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It sparks joy for me to remember my parents, Morton and Helen Eisenberg, who left us in 2013 and 2017. So I keep some of their stuff.  Would Marie Kondo approve? (I might have a teensy bit too much.)

But I needed room on a shelf for my art supplies in May of 2022, in Jupiter, Florida. Boxes filled with memorabilia from my parents were open, the contents all over the floor in piles. What could I let go of? Little did I know, I was about to unearth a treasure  — a vivid recording from that happy year of 1946 when WWII was finally over.

At the bottom of one of the boxes, I found some records. Or at least I thought they were records.  Until I realized they said “Wedding of Helen Rudnick and Morton Eisenberg August 11, 1946.” on them.  I bought a $50 record player on Amazon.  It came the next day.   I pulled out my fat enso-painting brush, (dry and clean), dusted off one of the records, and started to play the record…

I thought the heavy, oversized records were played at 78 revolutions per minute (RPM)  since the blank “self-recording” Duodisc records were 78s (you can still buy them), but after I placed the needle on the record and the voices were gibberish, I kept slowing the record player’s speed from 45 to 33 1/3. I could easily imagine my father, a practical, frugal electrical engineer, recording the record on the slowest speed to get the most recording per side.

Oddly, I was having problems hearing more than a few words, though. The record ended seconds after I put down the needle.  Then, clever Bob noticed someone had put a check in a box on the record that said “inside out”!  Once I placed the needle near the hole, close to the inside of the record, I heard Helen and Mort’s wedding start!  And now you can too.

(In a future blog I’ll give a link to an interview with my nervous, awkward, and happy parents right after their 200 person wedding. Helen was 23, Mort was 28. )

Below is a transcription of side 0 (there are 8 sides). On side 0, I was shocked to hear a professional announcer!  He describes my parents and family coming down the aisle in all of their wedding finery like a baseball announcer would announce the next batter up. (This is especially wonderful because all the photos were black and white, so now we know the color of the dresses, flowers, etc. )  The four minute recording includes Helen and Mort, their parents, matron of honor Bebe Rudnick (there’s a nice picture of Bebe and Helen at the end of this) and best man Herb Strauss.

Listen/watch the record play here or embedded above.  Scroll down to the end for some photos!

Transcription of Side 0 (of 8 record sides).  Helen and Mort Eisenberg’s Wedding Aug. 11, 1946. 

Broadmoor Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(The voice you hear speaking is radio announcer Joe Hess.)

Ladies and gentlemen, we are broadcasting today, August the 11th, 1946, from the Broadwood Hotel, where in a few minutes, Helen Rudnick and Morton Eisenberg will be joined together in the holy bonds of matrimony. It’s now a few minutes after 1:30 and the green and parrot rooms of the Broadwood hotel in the heart of Philadelphia, are crowded to capacity with about 200 guests, who are now awaiting the start of the ceremony. The aisle is lined on both sides with large stands of beautiful gladioli while the alter is decorated with palms with a blue canopy or chupa directly above. The chupa is highlighted by streams of sunshine coming through the ceiling to floor windows, directly behind the wedding canopy. It’s a beautiful day, ideal for such an event.

And now the ceremony is about to start. The best man, Herb Straus, is coming down the aisle. He is snappily dress attired in a white dinner jacket and a maroon bow tie and black trousers. The best man has just reached the altar and the matron of honor, Bebe Rudnick, the bride’s sister-in-law, is now entering the room. She is attired in a gown designed on grecian lines.  It has a full skirt which flows below her waist. Gold grecian sandals and a blue ostrich headdress complete the ensemble. She’s carrying a light blue delphinium hand bouquet.

The groom, Morton Eisenberg, has just started down the aisle. I notice he’s he’s just a little bit nervous, but who wouldn’t be, nothing like this has ever happened to him before. There’s just a ghost of a brave smile on his handsome face. He’s accompanied by his mother and father. Father and son are both wearing white dinner jackets, and Mrs. Eisenberg is wearing a long sleeved aquamarine dinner gown, which is set off with a gold girdle belt. As they reach the altar, the bride’s parents are now starting down the aisle. Mrs. Rudnick is dressed in a draped aquamarine dinner gown trimmed with gold sequins. Mrs Rudnick is also wearing a white dinner jacket. I’m sorry, that’s Mr. Rudnick. And now they are three quarters of the way down the aisle and have stopped to await the entrance of the bride.

The strains of “Oh, Promise Me,” which the band has been playing has changed suddenly, to the very familiar music of “Here Comes the Bride.” And here she comes. She pauses momentarily at the room’s entrance, a vision of loveliness. A hush settles over the audience. As all eyes are focused upon this magnificent bride, attired in white embroidered organza.  The bodice of the gown has a bertha-type neckline, which is edged with white seed pearls. The headdress is a pearl and beaded tiera finished off with a fingertip fishtail veiling. In her arm she carries a mass of roses, the center in which reposes a natural orchid. As the bride reaches her parents, they continue down the aisle to the altar. With everybody under the chupa, we now take you to the altar where the next voice you will hear will be that of Rabbi Friefelder.

A future blog will include more about the dozens of family members and friends who spoke at the wedding, over a background of a band playing 1946 hits. My father’s brother, Bill Eisenberg, was the tech guy runing the self-recording record machine.


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