A bolt of lightning knocked out the internet so blogging from my phone
Rhubarb says Spring to me.
When the three kids were younger, we’d pile in the car and drive 7 hours to New York City to visit my sister. I’d park in the lot by the pier on the Hudson and we’d make our way up the five floor walk-up to her apartment. Everyone would be asleep on the floor camping out and in the early morning, Aunt Mary would walk to Zito’s Bakery on Bleecker Street, come home with warm loaves. She’d have the butter out and a jar of her homemade strawberry rhubarb preserves. She’d slice the bread on a wooden board. That’s what the kids woke up to – warm bread and butter and strawberry rhubarb preserves-
Berenice Abbott took this photo of Zito’s in 1937.
Today I went to the Farmer’s market on the South Side and bought two bunches of rhubarb and fresh picked strawberries. I was trying to remember the method and chopped the stalks in one inch pieces, put them into a large enamel kettle and sprinkled with sugar to sit.
The loaf from the Farmers Market on the bread board, a gift from my sister.
Before Matthew was born and he’s 33!
Kids grown up and gone but tonight as I taste the strawberry rhubarb preserves, I remember.
P.S. And to answer your question Mary, on the card-
I did get that assistantship and that’s how I was able to get hired at Pittsburgh Public Schools in 1989!
P.P.S. Zito’s is gone now.
Seems like just yesterday (May 26, 1976) you arrived at Ireland Army Hospital – Fort Knox, Kentucky.
You were born exactly two years to the day from my graduation from college.
And suddenly, in a blink, it’s 38 years later!
I am proud of you and the wonderful man you have become. WOW. You have a beautiful family.
With love and gratitude on your birthday,
and of course I should have included the best present ever
Been on a bit of a Beatles kick lately….
My school colleague, Robert Baltos shared his memories of Allen School
Once upon a time there was a grade school in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This is a picture of my third grade class in 1956. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president, there were 48 stars on the American flag and we were able to walk to school thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk. It is odd that sometimes I can’t remember what I did a few days ago but my memories of this wonderful place are forever intact. This was one of those photographs that my mother saved for me. I suppose that it is fitting that while I started writing this that I realized that today is her birthday. She has since passed on to her place in Heaven. I have looked at this group photo many times and I am able to recall most of the names of my classmates. We followed each other to junior and senior high school. Since then, I have never seen or heard from the majority of these people again. At the time this class picture was taken, air-raid drills were commonplace and we were convinced that World War III was at hand. Little did we know that in the not-too-distant future that some of the Class of 1966 would end up in Southeast Asia for our “senior trip” or that a young senator from Massachusetts would become our next president and be murdered in public several years later.
The teachers at Allen School were special people, the likes of which we will never see again. The teacher at the center of picture is Miss Helen Laucik, our physical education and health teacher. Like all of the teachers there, she was full of energy, ideas and compassion. She always reminded us to take care of our teeth and our feet, both of which she assured us that we would miss in our old age if we didn’t heed her warning. Mrs. Demming was our history, writing and music teacher. She predicted that there would be a currency called the “Euro”, warned us about the proliferation of socialism here and abroad and that much of what we consume would be someday be manufactured in places like China. Miss Bash was our mathematics teacher. Contrary to what some of the “experts” with their phony PhDs believe today, rote memorization of the multiplication tables and proficiency in long division, fractions and other basic arithmetic was absolutely necessary and you weren’t leaving her class without those basic skills!
Allen School closed in 1961. The students actually took their books and belongings from the desks, walked up the hill and placed them in their desks in the newly built Grandview School. However, Grandview could never replace the physical building of Allen School. Today’s architects could not imagine or duplicate such a place. On the other hand, bricks and mortar are just that. Miss Laucik, Mr. Kelly and a few others made the move that day too and taught there for many years afterward. Whey they left, they took the remaining spirit of Allen School with them. Oh, I almost forgot! Mrs. Bennett, thank you for being our librarian and teaching us how to use the Dewey Decimal System! I have a copy of the first book that you helped me select from the 600 aisle. “The Boy Electrician” by Alfred P. Morgan.
