SAM SINGER IN HIS YOUNG YEARS
Sam Singer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 24, 1914 and was a preemie weighing only about 4 pounds. In 1933, the family moved to the Bronx, New York and later to Elmhurst in Queens, New York.
Not a lot is known about Sam Singer from his youth, but here are a few stories that came from Adele, his youngest sister. Adele was the keeper of the family history for a long time and kept a number of letters and items that she passed down to Marcia who made a scrapbook of the history of the Singer family by piecing together all of the info collected from Adele. She repeatedly tried to get Adele to write or record some of her great anecdotes that Adele would relate by telephone, but alas, she was not able to and so only a few of the stories remain. Adele died with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007 at the age of 87.
Adele: When I was about 2 or 3, Sam was giving me a piggy-back ride in the kitchen. When I toppled over his head onto my nose, I broke my nose for the first time and naturally started to bleed and scream. My father (Pop) was so angry! I recall he took off his belt and beat Sam with it, probably not too hard. I broke my nose another time, as did Sam during his teen years, but fixing of noses was not considered a necessity in those days.
At one time, Sam worked in the garment district of Manhattan in the hat industry where he was an expert in matching ribbon colors.
Sam was famous for his “Slow 55”. During the depression, money was scarce for entertainment. Sam would have been in his early 20’s at this time. If he and his friends had dates with girls, it was generally to see a movie. They would all take the subway to Times Square at 42nd Street in Manhattan. The movie theaters were up in the 50 numbered streets. Each theater at that time had a stage show plus a movie for $1.10 admission. If you missed the stage show and came in time to see only the last showing of the movie, the admission price was only 55 cents. So the goal for the guys was to walk very slowly from 42nd Street along Broadway, looking in the shop windows and stopping at street vendors to always just happen to miss the stage show and pay only 55 cents each for the final movie. This was jokingly referred to as the “Slow 55”.