Sunday, March 26, 2017

Next stop – Portland!

The Levy Family Motoring trip of 1940 continued north to Portland.  I think the scrapbooker was quite taken by the Columbia River. 

The whole setup

This is clearly a purchased photo of some sort but it’s interesting to see what things looked like in 1940.

And here’s my grandmother, Loraine (Gunzendorfer) Levy, in front of the Vista House that can be seen in the photo above.

Loraine Columbia River Vista House

Once again, stylish clothes with a hat to match.  One thing I remember about my grandmother is that she was ALWAYS dressed to the nines!

I did a quick search to see if she was, in fact, standing in front of the Vista House and to see if there were many changes.  Looks like those are the same windows.

Vista House
Photo by Frank Kovalchek
 
This photo hits close to home since I live in Washington – Dad was so close and little did he know his daughter would one day live here.

Across the water

This seemed to excite the scrapbooker.

Harnassed Waters

And then I turned the page and saw this.

It began to get tiresome

Ha!  Not sure if it means the trip was getting tiresome or the bills that were on the page.

Coquille Hotel Bill

$6.50 for one room.  They must have decided to share that night.  Wonder who they called for 80 cents?

Here’s my dad in front of the Coquille Coffee Shop.  Being that he never drank coffee, I wonder what he ordered.

Gordon Coquille Coffee Shop

And then another bill from the Hotel Benson.  Same date – July 9.  Must be an error as I’m sure they weren’t in two places at once.

Hotel Benson Bill

I’m guessing they stayed here for 2-3 nights – I can’t imagine $36.00 for one room.  Glad they were able to get their laundry done!

I looked to find some photos of the hotel and sure enough, it is still around today.  I can imagine it was just as fine in 1940.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 
Photos by Sporst
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last but not least was something titled “Don’t Peek”. 

Dont Peek

Of course, the first thing I had to do was PEEK!

American Express Confirmation
Telegram

Looks like they wired ahead on July 8 to make their reservation for the following night.  Could they have changed their reservation from The Benson to arrive on July 10?  I had to laugh that on the back of the “Don’t Peek” things, someone wrote “It was the siliest thing of the trip”.  What was silly?  Wiring ahead to change/make a reservation?  The fact that someone wrote “Don’t Peek” knowing the first thing anyone would do was, in fact, PEEK?

On to the next adventures!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

And now I’m 6!

six
Photo by Jessie Pearl

Wow, where has the time gone?  I’ve been blogging for 6 years!  How is that even possible?  I’ve come across some amazing discoveries during these last six years – ‘finding’ cousins, discovering my 3x great grandfather in an unmarked grave, documenting my grandmother’s scrapbook from 100 years ago, and learning so many details about my ancestors’ (and my own) lives.  It has been such a rewarding journey.

Over those six years, here are my top 5 blog posts.
  • On June 16, 2013, I wrote about a Bittersweet Day, another Father’s Day without my dad.  I’ve probably looked at the post so many times over the years that it pushed it to the top of my posts but if I had to pick one to push to the top, this would be the one.
  • On March 8, 2013, I followed a Fearless Females blog prompt and wrote Is there a Diary?  Interestingly, I did later find a ‘real’ diary and wrote about that HERE.  
  • On February 16, 2016, I asked for some translation help for words on the back of a photo in What does this say?  I received lots of good suggestions – the power of blogging!
  • On August 17, 2013, as part of documenting my grandmother’s scrapbook, I wrote Grandma was a Party Animal.  While she really wasn’t a party animal, she did like to dance!
  • On April 27, 2014, I asked readers to Raise your Hand if you’d seen your mother, grandmother, or great grandmother pregnant.  I think I can say I’ve seen my great grandmother (at least a photo) pregnant!
Within the last few weeks, I’ve had another blogging success story which seems appropriate to share here.  I know we’ve all seen on the news a story of someone finding another person in order to share a family heirloom, photo, letters or the like and we are always a bit envious and wonder why that never happens to us.  Well, it DID happen to me!

