(Lawrence Lipton)Lipschitz

One must view the actual record to see the last residence for the family was LODZ, Poland (Russia).

Now for the Ellis Island website record:

1903Jun02(Capture)Passenger Record Lipschitz

Note the 6 MONTHS have become 6 YEARS old and the 4 – which is clear on the original record at both sites – has been lost.  Note also the last residence – an examination of the original record shows that “Rugloska” was the residence of the passenger immediately preceding the Lipshitz family.

Similar errors and omissions have plagued every search I’ve done at EllisIsland.org … a reality which, while not negating the usefulness of the Ellis Island database, does make access to Ancestry.com of far more valuable to serious passenger list research.

That said:  We now have our documentation as to the age and arrival date for the boy who would become, author of “The Holy Barbarians”.  We also have clear confirmation that, in terms of surname, he can be associated with  is of the Famed Lipshitz family of Talmudic Scholars – something which explains why, as a graphic artist, he chose to illustrate a Haggadah (a Passover prayer book) … for which he also won an award.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lawrence Lipton (1898-1975)

As indicated in previous post, LIPTON is not an Esat-European surname.  It therefore is not the one which would appear on the Ship Passenger List for the asserted year of arrival (1903).  However, knowing that they are Ashkenazi and that Lipton was probably derived from the first three letters of the Russian name – it was not surprising to find the only passenger list match was for a family with the name Lipschitz.  Lipton is the traditional Americanization of the name Lipschitz (or its spelling variations).

The following chart demonstrates the comparison between the 1910 Census and the a 1903 Passenger List by which the arrival of Lawrence (Isadore in Census & Israel on Ship List) is documented to have been on 2 June 1903. 

(Capture) 1903  New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

You will note that the estimated birth years for his sister “Esther/Esser and Lawrence (Isadore/Israel) agree – but, due to his 10 June birthday not having been reached, Harry/Pon varies by one year.  Rose’s (Rosa) birthday created a 2 year variance.

Exactly what the name “Pon” was supposed to represent, and how it became Harry, is a matter for his descendants to determine.  However, we can now state that Lawrence Lipton was born “Israel Lipschitz”,  in Lodz, Poland, in 1898; that, upon arrival, he was given the immigration name of “Isadore Lipton”, and that – when he became a writer – changed his name given name to “Lawrence”.

The full evidence from the Passenger List shows that Abraham Lipschitz -- residing in St. Louis, Missouri – was husband to Rose & father to Israel etal.

(SAMPLE)1903 ShipList_Lipschitz This evidence indicates that Lawrence Lipton and his son James Lipton are members of the illustrious Lipschitz line – the only exclusively Hebrew/Jewish surname -- which dates back, through a long line of intellectuals and Rabbis, to the famed tenth century scholar known as the RASHI. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lawrence Lipton – Talent of the ‘Beat Generation’ – & Ashkenazi Polish … hence, probably, R1a1

I tried to find SOLID biographical data on Lawrence Lipton -- couldn't, so researched on Ancestry.com and came up with this: 

"Lawrence Lipton (October 10, 1898 - July 9, 1975) was an American journalist, writer, and beat poet, as well as the father of James Lipton."

Lawrence Lipton was born in Lodz, Poland (Russian region) October 10, 1898 -- son of Rose and Abraham.  Exactly what the family name was prior to arrival in America is uncertain, but, once here, they assumed the LIPTON surname.  Prior to assuming the  given name of Lawrence, this artist, journalist, writer, and beat poet was Isadore J Lipton, son of Rose and Abraham; brother to Esther (b.1895 in Poland), Harry (b.10 Jun 1900[or 1899] in Poland), Sam (b.1904 in Missouri) and David (b.1907 in Illinois).

The family appears to have journied to the United States late in 1903, or early 1904; upon arrival, continued on to Chicago, Illinos where Abraham died sometime priod to the April 1910 Census; Rose appears to have remained there for the rest of her life.  At that time, they lived at 1142 North Wood Street -- a residence which, on Google Maps, is shown to be For Sale.  In that census, their language is shown as Yiddish and their year of immigration, 1904.  The same census shows two girls who might be Isadore's first wife, Dorothy Omansky.  One is an orphan, Dora Omansky (b.1899 in Russia), who arrived in America in 1907 and is recorded among the 143 'inmates' at the Jewish Orthodox 'Marks Nathan Jewish Orphan Home' (1243, 1249 N. Wood St.); the other, Dorah (b.1904), daughter of Max Omansky, is living a half mile away -- at 712 (North) Paulina Street.  The 1930 census reveals that Max's daughter married Solly Goldstien -- and, therefore, cannot be the Dorothy who married Isadore in the early 1920's.  This leaves Dora Omansky as the likely first wife to Isadore.
1910 Census has Orphanage on Blucher Street, whose name and numbers were changed after WW2: The Blucher St. address is now the corner of W Potomac Ave. & N. Wood St.; thus placeing it only a tenth of a mile from Isadroe's 1910 residence.  Available information indicates that Dorothy and Lawrence were childhood friends -- this is consitent with a one year age difference that would have placed both in the same grade, while their proximity would have them running in the same childhood clique. 

