May 31, 2012


Suburban Chicago, June 1965. My Dad captures a visitor as it lands on the petunias near our patio.

Backyard Blossoms

Suburban Chicago, June 1965. My paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, and I stand near the backyard fence. My Best Friend's home is behind us, on the right.

Together at Dinner

Kaunas, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, about 1963. My Dad's cousin, Henry, and his wife, Suzanne, entertain friends.


Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1939. My Dad and his high-school classmates gather in the schoolyard. Bunny ears are in play again. Dad is the fellow with the eye glasses, crouched in the front.

Both Sides of the Table

Suburban Chicago, January 1962. The woman with the elegant French Twist is my Mom's best friend, Donna. Her husband, Vytenis, looks over her head. There is "French Brandy" on the table, and I see that we're serving both Cranberry-Jell-o Mold and Lithuanian head cheese. Oh boy.

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Suburban Chicago, January 1962. You've met some of these people in earlier posts. Lily gestures in conversation, and my Dad's twin sister, Jonė, laughs. Jonė's husband, Kadis (also partially obscured by the French Twist), sits to her left.

May 30, 2012

Bunny Patrol

Madison, Wisconsin, June 2004. Pupa has her eye on some action in the backyard.

Common Interests

Suburban Chicago, July 1961. Mr. Irene rides a wooden horse in his backyard.

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Suburban Chicago, May 1962. My horse is plastic, and I am on the backyard patio.


I wrote earlier about the tradition of photographing convalescence as a way to memorialize a significant illness.

I don't know what sickness my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, had contracted when she looked into this lens:

Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1938. Even when she's sick, Tatjana has melancholy eyes that dominate the photo.
Click on the "convalescence" label to see more.

Chicago Ties

Kaunas, Lithuania, 1940. Members of my Mom's high-school class gather with a few of their teachers for a class picture. This is the same group that made several out-of-town field trips during its senior year.

The Sisters of St Casimir staffed the high school. It's interesting that an order of sisters with Chicago roots educated Mom.

May 29, 2012

The annuals are planted.

Verona, Wisconsin, June 2007. A visitor arrives to check out the new Zinnias.

Watch the Needles!

Suburban Chicago, January 1962. One of the hamsters visits Mom while she knits.

General Manners: If you're preoccupied, then don't let it show.

Things will get better.

Suburban Chicago, January 1962. Something is on my mind as I sit next to the piano.

Unconditional Remembrance

Madison, Wisconsin, May 2010. My friend's Sheltie greets me during a visit.


Seligenstadt, Germany, about 1946. Mom relaxes with two friends at the Displaced Persons camp.

May 28, 2012

Late Lilacs

Door County, Wisconsin, June 2007. The lilacs bloom later in the northern parts of the state.

Almost Summer

Rockford, Illinois, June 1961. My Parents attend a Memorial Day picnic.


Camp Aušra (today known as "Camp Kretinga"), Ontario, Canada, July 1960. My Toronto Cousin—on the far left—looks on as her father, Kadis, cools off a marshmallow for her. My Dad and my Mom sit on the right. Mom wears her red shoes.

In the Woods Again

Door County, Wisconsin, July 1980. Mom and I take another walk in the woods. Mom wears that London Fog windbreaker.

Angels at His Feet

Salzburg, Austria, July 1971. We visit Mozart while we are in the city, and the cupids fascinate me.


Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1936. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, hugs her father, Vytautas.

May 27, 2012

Dad, at the Cape

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, July 1963. The London Fog windbreaker made it to Cape Cod, too.

Related by Marriage: Memorial Day Picnic

Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, about 1960. Mr. Irene's maternal Aunt, Martha—on the far right, in the white-framed shades—enjoys a picnic in the Park with friends.

Views from Camp

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Scouting Camp (Santakų Stovykla), Lithuania, about Summer 1939. The scouts pitch sophisticated tents, and they enjoy a bonfire.

Holiday Weekend

Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, July 1962. My Mom and I explore the "Northwoods."

Another Glimpse at the Party

Here's a third view of the guests at my Parents' wedding reception:

Schweinfurt, Germany, 1948. My Dad's face is partially visible on the far left. The young man sitting between the two women is my Dad's friend, Casey. Check out the hydrangeas.

May 26, 2012

Oriole Reunion

Verona, Wisconsin, May 2012. A visitor returns to the Redbud.

A Break from Shopping

Venice, Italy, April 1984. My Mom and I catch our breath in Venice. My Parents flew in for a visit while I was living abroad.