(Mr. Baltos is the third one down on the left. He still has the striped shirt!)
I was sifting through old photographs on one of the snow days. You know those awful albums with the adhesive on the pages to stick the photos to the page?
Found this shot I took (film) of my son Mark (he’ll be 38 in May) and noticed the random dad taking a family photograph.
And inspired by Toying With Thread crochet blog by Stef- it’s the new year – I created Teenagers Knit Blog and the first post is up today if you have time to check it out.
Note to self: Remember how I mugged for the camera in 1959 when I’m attempting to photograph the grandchildren in 2014!
Pittsburgh Public Schools was closed today. I did some sorting and found some old family photos. My family didn’t own a camera that I know of but I think my sister took this photo somehow and I will ask her tomorrow and add any details. My cousins may have been involved. Paul? John B?
An iPhone photo of a photo isn’t the best quality but you get the idea.
A Friend is Someone Who Likes You. (by Joan Walsh Anglund)
Can’t show you the sweet images inside as they’re copyrighted but it’s all about how lovely it is to have a friend.
I took the book to school in 1961 and the teacher, Miss Grace E. Wagner, inscribed it after I shared it.
A good friend is to be cherished.
You may not see your friend all the time, live far away, but when you’re together it is as if all the time between melts and you pick up where you left off.
Your good friend “gets you”, accepts you, and loves you, no matter what. And you love them right back!
Life events, milestones, heartaches, joys, loss and laughter. Sometimes all in the same moment. These are shared, celebrated or in the case of grief you keep one another in your hearts. Carefully. Remembering. With gratitude. And much love.
for my longtime friend – I love you. Happy Birthday!
Happy Fifth Birthday Maura Clare. November 17th 2008 was a very happy day in the family because you were born!Enjoy your day. Here are some of my favorite photos I chose for the blog today.
Buckeye Baby- Not even 24 hours old in this shot.
With her first dolly.
Maura doesn’t seem to mind her Grandma wielding the camera. Her sense of humor shines through.
Like a little fish in the water….
Lunch out in Virginia at Thanksgiving time a couple of years ago
Sitting on Uncle Frank’s running board with Mom, Erika.
Summer popsicles in Virginia
Sporting her brother’s ski mask
Big sister Anna had just fixed her hair for church
Playing on the swingset in the yard
If you follow the blog through FB, you probably already saw Laura’s Halloween Costume for her party at work.
I thought it was creative and would make a fun post. She is a “Senior Picture”
Here’s she is- as photographed by a coworker (Lori, she thinks) Not a terrific photo credit but that can be rectified tomorrow.
Laura sports her supervisor’s actual High School Senior Photograph, held by paper clips and ribbon.
The look-alike sweater from JC Penney.
(didn’t want to post on the blog until her supervisor said she didn’t mind :-) I think she’s a good sport for allowing it)
On this night before a new school year is about to start and the summer vacation and family visits are memories, I was thinking about why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place.
I’m writing and posting these photos to pay tribute to wonderful teachers in my life.
In the 3rd grade I had an excellent teacher Grace Wagner from Dravosburg PA who taught at Winchester- Thurston. I found an alumni listing online Indiana PA Teachers College class of 1920. Unfortunately I can’t find the photo I have of her but plan to unearth it and post someday soon. Who wouldn’t love a teacher who wrote this about their student. I found it tonight in an envelope addressed to my parents, inside a deteriorating leather scrapbook. Isn’t her handwriting beautiful? I am so grateful I discovered this report tonight before school starts. “she is able to put her gifts to good use” she wrote. I feel encouraged once again as I hear her voice as I read the words she wrote in 1960-1961
Miss Wagner marked a 1 ( outstanding) for Play Spirit on the report card. They don’t have that category on report cards anymore.
And here is Winona Stewart from Morris Plains Borough School in New Jersey.
