Throwback Thursday: Elephant in the Room

14/03/2013 § 2 Comments

Elephant in the Room

For today’s Throwback Thursday selection, I give you one of my most favorite pictures of my paternal grandfather – and I hope you will please excuse the whole “picture of a picture” situation, but when you take a good look at all this awesomeness, I think you will.  I actually never met my grandad, as he passed away when my father was barely a teenager, but the few photos my father has of him and the stories I have heard, manage to make me miss him.  Here he’s pictured at his work bench at RCA (interestingly both of my grandfathers worked with radio/technology after they were in the service), and his work clothes are definitely rad, but my favorite bits in this picture are the Barry Goldwater election sign and the inexplicable elephant hovering above his head.  Do we think my grandad was a fan of elephants?  Maybe he won it at a fair or had recently visited the circus with the kids?  Or perhaps he was just a staunch Republican? 

I suppose it is a mystery for the ages…

Throwback Thursday || There Will Be Breweries (and Beards)

24/10/2012 § 6 Comments

From the family archives: an amazing group portrait — which you must click to enlarge — featuring my great, great-grandfather Peter Joseph in New Orleans, sometime after the Civil War.  A veteran, a civic leader and a policeman, he somehow also had the time to serve as foreman for a brewery built on Canal Street, and here he is pictured with his crew.  You can find him either by the arrow penciled in on the photo, or you could just search for a masterful beard…

QC Archives || Grandma’s Hands

25/09/2012 § 3 Comments

A trip home to Los Angeles is never complete without a wander through my grandmother’s photo albums, now kept by my mother.  While not exactly a scrapbooker per se, my Grandma did like to make collages with her pictures over the years — sometimes organized chronologically, sometimes completely nonsensical, sometimes accompanied by scribbled entries identifying who people are and where they might be, sometimes not.  The purist in me instinctively wishes that she hadn’t cut up so many of the pictures, but I always take it back when I think about her lovingly laboring over her creation.  I know how lucky I am to be able to hold in my hands something that she made with hers.

I took a few pictures (yes, of pictures) so I could share them with you.
Definitely click on them for a closer look.

My grandparents are the ones wearing sunglasses. Obviously they are the coolest.
With friends on Chesapeake Bay, 1946.
And can we please talk about what the women are wearing?  Can. We. Talk.

My mother and grandmother, 1950.

My grandmother and uncle (at right), 1940s.

My grandmother and uncle, 1947.

My grandmother and mother (at right) on Easter, 1950s.

Grandmother and uncle (at right), 1940s.

My grandparents and mother (at left) at her 6th birthday party, 1955.

Drawing Dad

15/06/2012 § 7 Comments

In honor of Father’s Day, a little something I found in the Life Archives…

One morning in 1949, the Kindergarten class of Ms. Doris Morcom at Sedgwick Elementary School in West Hartford, Connecticut, all drew portraits of their dads from memory for an upcoming Fathers’ Night at the school…and here we can compare the portraits with the subjects themselves, in photos taken by Al Fenn.  Aside from some startling accuracies, I love how these photos also give us a look at men’s style as the 1940s were giving way to the 1950s.

If you’d like to read the original article, which appeared in the December 26, 1949 issue of Life Magazine, you can find it here.

For fun, the fathers drew Ms. Morcom for their children.

Happy Father’s Day!

All images via the Life Archives.

Corinne and Clara

05/06/2012 § 3 Comments

Pictures like this one really make me miss my Grandma.  Recently unearthed and scanned by a cousin, it is of my grandmother Corinne and her little sister, my great aunt Clara.  My mother guesses it to be sometime between 1937 to 1940.  It is such an amazing picture.  Can you imagine how happy I was when I opened this email?

I honestly don’t know where to start, but I definitely love how this picture captures these two sisters and how different they were.  My Grandma, on the left, is all priss, sass and attitude.  You can see it in how she sits, the way she has set her mouth — and then there’s the outfit.  It’s all awesome, but goddamn, those sunglasses?  I want them.  Desperately.  Right now.  On my face.  Forever.  And then there’s my Aunt Clara on the right, casually lounging, broadly smiling, with her beautiful red hair and saddle shoes perfect for kicking around town.  Don’t you just want to sit on the porch with them and read those fashion magazines at Clara’s feet?  I know I do.

If you’d fancy dressing like my glamour-puss Grandma:
Carven Anastasie flip-up (!!!) sunglasses
Stella McCartney Brenta linen jacket
Modcloth Haute Stepper heel
Lanvin turban headband
Modcloth Cookbook Collector dress

For more on my grandmother, head here.

Happy Mother’s Day

12/05/2012 § 4 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there,
and especially to my own fabulous mom.

Also, if you’d fancy reading a post I did for the Rugby Ralph Lauren Style
blog
about three style lessons I learned from my mom, you can find it here.

Coming Attraction: Red Tails

08/01/2012 § 1 Comment

It is with great excitement that I look forward to the release of Red Tails, the retelling of the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, on January 20. The film was produced by George Lucas, directed by Anthony Hemingway and stars Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American pilots in the United States armed forces and served in World War II, facing remarkable adversity and racism within the military as well as society at large. After African American soldiers were denied the opportunity to fly in World War I, Congress forced the War Department to begin training African American pilots in 1939, and forced the Army Air Corps to form an all-black fighter unit in 1941. The 99th Pursuit Squadron was formed in March 1941 and the unit was eventually expanded into the 332nd Fighter Group when the 100th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Squadron and 302nd Fighter Squadron were added. The group saw action in Europe and North Africa, and are well-known for their excellence flying escorts for heavy bombers. The nickname “Red Tails” came from the distinctive red paint the pilots had applied to the tails of their planes.

The main reason for my excitement is my personal connection to the Tuskegee Airmen. My great uncle, Col. Edward Creston Gleed, served as the 302nd Fighter Squadron commander during WWII. He personally had two confirmed kills, while his squadron accounted for almost one third of the aerial victories recorded by the 332nd. He also served as operations officer for the 332nd. As you can expect, my family is exceptionally proud and very excited to see his story brought to life on the big screen. I can’t wait.

My Uncle Cres, on the far left.

Happy Birthday to Corinne

22/12/2011 § 6 Comments

On this day in 1915,  my grandmother Corinne Carey was born in Washington, D.C.  Were she still alive, she would be turning 96 today.  We used to commiserate on quite a few items:  we both were/are Christmas babies (my birthday arrives in just a *few* days, in fact); we both were/are the eldest sister; we both were/are on the tall side; we both love/loved art.  Little-known fact: I carry her name as my own middle name. 

I do find it a bit funny that I have never forgotten her birthday, but can’t seem to ever remember my parents’ wedding anniversary, which happens to be sometime in December as well.  (I suppose my mother finds this less funny.)

Important things I learned from my grandmother:

  • Red lipstick is never, ever, EVER wrong.
  • It is important to always smell pretty.  Even if you end up wearing enough perfume to knock out your entire family.
  • Always have your hair done.  By someone else.  Twice a week.
  • It is acceptable parenting to get all gussied up with your sister and then put your children to bed, telling them that you and their aunt are just going sit on the porch and “chat.”
  • Drinking beer from the can can definitely be ladylike.
  • Let your husband have his hobbies.  As long as he keeps them in the garage.

From Corinne, you should take bit of a devil-may-care attitude with a healthy dose of no-nonsense.  A perfectly polished party girl who didn’t take no guff from nobody.  She was a proud mother, a loving sister and a grandmother I miss dearly.

Happiest possible returns, Grandma.

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