Monday, December 27, 2010

In Honor of My Mother's Birthday

This post was first published on The Zees Go West on December 27, 2008.

My mother, Elva, was born on December 27, 1914, and died in 1997, although we would have sworn that she was immortal. In honor of her birthday, I'd like to share one of my favorite photos of her, which was taken in 1978.

I would like to pretend that she was an intrepid explorer who discovered a great many antiquities in Egypt, but I'm afraid that this photo is a little too revealing. Note the old gentleman in the background wearing a vacation outfit--a sure tip-off that this photo was staged as part of a retired teachers' tour of Egyptian sightseeing highlights. And, for heaven's sake, check out the purse (always referred to as a pocket book by my mother) she is carrying. It's a rare explorer who carries a purse when riding off toward adventure in the desert.

Still, she was a brave woman who had planned to see the world together with my dad when he retired. Sadly, he died before they could travel, so she just went ahead on her own.

Happy Birthday, Mother. I'll bet you are riding around Heaven, exploring on a camel. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa and Me, Part 4

When Mason's Auntie Dee saw his terrified "Santa and Me" photo, she remembered a little Santa terror of her own and sent along this photo from her childhood.

This is certainly one of the more sinister Santas that I've seen!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa and Me, Part 3

Well, you've seen Santa terrorizing my tiny little brother-in-law-to-be (see Santa and Me, Part 1 and Part 2). Now it's my turn. Here I am, in one of my mom's spectacular home-sewn coat and hat sets. I might not have been screaming my head off but, believe me, the fear is there under the surface. I am pointing out my parents, in the hope that they will remember to come and get me off. this. man's. lap.

A year or two later, I am still calling out to my parents, with hope and fear and thoughts of abandonment. 

However, I continued to believe in Santa, as this corny staged photo shows. My dad got me to explain to my dog, Pete, how Santa was going to bring the presents to our house--right down the chimney, of course!

Generation after generation, we continue the Santa tradition, and I'll bet you do, too. Here are grandchildren Isabella, Mason, and little Chris. Mason does what all frightened children do--he grabs onto his ears, just in case Santa has thoughts of stealing them away.

Santa terrorizing Mason

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa and Me, Part 2

In the previous post, we last saw poor baby Ronnie looking at the bearded guy in fear and disbelief. This first photo shows his older brother, Billy (who became my husband much later), looking as though he is willing to give this business a try. He's not sure how the whole thing will work out, though. 

Here we are, the following year. Although Santa is really trying--note the present little Ronnie is holding and the bells the Santa is jingling--the youngest brother is still showing the good sense to be very afraid of the red-suited guy. 

Billy, who discovered that the presents he listed for Santa actually showed up under his tree the previous Christmas, is anxiously waiting to get a word in edgewise. 

The same attitudes prevail a year or two later. Billy is starry-eyed, possibly thinking of a Red Ryder BB gun; while Ronnie looks like he is hoping that he doesn't get another darned bow tie in his stocking this time!

The last of the Santa pictures will appear next Tuesday. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa and Me

It's a firmly established tradition, the photo of the kids with Santa. It's also a given that the children in the photos will be scared to death, having been passed from loving arms into the lap of a stranger who looks like no one ever seen in a little kid's life.

I've been gathering up our family Santa photos from the 1940s and 1950s. Some are of Bill and his little brother, Ron; and some are of me. I'll show them here over the next couple of weeks.

The photo covers from Bill and Ron's Santa experiences were very retro. One was even done by Leonard Weisgard, who became familiar to me as a children's book illustrator when, much later, I became a children's librarian. Here are three of those covers:

And here is the first in a series of photos of the frightened children in our family, learning about this most peculiar of Christmas traditions. We start with poor little baby Ronnie, who can't believe his eyes:

I will show you more photos in a couple of days.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Family Nicknames

I don't ever remember any of my grandparents; three of them were already dead by the time I was born. Although I might have met my maternal grandmother when I was an infant, my parents and I moved across the country when I was only three months old and she died before I saw her again. So, even though I don't really know what I might have called my grandmothers or grandfathers, I always felt a little jealous of friends and relatives who referred to their Mimi, or Grampy, or Memere, etc. 

Recently, one of Bill's cousins sent some photos of a branch of the Mallozzi family to her daughter, along with the nicknames for her aunts, uncles, and grandparents. She was kind enough to send us a set, too. I was charmed by the names, and hope you might be, too. Here they are. 

