Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Family Photos and Some Boring Details

I promised to put some of my precious collection of family photos into my blog and I am doing my best to keep that promise.  Trouble is, my photo files are so disorganized that I can't find anything, but I was lucky today and found at least one or two pics that I want to share.

The family starts with my Great Grandma and Great Grandpa, Sarah and Louis Blumenthal.  I will try to copy their pics into my photo file later today.

Meanwhile, this is one of my favorites ......a photo of the 3 young Blumenthal daughters at the beach in Atlantic City.

Left to right are Aunt Jenny,  my Grandma, May (Mamie) and  Aunt Mary.  Married they became Jenny Kapnek, Mamie Kauffman and Mary
Goldman.  (This is so that my young cousins on the Kapnek and Goldman sides can identify their Grandmas or Great Grandmas.)

Aren't those outfits smashing?  I was hoping to add another pic, but I am having trouble placing it under this image so I think I will simply save it for another posting.  Incidentally, the two older aunts were twins, but during Aunt Jenny's lifetime it was forbidden to mention that because she insisted that she was younger than Aunt Mary.    I think that was because she was older than her husband (Uncle Bill).  Aunt Mary, on the other hand, didn't give a damn about age but she was a good sister so she went along with the harmless ruse. 

Incidentally, the girls were not the only children of Sarah and Louis......there were four surviving boys, Jake, Harry, William and Barney, all older than the girls, and it was an incredibly close knit family.  They all lived near each other in the same West Philly neighborhood and were constantly in touch and appearing in each others homes to gossip or help.  No, that is not quite accurate.....Jake moved to New York City at a young age and Harry moved to Massachusets, changed his name to Bloomingdale and established a department store in New Bedford.  (I would love to be able to say he was the begining of Bloomingdale's of today, but I doubt if that is true.....just a coincidence I fear)    Of the 7, only Jake did not visit regularly.....in fact I never met him...... but one of his daughters, (Ruthie, of the chicken soup which got strained down the drain)  picked up the flag and was very close to the rest of us.....in fact, when my parents and I moved to California,  Ruth was the only person we knew here and the only family out here.  Her presence saved my Mamma and me from dying of Family Deprivation.

This generation of the family was one of the most potent forces in my life because I realized at a very early age that they were an amazing entity and I felt so lucky to be a part of it.  They really CARED about each other and the spirit and connection among them was so strong that you felt enclosed in a warm, tender, healing embrace just by being with them and observing their love for each other and for all the family members, even the young sprouts.........I can still feel the warmth to this day even though it is over 40 years since I have seen any of them. (they are all, of course, long gone)

What a fantastic inheritance !