Home Graphic designer The story of Tabas is the story of a local icon – Mainline Media News

The story of Tabas is the story of a local icon – Mainline Media News


You never know what will happen once you submit an opinion piece and it gets published. Some time ago I wrote about Ukraine and my family history, mentioning my maternal grandfather who fled Ukraine over 100 years ago.

After the MAIN LINE TIMES published this article, Lee Tabas of the Royal Bank family sent me two wonderful books. One was his grandfather’s memoir, “MULKE – A Reminiscence,” and the other was a large, high-quality book with dozens of photos included, all about Lee’s father, Daniel Tabas.

A professional journalist named Peter Davidson had been commissioned to write Dan Tabas’s life story, and one of Lee’s sisters, Susan Tabas Tepper, had served as editorial director. Graphic designer Louis La Palombara III designed Dan Tabas’ book.

The slim volume, the memoirs of Lee Tabas’ grandfather, Samuel Tabas, began near Byalistock in Russia, but took him to the Statue of Liberty and New York. By train, they arrived in Philadelphia, and much of the story of Samuel Tabas can be found there. But he also fell in love with Atlantic City, and much of the family history is rooted in Atlantic City.

In fact, from the balcony of my flat in Ventnor, I have a great view of the big white house on the promenade which is the Tabas mansion. It is built with the same white bricks that were used to build the Royal Bank headquarters in Narberth. And there are many statues of children on the property, as the Tabases were patrons of the sculptor they met in Palm Beach.

A strong work ethic runs through the grandfather’s memoir, as well as the legend of Dan Tabas. The grandfather is photographed with elected officials and even with Eleanor Roosevelt at his daughter’s house. The family scrap business survived even the Depression.

But the book “Shtarker” about Dan Tabas – and “Shtarker” means a mover and a shaker – contains dozens of photos of Tabas, his six children, his show business friends like Mickey Rooney and countless national figures. and all over the world. . I suspect that Lee and Susan spent countless hours going through boxes and boxes of photos to select which ones eventually appeared in Dan Tabas’s biography.

I remember attending Dan Tabas’s funeral at Temple Adath Israel, and it took almost two hours to walk through the line to greet family members and pay respects to the man who created the Downingtown Inn, the branches of the Royal Bank and so many other businesses.

The cover photo of Dan Tabas’s biography shows him wearing his favorite cowboy hat when he became the Loan Ranger character representing the Royal Bank.

In many ways, Dan Tabas’ life story is a business story in Philadelphia. Photos include presidents, senators, Hollywood and TV stars, artists and other business figures. It’s a treat to look at all the photos while reading the story of a remarkable man and his family.

Many charities have received funds from the Tabas Family Foundation, here and abroad. The name Tabas is also legendary in Israel. I had no idea that Tabas gave his philanthropy to so many charities, hospitals, schools, and charities.

I was unable to contact Lee Tabas or Susan Tabas Tepper before writing this column; I wanted to ask them how they managed to get books of such quality published and where they were printed. The grandfather was barely 80 years old when he released his memoirs. I don’t know if Dan Tabas was still alive when his biography was being done, but his children certainly saw to it that he became the legendary figure he really was.

Next time you visit the Hilton on City Avenue, remember it was originally the Twelve Caesars Hotel in Tabas. And Lower Merion is probably still the home base of the Tabas.

Bonnie Squires is a communications consultant who writes weekly for Main Line Media News and can be reached at www.bonniesquires.com. She hosts the TV show “Bonnie’s Beat” at MLTV- MAIN LINE