June 30, 2012

It's cooler inside.

House on the Rock, Dodgeville, Wisconsin, April 2012. Where is everyone?

Swank Party

Rockford, Illinois, Spring 1965. My Mom is enjoying another party at the home of her Rockford friends. This must have been a big affair because the guests are eating at folding tables set up in the basement. The tablecloth behind my Mom features a typical Lithuanian weaving pattern.

Walking Skills

Suburban Chicago, June 1959. My Dad helps me practice walking in the backyard. The Weeping Willow is still quite small.

Related by Marriage: A View of Camp

Seligenstadt, Germany, November 1948. Mr. Irene's Dad was a scout, too. Here is a snapshot he took of the scouting camp that he attended with other Displaced Persons. The DPs created the Vytis, or Lithuanian coat of arms, at the camp's entry.

Thanks to Mr. Irene's Los Angeles Cousin for making this photo available to us.

A Day Off

Beardmore, Ontario, Canada, 1947 or 1948. Vladas, the Father-in-Law of my Toronto Cousin, stands (on the left) with a friend—likely another Displaced Person—in the Ontario northwoods, where he worked on a lumber contract after emigrating to Canada.

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

June 29, 2012


Brookfield Zoo, January 1975. A kangaroo keeps her youngster close.


Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada, July 1964. Dad and I show off the catch of the day. We ate everything we caught that summer. We froze the fish that we didn't eat at the cabin, packed it into a Coleman freezer chest, and brought it back to our Suburban Chicago home.

That freezer chest still sits in our basement.

Entry to Another DP Camp

Würzburg, Germany, June 1946. Gate of the Northern Casern DP Camp in Würzburg. Many Lithuanian DPs, including my Mom's best friend Donna and Mr. Irene's paternal Uncle, Ignas, lived at this camp between 1945 and 1949.

A photo of the entrance to the Seligenstadt DP camp, where my Mom and her father, Jake, stayed, appears here.

Thanks to my friend Kris for making this photo available to us.

The Doorway

Seligenstadt, Germany, 1946. Here's another doorway snapshot of my maternal Grandfather with his friends Karl and Angele. There are several photos from this afternoon; they may confirm my hunch that the photos may have been taken when Karl left Germany.

Another Departure

My Mom's best friend, Donna, spent the post-war years at a Displaced Persons camp in Würzburg. After Congress passed the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, Donna sailed to the United States with her brother, Uncle Al, and her Parents.

The ship "General Howze" transported Donna to America. When the ship left the German port, an American soldier named Jerry took photographs of Donna and her family. Jerry later sent the developed prints to Donna.

The General Howze arrived in New York on July 3, 1949. Donna and her family took a Chicago-bound train that same day, and the train reached Chicago on July Fourth. Donna remembers drinking a great deal of cold lemonade that day. She developed a stomach ache because she was unaccustomed to iced beverages.

I don’t know whether this was the same sailing of the General Howze as the one that brought Jonas Mekas to the United States.

Probably Bremerhaven, Germany, June 1949. The "General Howze" sets sail for America.

*     *     *     *     *

Probably Bremerhaven, Germany, June 1949. Donna and her brother, Uncle Al, are ready to emigrate to the United States. I love that Donna is wearing trousers, and I covet Uncle Al's sweater.

Donna left Germany not long after my Parents sailed to the United States.

Thanks to my friend Kris for making these photos available to us.

June 28, 2012

When it's really hot, even the deer go in for a swim.

Verona, Wisconsin, July 2011. Two fawns test the pond water while their mother already finds relief from the heat. There's a third fawn standing to the left of, and behind, the doe.

Related by Marriage: Summer on the Farm

Near Goodman, Wisconsin, 1940. Mr. Irene's Mom, a city girl, negotiates the reins while she visits Cousin O's farm.

Dorm Room

Evanston, Illinois, October 1977. Dad photographs Mom and me when he and Mom visited me in my dorm room.


Seligenstadt, Germany, about 1945. This is my Mom, shortly after she arrived in the Displaced Persons camp as a refugee.

Young Friends

Probably near Schweinfurt, Germany, about 1947. My Dad's friends talk on the steps.

June 27, 2012

Green-Moth Reunion

Verona, Wisconsin, June 2012. This big fellow landed on our window last night.

UPDATE: Kris (the commenter) correctly identifies this insect as a Luna Moth. Here are some photos that show its size.

The New Rec Room

Suburban Chicago, January 1963. Mom tries to coax me into another reading lesson. This time, we're modeling the newly decorated Rec Room.

In the Forest

Near Schweinfurt, Germany, about 1947. A group of scouts, all Displaced Persons, takes a break in the woods. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, sits second from right.

Scenes from a Circus

I have disliked circuses (and parades) since I was a child. My Dad took me to a circus in the early 1960s. I found it overwhelming and frightening.

