maeve66: (Ganesha)
This is a topic? I guess none of these is really much of a topic, and it's not like I've written any undying prose on the topics offered me, either. If that is what I set out to do with this meme (and I don't think it is) then I have failed miserably.

Nevertheless, all the other topics that came up were even stupider, and I can use this for a photo post.

My requirements for wallpaper are: nothing is cut off; the image is interesting to me personally; it avoids cliché (sunsets, beaches, close-ups of flowers, a pattern made of pebbles, etc.) I have a folder on iPhoto for pictures I like as wallpaper, and I change fairly regularly. Recent ones have included a photo of a silver "miniature caudle cup" crafted by one of the first two Colonial silversmiths in the 1670s, one Robert Sanderson, who turns out to be an ancestor of mine (and a more interesting one than the faint claims to Lord this and Sir that), and a copy of a scanned photo of my father's maternal grandmother as a toddler, with her two sisters, from Chicago in the 1880s. HELLA cute. I'll include those, shall I? And then a couple of other ones.

Wallpaper photos:

My ancestor the artisan's work:

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Three Chicago girls

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This time last year

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An excellent Ganesh

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My great-uncle training during WWII. Possibly also macking on some handsome young men. Not sure.

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Dunno, I might have posted this before. These are, I believe, teachers, photographed by my great-aunt or my maternal grandmother when one of them was graduating 8th grade, therefore 1924 or 1922, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The school building is still there, though not the trees and park.

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More of my father's need for organization

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Finally, a Christmas scene. M. jiggled the camera wildly for this "arty" shot. It makes great wallpaper, though. Very festive.

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maeve66: (Ganesha)
The second is the random topic; the first is what was crossing my mind. If Diwali/Deepavali is November 13-17th this year, why are all the Bay Area Diwali melas already over AS OF TODAY? WTF? That's not fair. Even though I feel like Whitey McWhite attending one, I can in some years get past that feeling, and enjoy wandering the food booths/craft sales part of it, or watching kids' dance troupes dance on flimsy stages, from 4 year olds to nervous middle schoolers to apparently blasé high schoolers.

As for playing the recorder as a child. I did. I never got incredibly good at it, and I didn't keep up with it, though I had vague thoughts of trying again -- with an alto recorder this time -- when I moved out to Oakland, during my first three years of pretty much solitude. It still didn't take, though.

My mom was really into me playing the recorder*, and there is a photo of me doing so with a Dorothy Hamill haircut she literally forced me to get, around age 12. I hated that haircut so much I refused to go to school the Monday afterwards. Luckily, the shorter my hair is, the curlier it gets, so it defeated Dorothy Hamill in fairly short order. I wonder if I can find and scan that photo?

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*I think because she and her younger star brother Peter played, too, and there was always this subtle "Maeve66 is like her dead uncle Peter" myth; they both love French and majored in it in college; they both loved history as taught by Marxists, and took it in grad school; they both read and enjoyed Molière; they both played recorder! None of which I knew until way, way later as an adult. Peter offed himself when I was two. Bi-Polar, as they say now. Not diagnosed. Not on meds. A fucking shame; he sounded like a very cool person.
maeve66: (1969)
Well, I am not really planning to take any pictures today, so that would be an easy topic. However, I'll put up some old family photos that I scanned yesterday instead, some from the Olden Days, some from my babyhood.

First, from my father's family tree -- his father was a postman, and I put up a photo of him a while ago. This is his uncle, also a postman, though he started a few years earlier in an older iteration of the US Postal Uniform.

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This is my mother's maternal grandmother, who apparently liked babies very well, but really could not bear kids once they could talk back, and who was not very nice to them.

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This is my mother's paternal grandfather, grandmother, teenaged father, and his two sisters, in the late 1920s at some train station. I love pictures of women in cloche hats. The woman in the cloche hat, by the way, was a lesbian and spent a lot of her life with an Venezuelan woman, Tika (Margarita Madrigal, who authored some well-known "Learn Spanish the Easy Way" type textbooks), the daughter of a Kansas City consular official.

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And this is World War II, my mother and her father, in New York City. My grandmother and her two sisters all spent WWII in Greenwich Village in New York, which I think cultivated some amount of bohemianism in them all.

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This photo explains me a bit, I think.

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Me at happy, happy age two or so.

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Me at three, next to my grandmother's Volkswagon Beetle

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Me, almost four years old, deer in the headlights look because, baby sister.

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I kept telling my niece that we all used to wear hippie dresses, but she didn't believe me until I unearthed this photo. There's another one a couple years later when my sister is older when all THREE of us were wearing hippie dresses. But I haven't found it yet.

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Here she is, queen of all she surveys, aka taking a bath on my bed:

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And here, terrified by being in a NEW, BIG, unknown scary ROOM (otherwise known as my living room, where I transported her and set her down on my couch.) Everything smells like that other cat. Aghh!

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But a few minutes later... well, maybe she can tolerate that other cat's scent. It's not so bad, as long as there are NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS or NOISES. What, you want me to look at you now? Fine.