In the sixth grade and also in the 7th and 8th grade I had a most wonderful teacher- Winona Stewart. We had a Roman Banquet and she read The Human Comedy by William Saroyan aloud after lunch, and also The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. Every week we memorized a poem and recited it- The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth is one I remember well. I took this photo of Mrs. Steward in 1966, the year I graduated from 8th grade. When I lived in Germany and my own kids were young in the early 80’s, I found an address and wrote her a thank you note and told her how I remembered her reading aloud to our class and how she influenced my choice to get a Masters in Reading. She wrote a beautiful note back to me and one of these days I bet I unearth it, too. She collaborated with the next teacher I am going to mention. We did a show called The Curse of Ra as we learned about Egypt making a gold sarcophagus of papier mache and I was a dancing girl. It all seemed so exciting and wonderful and fun!
Mr G. is why I wanted to be an art teacher. I had him in grade school AND High School. I didn’t try to contact him soon enough as he was deceased when I though of it.
Arthur W Guenther. He produced a movie with our 4th grade class called Around the World in 90 Minutes. I was from the Netherlands and we used real wooden shoes in the tulips. I got a bit part in the French segment too, standing by a Kiosk, chatting away. I remember Starr Kenyon went down the slide as if skiing. Titi Moglia wore a kimono and had a fan and there were pink tissue paper cherry blossoms. I wish I could see the movie again.
When I think of all his creativity, I am in awe.
Mr. Guenther danced on Broadway in the show South Pacific with Mary Martin and showed us his scrapbook,
Mr. Guenther helped finish the monochrome portrait of me in 4th period oil painting class. It hangs in my bathroom.
My granddaughter Anna asked this past week, “Why are you all green?: and I started thinking about Mr Guenther and how he inspired me.
And here I am tonight, wondering if I can inspire someone as I start my new classes.
My father, Roy J. Hendricks (b. 1912-d.2002) was a teacher in a one room school in Illinois
My mother Marian VanSickle (b. 1912- d. 2000) was a teacher in a one room school in Illinois That is my mom in the back row on the left.
What teacher inspired you?
The family came to Grandma’s house today.
The highlight of my summer!
And Anna likes to check things out around the place. We found a tarnished, dented silver rattle of her father’s from 1976. It was badly tarnished.
I asked her if she’d like to learn how to remove the tarnish, talked about oxidation, and how to polish silver. We found a few old baby cups that were up high on a kitchen shelf and seemed a bit fuzzy. We got a ramekin and she poured the baking soda in and then the littlest bit of water to make a nice paste. I found an old washcloth to rub the metal. We added an apron for her and she polished away.
I have lots more tarnished silver if she wants to dig in.
And here is what she said to me as she polished away…..
“Your dad would like that I am doing this.”
and I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes and thought, she is exactly right.
Anna at the sink with her father’s old rattle after she polished it! WIsh we had taken the BEFORE shot with the old iPhone first!
Baby cups on my mom’s old hammered aluminum tray, awaiting polishing.
My friend R sent me an article from the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette by Sara Bauknecht, about “Remains”, a one-woman show playing at The New Hazlett Theater on the North Side – Thought I might be interested in going. I read the part about going through boxes of memories and stuff from one’s parents and it piqued my interest.
You can read more about the star of the show, Beth Corning, at her blog
“This year’s offering is a one-woman show (starring Beth Corning ) made with Tony Award-winning choreographer/performer Dominique Serrand, co-artistic director of Minneapolis-based The Moving Company.”
and before you know it, R went online and bought us tickets. I’m so glad she did. It was excellent. Powerful. Graceful. Moving. Evocative.
And it’s there for just 3 more days!! If you live in Pittsburgh, you should make a plan to go this weekend.
We went to the performance Thursday night and stayed for the Talk-Back afterwards.
Beth Corning asked the audience if we might Tweet, Facebook and tell friends about “Remains” – (a Glue Factory Project) which is playing Friday June 7,
Sat June 8th and a Sunday Matinee at 2 (June 9th) when you pay what you can for admission.
R and I went to the lobby and then I wondered out loud how to blog about it and R suggested I ask to take a photo of Beth. So we turned around and went back and I took a photo with my iPhone.