A few weeks ago I received messages in several different locations (Facebook, WikiTree, and even my main office phone) saying:
I recently purchased a WW2 hat, case and pins from a Goodwill near me with the name Robert S. Levy lieutenant in it. My family and I think that this is a special and personal treasure that a family member should have. If I've done my research correctly, this would make you his niece. Is that correct? I would love to get this special treasure to the right person. Not sure if your uncle has any children or grandchildren that may want it? In any case if you would contact me I'd greatly appreciated it!
That’s right – Robert S. Levy was my uncle and my dad’s only sibling.  And this woman had his WW2 hat and wanted to return it to the family!

So contact her I did!  And it turns out that she did, in fact, have my uncle’s hat!  I asked her to send me a photo…..

Robs WW2 Hat

And the inside….

Robs WW2 Hat inside

And then I compared it to a photo I had of Rob in his hat…….

12Mar1944

SAME HAT! 

Next step was to contact my cousin, Rob’s daughter, to ask her if she wanted the hat.  Turns out she had been sorting things into boxes – one to donate and one to keep – and the hat ended up in the wrong box!  And off it went to Goodwill by mistake.  My new ‘friend’ was a hero – she had saved the hat!  I connected the two of them and the hat is now back with my cousin who, coincidentally, lives fairly close to my new friend.

I’ve since asked our hero how it was she came upon the hat, to which she responded:
I found the hat in the box at a Goodwill in Buckhead.   I like going there to find special treasures and I've found quite a few in the past.  I love finding artwork or vintage decor and doing research on it, so when I opened the hat box and pulled out the hat I knew it was old and that my kids would love to see a real army hat.  But after I looked at it closer I saw the card with Robert S Levy's name on it.  I knew that once I got home I would research.  I first found the article from the Fresno Bee in 1944 that had Robert’s name and Sigmund Levy’s name.  So I googled Sigmund Levy and found the wiki tree .  Your name was connected to that.  We were hoping to find a wife, children or grandchildren.  The pins were in the box too and we just felt that someone in his family should have this special treasure.  I have 4 kids and they all showed the hat to their friends.  They tried it on and saluted each other :)).  All of the kids kept saying wow, this is so cool!  So we were on a mission to get in touch with you!  We found you on LinkedIn and Facebook and then found your blogs about your family and read about them with Robert’s name hidden amongst some of your blogs.  We were like wow, that's him!!!  So yes, when you sent the pictures with the hat on him that was a full circle moment.  I felt like I knew your family history after all that!  I hope your uncle’s hat and pins stay safe and his grandchildren find a spot for this special piece of history.

And that’s where blogging has provided me with another success story and proves that just when you think it can’t happen to you, it does!  Thank you again to my new friend – I can’t thank you enough! So that’s what I’ve been up to for the last six years.  Just when I think I’m losing interest and have said just about everything there is to say (even though I have about 20 more scrapbooks left to go through), I get re-energized.

And while I don’t have a photo specifically of my 6th real-life birthday, this is a very special photo from when I was about that age.  My husband found it while he was scanning the thousands of slides my dad had and pulled it out of the archives.  Just maybe I was thinking about what would turn up in my family history so many years later!

My beautiful picture

And now on to 7!



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Heading North from Crater Lake

The Levy Family motoring trip of 1940 continued north – next stop, Crater Lake, Oregon!

Crater Lake Postcards

This was a souvernir that someone in the family added to the scrapbook.  Yes, I know it’s spelled wrong but I think that adds to the story since that was the way it was captioned. 

And the back of the postcard packet.

Crater Lake Postcards Back

July 3 – Sometimes Oregon is a low country because sometimes - Oregon Caves.  Corny, right?  For anyone who knew my uncle, Rob Levy, you know he was the king of corny jokes.  So was he the scrapbooker?

Another corny joke…..

A dear of the caves

And then we see the familiar trio – Gordon, Loraine, Rob.  Looking good!

The familiar trio

Don’t fall over?  What in the heck does that even mean?

Don't fall over

And to prove they actually visited the caves, a ticket was included.  I had to laugh that coveralls or shoes may be rented at 25¢.

Oregon Caves ticket

I’m starting to feel like this is a bit of a treasure hunt – we see where the family spent the day and the finale was how much they paid for their lodging (not loging).

