Sunday, June 30, 2013

Class Photos

When I turned the page in the scrapbook and saw this photo, I immediately thought it was my grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer.  I’ve seen other photos of her from about this age and she had lovely, curly hair. 


But when I looked at the next photo, I’m thinking this might have been her brother, Wilton Gunzendorfer.  Wilton was 3 years younger than Loraine so when you look at this photo of the same child with an older girl, I’m guessing it is Wilton and Loraine, probably in about 1901-1902.  Girls wouldn’t have worn overalls in that time period, would they?  It seems likely that Loraine is in the dress and Wilton is in the coveralls.


The next pages show some class pictures.  While I don’t know for sure that these are Loraine’s classes, I can only assume that they are. 

There are sure a lot of kids here!  After searching and searching, I don’t see a child that might be Loraine.

Class 3 

Seems like there are a few possibilities in these photos.  One possibility in the photo below is the girl fourth from the right on the bottom row.

Class 1

I’ve enlarged it here – it looks like her.

Loraine Class 1

And in this photo the only girl who might be her is sitting on the chair on the far right.

Class 2

And enlarged…… Maybe?

Loraine Class 2

Thankfully, Grandma wrote on the back of the next photos to help me out!  Here is her 7th grade class from Monterey Grammar School.  Now Loraine is a little easier to pick out – she’s the one in the very center of the photo, second row from the bottom, third from the left.

7th Grade Class

And the 8th grade, Monterey Grammar School.  Again, she’s right in the middle, standing 5th from the right or left.

8th Grade Class

And here’s the sophomore class from Monterey County High School, class of 1915.  Loraine is in the second row, second from the right.

Sophomore Class

Grandma, thank you for being a packrat so you could share these with me!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A bittersweet day

Today is Father’s Day – a day to focus on the dads in our lives.  But at some point, it becomes a tough reminder of the years that have passed without our dad.  And in my case, this is the 8th year that I have had to rely on just memories of my dad.  Fortunately, I also have a lot of photos to help me remember him in a wonderful way. 

Here’s a nice family photo from 1931-1932.  Left to right, Wilton Gunzendorfer, Robert Levy, Loraine Gunzendorfer Levy, Sig Levy, Abraham Gunzendorfer, Bertha Schwartz Gunzendorfer.  And that little guy in the front is my dad, Gordon Levy.

Wilt_Loraine_Sig_Abe_Bertha_Robert_Gordon c1931

Dad was such a cutie!  Here he is in 1933 when he was 6 years old. 

Gordon 1933

And again in 1933 with his mother, Loraine Gunzendorfer Levy, and brother, Robert Levy. 

Robert_Loraine_Gordon 1933

Dad must have gotten a football and/or uniform for Christmas in 1937 - he’s all decked out and ready to play!  It looks like this was taken in the backyard of their home in Fresno.

Xmas Day 1937

Dad and his brother, Robert Levy, posing in the backyard in September, 1947.  Even though they lived quite a distance from each other as they raised their families, they always remained close.  At the end of their lives they talked on the phone every day!

Gordon_Rob 1947

After graduating from Fresno High School in 1944, Dad went off to Stanford University in Palo Alto.  Here he is leaving for Palo Alto on May 15, 1949 – I hope he took more luggage with him!

Gordon 5_15_1949

Graduation from Stanford University – June 19, 1949.  Lots of photos with different family members.  Here’s dad and his grandmother, Bertha Schwartz Gunzendorfer.

Bertha_Gordon 1949

And with his Uncle Wilt Gunzendorfer.

Wilt_Gordon 1949

Look at this group – Bertha Gunzendorfer, Dad, Mom (Gerry Martin), Robert Levy.

Bertha_Gordon_Gerry_Rob 1949

Dad was always a star to us – here he is hanging out with his good bud, Bob Hope.  I’m just teasing, he didn’t know Bob although it looks like at some point in his life he shared some golf tips with him.

Gordon and Bob Hope

Dad liked to have fun but I sure can’t figure out what they’re doing here. 

Gordon and Gerry 1981

And some nice photos of Dad later in life.

Gordon Levy

This may have been one of the last photos taken of Dad before he passed in 2005.

Gordon Levy c 2005

I miss my Dad every day and am so thankful to have such wonderful memories (and photos!) of him.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The post I never wanted to write

Today is my mother’s 85th birthday – I wish she were here to celebrate it with us.

Gerry 2012

Geraldine Martin was born in Fresno, California on June 8, 1928 and was the only child of Clara Maxine Fitzgerald and Earle Laurence Martin.  By the look of this photo, my grandmother looks a little perplexed about what to do with this baby!

Clara_Geraldine 1928

6 months later, little Gerry was sitting up on her own and looked quite proud of herself.

Geraldine c 1928

And look how cute she was with her little ringlets.

Geraldine c 1932

After some disruption in mom’s life due to her parents divorcing and spending some time in Oakland, by high school she was back in Fresno where she met my dad, Gordon Levy.  I don’t know for sure but I would guess it was love at first sight.

Geraldine swimsuite 1945

I think this was either her graduation picture or her engagement picture.  Either way, she looks very happy.

Geraldine c 1949

I’m sure one of the happiest days of her life was her wedding day, September 3, 1950.  This photo hangs in the hallway of the home my parents bought in 1957 - she was a beautiful bride!

Geraldine 9_3_1950

One of my favorite photos of Mom and Dad together from January, 1985.  They both look so happy!

Gerry Gordon 1985

Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2000 – what a great family celebration we had!  We took photos of the entire family but this one really captures the spirit of the day.

Gerry & Gordon 9_3_2000

Sadly, just 5 years later Dad was gone.  And since then Mom had done a great job of living as an independent woman.  Until this year when things started getting really, really hard for her and her body just started to give out. But she rarely asked for help and only after we insisted did she give in.  And just like she’d done for nearly 85 years, she did exactly what she wanted and finally let go.  Just 17 days before her 85th birthday, Mom was gone.


And that’s why I’ve dreaded writing this post ever since I started my blog two years ago.  I knew at some point there would be “firsts” – birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, anniversary – without Mom.  I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

Happy birthday, Mom.  We love you and miss you!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ship Ahoy

It looks as if my grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer, was an actress in her spare time.  In September of 1915, just 7 months after acting in the production of Military Girl, Loraine was Mrs. Jones (Wardrobe Mistress) in the production of Ship Ahoy, a musical comedy. 

Cast of Characters

Looks like the production had pretty good reviews.

Fine Comedy

I’m not sure what the difference between a “fine” comedy and a “pleasing” comedy might be but I’m sure the cast and crew was thrilled to have such positive reviews printed in the paper.

Pleasing Comedy

It's fun to see that some of grandma’s friends also participated in the production.  Remember Mildred Riecks and her witty autograph?

One of grandma’s parts must have come right after the song “Strolling on the Beach” – looks like she wrote her lines out.


And here’s a page with some of the song lyrics.


With all the photos I have, I should be able to find some from some of these productions.  Maybe I’ll get lucky!