Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When I Was a Cowgirl

These were what I considered my "cowboy clothes." My shirts were always called Roy, Dale, or Hoppy shirts (for Roy and Dale Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy). 

Here I am with a chance to finally ride a horse and what?! No cowboy clothes? This was taken in the early 1950s with my Dad (Daniel Harris) while we were on vacation in Arizona (see Road Trip, Old School Style), so that was my vacation outfit. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

When I Was a Baby

That's me, Clair Marie Harris, born in 1944. 

I don't think that they make babies this round anymore. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

At a Nightclub, Whereabouts Unknown

Left to right: Gene and Marion (friends of my parents, last name unknown); an unknown woman;
my mother (Elva Crabtree Harris); her younger brother, David Crabtree; and my father, Daniel Harris

This picture is a hard one for me to puzzle out. I know that my parents knew Gene and Marion in San Francisco, and visited them in Pennsylvania some years after this photo. I was born before we moved to San Francisco from Maine, but the only babysitter I remember was my Uncle David, who is in the photo. Was the photo taken before I was born, and thus in Maine? Or was it taken when we first lived in San Francisco? Who was taking care of me?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Mother's Family

I grew up marveling at the size of my mother's family, whose photo appears at the head of this blog. There were 13 children, and the joke was that they had to make their names into a kind of chant so that they could remember them all:

Alma, Hope, and Bessie
Cliff, and Beech, and Jessie
Elva, Anna, Sadie, Gladys
Lois, Faith, and David.

To help us understand their place in history, I give you one version of that part of the family tree, scanned from the pages of Kith and Kin of the Kinneys, by Fern Gallup Kinney (no date of publication was given, but I am guessing that it was written sometime in the 1950s). I say "one version," because I can see errors just in my own family's record, as laboriously typed by Fern. I was born in 1944, not 1946; my sister's name is "Jean Lee" not "Jeane Loe," and she was born in 1949, not 1948. However, these typos do not diminish the value of Fern's overall work, which contains 87 pages of family history going back to 1738.

Another note: You will notice on the first page shown below that my great-grandmother's maiden name was Sarah Ann Kinney Crabtree. That was not a Fern typo, as Sarah was a distant cousin to her husband, William Henry Crabtree. William was also descended from the same Israel Kinney who was the common ancestor of us all. 

Sarah Ann and William Crabtree were my great-grandparents. They had 13 children, one of whom was my grandfather, David Jewett Crabtree, Sr. David married Edith Giberson, and they also had 13 children, all listed below. They were my aunts and uncles and my mother, Elva Myrtle Crabtree Harris Rodriguez.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Buddy as a Young Man

Here are a couple of early photos of my dad's first cousin, John Michael Hayes, Jr., who was always known to us as Buddy. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, as was my dad, Daniel Lawrence Harris (1907-1972). 

John Michael Hayes, Jr.

After college and serving in the Army, Buddy moved out to California from Massachusetts and wrote radio stories and then film screenplays. Steven DeRosa wrote a book about Buddy's work with Alfred Hitchcock on four films, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and The Trouble with Harry

What I remember best about Buddy was his wonderful laugh, and the good fried summer squash he made for us when my parents, sister and I visited his home in southern California (which had once belonged to one of The Beach Boys! We got to shower in the Beach Boys' shower!). We also visited one summer when the Hayes family was living at a spectacular estate in Winter Harbor, Maine. He and his very gracious wife, Mel, had some very funny little kids (our third cousins, if I'm figuring correctly). My sister and I have some great lobster memories from Winter Harbor.

You can read more about Buddy's career in the Wikipedia article under his name

Here is an interview with Buddy about script writing: How They Write the Script: John Michael Hayes.

Buddy's obituary appeared in the New York Times in November, 2008.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mother and Child, 1945

My Mother, Elva Crabtree Harris [later Rodriguez]
and me, Clair Harris [later Zarges]

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sisters on a Cruise

This is a scanned copy of a photo from a Princess Cruise. That's my mother, Elva Crabtree Harris Rodriguez, on the right; and her younger sister, Faith Crabtree Blakely on the left. Somewhere there must be a photo of my Dad and Uncle David Blakeley on the same cruise. I hope I find it.

I'm thinking that this cruise must have taken place sometime in the early 1980s. If any family members have a better guess as to the date, please let me know.

You can see the sisters as children in the header photo at the top of this blog. Elva is on the right end of the first row; Faith is sitting on her father's lap.