Friday, January 29, 2010

Old Friends New Friends from the Top of the Hill

Stories told , memories shared , friendships renewed , pictures taken , food enjoyed , laughs bellowed , hugs given , beverages consumed , ......
........more to follow

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More Panoramic Views from the TOP OF THE HILL

We know the historical references of the "TOP OF THE HILL" but ......if you follow Crocker Ave up, up , up the hill you get to the top where there is a gated community called Pointe Pacific.....The views up here are some of the most spectacular ( on a sunny day )

This first one is a sweep of Lake Merced on the left to the Bay Bridge

Next is Guadalupe Canyon below and the TV/ Radio Towers
This last one is North to Mt Tamalpais and if you are are wondering about the grey in the foreground ......That is the top of the rectangular reservoir on top of the hill .....It used to be green in color during the 60's ....remember ??? ..and you could even walk around it and peek inside and see the it is blocked off for our safety , thank goodness....Now if I have done this correctly you should be able to save the pictures to your computer and then reopen them in your picture viewer to see the BIG PICTURE ....enjoy

Friday, June 20, 2008

Looking in the Rear View Mirror

Every age has a keyhole to which its eye is pasted. ~Mary McCarthy, On the Contrary......

My eyes are puffy , my nose hairs have captured the smell of old pictures, my fingers have paper cuts from retrieving pictures in envelopes I was sure were softened by age ......I'm not complaining because it has been worth the effort......I know for a fact I have looked at over 15,000 pictures ( Yes , there are still more boxes ) and my Mom hands me a red binder and says " You probably haven't seen these yet " .....Unbelievable .......Where do these albums come from ?. They're like hangers in a closet that multiply overnight when you're sleeping .

Professor Johnston often said that if you didn't know history, you didn't know anything. You were a leaf that didn't know it was part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

The pictures weren't in color. They weren't even black and white . It's that slight yellow tint and brown color that screams old history. Here was more of my family tree unfolding before my eyes . As I understand it, there were two Aunts ( Rose and Helen ) and one Uncle ( Carmelo Jr. ) that I never knew . One can only imagine the number of cousins, added to an already large number of cousins, I might have had . All told on both my Father and Mother's side the cousin count ( first , second , and third ) numbers over ninety blood relatives and a few of my cousins have kids by marriage ( though not counted in this exercise , these cousins are much loved )

History, like a vast river, propels logs, vegetation, rafts, and debris; it is full of live and dead things, some destined for resurrection; it mingles many waters and holds in solution invisible substances stolen from distant soils. ~Jacques Barzun, Clio and the Doctors

Mom and Dad were both born in 1930 , but Grandma and Grandpa on Mom's side were both born in the late 1890's....So the question is this ....Why this country and why this city ???.....One can only assume that like any Immigrant coming from a different land , the story they've heard is the same . The United States is truly a " Land of Opportunity "

Please stay tuned because the story definitely continues....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dad as a Dad.....Dad as a Friend

The boxes of pictures were hidden in closets, in cabinets not looked into for years . Many of the pictures were sealed in old photo albums standing side by side with so many others collecting dust. It was just like books in a library waiting to be opened , page by page , with its rich history revealing itself .They were hidden in plastic tubs , in old Kodak envelopes waiting to be rescued. I know there will be more........

It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

The pictures definitely smoothed out the rough edges of my faded memory. There were many pictures of Dad being.... the many faces of what a Dad is in life.....

“He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”-Clarence Budington Kelland

Many pictures revealed Dad as best friend

"In loneliness, in sickness, in confusion-the mere knowledge of friendship makes it possible to endure, even if the friend is powerless to help. It is enough that they exist. Friendship is not diminished by distance or time, by imprisonment or war, by suffering or silence. It is in these things that it roots most deeply. It is from these things that it flowers." -Pam Brown

Dad had many titles , according to what I've observed in these photo's ....Teenage Dad, Cool Dad, Newlywed Dad, New dad Dad, Picnic Dad, Jokester Dad, Son Dad, Brother Dad, Husband Dad, Fisherman Dad, Grandpa Dad, Soldier Dad, .....But the one that screams "Thread of Life" ( see earlier blog ) ...the one that says,.. we are all connected is this one ....

Together as Friends sharing moments , they truly had fun in life ( Believe me I've heard the stories )......Connected from the beginning and amazingly connected in passing Thread of Life Moments........

.........My dad passed February 15, 1998...........................................
....Nino Tony passed February 12, 2007..........................................
...Uncle Jack Passed February 11, 2008 ......................................

I want to thank anyone that ever took a photo of my Dad.....You'll never know how much the pictures have allowed me to have him back ..... if only for a moment in time .....a moment that YOU have captured for ME......


....Oh, And Dad , ...if you're watching ..Here's to you ...

Please enjoy the photo collage..........

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Birthing a Baby

After 52 years , and never having kids of my own , in a round about way , I think I helped birth a baby ...........I think ............

check it out.....

What do you think ?????

