Sunday, October 22, 2006

Images of Broken Light Which Dance Before Me Like a Million Eyes

Hey kids, guess what time it is? That's right. It's time for an old timey photo post. My brother just sent me a link to one of my uncle's sites with some pictures of my grandparents on my dad's side.

This is my grandfather with some neighbor kids. This is the first time I've ever seen a picture of him. I think his name was John. Every man on my dad's side of the family seems to be named, Robert, John or William. My grandpa died when my dad was really young. I have no idea what killed him though.

Here is my grandmother and grandfather. My grandma was a six foot tall red head - that had to be kind of crazy at the beginning of the century. She was from Petaluma and was six months old during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Her dad had some money and owned a hotel on Lombard Street in San Francisco that he had to sell to the city so they could build the Golden Gate Bridge on that land.

Here they are again standing next to their really sweet ride. The story goes that my great grandfather didn't like my grandpa and never spoke to my grandmother again after she married him. There is a street in Petaluma named after us because my grandpa built all the houses on it.

Here is my grandma's wedding photo. During the Depression, my Grandpa lost his contracting business and moved the family to Chicago to learn how to be a mortician from his uncle. It was one of the few jobs with any kind of security in the 1930's. After my grandpa died, my grandmother took it over. She was one of the strongest women I've ever met.

By the time I was born, she had broken her hip and was on crutches for the rest of her life. When would act up, she would threaten to hit us with her crutch. Once when I was nineteen, I told my grandma how scared I was when she said that.

"You knew I was kidding, didn't you?" She asked.

"No. I thought you were serious. Why did you think I straightened up so fast?"

"Oh my. You must have thought I was a monster..." But I didn't. My siblings and I didn't have much structure or discipline when we were younger, so our grandmother's more stern and regal presence always seemed so novel.


Mark said...

Great photographs and great stories. Your grandmother was absolutely stunning.

gareth said...

mark's right, she's beautiful.

Btw, Across the Universe is one of the best songs, ever. :)

Churlita said...


Thanks. I love those old timey photos and it's always interesting to see that your grandparents looked like something other than old.


I love that song too. It's one of Coadster's favorites as well, which means we listen to it a lot in our house.

loveyouintheface said...

I agree that she is remarkably beautiful.
It's funny, my great grandmother owned a candy store in Philadelphia during the depression and supported her disabled war veteran husband and five daughters. It amazes me what women accomplished even though their options were so limited. Acutally 'amazes' is probably the wrong word. I should have said "fortifies.'
Thanks for the pictures by the way. I love looking at them.

Churlita said...

I Love You In The Face, (I like writing that)

Thanks. She looks so much quirkier in those pictures than I remember her being. Maybe raising six kids by herself, took the quirk right out of her.

"Fortifies" is the perfect word, by the way.

Remiman said...

I also love the photos from earlier times, Yours and mine. ;-)
In the top bathing suit pic, I see a strong facial resemblance between you and your grandmother. (I agree with Mark; stunning.)
I think your daughter resembles your grandmother in the wedding photo.

On my post today there is pic of my aunt Nellie. She was really my great aunt, being my father's father's sister. But in real time she was the only grandmother I had.

TLB said...

gorgeous old pics. I love that kind of stuff (obviously).

Did Coadster go to Sycamore last night to the movies? I thought I saw her ahead of us in line.

htpkvhoo said...

Like all the above I love the pictures and the stories. '

akelly said...

- see above comment
and look how original I was when I 'published' my comment I can't even spell my own

Churlita said...


Thanks. Actually, it was Stinky at the movie. It's hard to tell them apart, especially if you've never seen them in real life. I'm sorry if she was super obnoxious hanging out with her friends very loudly.


I could look at old pictures all day long. My sister Moira really looks a lot more like my dad's side of the family.

I saw the photo on your post and it made me happy. Very cool.


How would one pronounce your name if one were to voice it? It's very original. It almost looks like a word verification...

Thanks. You've probably heard all my lame stories before, haven't you.