September 30, 2013

We'll get past this rocky spot quickly.

Lake of Bays, Ontario, Canada, July 1969. This was an unexpected place.

Photo Ready

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, July 1967. My Parents' traveling clothes blend in with the scenery.

Monday is "Laundry Day."

Toronto Ontario, January 1961. Do you remember when people observed "weekly chore schedules?" Ironing probably fell under Monday's "laundry" tasks.

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

It's finished.

Last year, I posted scans of the swatches I knitted after I had taken Janine Bajus's "Design Your Own Fair-Isle Workshop."
I finished the sweater based on a swatch I designed from that workshop:

Verona, Wisconsin, September 2013. You see, I did choose the green swatch. I call this sweater "Baltic Bog."

September 29, 2013

Homecoming Reunion

Suburban Chicago, August 2013. This image captures those three Golden Retrievers anticipating an arrival.

Mother and Daughter

Here's another photo from my paternal Grandmother's seventieth-birthday celebration. Tatjana and her daughter—my Dad's twin sister, Jonė—stand in our backyard, below the kitchen window.

Related by Marriage: Church Door

Nativity BVM Church, Marquette Park, Chicago, mid-1950s. The bride is Betty, a friend of Mr. Irene's Mother. The two women grew up together in Bridgeport, attended the same parochial schools, and remained lifelong friends. You've seen Betty earlier here, when she and Mr. Irene's Mom served together as bridesmaids.


Lithuania, about 1927. This is the family of Kadis (center). Kadis was the husband of my Dad's twin sister, Jonė.
Thanks to Kadis's daughter—my Toronto Cousin—for making this photo available to us.

September 28, 2013

Clinical Trials and Treatments Out of Reach

Here's an article about drug trials and "compassionate use" of study drugs for terminal patients.

The BRCA gene mutations are in the news a lot these days, but the treatments for people with certain inherited cancers are still a few years away. 

Thanks to my friend Kris for pointing me to the article about Andrea Sloan.

Autumn Reunion

Suburban Chicago, September 1967. Although the temperature was warm today, it felt like Autumn because the leaves began falling during the windy afternoon.

The Wandering Eye

Suburban Chicago, September 1963. I started wearing glasses when I was about four years old. My Mom noticed I had "crossed eyes" or strabismus. In this photo, my right eye looks at the camera, but my left eye wanders.

For a time, Mom and the ophthalmologist tried patch therapy, but like most children, I removed the patch. When I switched to glasses, I thought it was important to select stylish spectacles. I remember choosing this pair—which was bluish in tint—because one of my babysitter wore similar glasses (and so did her sister).

Chit Chat

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 1949 or 1950. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, talks with friends after a church service.

Thanks to Jonė's daughter—my Toronto Cousin—for making this photo available to us.

Exchanging Portraits (Part 3)

Schweinfurt, Germany, December 25, 1946. This is the UNRRA administrator with whom my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, organized the cultural exhibit. The woman wrote her Christmas greeting in French, of course. Recall Tatjana thought every cultured person should be fluent in French. That wasn't an idea she picked up in the DP camp; it was a belief that sprang from her upbringing as a Russian aristocrat.

September 27, 2013

Parched Reunion

Near Mesa Verde, Colorado, July 1967. We visit the area near Four Corners.


From Schweinfurt, Germany, about 1946 to 1948. This is the patch my Dad's twin sister, Jonė, wore on her scouting uniform.

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

The End of the Work Week

Toronto, Ontario, about 1950. Toronto Al's Dad, Vladas, rides the ferry from Toronto Island.
Thanks to Toronto Al for making this photo available to us.

"Knit, Purl, Sow"

An exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

A Somber Occasion

Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1936. I can't identify what is going on at this meeting. Suzanne, the wife of my Dad's older cousin, sits on the left with a baby—probably her daughter, Kaunas Nina—on her lap. Henry sits near the right of Suzanne. I guess the date based on Kaunas Nina's age in this snapshot. Perhaps the group has gathered to discuss the 1936 elections?

Thanks to Kaunas Nina's daughter—my Kaunas Cousin—for making this photo available to us.