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What is a Treasure ???

Of the more than 130 million items in the Library of Congress, one might ask which of these are considered "treasures"? Of course Thomas Jefferson's handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence is a treasure, not only because of its association with Jefferson but also because of what it reveals about how one of the founding documents of America was written and rewritten and finally agreed upon by dozens of men in the midst of a political crisis.

But what about Jelly Roll Morton's early compositions? Or Maya Lin's original drawing for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial? Or one of the earliest known baseball cards? Or the first motion picture deposited for copyright? The Library holds all these and more.

Now it has come to my attention that someone in San Angelo , Texas holds an item that might be considered a treasure. There were 18 young men , back in the day, that might have answered yes , this item is a bonafide , 100 % " treasure "

Let me describe this item as being approximately 12-14 oz. in wieght ( 16 oz. soaking wet ), with white and blue coloring. It measures 12" wide by 12" long and is more than 40 years old . You might ask what is it ?

While you are pondering the question , trying to come up with answer, I would like to leave you with two pictures that I feel are true " treasures " . These pictures are the 18 men that I referred to earlier . The pictures , if not for you , brings me back to days spent at the Jefferson High gymnasium or the courts at the " Center " . ...........Do you hear the squeaks of black converse tennis shoes making a turn on the hardwood court ?, ......Do you hear the whistles echoeing off the gymnasium walls ? ,...........Can you hear the roar of the crowd after that perfect shot ends in the sound of a SWISH ?,.......How about the sound of the buzzers ending a quarter or the end of a game which you just won ?????

Thank you Mr Denning , Mr Martin , Mr Cross and you parents who invested your time in us . I may not think of those moments as much as I'd like to , but I will certainly never , ever forget them .

These are true ..................TREASURES !!!!!!

*Here's the answer to the question " What is more than 40 years old ? "

..........Thanks Wayne B. , and if you bring them to the reunion next year they will need to be hermetically sealed in a plastic bag because they appear to be toxic........Just kidding .....Thanks for sharing

***** Wayne , just recieved a call from the OLPH athletic dept. and they said you owe them $ 5.00 for the shorts. They don't want you to return them for the reimbursement of your deposit money because they agreed that the shorts , do in fact , appear to be toxic........

Talk to you soon Alums


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Threads of Life

Thread : [1913 Webster] 4. (Fig.) Something continued in a long course or tenor; a recurrent theme or related sequence of events in a larger story; as the thread of a story, or of life, or of a discourse. --Bp. Burnet.

Let's face it gang , we've been stuck together like glue since 1961, and five of us since 1960. That would be Patti S. Chrissy D. Donna A. Terry Mc. and myself. OK , Okay... some of you are asking for pics to go with the stories. Here's the Kindergarten picture where the five of us started . Can you pick us out ???

One might think that by moving to the East Coast , you'd escape from the thread of life , but we found you John S. ( Didn't we ) ? One might move to Chicago , and I understand you're there Jean H. ....drop us a line please. Jeff M., You are just down the road in San Bruno , send up a smoke signal.

The thread of life calls out you all
Someone out there from our class may not want to be contacted right now because he or she is going through tough times. I'm certain that with the combined life experiences of us Alums , with just a phone call , an e-mail, a hug , a short note ....that small gesture would make a world of difference.....score one for the thread of life .

Coming back to the Family home has been interesting . Mom has boxes and boxes of pictures and it has proven to be a Treasure Chest of family memories . I have found not only old pictures of the immediate family but pictures from my Mom's growing up years . Pictures of Grandma and Grandpa that I'd never seen before made me feel connected to a past I'd only heard in stories .

Score another one for the thread of life.

Imagine seeing your Grandma with dark hair ( I only remember her from age 65, grey haired until she passed in her 90's ). Imagine seeing Grandpa in a three piece suit as a young lad just to go fishing or do yard work . That's how it was back in the day.

I spent days going through box after box soaking up all this history that was opening up before my eyes, just like an old time picture movie.

Two weeks ago was another thread of life event. My mother's Uncle Leon , from Watsonville, was turning 99 and we were invited to a barbecue . I was re-introduced to family members I had not seen in 10 years , and for one cousin it had been 35 years.

Here are two pictures from @ 1945 and one from the barbecue two weeks ago . In the older family picture , Uncle Leon Ventura is the one on the right , Uncle Ray , Mom ( she said she was 15 in this pic ) Grandpa Ventura , Auntie Lou ( I was told not to divulge her age or there would be consequences ) Grandma, Uncle Jim and Uncle Henry.

In the second picture is my Auntie Lou , Uncle Ray , Auntie Epifania ( Uncle Leon's wife ) my mom Anne and our guest of honor Uncle Leon . Uncle Leon has touched many lives .

Each and everyone of us has done the same in someway or another. Coming back to Northern Ca. , back to Daly City, back to our family home here on East Vista has given me a connection like I've not felt in a long time .

Score one more for ................................The Thread of life................

Talk to you soon Alums,