My Mom has a good number of photo albums that are loaded with pics from her younger days. Mom's parents were immigrants from Poland (Kucharski) who came here (independently) to escape the impending carnage of WW-1. In fact there are many other, really old photos taken in Poland in the early 1900's that mom has. Sadly, many are of people now lost to history. Amazingly compelling to view; all harken back into a totally different world than what we all now take for granted. Yes boys & girls... we are a bit spoiled today.

This photo is an 'official' type family portrait... a typical yet special (even extravagant) thing for it's day, probably the early 40's. My Mom is between my grandfather and her younger sister Jenny. Her younger twin brothers Stan (L), and Matt (R) are on the outside. I'm guessing my uncles here are nearly HS seniors, while my aunt is closer to freshman age. It's sepia tinted in the wall frame, but I made this one B&W-grayscale for the scan, and compressed & shrunk it way down in size for this page (as with all the pics here).

Graphics Note: Photos here will look best if your display brightness (tube displays only, not LCD screens) is turned way up, then down... until the middle box just barely fades into total blackness: [   |   |   ]

My Mom worked a bit at Exeter Academy (Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, to distinguish it from it's sister school and Mass rival - Phillips Andover Academy). It's a very old exclusive prep school that has the look of Harvard or Yale with it's beautiful architecture and grounds. Although relatively poor she and her family had a good life. Here she's enjoying use of the tennis courts on campus... an obvious job perk (pretty hip shirt for it's time, huh?). Later, at the height of WW-2, she went to work at nearby Portsmouth Naval Shipyard which made subs & ships for the war effort.

Jen, friend & Mom

There are hundreds of pages of shots like this one (L) taken at Hampton Beach, just a 20 minute drive away. In the left pic Mom's on the right with her younger sister Jenny in the striped shirt. In the center is a shot of aunt Jenny in 6'th grade - cute huh? In the right photo of Jenny & Mom (circa 47-50?), I think she's showing off her new fur coat, one of the few special things I'm sure she had in those days. Quite different from the huge amount of stuff we buy, accumulate, and just take for granted in today's material world. In those post WW-2 days most people didn't own cars, and only a half-dozen people in the entire city of Exeter had one of those brand new fancy ...television sets!

This is one of a few interesting shots that made me think of Alfred Stieglitz just a bit. Stieglitz is the standard in classic photography, helping change it into a modern art. His "Camera Work" is essential for anyone even vaguely interested in photography. And although this shot is a far cry from such work (firstly coming from an inferior camera, and then further hurt by the digital compression compromises required here), it did make me wonder who took it.

These are some digital manipulations I did. Making a color image from a B&W photo takes a bit of experience, and these are only some crude early, unfinished experiments (along with the tennis court image above). I use PhotoImpact -- Photoshop (the big dog) is for... people with waaay too much time on their hands.

Uncle Stan (R) played HS basketball and baseball, and later was a club pro golfer. On the right, I think Mom was working as a hostess at a summer vacation hotel.

This is Mom (L) and Jen (R) in the late 40's. The guy in the center is my Uncle Murph who was dating Jen at the time. He took the other photo here of Mom & Dad in South Dakota... m a n y  years later.

NOTE: I just put up an additional page of old pics here.
It's got similar pics of mom, but also dad, my sister, and me!
All far away... and a long time ago.
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