Sunday, September 22, 2013


Continuing on with Mom’s Bride Book, she told great detail about the showers and receptions that were held in her honor. 

Shower 3_4_1950

Mom could sure write small!  Here’s what it says:

On March 4, 1950 - a surprise kitchen shower at Marie Antoinette in Menlo Park.  We had a wonderful tea & received some wonderful gifts:  omelete [sic] maker, sandwich toaster, pyrex mixing bowls, baking dish, rolling pin, strainer, 3 dish rags, small spatchel [sic], cooking fork, egg beater, measuring cup, can opener, measuring spoons, pyrex dish, pyrex dish & stand, salad molds, ring molds, sprinkling bottle.
Given by the girls of Casa Ventura.  Jean Ross, Ann Fair, Hildie Longyear, Pat Hegg, Jacquie Goodyear, Barbie Metzger, Dona Adams, Betty Schreiner, Nancy Foss, Carol Richardson, Jeanne Dickson, Judy Rudolsh, Marge Wheat, Carol Moerisey, Pat O’Farrell, Mrs. Haenerya (?), Dixie Lee Rea, Doris Stoner, & Judy Broeker couldn’t come.  They had trouble in getting me there & still keep it a surprise – but finally got me to town with Dona & them there on pretext of making dinner reservations for Ann.  A wonderful shower!

The end of August the bank staff gave me a lovely luncheon at Rickey’s where they presented me with a cheese server and jelly spoon in our sterling set.  All the girls were there – the men joined in giving the gift.  They also presented me with a lovely corsage of pink carnations.

Sounds like Mom received a lot of pyrex.  We just finished cleaning out Mom’s house with an estate sale – I wonder if any of the items she received as gifts were sold.  Since she never seemed to throw anything out, I’d bet there were some there!

Group 3_4_1950

Mom is the one in the middle with the ‘lovely corsage of pink carnations’.  I have absolutely no idea who any of these other women are.  I’m sure they are the women listed above but can’t identify who is who in the photo.

And a few months later, another shower was held.

Shower 6_11_1950

On June 11, 1950 – a miscellaneous shower given by Mrs. Levy’s friends.  A lovely brunch at Hotel Californian.  Received many wonderful gifts:  Lingerie from Mrs. Louis Slater, a damask cloth & napkins from Mrs. Henry Korn, 6 linen tea towels from Aunt Jessie, 12 linen napkins from Gram, silver place setting from Aunt Betty, hand towels from Mrs. Lillie Oestrecher, hand towels from Mrs. A. I. Goldberg, carve-rite from Mrs. A.B. Mendelson, monogramed towels from Mrs. Elmore Winkler, sterling cake knife from Mrs. Jerry Riese, a white Kenwood blanket from Mrs. Bill Levy, pillow cases from Mrs. J.H. Mitlenthal, linen hand towels from Mrs. Max Kopman, quileted bridge table covers from Mrs. Ben Blumberg, monogramed towels from Mrs. A.H. Blum, blue dotted house coat from Gordon’s mother.  Truly a marvelous shower – even a thermos jug combination from “The Chief”.  A belated shower gift arrive on July 8th from Mrs. Epstein who had been in Montana – a casserole stand.

Here’s a photo from the 1960’s of the Hotel Californian, courtesy of  The Hotel was located at 851 Van Ness Avenue in Fresno and is now a rehab facility.

Hotel Californian

A few interesting facts jump out at me.  First, my mother’s mother, Clara Fitzgerald Hunter, did not attend.  I know my two grandmothers got along fine but I wonder if that took some time.  Or maybe they just hadn’t really ‘met’ yet. 

Mom wrote that she received 12 linen napkins from “Gram”.  I’m guessing that wasn’t her grandmother, Mabel McAboy Fitzgerald, since it seems unlikely that her grandmother would have attended when her own mother wasn’t there.  I’m guessing that “Gram” was my dad’s Grandmother, Bertha “Birdie” Schwartz Gunzendorfer.  Birdie died in August of that year and I know she and Mom knew each other fairly well so it probably was her. 

‘Aunt Betty’ would have been my dad’s aunt, Elizabeth “Betty” McKinlay Levy.  Betty was the wife of the second Levy brother, Leon Levy, who was an older brother of my grandfather, Sigmund Levy.  I used to love going to Uncle Leon and Aunt Betty’s house in Fresno – I don’t remember it too well but I do remember that it was large and seemed like a mansion. 

Mrs. Bill Levy.  Now that’s a name I’ve never heard.  Was Mr. Bill Levy a relative?  Or was that just a coincidence that he had the same last name as my dad?

Mrs. Henry Korn.  Oh boy, my dad would have loved this.  He always told the story about Henry Korn and that he always had a driver and sat in the back seat while they went around town.  When Dad would come for a visit in his later years, he’d always sit in the back seat of the car and exclaim “I feel like Henry Korn”. 

Sounds like two great parties were held in Mom’s honor.  I’m sure she was getting excited for the big day! 


  1. I love that Henry Korn story. I'm still laughing.

    Looking at that list of gifts makes me sigh and think, boy those were the days! Nobody would give a bridge table cloth today!! All that linen -- all those tea towels. Nobody does that anymore either. But they should! I was most surprised at the omelet maker -- that seems like a verrrry modern idea. And the cooking fork must have been what I've always called a "granny fork." They are hard to find nowadays, which probably explains why most people I know have never heard of it. I'm always surprised that anyone can cook without one. I use mine all the time.

    1. Oh Wendy, if you could have heard my dad proclaim his likeness to Henry Korn you'd laugh for weeks. He'd say loudly from the back seat "I feel like [pause for effect] HENRY KORN!"

  2. Haha! Like Wendy pointed out, that's a Henry Korn story is too funny.

    It looks like your mom received some lovely gifts at her bridal showers. And she had one of them at the Hotel Californian in downtown Fresno! It's interesting to see the picture of it from the 60s. It must have been a fancy place in its day. I wonder what their brunch menu was, and what the hotel looked like inside.