In my family, we have certain idiosyncratic terms that no one else in the world uses besides us. I’m sure lots of families do. My sister and I did not realize until some few years ago, however, that this was actually the case. We thought everyone walked around calling the National Council of Jewish Women [...]
The caption on the back of this photograph says: “Sleeping Beauty and Oh-So-Tired” Rona Brown Rose Richman (1906-1992) and Dione
Frank and Jacob, the older brothers of Anna and Celia, rocking here in a souvenir picture of some kind, illustrate the notion that sartorial know-how and snappy dressing run in the family. Though Jacob (the younger brother, on the right) was relatively well-off in his career as a real estate man, Frank, my great-great-grandfather, did [...]
My mother’s parents were taken away from me 17 years ago this past Tuesday, and it will never not hurt. Ethel Kalisch Hoffer (1918-1991), me, Frank Markus Hoffer (1909-1991)
My great-grandmother Charlotte was a liar. I didn’t know this when I was small – in those 8 years we spent in the same world – and I’m not sure anyone else alive during those 8 years knew it either. If I weren’t a snoop, no one would know she had lied about anything, and [...]
The other night, I saw an Our Gang short that featured a lot of impressive ear-wiggling. Not only were the girls onscreen entranced by the mysterious ear maneuverings of their male counterparts, but I was too. Mostly because I wanted to know how the hell one little boy could wiggle his ears so damn well. [...]
Yesterday, I was working with someone else on organizing his family photographs and I was slightly jealous, seeing the sheer number of photos this family had taken and posed for on their myriad travels around the world. I’m not completely sure why I was jealous, because it isn’t as though I come from a family [...]
My grandfather’s cousin Belle was born in New York, grew up in Detroit and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1940s. She was a businesswoman owning, according to my mom, a company that manufactured reeds for musical instruments, Her death certificate says she was a owner of a music production company of some kind. [...]
Franz Markus Hoffer & friend skiing topless in Tauplitz, 1930 Happy winter!
Today is the winter solstice so here is a wintry photograph of my cousin Art in York, Pennsylvania in 1943. His father, Art Sr., was my grandmother’s much older brother, an allergist who was probably serving in the army when this picture was taken. He died from a stroke when Art Jr. was only 7.