September 26, 2013

Another View of "Yesterday's"

Evanston, Illinois, about 1975. My friend Kris—who also attended Northwestern—today sent along a photo of a watercolor. Kris writes, "I saw your blog entry about Yesterday's a day or two ago. Brought back fond memories. Used to love having a burger with the blob of soft cheddar on top on Sunday evening when the food service was closed. Oh, and plunking my coins in the jukebox to play The Beatles' 'Get Back' (one of my favorite songs)."

We're settled in the new house.

Suburban Chicago, August 1958. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, and her daughter—my Toronto Cousin—pose with my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, during their summer visit. My family had moved into the house about nine months earlier.

Check out the oil tank in the neighbor's yard. That's something I don't remember seeing.

Grab a Book: Companion Edition

Suburban Chicago, June 1974. I'm reading Crime and Punishment as the end of the school year approaches.

Related by Marriage: Army Buddies (Part 17)

Near Los Angeles, California, 1952. In this "Army Buddies" snapshot, Mr. Irene's Dad and a friend spend a weekend in Los Angeles.

Bird of Prey

Remote camera snaps images of a Russian eagle slaughtering a deer.

September 25, 2013

"Bat Aftertaste"

Peruvian cane toad tries to eat a bat.

Meanwhile, authorities in Barrington, a suburb of Chicago, tell residents of a townhouse complex to get rabies shots.

Dam Reunion

Lake of Bays, Ontario, Canada, July 1969. The busy builders have gone to sleep.


Kaunas, Lithuania, 1943. Mom sat for this portrait less than one year before she and her father, Jake, fled Lithuania.

Here we are!

Isarhorn, German, August 2, 1948. Girl scouts arrive at the third National Scouting Jamboree.

Exchanging Portraits (Part 2)

Probably Schweinfurt, Germany, about 1946. In Lithuania, owning a custom-made folkdress became popular in the late 1930s. Some women were lucky to have packed their folkdresses when they became refugees. After the war, Displaced Persons often wore national folkdress when they sat for portraits. Folk costumes were symbols of national identity.

Here is a photo my Dad's twin, Jonė, received from a friend.

(Old studio portraits skillfully captured shadows to highlight a subject's features.)

September 24, 2013

Nibbling, in Three Takes

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Verona, Wisconsin, September 2013. The doe teaches her tactics.

The Life Box (Part 15)

Here's an extra-credit project I did.* Extra credit. Ridiculous, I think now. I suppose in high school "extra credit" acts as an incentive. Like "do overs" and acknowledgement of  "effort."

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*This is a photocopy of the project. The teacher kept the color original.

Related by Marriage: Meet Mr. Ned

Bozo’s Circus made its debut on Chicago’s WGN Channel 9 television broadcast at noon on September 11, 1961, with a blast from Ringmaster Ned’s opening whistle and his hearty announcement, "Bozo’s Circus is on the air!" In its forty-year history, the daily weekday show, taped in front of a live audience, became the country's longest running children's program. If you grew up in Chicagoland in the 1960s and early 1970s, then you knew that the waiting list for Bozo’s Circus tickets was years long.

Ned Locke played Ringmaster Ned until his retirement in 1976. The show was a promotional engine for its commercial advertisers. Bun Candy Bars was a prominent sponsor of Bozo’s Circus, and Mr. Ned knew how to reach its consumers.

Ringmaster Ned made frequent appearances in Chicago area grocery and department stores. Mr. Irene met Mr. Ned at the Winston Plaza Kroger in the during one visits (The Kroger store sign is partially visible in this 1963 shot.)

Winston Plaza, Melrose Parkprobably 1964. Mr. Ned signs a souvenir photo for Mr. Irene.

Ned Locke, like other pioneers of early television, had a career in radio and in other businesses before joining WGN-TV in 1956. Mr. Locke was an avid pilot. He owned two airports in Iowa and had served as that state’s director of aeronautics for seven years. He retired to Kimberling City, Missouri. He was mayor of that city when he died in 1992.

September 23, 2013

When animals seem human.