Here it is

The scrapbooker states that July 4 was at Crater Lake, Oregon.
.We payed for this one

Yes, that’s right.  We payed for this one.

But this Dad took

But this Dad took.  That tells me that one of the boys was the scrapbooker.  Although my grandmother always called Sig “Dad”, too. 

This one is titled Massive.  Isn’t that the truth?

Massive

And here’s my dad looking so cute!

Nice Background - Gordon

And some more photos of the lake.



Oregons original swimming pool

We finally see one of Sig.  I can’t get over how stylin’ they were while on a motoring trip – can you even imagine how families would be dressed today?

Levy at Crater

And the stop wouldn’t be complete without a statement of their charges for the night.  They spent almost as much in meals as they did in room charges. 

Crater Lake Park Statement

Looks like they had a quick stop in Roseburg.

Bought this at Roseburg

Not sure what they bought (or brought) but, of course, we had to see the hotel bill.

Hotel Umpqua

Next stop – Portland!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Pictures, Bills, Etc.

When I last wrote HERE, I had started to go through my grandfather’s scrapbooks.  So now I’ll add a few more pages.



This is going to be interesting as I find out what a trip like this cost.  The more I look at this scrapbook, the more I’m thinking it was the work of my dad’s brother, Robert Levy.  Maybe I’ll be able to tell better as I go through the book.

At closer look, I can see that the family stayed at The Clift in San Francisco on June 30, 1940.  Grand total for the room – $13.00!  I remember my grandparents coming to the hotel when they’d visit San Francisco – looks like the tradition started many years before.  I’m puzzled thinking that a family of four, which included sons who were 13 and 20, would have stayed in one room, especially since my grandparents never seemed to be that “type” of parents.  Maybe the 1112-14 indicates they had rooms 1112 and 1114?

The Clift Bill

And a few photos.

Look at the Buick

That’s Uncle Rob – the caption of “Look at the Buick” just makes me think he wrote that. 

Sig Loraine Clift Hotel

Sig and Loraine in front of the hotel.  I’ve said over and over again how short Sig was – you really get a feel for it here since Grandma was maybe only 5’ 4” tall.

And Loraine and Gordon (my dad).

Loraine_Gordon Clift Hotel

AND this -



I think this is showing that they had two rooms – room 104 and 105.  And one was $6.00 per night, the other $4.50.  Add a few dining room charges and tax and they were up to a grand total of $18.74.

Hotel Benbow Bill
Lake at Benbow

Looks like a very serene place. 

Then they were on to the Eureka.  This postcard has the caption “On the way to EUREKA”.

Redwood Postcard

And then on to the Eureka Inn - that’s my dad, Gordon, and Loraine.

Gordon_Loraine Eureka Inn

And a postcard that was “touched up” – not sure what that meant.

Eureka Inn Postcard

And finally the bill – this is captioned “This comes every day.  Why?” 

Eureka Inn Bill

Okay, that’s definitely two rooms – room number 349 and 350.  $10.00 per day for TWO rooms?

It’s fun to see where they stopped on their way north.  More to come!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

I told you so!

In case you’ve somehow missed it, I’ve told you over and over again that I come from a long line of scrapbookers.  I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that the legacy ended with me but in my defense, I have so many scrapbooks already that I don’t know who would ever even look at the memories of my life.  It’s always been my goal to get the scrapbooks documented for future generations as the years have not been kind to them.

My grandfather, Sig Levy, seemed to have been OBSESSED with scrapbooking.  When we cleaned out the storage unit and our parents’ home of over 50 years we found many scrapbooks that Sig had left for us.  The books themselves were beautiful but I just couldn’t let them go without looking through them and, hopefully, documenting them.  I put them in several different boxes, glanced through some of them, and then put them aside for a rainy day.

Today is the day (and yes, it’s raining)!  I decided there was no time like the present to get started on this project as I’m hoping to donate the scrapbooks at some point to a historical society so that they could be enjoyed by others for years to come.  I pulled them all together and set them on a table.



