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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                     RONALD SALLOWAY

INTERVIEWER:                 SANDRA BERMAN

DATE:                               OCTOBER 30, 2007

LOCATION:                       SYLACAUGA, ALABAMA

Transcript (PDF)

Biography:

Ronald Salloway was born on December 14, 1948, in Sylacauga, Alabama.  His grandfather, Hyman Goldberg, arrived in Baltimore in 1901 from Lithuania and began peddling in the south.  His grandfather settled in Sylacauga, and in 1911, he opened the Sylacauga Cash Store.  The store remained in business for more than 60 years.  Several of Ronald’s uncles also had general merchandise businesses in Sylacauga.   Ronnie worked in his father’s store as a child on Saturdays and after school.  Most of their customers were from the nearby farming community.

Ronald graduated from Sylacauga High School and went to the University of Alabama for his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.   He was not bar mitzvahed because he was not able to attend Hebrew school on Saturday.  They attended Temple Emanu-El and later Temple Beth-El in Birmingham 50 miles away.  During the High Holy Days, Ronald’s family closed their stores and celebrated at Temple Beth-El.  Passover was spent with family, and his aunt made Ashkenazi foods.  Ronald was in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and was on the swimming team.   In high school, he would attend dances.

After graduating from college, he started his own business in Sylacauga, Ronnie Salloway and Company.  He met his wife in Massachusetts.  They have two children. 

Scope:

Ronald Salloway talks about growing up in Sylacauga, Alabama.  He talks about his grandfather, who arrived in Baltimore in 1901 and began peddling in the south.  He mentions that his family is from Lithuania.  He talks about the general merchandise stores that his father and his uncles opened in Sylacauga.  He discusses the other Jewish merchants in the area.  He remembers that most of the customers were from the farming community in the area.

Ronald talks about not being bar mitzvahed because he could not attend Hebrew school on Saturday because of the store.  He mentions that his cousins moved back to Baltimore so that they could receive a Jewish education.  Ronald talks about celebrating the Jewish holidays and closing the store.  He remembers celebrating Passover at home and attending Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham for High Holy Days and later Temple Beth-El.  

Ronald describes his childhood years in Sylacauga as fun.  He discusses the social activities he was involved with.  Ronald talks about his high school education in Sylacauga, the dances he attended, and being on the swim team.  He talks about his education at the University of Alabama and the many Jewish students who attended.  He recalls that he did not experience any kind of anti-Semitism in Sylacauga.  

Ronald talks about meeting his wife in Massachusetts and her adjustment to living in Sylacauga.  He talks about traveling as a salesman for his business.  He mentions his two grown 

children, who are no longer living in Sylacauga. 



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