I absolutely LOVE this dress...I wish mom had kept it. This picture was taken in 1937 or 1938 in Culver City, California where mom worked for the 'Culver City Star News'. I wondered why they would have a "Tom Sawyer Day" at wok so I did some googling and came up with this in Wikipedia. Apparently a film came out about that time - "In 1938 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was filmed in Technicolor by the Selznick Studio. It starred Tommy Kelly as Tom and was directed by Norman Taurog. Most notable was the cave sequence designed by William Cameron Menzies."
From what I can surmise there was a lot of hype built up before the opening night....much like the "Star Wars" movies of the 1970-1980 period and the "Twilight" movies of the new millennium time frame. I'm willing to bet there were Tom Sawyer and Rebeca "Becky" Thatcher, figurines for the kids to play with.
Did mom make this dress? She was certainly an expert seamstress and made most of our clothing from the time we were born. If I were a betting person I'd say 1000 to 1 she made it! But what happened to it after the "Tom Sawyer Day" at work? Did she cut it down and alter it into something more appropriate to wear on a regular basis? Did she pack it away and then open it 20-25 years later only to give it to the Goodwill or the Salvation Army? Maybe she took it apart 10 years later and made matching dresses for her 3 little girls. I think it's something we'll never know. To my knowledge I never saw this dress except in this picture. But it's fun to dwell on the 'what ifs'
If I had this dress in it's entirety today I would have it on a mannequin and MAYBE take it off to wear to a costume party....or for a presentation when reading "Tom Sawyer" to a classroom full of children.
Yesterday I was challenged by a fellow genealogist at Olive Tree Genealogy on 'Sharing Memories: Extreme Weather'. I don't have a lot of memories from my early childhood...it's frustrating sometimes to 'not remember'. But since this is one of my few childhood memories I couldn't help but take her up on her challenge. It was January or February 1949 in Los Angeles California - my brother was in 1st grade and I was in kindergarten.
It seldom does anything more than rain for a few days in southern California but my brothers and sister and I woke up to SNOW. I'm not sure I had ever seen snow before. The schools were closed....and Jimmy and I were allowed to bundle up and go play outside with the other kids. I'm sure there were snowball fights and snowman building but I remember specifically someone with a sled. I find it hard to believe that there was enough snow on the ground long enough for anyone to go sledding, and I KNOW there was no hill to sled down. Kids seems to make the best of what they get....and we all had fun while it lasted. Wish I had a picture!
Memories are a legacy we can leave for our children and descendants. We are their ancestors. Don't let the memories get lost. If your memories are few, like mine, it's even more important to write down the ones you do remember.
My third in my series on Super Sister Sunday spotlights my maternal grandmother (Mary Motzko) and her sister Hattie Motzko. Mary and Hattie were child number 3 and 4 in a family of 10 children. Although all the Motzko children were friends and playmates Mary and Hattie were close in age and were closer than usual. I assume (not necessarily fact) that their older sisters Catherine and Anna were more the 'grown up children' in the family and helped raise the younger ones. I'm sure that Mary and Hattie eventually moved into this role but at their earliest ages Mary and Hattie were able play together easily. As teens they had each other to commiserate with - boys, marrying someday, having babies of their own - all the things that young girls chat about.
Mary was born in September 1883 and Hattie was born in October 1885....I can just vision Mary trying to be a little mother to Hattie. My views of what life was like in the mid-1880's is very "Little House on the Prairie-ish". Growing up in Minnesota and Idaho with lots of siblings close to your age, everyone helping everyone else, the older helping with and playing with the younger...maybe a few cousins living on a farm down the road. Life was not easy for them and I'm not sure I know I could not have been as strong as the Motzko family.
The two pictures posted are Mary and Hattie at youngest age available. Mary is 15 in this picture and Hattie is 23. I wish I had others at younger ages. I have group pictures with all or some of the family but not many individual pics.
You can read Hattie and Mary's full stories by clicking on these links:
Through most of my research on Maria I feared she came to a foreign land with no one other than her husband and child. What a sense of relief I felt when I discovered that Francesca had came to the United States at the same time. Maria and Francesca had each other to commiserate with while their husbands went off to work, and while the women stayed home and raised the children. The thought of Maria being on her own without another woman friend, who spoke her language, was hard for me to understand. Maria never learned to speak English (according to her grand-daughter - Dorothy Troyer Haines).
I do not have any information on Francesca - some day hopefully that will change. I'm not sure if she was married or had children at the time they all sailed to the United States. She did marry at sometime as she is listed as Francesca Fietzek Reh with the few pictures I have of her among Maria's photos.
My love goes out to these two very strong Polish women who came to the new country, fought all the trials and tribulations and did without so that their descendants could have an easier life than they did.
I got this idea of "Super Sister Sunday" from fellow blogger of 'Mary Jane's Gene'. I've got many sisters in my genealogy searching and hope to do a series on these sisters.
There were six Motzko sisters, all shown here in the photo...four brothers - Philipp Jr, Frank, John, and Thomas - rounded out the group. You can read each of their stories by clicking on the links below:
Having a sister in your life can either be a wonderful or terrible experience, depending on your relationship. If you have an older sister and you are a girl, she can often show you how to navigate the way through some of the more difficult areas of growing up. This is also true if you are a boy. Your older sister can help explain to you how to interact with the opposite sex. Younger sisters are a joy as well. They often worship their older siblings and it can be a nice experience to be admired. Relationships with sisters, like any relationship depend on the people involved.