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!)
A favorite place to capture the look of yesteryear but it is tonight. Right now. 2014 from West Mifflin across the Monongahela River.
After being with the family up on VistaView I drove down Outlook Drive. The leaves aren’t full yet and I found a good clearing between two homes.
Propped the camera up onto the passenger window ledge and tried to get a steady shot with a long shutter.
That mill is working all day and night every day and I just drive by for a glimpse a couple of times every year.
I have posted the mill at night a few times but I never get tired of seeing it. Here is it in the snow
And another April shot from a few years ago
Tons of signage in the archives but you don’t get many letters in the mailbox today.
Found an envelope of letters that our Aunt Rhea gave to us when she moved out of her home.
Even some I’d written when we lived in Germany. Photographs inside letters. Letters from my father and mother and sister. Thank you notes from my own children when they were small.
I have other letters saved, tied with ribbon. My sister wrote to me in Germany for three years. And I wrote back. She saved my letters, too. My friend Erica transcribed all the letters and I have them typed in a desk downstairs.
The glass bottles attracted my eye as I saw them sitting on a soda fountain counter on Carson Street in the South Side. Only when I got home and uploaded the photo did I read Bridgeport Conn. The bottles are from the Pittsburgh Seltzer Works but that wooden crate had Bridgeport Conn, stamped right on the side.
Bridgeport – where I spent four years of my life. Granted, a long time ago. It’s where I got my Art Education degree.
Oh and it’s home to the P.T. Barnum Museum, where Elias Howe invented the first sewing machine, where Sikorsky(now gone global) manufactured helicopters, where Dr Fones founded Dental Hygiene profession in 1906 and a ton of other well known names born there including Walt Kelly and Al Capp.
I think Paul Newman when he was filming The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, once called it the “armpit of New England” which wasn’t very kind. There was lots of industry and manufacturing, and then decline, departure and attempts to revitalize. The P.T. Barnum Museum is worth a trip, though. Seriously. And if you are into deterioration and dilapidation reports click here to read about Remington Arms.
No, not- “I object.“
But an item. A thing. You know I have so many objects in my files. I thought I’d focus on one, like the challenge said to do.
Weekly Challenge Creator Cheri Lucas Rowlands said- “Or you can get creative and find other ways to feature your object — the only requirement is it must be somewhere in your frame.”
Here’s a dusty antique stereoscope from my childhood and the dates on the photos? 1903! Wish I knew where it came from originally.
A bit before my time. I remember viewing the images with my brother David. HAve to find the piece that slides on the bar. It’s around here somewhere.
One of the cards had Meadville, PA printed on the edge. The scene on top is Goats in Norway. The cowboy on the horse is in Kansas.
Here is the principle behind the stereoscopic images according to Wikipedia
“Two separate images are printed side-by-side. When viewed without a stereoscopic viewer the user is required to force his eyes either to cross, or to diverge, so that the two images appear to be three. Then as each eye sees a different image, the effect of depth is achieved in the central image of the three.”
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.
Back home from Thanksgiving holiday break and thinking about being out of the traffic and home, safe, keeping warm.
Getting ready to start a new school week and wondering how it got to be December already.
If you have a doily or a piece of fine crochet, openwork, mounting it on a pillow is a good way to display it.
I thought this was a good follow-on to my post of my grandmother’s afghan and quilt yesterday.
Downstairs, I have some samplers she made which I’ll post another time.
I sewed this antimacassar onto the pillow top with tiny stitches all around. Click on the word to read about the origin.
Photographed at my sister’s place in NYC. I don’t remember but it looks like we used extra upholstery fabric to make the pillow itself.
Driving on the North Side to home, headed down Chestnut Street towards Phineas Street. Going to cross the Allegheny on the 16th Street Bridge but before I got to the intersection, a car stopped in front of me to chat or ask directions of the pedestrians.
I noticed the trolley tracks and the bricks. Caught a quick picture on the phone.
So when did the streetcars stop? here is the answer
“The trolley lines could have been extended, perhaps. But as Touring Pittsburgh author Harold Smith observes with a minimum of rancor (for a trolley fan), “PAT was bus-minded to a fault. Between 1964 and 1967, it ended trolley service on all North Side and East End lines. By the early 1970s, only the present South [Hills] and the 53-Carrick line remained.”
Click here to learn about the 30+ trolley car collection at the Trolley Museum south of Pittsburgh in Washington PA off I 79.
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.
Katz’s Deli in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
My sister took me there for lunch on Thursday. We shared a hot pastrami on rye with both fresh and pickled pickles. I’d never been to Katz’s before but would definitely go again. Everyone gets a ticket upon entering. You have to show it when you leave and pay, even if it is blank like mine was as Mary treated.
I sat at the table while she got in line for the carver to carve the meat. I can tell you the sandwich was delicious. as were the accompanying pickles.
A huge menu and lots more to order but half a sandwich was plenty. A nice woman let me photograph her matzoh ball but I didn’t think the photo looked good enough to post.
