Monday, November 16, 2020

Late For My Own Birthday

 I just had a birthday and it was a fine day of immediate family, socially distanced outdoors celebration. I loved being able to look into the faces of my family. A few days later now our state has gone into a hard lockdown, which makes me think we will be communicating online for a while. 

I meant to put up these photos on the day--better late than never. 

This was the first birthday party for a friend (Billy, on the left) that I got to attend. I am the youngest and shortest in the front. Hunter's Point, San Francisco, c 1946.

Me, fishing on a lake in British Columbia, Canada, c 1969

Sunday, February 2, 2020

We Knew About the Camel, But There Was an Elephant, Too?

I've posted this photo of my mother on the camel before. It was taken, perhaps in Egypt, on one of her many trips. My father died before they could go traveling together as planned. Now, I know she's not going anywhere in particular on that camel, but I am still impressed that a widowed school teacher would sign up for many foreign travel tours on her own.

I didn't really ask her much about her trips, but I inherited many albums of photos from faraway places. This one on a camel came as a surprise.

Just yesterday, I found this elephant photo. It appears that Elva split the cost of the posed photograph (note the two men helpfully pointing at the camera) with a fellow traveler on the tour. I'm suspecting they were in India, and I remembered giggling when I received a postcard from Mother of erotic statuary at some tourist stop. I believe that would have been around 1974, because I was sitting in our breakfast nook in Montesano, Washington when I read that card.

 Posed or not, these pictures make me marvel at the idea that a woman born on a farm in New Brunswick, Canada at a time when autos were a rarity, would eventually find herself flying to strange and exotic places on the other side of the world.

What do you suppose the men in suits were discussing?

Detail: That's mother (Elva Crabtree Harris) on the left, complete with necklace and pocket book

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Souvenir of Knott's Berry Farm

This photo was taken on a visit to Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California around 1947. That's little me (Clair Harris Zarges), with my mother (Elva Crabtree Harris) sitting behind me on the right side of the photo. I don't know who the two friends were, but they were probably either from San Francisco or relatives from southern California. It was over 400 miles to Buena Park from San Francisco, where my family lived, so this would have been during one of our (almost) annual road trip vacations to southern California. 

You'll notice that my mother has me all rigged out in a coat (that she probably made), a hat, and a little purse.

The back of the post card sized photo

I do recall that, as a child, I thought of the place as "Knottsberryfarm," not realizing that it was actually a BERRY farm. It was a real treat to go to what was actually the first theme park in the United States. (Britannica). To see what the place looks like today, go to Knott's Berry Farm. I have to admit, though, that I am happy with my memories of a simpler time and place. 

A little history from WikipediaThe park sits on the site of a former berry farm established by Walter Knott and his family. Beginning in the mid 1920s, the Knott family sold berries, berry preserves, and pies from a roadside stand along State Route 39. In 1934, the Knotts began selling fried chicken dinners in a tea room on the property, later called "Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant." The dinners soon became a major tourist draw, and the Knotts built several shops and other attractions to entertain visitors while waiting for a seat in the restaurant. In 1940, Walter Knott began constructing a replica Ghost Town on the property, the beginning of the present-day theme park. The idea of an amusement park really picked up in the 1950s when Walter Knott opened a "summer-long county fair.

The site continued its transformation into a modern amusement park over the next two decades, and an admission charge [25 cents] was added in 1968. In 1997 the park was sold to Cedar Fair for $300 million, just two years after the Knott's food business was acquired by Conagra, Inc. in 1995."