// past faces


rebeccafm has written 62 posts for a sense of face

max and ella, ca 1903

Ella & Max As I have mentioned before, my great-great-great grandfather Jacob was relatively prolific with regards to wives and children: he had at least 2 – maybe 3 – wives with whom he raised at least 7 children over a span of 30 years. This meant that my great-great-grandmother Ella, who was born to […]

bernie, november 1943

Bernie in Sicily, November 1943 My grandmother Ethel had perhaps one psychic moment in her life – the moment she saw her husband Bernie leave for the war and knew he was never coming back.  Now, maybe this was not so much an actual psychic moment as it was a fantasizing about the worse-case-scenario and having it […]

charlotte, ca 1930

Charlotte is in the black bathing suit, third from the left In honor of the unseasonably hot weather currently hovering over Southern California, here is a summer-time picture of my great-grandmother Charlotte and some other ladies at Cobbosseecontee Lake near Winthrop, Maine in the 1930s. Charlotte and her husband Harry would stay at the lodge […]

pinkas and ettl leya, ca 1885

These people here, my great-great-grandparents, were the parents of 16 children – at least, that is what I have been told. I know of only 12 children so far who all lived into adulthood and that in itself is prodigious enough. They lived a comfortable, well-off life in a sophisticated city. They wore fancy dresses […]

sam, 1930

In 1934, my great-great grandfather Sam rewrote his will in order to write his children, grandchildren and first wife out of it. The reason why is a story of betrayal, heartache and conflicting loyalties that cycled out of control. Sam married Ella in the summer of 1905 and loved her quite ardently. They had two […]

rosa and helene, march 1935

In 1935, my great-grandmother Helene went on a trip to the Austrian countryside with her sisters Hermine and Rosa, her brothers-in-law Julius and Bernhard and a box camera that took these photographs and others. I’m not sure if her husband, my great-grandfather, the often philandering Emil, went on this trip too – he’s not in […]

moses, ca 1900

My great-great grandfather Moses is kind of elusive. A name like Moses Cohen was not particularly distinctive in the time and place in which he lived (New York City, turn of the 20th century) and I have very few unique identifiers to add in searching for him. He was born around 1835, somewhere in eastern […]

tama leah, ca 1930

I always found my great-great-grandmother Tama Leah intriguing, mostly because of her name. When my grandfather first told me about her, neither of us knew how her name was actually spelled and I wrote it down as Tomalea. It reminded me of tomatoes and I thought it was funny. Later, I found out that it […]

rona, “uncle art” and the maxwell, ca 1915

This is a picture of my great-grandmother Rona riding with some cousins and “Uncle Art” in her father‘s circa 1909 1915-1916 Maxwell Model 25 motorcar. She’s the little one with the giant bow and the rather unhappy expression; Uncle Art is the one with the “5” over his head, which corresponds with the little key in […]

sherman oaks, california, 1949

In 1949, it snowed in the San Fernando Valley and by “snowed,” I mean snowed: snow fell and it actually stayed on the ground. My grandfather Frank took pictures – an entire roll of pictures, in fact – of the snow that fell around his family’s house in Sherman Oaks that day.

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past faces