Last week I wrote about my grandfather’s house a block away from where I lived. I basically wrote a genealogy of the house, using city directories to identify previous owners as far back as 1915. I used a frame of the elm tree at the curb.
The house was completely remodeled by a subsequent owner.
I think I’ve finished my “Black Taffeta” piece from Week 1. I’ve sent out the piece from Week 2. I’ve still to type up my drafts from Weeks 3 and 4. My cousin has been digging into his father’s archives and has been finding some treasures. Saturday he turned up a photo I’ve never seen of his father in uniform with his mother–my grandmother Eva–and her mother’s younger sister, Aunt Jenny.
I ordered Sonja Livingston’s Fifty-Two Snapshots: A Memoir Starter Kit for my Kindle to give me more prompts to take me through 52 weeks. I also started making a list of family history questions I’d like to explore for the weeks to come.
For this week, I think I’ll either tackle the genealogy of my family home that we owned for 50 years. I have the original realtor photos from 1959. The house was built in 1925 when the Fairlawn development company tore down Fairlawn Manor, the home of the Schuyler family, and replaced it with several new blocks of residences and a park. The owner of the development company chose a double lot for himself on what was to became my block, the eventual home of a disproportionate number of Jewish families since we were three blocks from the shul that broke ground on the town’s main street in 1953. Alternatively, I could write about that photo of Eva and Aunt Jenny. It’s just occurred to me they could be standing in front of North Arlington High School and it’s my Uncle Herman’s graduation. It makes me wonder about Aunt Jenny and the role she served as an ersatz mother to my grandmother.