Brookfield Zoo, June 1963. Many images depict animals in anthropomorphic poses. This was a subject that intrigued my Dad, and he often snapped pictures of zoo animals who looked uncannily human.

In those photographs, Dad captured animals naturally engaging in behaviors people associate with humans. That's a different category from photos in which someone stages animals to act as if they are humans.

General Manners: Don't hog the animals.

Brookfield Zoo, September 1963. I decide whether to let the other girl pet the guinea pig.

The Workplace

Schweinfurt, Germany, 1949. A friend of my Parents stands outside the UNRRA school where many Displaced Persons worked. Dad took this photo on the same day he and Mom made the"mitten promenade."

Photo-Session Styling

Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1935. I wondered recently whether my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, wore a hat as a prop. Now I see that the photographer also snapped her while she wore a matching coat. It was once common to stage a shoot in which the subject wore outdoor attire. (See also here, here, and here.)

September 22, 2013

Sunday Dinner, Student Style

People who attended Northwestern University in the 1970s likely remember "Yesterday's." The restaurant stood on Sherman Avenue, close to the sorority quad, Willard Hall, and my dorm.

Evanston, Illinois, is home to the Women's Christian Temperance Union.* When I lived there, the city was essentially dry. There were no liquor store in town; however, the liquor store on Howard Street, on the Chicago border, would deliver to dorm rooms. There were only two ways to buy a drink in Evanston itself: (1) go to one of the the two or three hotels in town. Hotels had a municipal exemption from the blue laws because the city did not want to turn away out-of-town visitors; or (2) buy dinner at a restaurant that carried a limited liquor license. The city granted licenses to sell beer and wine in downtown restaurants, but patrons could buy the beverages only if they ordered a "meal."

Illinois law at that time allowed 18-year-olds to buy beer and wine. Almost everyone on campus therefore could drink legally. Students were good at persuading restaurant servers about what constituted a "meal" under the beverage laws. If you ordered something that wasn't on the appetizer menu, then the restaurant often allowed you to buy a beer or a glass of wine.

*One dorm, situated near the WCTU, offered T-Shirts for its residents that read, "We're Behind the WTCU."

Evanston, Illinois, February 1, 1978. We ate chili at Yesterday's on many Sunday evenings, when the university food service did not offer dinner.

Related by Marriage: A Sunday Visit with a Twist

Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, November 1965. Mr. Irene and his family visit with Uncle D and his wife during Ignas's visit to Chicago.

Sundays are for socializing.

Toronto, Ontario, about 1949. Toronto Al's Mom lights a cigarette; the fellow who introduced her to her husband critiques the Canadian beer.

Thanks to Toronto Al for making this photo available to us. It's a favorite.

Dressed for an Occasion

Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1939. My Dad's twin, Jonė, went to the same high school, Saulės Gimnazija, that my Mom atttended. Mom and Jonė only knew of each other, however, because they were not in the same class. The Chicago-based Sister of St. Casimir staffed the school.
As World War II approached, it became fashionable for young women to wear folkdresses to social occasions. Jonė here wears the folkdress her Mother, Tatjana, sewed in 1939. My Mom also had a folkdress made around this time. Each woman's costume was authentic to the Lithuanian region from which the woman's family originated. The regional focus led to a lot of variety among the garments. Here, for example, some girls wear white aprons, while other's aprons are dark. Some motifs are geometric; others are floral. There also are differences among the vests.
(The Balzekas Museum in Chicago has a great collection of folkdresses.)
Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

September 21, 2013

Goodbye to Baboon Island

Brookfield Zoo announces the closing of Baboon Island.

(Photo here.)


Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana, July 1966. I objected when we stopped at this site because I thought it would be a boring place. I was wrong! The field and the presentation of the battle moved me.

There's time for a spin.

Suburban Chicago, January 1964. Although I sometimes danced when we entertained guests, I always was happy to perform when my Dad was the only audience member.

A Back-to-Back Stroller Post

Toronto, Ontario, about 1953. My Dad's twin, Jonė, and her husband Kadis take baby Toronto Cousin out for an airing.

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