I don't remember seeing zebras at the circus!

*     *     *     *     *

Chicago, Illinois, Spring 1962. I think this circus took place at the Chicago Stadium. That same year, the Stadium served as the scene for The Manchurian Candidate's depiction of the Republic National Convention. Fourteen years or so later, I saw the Beach Boys and Chicago in concert there.

R2D2 ...

... yarnbombing.

(Via thinkgeek)

June 26, 2012

"A medieval gem surrounded by modern chaos."

Milan, Italy, October 1983. That's how I described the Duomo when I sent this photo to my Parents.

What are you watching?

Suburban Chicago, February 9, 1964. The hamster keeps me company again as I watch The Beatles make their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Putting down roots.

Suburban Chicago, November 1957. My paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, sits proudly in the living room shortly after my family moved into its new house.

After Classes

Kaunas, Lithuania, 1939. Members of my Dad's high school class gather in the courtyard. Dad is the fellow in the frontcrouched, holding his cap, and wearing eye glasses.

Dora's Wedding

My Mom's maternal aunt, Dora, remarried some years after her first husband died.

Here is a photo of the wedding reception:

Kaunas, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, December 1970. Dora writes, "My husband doesn't look anything like himself in this photo. He's much more handsome in real life."

June 25, 2012

Watch for water on the roadway.

Glacier National Park, Montana, July 1966. Melting snow creates a waterfall alongside Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Cool off with a popsicle.

Suburban Chicago, September 1963. My Mom thought that my hair would grow in thicker if she kept it cut very short.


Schweinfurt, Germany, about 1945. Here's my Dad as a Displaced Person. He sat for this photo at about the time he enrolled as a student at Hohenheim University.

Related by Marriage: Modeling the 1949 Plymouth

St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois, 1949. Mr. Irene's Mom pauses next to the 1949 Plymouth.

This is not your Mother's Moscow.

Puttin' on the Ritz.


When Kadis, the husband of my Dad's twin sister, Jonė, emigrated to Canada, he arrived on a contract to work at a Hydro facility.

Around the same time, Vladas, the Father-in-law of Kadis's daughter, my Toronto Cousin, moved to Canada. Vladas arrived in Ontario with a contractual obligation to labor in the lumber industry.

Beardmore, Ontario, Canada, 1947 or 1948. Vladas, on the right, stands with another laborer from the lumber camp and the camp's cook.

     *     *     *     *

Beardmore, Ontario, Canada, 1947 or 1948. Vladas and other workers from the camp load lumber at a train depot. Most of the laborers in the lumber camps were Displaced Persons; many of them were from the Baltic countries and the Ukraine.

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making these photos available to us.

June 24, 2012

Meet the Neighbor

Verona, Wisconsin, September 2009. Rex and Baci consider a new puppy.

Residential Venice

Venice, Italy, June 1989. Mr. Irene and I head into a Venetian neighborhood.

Cathing up on Sunday's news.

Suburban Chicago, February 1962. My Dad's favorite photo of me hangs above the dresser.

Picnic Culture: Sunday Afternoon Nap

Suburban Chicago, September 1963. My Godfather naps while his wife chats with my Mom.


Augsburg, Germany, 1947. My Dad visits his goddaughter at the Displaced Persons camp.

June 23, 2012

Summer-Garden Reunion

Taliesen Estate, Spring Green, Wisconsin, June 2012. Today we visited the place to which I go when I want to collect my thoughts.


Rockford, Illinois, Summer 1957. My Dad reassures the Rockford German Shepherd.


Near Seligenstadt, Germany, about 1948. My Mom, on the right, joins two friends for a snapshot overlooking the rails.


Near Schweinfurt, Germany, about 1948. A group of young scouts tends to its camp duties.

After the Ceremony

Suburban Chicago, November 1958. My Godmother holds me after my christening.

June 22, 2012

Related by Marriage: Visitors from California

Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, Summer 1953. Mr. Irene's Dad, on the left, welcomes his brother, Ignas, and Ignas's wife, Ellie, to Chicago. This was the couple's first trip to the Midwest after they married.

Flying Swans

Addison, Illinois, August 1963. I ride the "Flying Swans" attraction at Adventureland. If I wanted to go to an amusement park, then my Dad usually took me to Kiddieland. A trip to Adventureland was a special treat.


Suburban Chicago, November 1957. My Parents celebrate the purchase of their first home.

Sportsmanship ...


Bavarian Scene

Bavaria, Germany, about 1946 or 1947. My Dad takes a photo of a typical street while he tours the area as a Displaced Person.

Another Walk with a Stroller

Seligenstadt, Germany, about 1946 or 1947. My Mom holds onto her goddaughter's stroller as she walks with fellow Displaced Persons near the camp.

June 21, 2012