Here are two photos of our Grandma Garfield as a young woman. They are a portal to her early years as a spunky immigrant from Russian-controlled Krinik (now Krynki) in Poland.
This first photo was taken in New York around 1910, probably with her brother Sam who had immigrated before her. Her name was Rivke Friedman. It may have been taken shortly after her arrival in America, to send back to family in the Old Country to assure them of her safe arrival and reunion with brother Sam. She is still a teenager, either 16 or 17 years old. Her clothes and furs evoke Eastern Europe: elaborate large muff, generous fur collar, and big fur hat with an enormous ribbon at the back. She does not resemble the typical Ellis Island image of immigrant women wrapped in shawls and babushkas. Her outfit suggests a family of some means. Such large fur muffs also served as purses, and she probably carried a few diamonds in hers. They were the travelers’ checks of her time, small and easy to carry. One of those diamonds may even have become our mother Amy’s engagement ring 30 years later.
The second photo was made in Chicago, and may have been taken shortly after her marriage in 1916. Her name would have become Rebecca Garfield. This is an Americanized, and stylish young woman, in a sleek suit and fashionable hat--with no more furs or Old Country trappings in her dress. She carries a dainty small purse. She had worked for several years in the New York garment industry, making buttonholes for men's suits. Her face is thin; her figure is trim. She has never looked more beautiful: a young bride, before the cares of motherhood and family life have set in.