Home Sewing

Suburban Chicago, March 1965. My paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, works on a project at her White-brand sewing machine.

Weekend at the Beach

Coney Island Beach, New York, May 1952. My Dad is holding Mom's arm in that charming way that European men do.

Christening Day

Suburban Chicago, December 1958. Mom is ready to send me off to my baptism. The custom among Lithuanians was for Parents (and Grandparents) not to attend a baby's christening. The absence is symbolic: the baptism proceeds when the Godparents step in and assume the role of spiritual Parents.

My American friends found this custom peculiar.


Zarasai, Lithuania, 1939. My Dad and his cousins enjoy the summer weather. I can't decide whether Dad is eating an apple or playing the harmonica.

May 25, 2012


My Dad disliked yardwork. He didn't mind it, however, when we visited Door County. Few things troubled him there.

Here, Dad tries to get the wild raspberries and thimbleberry bushes under control:

Door County, Wisconsin, June 1977. Dad wears his beret and the London Fog windbreaker.


Suburban Chicago, November 1966. I never played the clarinet. I am holding a toy instrument.

Weeping Willow, in Three Takes

A couple of months ago, I posted a nostalgic entry about the two Weeping Willows that grew in my childhood backyard.

The memories of those trees got Mom and me to talking about Weeping Willows again; we started longing for the sight of one's branches swaying in the wind.

We decided to plant one. It arrived today.

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Verona, Wisconsin, May 2012. We positioned the tree far from the house. That way, if the bugs we encountered in Chicago surface here, then they may not make it indoors.
The lawn still has a lot of debris from yesterday's wind storm.

(Life imitates blog.)

One More Snapshot

I have found another photo of my maternal Grandfather, Jake, and his two brothers taken on the last day the three men were together.

Kaunas, Lithuania, Summer 1940. Jake sits on the right, wearing the uniform of the Soviet occupiers. His wedding band is visible on his right hand; that's the ring Mr. Irene has worn for the last twenty-three years. The elegant Cody Jr.—the brother who drove his car from Poland—sits in the middle. On the left is Zigmas, father of my "New" Cousin.

Memorable Meeting

Schweinfurt, Germany, January 18, 1948. Two leaders among the Displaced-Persons scouts conduct a meeting. My Dad has several photographs from this day, including another snapshot of the mentor pictured here.

Was this a significant gathering, perhaps designed to plan for the Scouting Jamboree that took place later that year in Isarhorn? Or was it a meeting to discuss how to preserve the scouting traditions because so many of the DPs secured permission to leave Germany in 1948?

May 24, 2012

Pioggia in Piazza

Piazzetta San Marco, November 1983. Morning rain arrives in the Piazza. The building on the right houses the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. The "Marciana" is the library at which I worked when the Archivio di Stato closed. It's also the place to go for secondary sources.

Father-Daughter Fishing

Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada, July 1965. My Dad is happy for me when I reel in a pan fish. I'm wearing a "popcorn stitch" cardigan that Mom knitted.

Related by Marriage: The Jeep

Many Displaced Persons—like my Dad—had a lifelong fascination with the "Jeep" vehicle. They associated Jeeps with the U.S. Army under whose watch they lived in post-war Germany. The DPs looked upon Jeeps as symbols of modern life, freedom, and prosperity.

I'll bet Mr. Irene's Dad was especially proud when, as a Private in the U.S. Army, he got the chance to drive a Jeep.

Camp Irwin, Barstow, California, July 25, 1951. Mr. Irene's Dad sent this snapshot to his brother, Ignas. On the back he wrote, "Brother!! I have pulled up to my barracks."

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

Study Break

Hohenheim University, Stuttgart, Germany, 1946. My Dad, on the left, and two classmates take a study break after classes.


Suburban Chicago, December 1961. Mom sits on the ledge of the Rec Room's picture window.

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Suburban Chicago, December 1961. Dad uses the flash to capture the same pose moments later.

May 23, 2012


Isarhorn, Germany, August 1948. A young scout considers the Bavarian Alps during his visit to the Scouting Jamboree.


Lübeck, Germany, about 1946. Vladas (on the left), the Father-in-law of my Toronto Cousin, sits with fellow Displaced Persons on the DP camp property.

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

I have a watch ...

... and there is a great car parked in front of our house.

Suburban Chicago, December 1961. I am sitting in the living room, like a big girl.