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This is an old jukebox in an ice cream parlor in East Troy, Wisconsin. The ice cream parlor is kind of a faux mélange of antiques, decorated largely by buying out the stock of three drugstores that went under in the 60s or 70s or something. So there are cabinets with Lydia Pinkham's pills and Necco wafers jostling black cat gum and Gold Dust Twins scouring powder. And there's this jukebox. My brother-in-law yearns after owning a jukebox he could stock with his own records.



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maeve66: (1969)
I feel like I am posting everything I have even vaguely thought of all summer. This one will be a continuation of family history photos. The next one will be on Hindi and matters subcontinental, cultural and otherwise.

So.

Let's see about the order here. My father's Lake Geneva family again, first. I've said this before (and I realized I retold a story in my last post, too, about my great-aunt and grandmother and their early '30s road trips)... anyway, though, it continues to resonate for me, every time I see a photograph that links today to then. My father bought the house he grew up in. His grandparents bought that house in about 1913 or so -- maybe even earlier. And it was originally built in 1877; it has a historic plaque as of this year, announcing that fact. So there are all these photos from the 1920s, and then there are all these photos around and about that house from ... 2011. That physical connection is still very pleasing to me -- and must be, to my father.

I think he *loves* having retired to the small town he grew up in, even if the politics of that small town are pretty vile. From what he says, the best (and the tiny minority) are the few Democrats, though almost all of those are Catholic, and thus anti-abortion. He blocs with these few, these precious few, at his kaffeeklatsch group at the local Caribou, virtually every morning. He blocs with them against the far more numerous Republicans who support Governor Scott Walker and who view everyone (except themselves) as receivers-of-government-largesse. Some are self-made stocks-and-bond trader millionaires, and they're without a doubt the worst. I don't know how my dad can bear talking and arguing with them.

Speaking of vile politics in Lake Geneva (I know, I'm getting away from photos...) -- I read an article in their shitty local newsrag, The Lake Geneva Regional News or something like that, which gloatingly crowed over the fact that local businesses and homeowners would be getting lowered property taxes, by 2 % or something like that -- BECAUSE OF A CONCESSIONARY CONTRACT signed by Lake Geneva teachers. Jesus motherfucking Christ on a stick, that's... god, it's nausea-inducing. And my uncle keeps asking plaintively if I would consider moving back to Lake Geneva to teach school. Seriously, he asks me this pretty much every time we have a conversation. He'll probably ask me this week when we go have dinner at P. F. Chang's. One thing I would be good at, if I did move back and teach in LG (not that this is really imaginable): there's a huge and growing Mexican population, and I could teach English Language Learners. The racism against them is [unsurprising and] hideous.

ANYWAY. Here are two pictures from about 1919 or so, I think.







Both of those are right next to the very house I just spent a week at. The next one is one of my favorites of all of these old photos. It was taken by my great-aunt Fran when she was about 14 or so, eighth grade, I think. It is of, apparently, four of her favorite teachers from Central School, the building behind the women. I love looking at their clothes -- it's partly how I date photographs, because our family pix never have years written on or under them. And it's just fascinating to see what older girls wore versus younger ones. Did they have sex segregated recesses? Because I don't see any boys, on first glance. That school building is still there, with considerable, and fairly well-matching, additions. I could work there! Ha.




Then there are two from WWII, of Uncle Tom, my father's uncle he grew up with, who I believe was closeted. He was 36 when he was drafted, so they didn't send him to either theater of war. Instead, he was just bounced around from army base to army base. He has lots of photos of him posing with much younger guys, as they mostly would have been. He also sent a whole series of photos of one of his barracks, with him making his bed, him sorting his equipment for inspection, the empty barracks as a still life, etc. He sent these and practically daily postcards home to his mother, my dad's Gram, Lil.









This last one is an interior shot of the kitchen at my dad's in LG -- it is also another image documenting my father's penchant for careful organization.




The next three photos are of my mom playing the recorder, circa 1954, and then the guitar, circa 1955 to 1959. I have a whole series of scanned photos of my mom playing guitar. I feel like there must be even more photos, and I'd like to scan them, too. I wish she would play again. I think she's afraid that she wouldn't sound good at all. I wish I had learned, myself. I still think about it. The one time I tried, I wasn't very good at coordinating my two hands' activities. But I didn't try for very long.










My dad used to say that when he first met my mom, she was kind of a fixture on the Madison folk-singing circuit, singing Child ballads and the like. I would love to have seen her, though of course I heard them as lullabies, anyway. I can sing a few, still. I'd like to learn more. I used to sing them to Ruby, my niece, as lullabies, though several are quite cold-blooded and bloodthirsty, both.

Finally, here is my FIRST arrest photo, taken in 1985 at an anti-apartheid sit-in at Northwestern University, right before the plastic manacles were put on all of us.




And that's my long and miscellaneous photo post. Also... I'm not putting an LJ cut. I doubt you all have so many posts on your feed that this will be too inconvenient. If I'm wrong, tell me.

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