Sandra Dubin 1
Sandra Dubin was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 18th 1949 to parents Jack
and Gwen Dubin. Sandy had three brothers: Howie, Bob, and Michael. Sandy’s life has
thrown her all sorts of curveballs, but in she is the proudest of her ability to stay graceful
In her own words, “I am proudest of my ability to stay graceful under pressure, because I
remind myself that no matter how difficult of a situation I may be in, the people around
me have no responsibility for it; therefore, their experience with me needs to be positive”
(Sandra Dubin, December 20th 2009, p. ). Although many obstacles have been thrown at
Sandy throughout her life, she has remained positive and kept the overall idea that, “The
key to life is to stay interested and happy”.
Sandy’s mom, Gwen, loved to read and instilled that into Sandy’s brothers and herself.
Gwen understood the importance of education and made sure that Sandy and her brothers
had good educations and learned about different cultures. To do this, she often took
Sandy and her brothers to museums. Gwen was also extremely stylish and had a very
forward way of thinking in terms of style. “Had she had a different upbringing, she
probably would have been a fashion designer,” Sandy believes. Sandy recalls Gwen
wearing hats regularly and changing them slightly to make them more ravishing. Gwen
would add a piece of cloth to the hat, take something off of the hat, and just change it to
embellish it’s beauty.
Sandy’s dad, Jack Dubin, was Dashing. In Sandy’s words, “He was handsome, rugged,
and a westerner at heart.” When Jack’s parents immigrated the US from Russia, they did
not settle in New York City like many other immigrants of their time. They instead
settled in Iowa. Jack’s dad was a trader. He would load up his Horse and Buggy with all
kinds of goods and travel to the Black Hills of South Dakota to trade with the Indians.
He would trade his goods for jewelry, fur, alcohol, and pottery. It wasn’t until Sandy’s
dad was 13 that they moved to New York City. The reason: not enough Jewish men in
Iowa to marry all of Jack’s six sisters. When Jack moved to New York City, he felt more
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out of place than ever; this was mostly because he was a westerner. After a few years in
New York, when Jack was sixteen, he decided to lie about his age and join the Army. He
stayed in the Army for a few years, and once he got out, he decided he wanted to be a
boxer. After trying to become a boxer and make a decent living in that profession, he
realized that he was not good enough to pursue a boxing career and decided to be a
barber. He went to Barber school, and Sandy recalls him cutting her and her brother’s
hair when they were kids. Jack then met Howie’s mother, and they got married and had
Howie. Soon after Howie was born, she died of a rare blood disorder. After she passed,
Jack decided that he really liked to travel, and he joined the Teamsters union to become a
truck driver. While pursuing his profession, he got remarried to Sandy’s mom, Gwen.
They then had Bob, Michael, and Sandy and lived on Union Street in Brooklyn.
Sandy’s earliest memory is living in that apartment on Union Street and having a pillow
fight with her brothers. The apartment that Sandy lived in had three rooms: a kitchen, a
bedroom, and a living room. Sandy and her brothers shared the bedroom, her parents
slept on the pull- out couch in the living room, and there was a kitchen.
Sandy recalled, “There were probably 100 kids on that street that were all between my
brother's age and my age, so we had a lot of fun. We were always outside playing all
kinds of games, the boys played a lot of handball and stickball, and I played a lot of
While Sandy lived in that apartment, the Brooklyn Dodgers were still intact and Sandy
was fortunate enough to go to a game with her family. Sandy’s brother Howie, however,
was much more fortunate and went to many games. “I don’t know how he got in!” Sandy
said. At one of the games he went to, Howie was able to meet Sandy Kaufax and get his
picture taken with him. To this day Sandy is trying to track down that photo because of
its sentimental value to her and her family.
Growing up, Sandy’s biggest influence was her mom’s friend, Adele. Adele was very
good friends with many TV celebrities of the 50’s such as Milton Berle and Buddy
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Hackett. Sandy’s family would get to go to live TV airings of the TV shows that the stars
were in. Sandy’s family did not have a lot of money and they did not go out to do a lot of
things, so going out with Adele was always a treat. Sandy had a great time doing that and
recalls what a night would be like out with Adele. “Adelle would take us all out to dinner
in Manhattan, and after dinner we would go to the show airing.”
Adele lived in a very nice house next door to her cousins, the Pollacks. They were all
very educated and fun. They always embraced Sandy and her brothers when they were
together and they would teach them about religion and all sorts of school subjects. They
shared their knowledge, spirit, and love and she will always remember that. Her family
often shared holiday dinners with the Pollack’s that were full of great food and tradition.