Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lawn Swing

Next page of the scrapbook - this cute little photo of two young people in a swing.  Hmmm, who could this be? 

I'm not sure but I think this might be my grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer, and her brother, Wilton Gunzendorfer. 

Here is the back:

Photo - August 1, 1909
"Lawn Swing"
Built by A.B. Gunzendorfer 1909
Construction - bolts and screws
no nails used
Value $100 - all joints halved

To be presented to Sig Levy Jr.
or Loraine Levy, Juniorette, on arrival.

By Grand-aaddy

This swing was built by my great-grandfather, Abraham Gunzendorfer, in 1909.  And after it was complete, he took a photo of these two in the swing.  In 1909 my grandmother would have been 13 and her brother 9, so I think this could be them.

Now Sig Levy didn't come into the picture until 1917 so I'm guessing Abe gave Loraine the photo with the note about a baby after they were married, or at least at some point after 1909.  He must have been so excited for his first grandchild to be born!

What fun they must have had on that swing - I wonder where it is today.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We interrupt this scrapbook.....

Photo by charlottel

I last wrote about my grandmother's scrapbook and I've been looking forward to blogging about the discoveries as I find them.  But I've had an exciting find this week that I just have to share.

My mother's parents divorced when she was about 10 and she was never much of a part of her father's life.  In fact, even though we received gifts from him every Christmas, I only met him once growing up and I really don't have much memory of him.  And since my mother wasn't a part of his life, either, she didn't seem to have any pictures of him.  Try as she might, she just couldn't seem to come up with one. 

Until last weekend.  I was home for my high school reunion and was able to spend some time with Mom.  When I arrived at her house, she said she remembered a box that her step mother had sent to her upon her father's death and she thought she knew where it was.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity and was quickly on a step stool rumaging through her hall closet.  And guess what I found?  Yep, some photos of my grandfather!  I wish there were more but hey, I'll take what I can get.  At least now if I run across some unknown photos I'll have something to go by to try to identify him.

And here he is!

Earle Laurence Martin
Geraldine Martin (my mother)
Earle and Gerry Martin

Clara Fitzgerald Martin
Earle Martin
Geraldine Martin
Frances Maria Brooks Martin
circa 1931

While I'm not sure that the older lady is Frances Brooks Martin, my mother believes that it is.  Which means I got a two-fer as Frances was my great grandmother!

I just love when you find something when you least expect it.  And boy am I happy that I finally have an idea of what my grandfather looked like!

Now back to the scrapbook.......

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My grandmother was a packrat!

It's official - my dad followed in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents and was a card-carrying packrat.  While that has given me and my siblings a lot of angst, there are moments when I'm really, really happy I come from a long line of packrats.  Today is one of those days!

Here's my grandmother's scrap book which she started on April 25, 1914 before she even graduated from high school.  The book isn't in great shape but it is going to provide me with so many fun facts about my grandmother's life as she entered adulthood.

I wonder what this Pullman thing was that she took from the train?  I hope she wasn't a thief!

Looks like Grandma went to Sacramento for the wedding of her uncle, Colman Schwartz, to Selma Lavenson. 

Included in the scrap book is a long article about the wedding which says:

The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Claire Lavenson, as maid of honor.  Miss Eleanor Beard and the Misses Henrietta Schwarstz and Loraine Gunzendorfer, cousins of the groom, as bridesmaids, little Josephine Schwartz as flower girl, and two little attendants, Rosetta Kahn and Fred Kahn, cousins of the bride. 

(Henrietta, Josephine, and Loraine were actually nieces of the groom).

Selma Rose Lavenson

The article also says that Loraine traveled to Sacramento for the wedding with her father, Abe Gunzendorfer - no mention of Bertha traveling with them.  Wonder why she didn't go?

Looks like they stayed at the Hotel Sacramento. It's hard to read it but in the top right hand corner it says "Absolutely fireproof". How could a hotel be fireproof? Reminds me of the unsinkable Titanic.

Pretty cool place cards they put on the table. 

Can you believe this flower has survived almost 100 years?

And then a little newspaper clipping stating that she was home from her visit.  Imagine newspapers today writing about people coming and going from visits!

Stay tuned as I follow along on the journey of my grandmother's life.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

And now Dad graduates!

This is my dad's scrapbook, which looks to be from his senior year at Fresno High School.  My family sure loved to keep scrapbooks - who knew I'd be looking through them 60-160 years later.  Since I've been on a graduation theme, I'll start there and save some other parts of the scrapbook for another time.

Here's the first page.  So nice that he attached his card with his name on it so there was no question as to who it belonged to.

And then this picture of him with my mom, Geraldine Martin.  Mom graduated two years behind him so her friends must have been quite envious that she was dating an upperclassman.

My dad was very active in student government, journalism, and track.  I thought this program for the Senate Banquet was interesting because it showed a picture of the front of the school.  Not only was my dad involved that year, but one of the speakers at this banquet was his uncle, Herbert Levy, class of 1900.

Of course there were invitations to the commencement exercises and my dad mailed a special one to my mom.

Here's the school again

And, of course, you needed a ticket to get in to the big event!

Dad was the Valedictorian of his class - wish I could find a copy of that speech.  I've found other speeches but haven't come across this one yet.

Two years later Mom graduated from Fresno High School and while I haven't found her scrapbook, I did find a congratulations note from one very smitten young man.

I love taking a trip back in time to see what was important for people then.  And it's especially fun when it's one of my parents!