Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Record Players and Word Prompt

I was so proud of my first record player. I had a few albums that I was sometimes allowed to play on my mother's stereo. Obviously I ran in and got them to display in the stand for my new record player. I can't seem to see what they are.

Perhaps I had a Beatles album

Or perhaps one of these others that are still in my collection.

Yesterday we listened to a bunch of golden oldies while we did our housework. 
They sure make the work seem a little easier.

Do you have memories of your first record player, stereo, cassette tape player or whatever was new in your generation? What have you owned since? Do you still have some of your first albums, cassettes or whatever?

Word Prompt: Music

Please pay a visit to my writer/genealogist blog here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Post Cards and Word Prompt

This is the town where my sister was born. My parents were married. My great grandmother ran the switchboard. My great great grandfather built a house with his handmade blocks.

Although I have visited the town and toured the "Keith House" as it is still known I can't seem to pick it out in this photo, if it is even in it. 

Here are two more postcards. That big square house near the center looks like the Keith house but I'm not sure.

I love picturing my gr. gr. grandparents walking these streets. Perhaps heading for the post office.
Or my great grandmother on her way to buy meat for dinner. Or my grandfather going to work at the barber shop. My mother on her way to school and my sister visiting the town and going after Juicy Fruit gum.

I found all these post cards on e-bay a few years ago. I also have a number of post cards of the areas my ancestors lived going back across the United States and over the pond to Europe.

They are a great way to bring your ancestors to life. 

Whenever I visit places my family resided I collect postcards even if they are modern ones. I also collect pamphlets and fliers about the history and attractions of the area. 

My daughter collected postcards and now my eldest grandson has started his own collection. Those shoe boxes are filled with memories. 

Do you or somebody in  your family collect postcards? Have you tried finding postcards of ancestral locations?

Word Prompt: Collections

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Serendipity and Word Prompt

As I've said before, I don't have any memories of my dad. Neither my Mom or my sister liked to talk about him. Betty was ten years older than me so she had a lot of memories, few of them good.

I've studied photos to find hints and clues and posted some of those thoughts on this blog. Through this I was found by two cousins on my paternal side. One I was in touch with many years ago but we got lost in our own lives.

They both made some comments on past posts here and here.

There's been a basket of papers on the dryer for months and months. I'd see it and decide to come back to it later.

Sunday I "had" to go through the basket. It was stuff I'd brought back home from my sister's after she passed away. At least that is what makes sense, I really don't remember these things. I always feel like somebody is directing these meetings or findings; the serendipity of life. These pictures were mixed in with old Christmas cards and other special stuff. Some of it my own.

So I sat down and started scanning the pages "as is."

These are all of my sister growing up in the late 1940s. I have another copy of the one with Mother and the tiny baby. I always thought it was me. Now I'm not so sure.

As I studied each picture I'd run into the other room to show my husband a special treasure. 

My favorite is this one of my mom, very pregnant with ME.

 There is another, also taken in October 1953 of my sister and the dog, Do Do, as mentioned in one of the comments from my cousins mentioned earlier.

Betty younger and still looks like Do Do.
Betty always talked about Do Do and commented how much Daddy loved that dog. One of very few memories she shared.

Share some serendipitous stories about finding things or unexpected encounters.
Are there cousins you need to get in touch with?

One Word Prompt: pets

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Children in the Country, Prompt

Every week I meet with my writing group. We take turns providing prompts for the rest of the group. Sometimes these are sentences that start a story, photos from magazines of places, people or things, single words and an impressive number of other ideas.

Last week I collected an envelope full of magazine photographs of children in the country. Most of them were with animals: horses, goats, dogs and chickens. We only had a few minutes to write for this prompt and it was amazing what came out. Everybody in the group was moved by children and animals.

This picture is my mother. She grew up around chickens and learned early how to turn them into dinner.
These days most people have an aversion to this thought but for generations raising and slaughtering 
animals was a part of life and children were a part of the chore. One story Grandma loved to tell me was when Mom was around five years old she asked what was for dinner and her grandma told her roast beef. Well, Mom wanted chicken so she went out and got a chicken and rung its neck. They had chicken for dinner.

When my grandson was younger he was asked how their holiday turkey was prepared. He said something about his father going out and shooting the turkey and cooking it in the microwave for 10 minutes. Most kids start their stories in the grocery store. 

Mom grew up being practical. She could stretch a piece of meat into a number of meals, make soap, sew on a button and mend socks. How many of these things can you do? 

Have you heard stories about your ancestors and preparing food? If not, have you read historical accounts or historical fiction of what life was really like in the time and place your ancestors lived? 

One word prompt: eyes