You probably can’t tell from this photo but there are about 20 scrapbooks here (how I hope I didn’t miss any).  Once they were all together, I wondered where or how I would start.  I’d looked through a few of them over the years and found them to be newspaper clippings about events that had happened in Fresno, the city where my grandfather spent his entire life.  And being that he spent the majority of his career working in commercial real estate, most of the information seemed to be stories about buildings being sold, business being moved, etc.  Probably not much family history which is why I thought I’d one day donate them to the Fresno Historical Society.  This is a random sample of the pages in the book. 
 

So where to start?  I originally thought I’d try to sort them somewhat by date and go from there.  But there was something nagging at me as I looked at the stack of books.  All of the books were leather bound except for the one on top which looked much less ‘professional’. 



So I opened it up to see what was inside.



Hmmm, this looked a little different than the others.  A real scrapbook rather than an assortment of newspaper clippings. 

This was interesting but it didn’t tell me the year of this trip or who took part.  Sure I can see that Sig went on vacation but who went with him? 

Itinerary

And then I turned the page and saw this.



I know it’s hard to read but it’s a handwritten description of the family’s vacation traveling the Redwood Highway June 30-July 23, 1940!  Now I don’t know for sure if my dad wrote this (doesn’t look his adult handwriting) or his brother, Robert Levy, but the description is wonderfully detailed.

On Sunday, June 30, we started on a long, but enjoyable motoring trip which took us to the northern part of Oregon, Portland [oops, they got this in the wrong order].  On this day, Sunday, we went to the “Exposition City,” better known as San Francisco.  After a quiet night we went to the famous Hotel Benbow, on July 1, which is situated on the Eel River.  Robert and Gordon [so did Sig write this?] participated in boating there.  That day we also met the Leon Levy [Leon was Sig’s brother] family who were just returning from a northern trip.  The Hotel itself was very nice and had a lake of its own in the back.

On Tuesday, July 2, we traveled to Eureka, Calif. and on that day we saw one of the most gigantic and the most gorgeous scenes we had ever seen.  These, of course, were the famous California Redwoods.  The day before we were almost disappointed because we saw few trees and groves.  But this day was forgotten as we viewed nature’s contribution to Northern California – trees, thousands of years old, and hundreds of feet high.  In Eureka, we stayed at the homelike Eureka Inn  On Wednesday we were set to make our destination, Medford, Oregon and stop at the Oregon Caves for a quick trip through them.  As we were too late to make a trip through the Caves we went in just to see what it looked like, at 1:15.  The Chateau looked pleasant and our stopping point was at the Oregon Caves that night.  Rob & Gord went into the Caves and enjoyed the trip to the utmost.

On the next day we toured to [sic] world famous Crater Lake.  Arriving in mid afternoon, the weather was warm but one look at the deep blue lake took all thoughts of heat out of our heads.  The Lake, 6 miles in diameter, deceives you but it is gigantic.  That night we stayed at the Crater Lake Lodge.  The day at Crater Lake was well spent as Dad [who is writing this, anyway?] had a letter to the superintendent of the Park and he told us interesting things about the lake.  On the next morning we drove to Roseburg, Oregon – a small town but pleasant for a “one night stand”.  Then on Saturday, Portland loomed up and here was our northern destination.  On Sunday, we drove to Jantzen Beach Amusement Park which is on the shores of the mighty Columbia and 2 miles from Portland.  On Monday we drove on the Columbia River Highway and out to Bonneville Dam.  On Tuesday, July 9, we drove along the spectacular Oregon Coast to a small town called Coquille, halfway down the coast.  The hotel was not the best by any means but it was satisfactory.  The next day we went to Eureka and enjoyed it.  After some discussion, our next day was spent at Benbow.  The on Friday, July 12 our northern trip came to a close as we motored back to San Francisco.  Thus, the Sig Levy famiy ended its first motor trip of a great distance, successfully.

What fun to read about their motoring trip and I’m excited to go through all the pages to further explore the photos and other memorabilia. The more I look at the handwriting, the more I think it might have been written by my dad who would have been 13 at the time – just looks like 13 year old handwriting to me.  Oh geez, I wish I could ask!

I’m so excited I started with this scrapbook!  But with so much information, I’m not sure I’ll live long enough to get all of the scrapbooks documented.  Come back next time for more about the Levy motoring trip.