A nice man, Alex showed me how to take a panorama with my new iPhone in the theater lobby and showed me where to stand in the corner. A bit dark but fun. Thanks Alex
We headed to Market Square to La Cucina Flegrea where the kitchen had closed but served us each a bowl of delicious minestrone and some bread.
And if you don’t live in Pittsburgh, you could invite Beth and Dominique to come to your city. Maybe they will consider a tour! The show’s theme is personal and universal simultaneously.
Formerly the Carnegie Library Now the New Hazlett Theater
Beth Corning after the performance.
The Lobby of the New Hazlett Theater
Market Square Scene
A bowl of minestrone at La Cucina Flegrea in Market Square, after the show.
It was MIXED BAG (vinyl) in my dorm room in the early seventies. Over and over. Richie Havens sang Dylan better than Bob.
Here’s an email in response to the one I wrote in December.
Subject: A Message of Gratitude
Last Christmas Matthew was back from Croatia and we were sitting in Mark and Erika’s living room in Ohio, remembering the first Richie Havens concert I forced him to go to as a teenager. We saw him together years later in New York City at the Knitting Factory, too. Matthew and Aunt Mary braved a Connecticut snowstorm to see him together and sat right under him.
Thank you so much for taking the time to send along such kind thoughts. I will make sure Richie sees your email.
Best wishes for 2013!
Stormy Forest Productions, NYC
Sent: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 3:50 pm
Subject: Message of Gratitude
This is a message for Mr. Havens as I sit with my 32 yo son tonight (home from Croatia where he lives) listening together to RH on youtube. When Matthew was 14 I forced him to go listen to a Richie Havens concert in Pittsburgh Pa at the Carnegie Music Hall. Oh he was mad cause who wants to go anywhere with their mother at that point of their life? We waited in the corridor afterwards and met Mr. Havens and my son said he emanated positive energy right out of himself into him. Matthew saw him in concert at least six times after that and he said tonight that Richie Havens was able to communicate to his soul. We saw him together at the Knitting Factory years later. So powerful and I wanted to express gratitude for his musical gifts and these wonderful loving memories we share of listening to Mr Havens music and energy. Xxoo Ruth Hendricks
Laura’s 29th birthday. She says it is her FIRST 29th birthday. The family gathers on the front porch because most of them are nearby.
This year I didn’t run around and get in the photograph. Just wanted them. I’ll put it on the fridge. Look at it until we’re all together again. In the middle of winter I’ll glance at this August evening, celebrating Laura’s birthday and be glad I have the picture.
Not too many people really want their photo taken. Maybe a few. The family allows me to photograph them one more time.
They’re gracious and they love me and they know it’s what I like to do.
They probably wonder when I’ll get tired of wanting to photograph them but they don’t complain. Much. Photographing them while they ignore me is easier.
Of course, I want the shot where everyone is with me and looking pleasant on this occasion. Ha. Erika says to me, “Good luck with that!”
I get it the best I can.
Don’t want to drag it out too long, make it quick, Just SHOOT!
Thanks family. Matthew is the one who said to his friends at his college graduation ” This is what my mom does. It’s annoying now, but later you’re glad.”
Penny the Golden Doodle with Lala and James on their front porch.
And Maura and Murphy pose for Mark. Caught them from the side as he got them to look at his phone.
Happy Birthday Laura Christine.
On the left, lounging at the beach in Bibione, Italy as a toddler.
Center- A baby blessing/birth stats I cross stitched in 1983. The town is spelled incorrectly- missing the first C- Eschenbach!
Photo on the right and below as a bride are from 6 months after the wedding in Columbus OH with husband James.
or What Love Looks Like-
It’s been almost two years since I posted Baby Doll (the loved doll) and her “sister” who was bought as a replacement but never really played with or looked at as far as I know.
Baby Doll (b. 1979) belonged to Erika when she was little and now Anna has loved her for 8 more years. I just stitched her arms up as they were coming off. And since I’m visiting the family and not driving around the city today I am showing the effects of two more years of loving. Maybe someone who reads this post will send a photo of the same doll in a similar condition.
