Tag: vintage photographs

My sister the brave

In every family there is a person that holds the center; around whose gravitational pull the other family members orbit. We refer to them as patriarch or don’t really consider their role until they’ve died and the loosely held lines of the family tree split

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The weight of personal history

The trouble with having such a deep knowledge of my family history is I find I must bite my tongue when my kids speak casually of their interests. I have no desire to bog them down with the weight of our history. When my kid

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Beach vacation 1940s France

Palavas-les-Flots is a French seaside resort south of Montpelier. My mother, along with her mother and new stepfather, spent a summer vacation in Palavas while my step-grandfather  enjoyed learning how to use new film equipment. I find this movie of my mother getting ready and

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Family castles and fun

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in castles. Although, technically, many of these are considered manor houses. I have many childhood memories of this particular house in the south of France. Castles aren’t great for modern living. They’re often isolated and drafty. The bathrooms

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Our Sunday best

Chicago suburbs, 1950s, USA Maria Baroni with grandmother Elise & mother Helene. Just a little touch of glamor of you on this fine day.  

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Boys & genetic destiny

I grew up in a talented family that holds the idea that talent runs in a family as a form of destiny. My grandfather, Roger, was a cold person. He didn’t like children and as a mechanical engineer he wasn’t expected to be good with

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Great Grandfather Gustave Arents

My paternal great-grandfather was a rakish fellow from near Brussels, Belgium. The bit of family lore we do know about him is that he was good with the ladies and he was a champion billiards player. This was, in fact, his profession. Rumor has it

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Fifties Americana

No one is more American than an immigrant. I think of my family when the US  immigration reform discussion crops up again because we are all of us born in France and new to America. Yes, it is a peculiar feature of my life that

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