Thursday, May 16, 2013

Grandma and Grandpa Go to the Beach

I didn't know my paternal grandparents at all well. My grandmother died before my second birthday. I remember that she was very kind, but I was shy (believe it or not) and would hide behind my mother while being coaxed out with raspberry-filled hard candies (hard candies are what we New Yorkers called "sucking candies"). I only ever had those candies at my grandparents' house, and I loved them. Interestingly, that's one of my earliest memories.

Unlike my maternal grandparents, who had seven children over the course of 18 years (a total of 13 pregnancies, I think), my father's parents had only three children over the course of seven years. I think it gave them a bit more time for fun when they were young, because there are plenty of pictures of them at the beach or dressed for a costume party.

My mother gave me an old photo album that belonged to my father. The album contains loads of pictures from my father's teen and army years, as well as some photos of his parents. I found several photos taken at Coney Island some time around 1920, either before or right after my grandparents were married (but clearly before there were kids). They look a little wild. Obviously, my family has always liked the beach.

GRANDPA.
MY GRANDFATHER ON LEFT.
IN FRONT OF ONE OF CONEY ISLAND'S HISTORIC BATH HOUSES.
MY GRANDMOTHER ON LEFT.

24 comments:

  1. This might seem wildly in appropiate but Grandpa was packing!

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    1. Ha! I think you can get away with saying that!

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  2. It's obvious where your good looks came from.

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    1. Stephen:
      The cartoon-like guy in the background in photo #3?

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  3. Holy cow... that's a fun bunch! These are great photos to have from that time period!

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    1. Judeet:
      It is amazing to have such candid shots from that time.

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  4. What great photos to have Mitch! They DID look like they had a good time! Smart they kept the number of kids to three.

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    1. Jim:
      You'll love the photos of my grandparents in costume. I'll share those soon.

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  5. You're grandparents sure look like they knew how to enjoy life... mine look like a scene out of American Gothic!

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    1. Sharon:
      Acquaintances of mine in Sevilla sent me a photo of the two of them at Feria. I'm dying to share it because I found it so unbelievably -- comically -- "Sevilla Gothic." But they really like it... so you'll never see it!

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  6. Definitely a spirit of joie de vivre about them, and obviously some smart cookies as well. Now we know where you get it!

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    1. Jacqueline....
      I wish I had the chance to know the better!

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  7. Your father's pictures remind me of Harry Houdini! Were they related?

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      Interesting. Definitely not related, but I can see what you mean. Those smokey eyes I think. And the very athletic builds. My grandfather was Russian and, to me at least, always had that bearing and look.

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  8. This album is an amazing treasure! The people in the photographs looks as if they could speak to you. In a way, they do.

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    1. Kristi:
      I could sit with these old photos forever. I'll have to share more and stories to go with them. Thanks!

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  9. Aren't these the best bit of family history! Trying to imagine what they all were thinking about in those times!

    *smiles*
    Ron

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    1. Ron:
      Don't you wish you had had the opportunity to ask those questions?

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  10. happy times! I adore old photos and seeing your grandparents kidden' around -- that's golden. I never knew either of my grandfathers -- my grandmothers, who weren't close, died within hours of one another in 1987...weird.....

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    1. Wye:
      Fascinating about your grandmothers. I knew my maternal grandparents really well. My grandmother died on the one-year anniversary of my grandfather's death. I was 30.

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  11. I is lovely to see our ancestors enjoying themselves, more or less as we do.

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    1. Spo:
      I never saw a photo of my maternal grandparents enjoying themselves like this!

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  12. I wish they still sold those one piece bathing suits for men.
    I need one. Great photos!

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    1. Stan:
      These guys all appear to be wearing tops and bottoms, but if you do an image search of one-piece swimsuits for men, you might be surprised at what you find. Maybe we'll see you on the beach in one this summer.

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