Aunt Annie, Noni, Meema, and Beebop

Beebop, Uncle Eddie, [Phil], Meema, Aunt Annie, Boompa and Uncle Jimmy

Boompa, his brother Jimmy, Jimmy's wife Kaye, Mooma, Donnasue

Meema, Beebop, Boompa, Uncle Jimmy, Mooma, Donnasue
Noni & Meema
Uncle Eddie, Aunt Annie and Noni

Uncle Eddie, Aunt Annie and Noni
What do you call your grandparents?

Key to the family shown:

Noni: Allesandra Mallozzi, who was Bill's grandmother (her husband, Vincenzo, is not shown). Bill's mother was a Mallozzi and was another daughter of Allesandra and Vincenzo; and sister to Frances.

Meema: Frances Mallozzi Tucciarone (Allesandra and Vincenzo's daughter)
Beebop: John Tucciarone (Frances' husband)

Aunt Annie: Anna Tucciarone Abazia (daughter of Frances and John)
Uncle Eddie: Ed Abazia (Anna's husband-to-be)

Boompa: Phil Tucciarone (Frances and John's son; brother of Anna)
Mooma: Lydia Tucciarone (husband of Phil)

Uncle Jimmy: Jimmy Tucciarone (Frances and John's son; Phil and Anna's brother)

Donnasue Tucciarone (daughter of Phil and Lydia)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mallozzi-Zarges Wedding, Part 3: The Reception

The wedding, Part 1 (The Beautiful Bride) and Part 2 (At the Church)

To wind up the story of the wedding ceremony for Delia Mallozzi and William Zarges, we have some photos that were taken at the reception and at the family home.

Left to right: Mary Mallozzi, Phil Mallozzi,  Frances Mallozzi, William Zarges, Delia Mallozzi Zarges, Alesandra (Noni) Mallozzi, Gennaro Mallozzi, Vincenzo (Papa) Mallozzi, Filippina (Pucci) Mallozzi, and Amalio Mallozzi.

The bride, Delia

Getting ready to throw the garter

Such an interesting photo: An unknown sailor with Mary Mallozzi, and the bride and groom. Did Mary, who never married,  once have a boyfriend? Sadly, there is probably no one left alive who would be able to tell us.

Mary Mallozzi, the maid of honor, dances with the best man

The wedding supper

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mallozzi-Zarges Wedding, Part 2: At the Church

The pictorial record of the wedding of Delia Mallozzi and William Zarges, July 1946, Stamford, Connecticut, continues: 

Delia and her father arriving at the church

The bride and her father start down the aisle

A ritual farewell to her parents

Just married!

Maid of honor, Mary Mallozzi, with the best man (name unknown)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mallozzi-Zarges Wedding, Part 1: The Beautiful Bride

In Stamford, Connecticut, on a warm July day in 1947, Delia Mallozzi and William Zarges got married. Here are some of the photos from their wedding album. 

Although our children were never to know Bill's* mother, Delia (their grandmother), I am sure that they will appreciate this glimpse into the beginning of a marriage that made such a difference to all of us who followed. 

The home of Delia's parents remained in the family and will look very familiar to our kids. Much of the furniture, and even the arrangement of the rooms, remained the same until the recent death of Delia's sister, Mary Mallozzi. 
The beautiful bride, Delia Mallozzi

Delia and her sister and maid of honor, Mary Mallozzi

Delia and her mother

The wedding party on the front steps of the family home on Wilson Street

Delia and her father arrive at the church

* The names get a little confusing. Delia and Bill (Sr.) were the parents of my husband, Bill (Jr.). One of Bill Jr.'s children is named Delia, for her grandmother. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Five Generations

I've always thought that the Zarges men looked alike when they were little boys. Here is our chance to find out, as we are lucky enough to have photos of five generations.

We start with Christopher (Little Chris) Zarges:



Little Chris' father: 

"Big Chris," 1980

"Big Chris," his wife, Aimee, and children (l. to r.) Emily, Isabella, and Little Chris, 2000

Little Chris' grandfather:

Bill Zarges, Jr., born in 1948

Bill Zarges in 1982

Little Chris' great-grandfather:

William Zarges, Sr. as a child, on the right, 1922 (?)
(Shown with his father, John Zarges, and sister, Trudy)

William Zarges, Sr. in France in 1945

Little Chris' great-great-grandfather:

I'm pretty sure that this is John Zarges (1877-1954), as a boy in Germany

John Zarges as a young man (you can see him with his children, a few photos above)

Do you think that there is a family resemblance?

The boys, left to right:
John's son, William, on the right;
William's son, William, Jr.;
William, Jr.'s son Chris

The men (left to right):
John's son, William;
William's son, William, Jr.;
William Jr.'s son, Chris, who is with daughter Isabella and son Little Chris