Before we went, Mary answered my query by googling and finding the chow hound telling the difference between pastrami and corned beef.
While we were there she pointed out the sawdust on the floor. Lots of celebrities photos and neon beer signs from floor to ceiling.
I’d heard of the slogan- Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army but didn’t remember the song which is also my sister’s reference. Thanks Mary.
A popular spot for lunch. Fellow diners at the deli.
Hot Pastrami on Fresh Rye as photographed by my iPhone.
Two kinds of pickles. both delicious, iPhone shot again.
You can order a six foot sandwich to go for $275
(Took this with the Canon 5D 50/ 1.2L lens, no flash)
Packing up the six footer in a special box. Plenty of muster and mayo went with it.
Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army
Not sure how much neon signage you have in your neighborhood but there’s a lot around the city.
I was filling up my car’s gas tank and looked across the street.
After I screwed on the gas cap, I got my camera out of my school bag. I had the long lens.
Another day I’ll go and visit the interior and ask if the Neon Doctor is in.
Good to know there’s a place that can restore and repair the neon signs.
From across the street. Shot with a Canon 70-200 lens L series.
It’s gardening season finally. Planting grass seed. Thinking about what vegetables to plant. James and Laura were preparing their garden and found this Old School original Fisher-Price Little People® girl. Wooden head. Wooden body.
I think she got transferred from my son and his wife’s house to my daughter and her husband’s house. Not by a bird but a grandchild. Will have to check and see if the same girl is living in two homes.
Awhile ago I did a post on the various generations of the Little People® I’d come across at the family’s house in Columbus.
No worries about choking hazard when these were manufactured. And here’s the crazy part. I discovered a site that identifies the Little People®.
From what I could determine she’s from late 60s early 70s. On the site she is listed as Occupation: Girl.
I think they are a match!
Here are the three generations from the October 2011 post
When we lived in Germany, we’d get Pussywillow with fuzzy gray shapes along the branch and hang wooden eggs and rabbit ornaments to make an Easter Tree.
Add MediaI’d never seen Black Pussywillows until Wednesday night at my friend J’s home. I was to take a photograph over to her and the evening turned into an impromptu supper. My crazy part is I went over without the picture I was to take. J followed me back to my house after we ate and got the photograph to take back to her own home but she didn’t seem to mind.
A great blog post about this unusual looking plant is here. The Latin name (Salix gracilistylus ‘Melanostachys’)
I can’t remember the name/type of ceramic vase holding the branches. (Taken with the iPhone)
She is going to be sorely missed. Wednesday and Thursday the family gathered in at Aunt Linda’s and Uncle Frank’s house. One neighbor next door brought over nut horns and apricot and cherry cookies, and the neighbor on the other side brought a Jell-o salad. There was ham and bean soup and a tray of baked stuffed shells, haluski, a chicken, hoagies from the Triangle Bar and lots of salad and fruit. There was laughter and tears and stories and sifting through the pictures of growing up. A round of hugs and kisses and fresh tears at every greeting and farewell. The family drove in from Ohio this afternoon. Doing schoolwork at the kitchen table, the little ones watching a dinosaur movie in the family room. Aunt Linda making everyone welcome with food and drink and hospitality.
A wonderful woman Allison at the Waterfront COSTCO printed an 8×10 memorial portrait just before closing time.
Friday the family will gather together at the Memorial Service.
Family and friends will be received from 10- 11:30 a.m. on Friday at the THOMAS L. NIED FUNERAL HOME, INC., 7441 Washington St., Swissvale. A Blessing Service will be held at the funeral home on Friday morning at 11 a.m.
Send condolences at post-gazette.com/gb
Theresa, the sister of my daughter-in-law Erika’s mother, Marlene.
Theresa had a great sense of humor and a beautiful spirit. She adored her granddaughter. And one thing about Theresa, she spoke her mind!
Didn’t mind if you didn’t agree with her point of view. She’d present strong arguments for her stance.
Love and sympathy to all who loved her – dear daughters Shannon and Jaclyn and to her dear granddaughter Parker Rose.
And to her sweet sisters Linda, Marlene and Georgeann. Rest in Peace, Theresa.
Ready to go to the wedding. Mother of the Bride Theresa
The Four Sisters Picture L to R Georgeann, Linda, Marlene and Theresa
at Jaclyn and Mike’s wedding
I love this photograph. Don’t know who took it. Left to Right- Theresa, The Four Sisters’Mother Marion, Linda the Bride, Marlene and Georgeann
Growing Up- Mother Marion with Linda in the middle and Theresa on the left and Marlene on the right
I took this one at Erika and Mark’s home
With Granddaughter Parker Rose at her baptism.
Never used nowadays lately but had to look it up to be sure I spelled it correctly.
While in Ohio this past weekend, I was helping sort through some toys in the playroom. Matchbox cars here, a duffel bag of puppets, strollers and baby dolls and a whole tub of action figures like Batman and Star Wars light sabers. A box of wooden blocks.
