55 posts categorized "History"

Improvement in all lines of endeavor

Liza-arrival-2Liza's arrival in New York, Nov. 1906 / She started from Krk, Croatia; her final destination is 1714 Master St. Camden, NJ / Uncle Josip met her in NY and bought her a new hat and took her to meet friend in New York before heading to Camden /

This is the city of Camden that Jelisava moved to: At the annual gathering of the Board of Trade last week the value of some of the city's manufactories was expressed something in this wise: "Camden has within its border a population of nearly 100,000 and shipbuilding firms that can either supply a launch or the greatest battleship; the larges lace curtain manufactory in America, a talking machine that speaks every known language; iron works that make enough pipe to girdle the earth: leather manufactories that tan skins from all parts of the globe; the larges furniture house whose products reach to the Philippines; banks and trust companies whose resources are not affected by panics; linoleum works which manufacture one-half the country's whole product; a plant whose kitchens annually make enough soup to float all the vessels built in our shipyards; a nickle works which furnishes Uncle Sam with material for slot machines; a department store, whose experiment has proved a decided success; pen works, which produce two-thirds of the pens used in the world; an expanded metal works -- the material produced there will stretch from Maine to Texas and its mills rival the largest.
So, with the thousands of homes, its scores of industries, its charitable institutions and the manifold creations of a modern civilization, Camden is a city which is not slow, which is always in the van of progress and municipal improvement in all lines of endeavor.

[Excerpted from "Camden, Now Eighty Years Old, is Proud of its Wonderful Growth, City on Saint Valentine's Day, Will Observe the Anniversary of Its Incorporation---Some Facts and Figures Concerning "Slow Town" Across the River", Philadelphia Inquirer; February 2, 1908]

A reverence for the past

Photo (1)Streets of Philadelphia with GGMom

"Since I was a very small child, I've had a kind of reverence for the past, and I felt a very intimate connection with it. When I began, it was just being enthralled by the lives of the members of my family who -- really, it didn't seem to make any difference in day-to-day talk whether people were alive or dead. I'm one of these children who grew up at the knee of my grandmother and her elder sister, listening to very old people talk about their memories. And as I say, in their conversation, everything was as if it happened yesterday. And the dead were discussed along with the living. And the difference really didn't seem to matter. And I suppose this seeped into my viewpoint. Instead of thinking there was a wall between the living and the dead, I thought there was a very thin veil. It was almost as if they'd just gone into the next room."

~ Hilary Mantel

The good family I had

Scan0005In memory of our dear cousin Irma / Ride to the dump / 1965

“There isn’t many days that go by that I don’t think of the good family I had and the wonderful times as a child on up to old age. We all didn’t have lots of money—but love for all we did have.”   ~ Irma

Fair and mild today

Weather-map-111255Weather map in the NYTimes for November 12, 1955 / Celebrating the 59th Anniversary / This / This

It was a beautiful day then and it was a beautiful day today. Standing on the steps of the church. Breezy but warm. Sit and soak up the sun. Sharp glass of wine. Crisp french fries. Air coming in the window. Happy and sad. Sun glinting lower now, but still bright.

The poetry of hands, 54


Mountain house glow

"But how are you to see into a virtuous Soul & know its loveliness? Withdraw into yourself & look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smooths there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work.

So do you also: cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make all one glow of beauty & never cease chiseling your statue..."
~ an excerpt from Beauty by John O'Donohue (via Mitza)

Sauerkraut and coconut cake

Balto-xmasAn interview in the NYTimes with movie director and Baltimore native John Waters inspires some thoughts on two Christmas foodstuffs / Dec. 2013

We always had sauerkraut with our turkey at our Baltimore Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It's taken me a long time to appreciate the pairing, but now turkey seems bland without the pungent sauerkraut. A turkey-day discussion about favorite foods inspired me to find a recipe for a sauerkraut chocolate cake. You rinse the kraut in cold water and then chop it before adding it to the batter. It adds a nice texture to the cake, and if you didn't know there was sauerkraut in it, you'd never guess. My grandmother's family sold produce (including cabbage) from an outside stall at the Hollins Market in Baltimore. Her father Jake, and his father (who came here from Germany as a boy and "farmed and tilled" in the Mount Winans area of Baltimore) sold produce in the city's Lexington, Hollins, and Hanover Markets. When I wore my fingerless gloves on a recent cold day, my dad remembered the relatives working at the market wearing gloves without fingertips when it was cold so they could feel the money and make accurate change for customers.

Like John Waters, my grandmother always had a coconut cake for Christmas. It had two layers and a sweet, thick frosting. It was so sweet that I couldn't eat a whole piece in one sitting. I make it every year using her hot milk cake recipe that includes this precise atmospheric direction: Bake on a nice day only. To reduce the sweetness, I make a lighter frosting using whipped egged whites and toast the coconut that goes on top.

Anniversary talk

TaproomLunch in the tap room / Philadelphia / Nov. 12

When we drive by Alleghany Avenue, he points to the steeples and says that's where it all began. When we turn onto Lehigh Avenue, she says that's where Bill Sepich lived and the Dvornics. The little houses over there. I was born in the house on Almond Street and so was my sister. Near to where it crosses Lehigh. On Fridays, my mother would send me down to the bar to get oyster stew. We slept in bunks in the arsenal. That's where we met. We both worked there. With glasses of vino and pilsner we talked of all sorts of things. The ritual of making coffee. Taking the time. Hand cut fries. The runt bird who needed the help of its family and finally got there. Able to fly. Communal consciousness. A cold and wintry day, so unlike the one we were celebrating; that November day was warm enough that you didn't need a coat. And the sun lit up the steeples on Alleghany Avenue.

And the occasional nor'easter

Northeasterly"Forecasters say minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible from a slow-moving nor'easter that's bringing periods of wind-driven heavy rain to New Jersey" / that nor-easter brought wind-driven rain along with a flood of family, friends, lovely words, vows, stories, food, champagne, dancing, songs, smiles, tears, laughter, hugs, hope / New Jersey, October 2013

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity -- in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits -- islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

~ an excerpt from Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh via Mitza