Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Retro Beach Bunnies

With as much rain as we have had around here lately, it may seem that beach attire would be the most appropriate thing for all of us to be wearing these days...
I love old pictures not only for the people and things that the photographer meant to capture but the things that they inadvertantly captured without really thinking about.
Katherine McIntyre's bathing suit style is cute enough that it would be retro chic on the beach even in 2010 but can you imagine seeing anyone wearing a bathing cap on the beach or any men dressed like Charles Cummings (center) or Charles McIntyre?
I am also wondering if my Mother's (Kathleen McIntyre) suit was possibly a hand medown from her older brother, poor kid...

Monday, March 29, 2010

I wrote a long, lovely post about how my sister Sarah's (McNeil/Pearson) ancestors came to the Boston area via England and Scotland and Catherine McIntyre's (Cummings) parents came to Boston from Ireland.
I waxed poetic on the symbolism the statue represents to all who come to this country no matter how they get here.
It was a really great post,
would have made you cry,
which is what I almost did when I tried to post it and got a message telling me to hit the back browser and try again...
they say a picture contains a thousand words.
(or something to that effect...)
In this case it better because it's too late to write the whole thing all over again...

This "snapshot" could not even really be called that, it's size is only slightly larger than a postage stamp (a photographers proof perhaps?).
Looking at it in tiny size it appeared that the man in the fore front might be my Grandfather Charles J. McIntyre but blown up larger I am no longer sure that it's him.
The intersection where this was taken I would recognise anywhere tho, this picture was taken just outside Park Street station, Downtown Crossing, Boston.
Even without proper ID of the people in it, I still like it for cars and the history of place.
From approx 1998-2004 I worked as a Department Sales Manager for Filene's right up the street from where this was taken.
When I was a kid, Charles's second wife Catherine used to dress me up nice and take me "Downtown" to the restaurant located in the Filene's building where I eventually wound up working. Interesting enough I found myself working with women who had worked in that restaurant as well as women hired in the 1940's who still worked the sales floor. That building held an incredible amount of history not only in it's walls but in the memories of those who commuted there every day.
I haven't worked in that area for years but I still find the history of it fascinating.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My mother, my uncle and I cleaned out the house that my McIntyre great grandparents bought about 1916 a couple of summers ago and just as we were about to leave on the last day my uncle suggested I check the attic one last time.

(The stairs were very steep and I was the only one from the family who was able to safely climb them and go through the attic before the proffessional cleaners came and took away all the last of the old deteriorating broken furniture and junk)

At the top of the stairs was a box with some stuff I'd already gone through and discarded as junk but just in case I went through it one last time and I swear this item was not there the first time I went through it but I can say with much certainty that I was rather exausted at the end of the process so I might have missed it the first time, I dunno... I'm just really thankful that my Uncle Danny asked me to check one last time, this old fashioned address book contained no addresses but it was full of Cummings/Kilday birth and marriage dates and places. Totally irreplaceable information that would have been impossible to verify without this first hand source.

I have no idea who the person was that wrote most of the entires (some were noted by Catherine Eileen (Cummings) McIntyre but most were the handwritting of a person unknown. Most likely it was a woman, definately a Cummings, and as I look at the pages I often wonder what that woman would think of where the book wound up and the household it lives in now. It also makes me wonder who in the future will be looking at these virtal pages.
neat stuff no matter how you look at it...

I believe this is my maternal great grandmother Mary (McNamara) McIntyre but I could be wrong, I only base that on thinking that maybe I was told that once. This picture was on display in the office of my grandparents house for years and I know I saw it quite a few times and probably asked at some point who the people in it were.
If I was told, I have forgotten who the man is.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This is my Mother's Uncle Charles Cummings who served overseas in WWII. He's always stood out in my mind because I never met him (he died either in 1969 or 1970, very close to when I was born). It seems that during his time over seas he was based mostly in India.
Although I enjoy the pictures of him in familiar living rooms and family scenes, his pictures from India are most fascinating to me because being born in 1970, my idea of World War II centers almost exclusively in northern Europe and Japan. I suppose I could read up and educate myself more on the subject but there is soooo much out there to read. It really is hard to know where to start, a couple of old pictures found in a Roslindale cedar chest I guess, is as good a place as any....

The family has many very small ivory figurines that "Charley" sent back ( knowing what we do now about the horrors of the ivory trade, in looking at these objects, I try to remember that it was a different time and his intent in sending these home was not to perpetuate cruelty to animals but to send his sisters something pretty. ) We also have books and letters that he sent home during that time. He may have been a bit of a heavy drinker who never married but it's abundantly clear that he was also, in his own way, a sort of family man.
Amusingly enough, when we were cleaning out the family house in Roslindale, my husband took some old dusty, rusty junk metal from the basement that we figured could be sold and work make the basement look nicer to prospective buyers at the same time. Amongst that stuff were a few small wooden boxes that had assorted nails and screws and such organized into them. Michael kept those to use in our own home and was organizing them one night at our basement bar. I think I was just watching TV or fooling around on the computer when he asked,
"Who is Charles Cummings?"
I told hime that's my Mother's uncle and asked where he saw that name. It was on a label affixed to one of those small wooded boxes that were taken from the basement. The box had been previously used by "Uncle Charley" to send those ivory figurines from India.
You never really know where you are going to find great information, it could be preserved nicely in a photo album or perhaps affixed to back of a box of rusty old nails in the back of a dank and dirty basement...

Monday, March 1, 2010

I love this picture of my Great Aunt Katherine (Kay) McIntyre. There are far more pictures of her in well posed situations, the spontinaity and humor of this one are what make it one of my favorites.