Moving on to the 1920 Census, we find the 22 year old Isadore living, with his mother and three younger brothers, at 2145 division Street.  The census tells us that Isadore is single and working as Studio Artist -- it is in this period that he won an award for his illustration of Haggadah, a Passover prayer book.  During the 1920s, Lipton turned his hand to journalism and became a regular contributor to the Sunday feature section of the New York Jewish newspaper, Forverts; became publicity director of a large movie theater; wrote for Atlantic Monthly, The Quarterly Review of Literature, and the Chicago Review -- in the process becomming associated with Chicago writers Edgar Lee Masters, Sherwood Anderson, Carl Sandburg, Harriet Monroe, and Ben Hecht -- who lived only a mile away from Isadore and Dora.  We can presume that 'Dorothy Omansky', who is roughly the same age as Isadore & Hecht, is traveling in the same circles -- in the 1920 census, Hecht is shown as being 23 years old, as opposed to the 26 years his biographical age would infer (a similar age variance shows for Sherwood Anderson).
Some time in the early 1920's, Isadore (Lawrence) married Dora (Dorothy), who is generally described as his "childhood sweetheart"; a shot time later Dorothy died.  Around 1926, Lawrence Lipton married the 32 year old 'Betty Weinberg' (b.1894) -- their union produced a son, Louis James Lipton (b. Detroit, Mich, 19 Sept 1926),  By the 1930 census, Betty and 'Lous' (James) Lipton were living with Betty's parents in Detroit and Lawrence was out of the picture.  The census record also shows Betty's sister -- who, like Betty, was a teacher -- and her brother, a writer working in advertising.  James Lipton grew to be a writer, poet, composer and dean emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School of my alma mater, Pace University.

Of himself, Lawrence has written that he was "compelled to work for a living from then on; forced to fight a running battle against time for my education (time stolen from sleep, from play, from work--and consequently from food very often), and lacking the kind of life continuity and integrated personality that gives a man a firm sense of purpose and direction."

After seperating from Betty, Lawrence married Georgiana Ann Randolph Craig (1908–1957), with whom he coauthored twenty-two books of mystery fiction during the late 1930s and early 1940s under the pseudonym of Craig Rice. After this marriage ended in divorce.

In 1948, Lawrence then married his forth wife, Nettie Esther Brooks.  He died in Los Angeles, California on 9 July 1975 -- his widow also passed away in Los Angeles, at the age of 74, on 10 Dec 1986.
Lawrence Lipton went on to write:
_The Laugh is Bitter (1942)
_In Secret Battle (1944),
_ Rainbow at Midnight (1955) - poetry, 
_The Holy Barbarians._ New York: Messner, 1959.
_The Erotic Revolution._ Los Angeles: Sherbourne Press, 1965.

Nettie Lipton: From the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 16: The Beats: Literary Bohemians in Postwar America. Edited by Ann Charters, University of Connecticut. Gale Research, 1983. pp. 352-356.

The Holy Barbarians, the book that linked Lipton to the Beat writers, was published in 1959, when he was sixty-one years old. The cast of characters in the book included such "name" personalities as the writers Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Patchen, Stuart Z. Perkoff, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Dylan Thomas. When Lipton wrote The Holy Barbarians he had settled in Venice, California, where a bohemian community flourished beside the Pacific Ocean, near the beach outside Los Angeles. Lipton's home became an informal center for the arts, with Lipton functioning as both teacher and catalyst. In the years immediately after the mid-1950s poetry renaissance in the San Francisco Bay Area, poets, writers, and artists often went down the coast to visit Lipton. For Lipton, poetry readings were at the heart of the Beat experience in Venice, helping to explain "the alienation of the hipsters from the squares." He stated that "when the barbarians appear on the frontier of a civilization it is a sign of a crisis in that civilization. If the barbarians come, not with weapons of war but with songs and ikons of peace, it is a sign that the crisis is one of a spiritual nature."

In Venice, Lipton had been associated with the movement to restore poetry as a vocal art long before the Beats became famous. "The printed poem is to the poem what the score is to a piece of music," he wrote in his essays "Poetry and the Vocal Tradition" and "Youth Will Serve Itself" in the Nation in April and November 1956.

Lipton began experimenting with poetry and jazz in 1956. Working first with Shelly Manne, then briefly with Jimmie Giuffre and Buddy Collette, he perfected his concepts of the integration of poetry with jazz music. In September 1957, Benny Carter and Jack Hampton, after hearing Lipton in a discussion about poetry and jazz with Kenneth Rexroth on a Los Angeles-San Francisco hookup on CBS radio, called on him to produce and direct a series of poetry-and-jazz concerts. The result was the First West Coast Poetry and Jazz Festival, dedicated to Dylan Thomas and playing to capacity audiences during its two-week run in early December. For these concerts Lipton drew upon the musical talents of Shorty Rogers, Bill Holman, Barney Kessel, Paul Horn and the poetry of Kenneth Rexroth, Stuart Z. Perkoff and several other young Venice poets. His own poems were included as well. In 1958 Lipton produced Jazz Canto, released by World Pacific Records.

After The Holy Barbarians, Lipton turned to the sexual revolution. He believed it to be a determined move on the part of millions of people to restructure the very process of orgasm itself. In The Erotic Revolution (1965), he recommended: "Repeal all the laws regulating pre-marital sex; Make legal marriage optional; Repeal all laws making homosexuality illegal; Repeal all the so-called 'unnatural laws' regarding the sexual act; Make contraceptives legal everywhere and free to low income groups; Make all abortions legal and free to those unable to pay."

Published in dozens of literary magazines and journals, his poetry and prose gathered together certain central themes that related to the social responsibility of the artist to participate in the formation of a society that was more than a collective. As a visionary, Lipton wanted the new society to be rational, functional, and responsible to the deepest needs of the human soul.

During the last years of his life, Lipton wrote a long-running column of political commentary in the Los Angeles Free Press called "Radio Free America".