The grandchildren are growing up and many of the younger toys aren’t being played with and room needs to be made for new ventures.
These Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls were gifts from Great Aunt Bobbie when Anna(9) was born. They looked exactly the same way they have smiled at me for all these years. No change in expression. Just grinning. They looked almost brand new.
I took them upstairs and set them up in my father’s old oak rocker which is now in Mark’s office. They didn’t object to being photographed. I started thinking about rag dolls and how they aren’t trendy and I wondered if people are still buying them. These are lovingly handmade in Kansas City and I think of them as classics. Nostalgia sets in. (more…)
On my way to Laura and James’ house, I saw this cool theatre, Studio 35, and read the marquee. Pulled over to the curb and got out the camera. Thought it sounded like a fun evening. Took the shot from the car and the day was a gray one.
This theatre looks l like the ones I knew growing up. No theatre in Pittsburgh serves beer as far as I know.
My DIL was teasing about my getting home to watch the Oscars Sunday night, live stream on a computer as I have no TV that gets any channels. It is always fun to see the best and worst dressed though. A lot of hype in the media. But this image evokes nostalgia for me. One of these visits to Columbus I am going to have to go watch a movie here.
Today I received an email from my son’s FIL, Donald, about a photo concept and website- take a picture of an old photograph in the same location where it was taken. He must have seen it and knew it would be something I would enjoy looking at. Boy, I’ll say……………..
The website is Dear Photograph and now that I’ve gone and read about it all, I must be the last to hear about it.
Dear Photograph is all over the news. It was even on the TODAY show. There’s a book of photographs using this concept that the young author/photographer Taylor Jones has authored. Simple and satisfying. Touching and fun.
So I looked at what was done and thought I would dig out a few photographs and give it a try. I just skimmed the tip of the iceberg as I limited my search to one box and a single framed photo – the one of the family in front of the house is Fall 1991, the year we moved into the house. Laura was in the third grade, Matthew fifth and Mark a Sophomore in HS.
And then I tried it. I found it tricky to hold up the photo and shoot with one hand. These are shot with the iPhone camera. I’m sure with a bit of balancing and practice the outcome could be improved but it was fun and I enjoyed trying to capture the photo of the photo.
Here are the results. Thank you Taylor Jones for the cool inspiration. I know the blogging community probably knows all about you and your website already but I’m glad Donald sent me the link to your website this morning. See what you can come up with using your old photographs. Having moved9 times in 16 years, there are a lot of photos of places I can’t return to and take the shot.
My pans have changed a bit from the Farberware to the All-Clad. Not totally but the rack is the same. Different stove. I still have the vase, too.
It gets dark early these days. The interior of Yetter’s caught my eye after we parked and headed down Grant Ave to Sedgwick Street.
Steve and I were on our way to Panza Gallery for an art opening reception last Saturday night. Do you remember Millvale Days when I didn’t bring my camera and had to shoot with my phone? Well, we headed for the art opening and all I had was my phone to capture this scene at night.
Yetter’s is known for their homemade candies which you can mail order online although I must confess I have never eaten a chocolate covered potato chip. Just an old fashioned place with fresh candies and ice cream and delicious milkshakes.
New views on the way to school.
Brownsville Road, Mt. Oliver (which is a “borough surrounded entirely by the city of Pittsburgh.”)
Marian Van Sickle Hendricks
Born Durand Illinois
September 3, 1912
The one room school house photo with my mother as the teacher (in the back row left) was photographed September 13, 1930.
Written on the back of the photo – Barbara Sweet, Pearl Wallace, Jesse Shultz, Ellis Greene, Truman Sweet.
Front row, l to r, Glenn Greene, Laurence Judd, Edward Bratt, Truman Clark, Phyllis Sweet, Mildred Judd.
In the photos with her are her brothers John Rowley Van Sickle (1910) and Robert Eugene Van Sickle (1914) Her parents Judd Dewitt Van Sickle and Charlotte Rowley Van Sickle were married in 1908.
The doll, Maybelle is in my living room.
She married Roy Joseph Hendricks August 28, 1939.
I am the baby in the photograph with the 1952 Dodge Wayfarer and my sister Mary and brother David.
My mother passed September 7, 2000.
Last week before the photo opening, fellow photographer Andy told me he enjoys following the blog. He said my blog makes him think of a slideshow on the Kodak Carousel Projector and every day’s new photo is a different slide. Ektachrome slide film had such brilliant color.
Kodak Carousel evokes nostalgia most certainly. At least for my generation. Art History class in college and the professor would arrive with trays of slides.
The auditorium lights would dim. The projector made a distinctive sound.
A couple of days ago when the kids were home, they found an old carousel tray in the attic. The slides out of the slots but I plan to go through them and see what treasures they unearthed.
I know there are more trays of slides upstairs. And a projector in the back of some closet. A tiny screen folded up that made a memorable sound when raised like a shade.
Thanks Andy. I am sure there are many people who have trays of slides