Memories of Morse Street
by Geraldine Cohen Seinberg 

Elaine Sooy Goodman grew up at North 29th Street and Concord Avenue. Nine years old in September of 1949, she is presently writing a book about the impact of the Unruh murders on what was a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. She would like to get in touch with others who remember that day and how it affected them or their loved ones. Please e-mail me so I can forward your contact information to Elaine.

Phil Cohen
March 5, 2015


249 Morse Street
January 1948

D. Leonard "Lenny" Cohen (age 1)
Geraldine "Gerri" Cohen (age 7)

My parents married November, 1938 and lived above a store on Kaighn Avenue until 
they moved to 249 Morse Street about April, 1941. I don’t know if they were the first owners; I was about 6 months old at the time. My Dad, Harry Cohen, taught 7th grade English at Cramer until 1956. He then bought a shoe store on Columbia Avenue (Philly) from his Father and operated it until the riots of 1964 destroyed it. He then returned to teaching History at Woodrow Wilson High School. My Mom, Bessie, worked for the OPS (Office of Price Stabilization) in the early 40’s. 

Although we never moved, the school boundaries often changed so that I started out at Cramer, then went of Dudley elementary; returned to Cramer for junior high (yes, I had my Dad for 7th Grade English – he was the only 7th grade English teacher at the school); went to Hatch Junior High for 9th grade and finished my public school education 10-12) at Camden High.

I remember Morse Street as a friendly, tree-lined, kid-filled neighborhood, with the aroma of either chicken soup or spaghetti “gravy” coming from the kitchens. We lived in the 4th house from the corner of Baird Boulevard on the odd numbered side - 249. Another house had since been build on the end, so our house is no longer the 4th from the alley way. Don’t recall names of the families in the first two houses, but the Marritz’s lived in the 3rd. house next door (they had 3 sons, Donald and Robert and I think the youngest was Eric); then us, the Hirshorn’s (Murray and another son), and then the Lombardo’s (one son, Michael and one daughter, Joanne). Skip a couple houses till the Stone family (several 
children but I only recall the daughter one year younger than me, Carol). Carol, Joanne and I used to "pal around" together as young kids. Then the Gerstein's (a son, Jerry, and a daughter, Barbara), the Perlin’s (I think one son, named David) and the last house before the apartments were the Wexler’s – I believe Mr. Wexler owned the M&H shop on Federal Street. The Wexler's later moved to the original end house.

After reading the list of Morse Street, I do recall the name Zinni. The only family I remember from across the street were the Unger’s. I recall they would go to Brown’s Mills for the summer and we would visit them – I still picture all the fallen cedar on the ground and the brown cedar water we swam in. 

The Lukoff’s lived on the corner of Baird Boulevard and Morse Street – on the Baird Boulevard side. I think he was a doctor or dentist. They had 2 daughters; the oldest, Marcy, was a classmate of mine at Camden High. Also in Baird Boulevard were the Zwick’s – son Phillip and daughter Roz. The house next to the Zwick’s had decorative bars on the windows. I seem to recall being told mafia lived there and that he was the block captain during the war so our neighborhood was “safe”. Behind us, on Boyd Street, the end house with a “yard” and a weeping willow were the Small’s, with daughter Phyllis, one year younger then me, and sons Hy and Robert. Phyllis and I each had the back bedroom so after we were called in for the evening, we use to go to our rooms, open the window and talk across the back alley.

The Greenwald’s, with daughter Carol, lived on the next block of Baird Boulevard
Further down, towards Randolph Street and Admiral Wilson Boulevard lived the Back’s with two brothers, Joseph and Ira. On Randolph Street (I think the 4th house) lived the Greenberg's with daughter Elaine, my
classmate and high school "buddy", The Bowman's, with daughter Rochelle, also a classmate, lived on Randolph.

Things I remember….walking to White Tower and Marbetts on Admiral Wilson 
for ice cream on hot summer nights; going up Marlton Pike to J&J Fish to bring home fried fish and French fries; Famous Deli (and all it’s characters) on Marlton Pike; walking to schools – first Cramer, then Dudley, back to Cramer, then Camden High (I think I took a bus to Hatch); my dentist, Dr. Zonies, on the corner of
Boyd and Baird Boulevard; going to the movies at the Arlo Theater, taking either the “54” on Marlton Pike or the “7” on Federal Street to go to Philly; riding the train over the Ben Franklin Bridge - which use to cost 25 cents each way.

Somewhere I have a photo of us kids playing in the snow on Morse Street. If and 
when I ever find it I will send it. 

My parents (and me as an infant) moved in Spring, 1941. My Mom died August, 1963. I moved into Northgate Apartments January, 1967. My younger brother moved out while still in college (we both graduated from Drexel), so that must have been sometime between 1963 and1965 My Dad remarried late 1968...that’s when he sold Morse Street. My Dad passed in 1991 and my brother (D. Leonard Cohen) in 2017.

Geraldine Cohen Seinberg
CHS 1958

Seated from left: Diane Gottleib & Dr. Stuart Gottleib, from Marlton Pike
Gerri Cohen Seinberg & Bart Seinberg
Bobbie Katz
Standing: Ellis Katz, from Parkside