Archive for August, 2009

Road Trips

From Left: Nicole, daughter of Glenn our brother. Barb, our sister in middle. Brooke, daughter of Brenda and Madison (hanging on bottom) daughter of Nicole (Grand daughter of Glenn) Family is SO EASY with Ten kids.

From Left: Nicole, daughter of Glenn our brother. Barb, our sister in middle. Brooke, daughter of Brenda and Madison (hanging on bottom) daughter of Nicole (Grand daughter of Glenn) Family is SO EASY with Ten kids.

Almost missed this great shot from a recent Summer road trip with a few of the Ohio Girls. Bernadette is probably taking this photo in the depths of Times Square NY.
With the advent of Facebook there have already been several strange hometown get-togethers. Some are planned this week and next. In Florida where several old Jersey friends ended up are having a BBQ at Bonnie Szeztaye’s house. Apparently next week there is a BBQ in New Jersey at Johnson Park with a bunch of old chums (not sure of the details, but I’ll check)
BERNADETTE and LARRY are driving to Jersey next week for some beach time.

As our family continues to grow, with Bonnies pregnancy and the rediscovery of our long-lost cousins the Gills, I have fallen WAY BEHIND on the Family Ties Web Site. Especially with photos of the children. They grow like weeds, ya know. I don’t think any of you would recognize my two boys if they walked in the room right now. I’m not even sure, I would.
As I struggle with dealing with teenage hormones, demands and pure INSANITY, I have also been through quite a bit this year also. The darkened economy hit some industries harder than others. I am surfacing every once in a while to grab a gasp of air. I have plans for two totally different business’
I have been going back and forth to the Hudson Valley. In my unemployment, I have also found serene friends, artistic inspirations, gurgling brooks, hot sun and mountains. Getting a job is hard work. I have been here before.
Once I knew a man named Alex. He married at age 18. Lived in the same house, in the same town for 40 years. Stayed with his woman for 40 years. Had the same job for 40 years. Worked in the same room with the same people for 40 years. Went on the same vacation every year at the same time for 40 years.
How I used to envy Alex. This guy had security every where he turned. He had everything I thought that life should be. The American dream. Money, a wife a retirement and his home was paid off.
Alex used to love talking with me. He said I was a great “story teller”
“But, they aren’t stories Alex, they are my life. Divorce, job loss, children, hardship, moving, debt, worrying, praying, dreaming, death, happiness, drugs, drinking, sobriety and…………hope.”
“Yeah, I know,” said Alex with that big smile
“I envy you George, my life is so damn boring.”

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Mother and son.

Around April I made it a mission to find Grandma Gill and Brothers grave. Earlier last year, Barb and I had unsuccessfully attempted to locate it and the office was closed on the weekend we were there. When I came back I tried on my own to find it and finally gave up and went in the office. They gave me an almost exact location and I STILL couldn’t find it.
I was looking for the two trees. The landmarks of the grave for the past 50 years. Planted by Grandpa Gill after his wife May was buried.
I finally found to stone but to my dismay, the TREEs were GONE! I couldn’t believe it! I was very upset. How do you just “take down trees”? Without asking or for that matter HOW DO YOU JUST KILL TREEs. Trees with much sentimental value.
Not only were they missing but the holes in the ground were never properly taken care of. Not filled in enough or at all! As a result of this inconsiderate action, the stone has begun to shift.
I went back into the office and complained.
They told me that they NEVER take down trees unless they are dead or “unrecoverable”
I believed them.
From what I did understand (please correct me if I am wrong) is that Grandpa Gill planted Japanese Maples
I remember it had red leafs. Very beautiful. Very very slow growing. Hardly a tree to survive for a long time in this area.

My idea is to replant trees here. Hopefully the same kind. I would like to do it if any or all of the Gill family happens to stumble into New Jersey sometime.
To the Grandmother I never met: I heard you were a very good woman. It is too bad you lived such a short life. I don’t know why your husband and father of three children didn’t want to rest next to you. He was a strange bitter man sometimes but a good generous man.
Grandma May, you would have loved your many many grandchildren. We would have loved you and your wonderful smile.

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Photos That Make You Think August 2009

Multiple heads and thoughts from this months Photos That Make You Think

Multiple heads and thoughts from this months Photos That Make You Think

To the best of my knowledge from what my mother told me: There was a neighbor that was an amateur photographer that came around and took photos of the Gill children. For the years that some of these were taken (the mid 1940’s) he is using some very high end equipment of the time. I found an envelope of negatives and from my best guess, he used a Browning Camera.
This photo of Fred Gill (Brother) is a pure classic. The photographer captured a moment in time that could thrill even non family members.
Just look at Brothers eyes! Doesn’t take much to thrill children this age. Innocence reigns!
My mother told me that Brother had this doll for many years. Took it with him wherever he went and as you can see by the look in his eyes, he absolutely adored this thing. As beat up and dirty as it got, he loved it even more, his sister Joan said.
Photography really took off in the 1940’s and was a huge but expensive hobby for many people. Family Ties will be revealing much more of these Austin Street gems in the future. Some of them need some work. This Photo Album was rescued from the heat and humidity of Florida just in time.
This photo had a pencil scribble in Brothers hair that I painstakingly removed. But when I thought about it, the pencil scribbles are acually part of the history and heritage of this awesome photo.
So here is the original, making us all wonder, WHO might have been the artist from such a long time ago.

About Aunt Pats glasses: What can I say? It was the EARLY 1960’s. Batman was a popular show on TV Saturday nights. Catwoman was his hot villian. Was Aunt Pat inspired by Catwoman? Who knows? Actually, who cares???

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