May 17, 2017 § Leave a comment
A while back I found a postcard of a shoe store called Bob Baker in a briefcase that had belonged to my father. My mother had been using it to store what little shoe memorabilia was left of his. I posted it here and forgot about it until this spring when we were on vacation in Florida and stopped in Naples for the night. We found the perfect old style Florida motel and before we headed back out the next day we took a walk around the city.
Naples is beautiful, manicured, and pristine. Their 5th Avenue is lined with restaurants, shops, Lamborghinis, and Teslas. I loved it and definitely want to go back. When we were walking I noticed the sign for Bob Baker Shoes. I explained to the sales associate my father had worked with the owner a long time ago and asked if I could take a few photos. She was gracious and mentioned that his son Bob Baker Jr. was at his desk in the back of the store and to go and say hello. I introduced myself and told him my father was Arthur Benjamin. He remembered him and told me he had worked with Arthur more than his father had. The store really took me back to my dad’s shoe days and surprisingly I wasn’t emotional until he mentioned that a young woman had stopped by also not too long ago who had worked with his dad and had become very emotional and that’s when I felt the tears start to well up. I kept it together and thanked him and at his recommendation for a family style restaurant we had a lovely lunch where my son entertained himself by arranging the ketchup and mustard packets.
January 31, 2017 § Leave a comment
I wrote this a while back. My imaginary version of what it was like for my grandfather and grandmother when they arrived at Ellis Island. I’m horrified by the UN American cruel and inhumane actions of our President and his administration. You don’t appreciate what you have until you are faced with losing it.
The day that we arrived we were woken up by a loud commotion on the deck. I quickly dressed and climbed the stairs up to see what was going on. The passengers were facing one direction. They were crying and praying in languages I didn’t understand. We were finally here. I could see it in the near distance — The great lady of the harbor we had heard about. Rose was still sick. I hurried and went to get our things together and help her get dressed. We would be docking soon and I wanted to make sure we had all of our papers in order. When we arrived at Ellis Island we were separated. I never forgot the fear in Rose’s eyes as they took her away. She was put into quarantine and I wouldn’t see her again for 2 days. I now moved through everything quickly and was cleared to leave but had to wait for my wife. I didn’t know what I would do if they sent her back. They fed us and had beds set up in what was called the Great Hall. I became friendly with a guard who helped me get a message to her. On the second day she was released and we purchased our tickets for Pennsylvania where I had a cousin. We boarded the ferry to New Jersey and from there took the train to Harrisburg to start our new life in America.
November 11, 2016 § 1 Comment
I know it’s Veteran’s day and I know I should take a break from the political posts, but this election was so different than any other. I’ve been trying to understand my deep depression that I feel right now and it finally hit me this morning. In 2000 when Bush was elected there was a foreboding feeling of the same darkness, but that was before 9/11, The collapse of our economy, Newtown, ISIS, The Iraq war, Orlando and the list goes on. At a time when we need a strong steady leader to reassure us — our country elected a mad man with no legislative experience. By not allowing the usual Press that follows a President Elect around to document history he has added to the insecurity I’m feeling. We can’t allow him to shut the press out.
A photo by my father.
October 15, 2016 § 4 Comments
It doesn’t get any better or local than this.
October 13, 2016 § 1 Comment
I found this shoe box in a closet filled with family photographs this summer.
October 8, 2016 § 2 Comments
The last presidential race my mother’s Obama signs were stolen. This election she’s not taking any chances.
October 3, 2016 § 4 Comments
This summer as we waited out Tropical Storm Hermine in my family’s home in Florida the roof started leaking and the water began to rise over the dock out back — a sudden panic set in. My dad’s photos were up in the closet not far from the dripping water that was coming down in the living room. When the rain stopped and we began to get back to some sort of normalcy I only had a couple of days left before we were returning to New York. My instinct was to take everything with me, but they don’t belong to me. They belong to our family, so I frantically started scanning and taking photos of what I could and beating myself up for not doing it earlier in the summer when I had time. Miraculously with the Florida humidity the photos are mold free and the negatives intact. I’m now on a mission to archive and preserve them and have them exhibited somewhere. I found many on the Library of Congress Website and the one below on The Getty Images Website and without knowing where else to start I’ve created an album on Flickr. Please take a minute to check out these fascinating photos that capture a time and place in history.
The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia. What kinds of experiences stir emotions for the past within you?
September 18, 2016 § 5 Comments
This summer while going through family photos I came across these two mystery ones. I have no idea who the woman and the baby are. We were having fun trying to figure out when they were taken from the bathing suits. 1950’s? What do you think.