One thing I know is they are most cooperative when I set them up to pose for the shooting!
My mother was into homemade whole wheat bread with wheat germ added. She’d scald milk, boil water, crumble a cake of yeast. Knead and knead, place it in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, let rise, punch it down, rest – then shape the loaves.
Let them rise again. this time in battered aluminum bread pans covered lightly with waxed paper.
The aroma filled the house and after it was baked we’d eat a slice with butter and honey when it was still warm.
What I would give to have my mother make a couple of loaves again, turn them out of the greased bread pans. Saw off a slice with a serrated edge.
But when I was a kid, I saw a big white truck with red and yellow and bright blue balloons all over it. WONDER BREAD. I wanted my mother to buy WONDER BREAD. I’d eaten it somewhere and was fascinated you could roll it into a ball! Hard to believe but true. I begged my mother to buy WONDER BREAD. Oh how I longed for the colorful balloons on the wrapper.
Embarrassing to admit, but true.
She never did.
Love you, Ma
Marian VanSickle married Roy Joseph Hendricks August 1939 in Durand, Illinois
This is not their wedding photo but they look like newlyweds to me.
The sign in the window says, BEWARE OF DOG! I’ve driven by this place for almost six years as I go back and forth to school everyday. Sometimes there are balloons tied to the signboard outside. It’s on the corner at Brownsville Road- PLANTS & FLOWERS by Lisa .
Today I pulled over to the curb, ignored the meter, got out and went inside. I was headed to Bridgeville to visit a friend. Einstein used to have two white tufts of hair that stuck out, hence his name. The two women were really helpful to me and I asked if I might photograph him and they agreed. I thought about the flower shop as I left and drove in traffic, finding my way to Bridgeville. I’d heard that photographing animals with a black fur coat is difficult and looking at the shots now (available light) I concur. But those eyes were really checking me out! Einstein was friendly and wanted to communicate. Must be used to new customers off the street.
My grandmother worked in a flower shop in Lincoln, Illinois, and when I was small I would visit her there. I remember the spools of ribbon, the sticky green tape, the wire stands and styrofoam base, that green squishy foam and of course the smell of the place but the thing that sticks with me the most was her can of spinach and a hard boiled egg she kept in the cooler for lunch.
You want to shoot a photograph with some life in it!
I learned in a workshop, photography can be exasperating. And one thing I know-
Sometimes you are an observer and sometimes you are a participant.
You can’t capture the sound of bells ringing in the sanctuary and bell tower simultaneously, a Gregorian chant, the trumpet, everyone holding a candle in the darkness and as the lights are turned up in the dark city church, late Saturday night, you long to capture the spirit, the glow .
You can’t whip out a camera and show the three out of four grandchildren racked out in the pew, or the smell of candle wax or incense or the feel of freshly blessed sprinklings. A good place to think. Mechanical limitations. The intrusion of the moment.
You are’t on assignment from a newspaper, illustrating the occasion. The grandparents have to head back home for work early Monday so we drove downtown for the Easter Vigil. It’s an early dinner at noon. Then we’ll load the cars and drive back east and south.
The thoughts of Easters growing up, the new suits, shoes and hats. Remembering those you love and who loved you the best and have gone on before. i said to my friend, “vacation flies by’ and she said
“just like life.”
I think of unconditional love. Thanks Matthew. Missed you.
A busy picture. So busy I -
transformed it to black and white due to the wild colors, stripes, patterns and conflicting light. Caught with the iPhone without a flash, just a snippet of the fun I enjoy with the grandchildren when I visit. Now the boys say they want a campout with grandma but I think it is my iPod touch they want to use to watch a cartoon. We’re in the basement guest room. Maura(3) looks around and says,”There are no windows.” That’s true, not in this room. Hope no one wakes up at 3 AM and is missing his or her own bed.
Roy Joseph Hendricks
Born Farmersville, Illinois
February 26,1912- October 26, 2002