Four Friends

The face on the left immediately jumped out to me as my husband’s grandfather, Doede (Douglas) Jaarsma.  Fortunately, someone labelled the back of this with all four names and the title, “Four Friends.”  I don’t know if the names are in order, but after Doede, they are Jake Westerdijk, Henk Kremer, and Dirk Werkman.  The back of the photo is stamped with the date 2 December 1939, and has the photographer’s information – Foto Steenmeijer, Heerestr. 421, Groningen.  The year was before Doede married my husband’s grandmother, so he may have been working in Groningen even though he was born in Friesland.  The year would put him at 28 years old, and it’s kind of neat that four friends paid to have a nice photo taken together – they must’ve been pretty great friends.

Randolph Field Hangar Line

This postcard, addressed to Grandma from Grandpa while they were dating, shows the hangar line at Randolph Field in Texas.  The postmark on the back is 19 August 1941, and has a one cent George Washington stamp on the back.  The return address shows grandpa stationed with the Recruit Detachment.  The photo on the front of the card is titled “Hangar Line, Randolph Field, Texas” and shows a line of planes in front of hangars.  If I were a betting woman, I’d say these are probably the North American OA-47 planes, and you can find more about the planes here.  Grandpa wrote on the back, “I am sending this card so you can see some of the airplanes and hangars.”  He wasn’t a pilot himself, but spent time there as a new recruit.

Easter Greetings – 1911

This is the last of the Maher Postcards!  This final one, scheduled for the holiday, features “Easter Greetings” with a center image of two yellow chicks hatching out of white eggs, surrounded by pussy willow branches and some sort of pink and white floral garland.  The corners are a little torn, and the image is heavily embossed as can be seen on the back side.

The back features a green George Washington one cent stamp with a postmark date of 7 April 1911, sent from Patton, Pennsylvania.  The addressee is Master James Maher at 113 Aldrick St, Buffalo, NY, who would’ve been about 6 years old at the time.  The message reads, “Hello James, How are you?  Anyway I would love to see you and baby brother.  We get very lone[some?] for you all.  What is the …” and the rest is illegible or missing from the tear on the postcard, but I suspect it asks, “What is the Bunnie going to bring you?”  It’s signed upside down at the top, “Love, Your Aunt Sara,” where Sara was likely the sister to James’ father, Bernard.  Nice way to wrap up this series with a pretty little card!

High School Name Cards – Part 1

These were collected by my paternal grandmother in school, and most of them are dated 1949.  I’m going to post these in two parts because there are quite a few, but I thought it would be fun to bring them to the light of day again in case someone is searching for their ancestor and happens upon these.  These small tokens with personal messages sometimes can give you more insight into their handwriting and personality, and they’re just plain fun.

Background – apparently in high school, kids got these name cards to hand out to their fellow students.  I’ve seen them in modern graduation announcements as well, and some have messages written on the back, while some don’t.  At least at this school, the Coalport-Irvona High School, the kids signed the back with a little message, kind of in the style of signing a yearbook.  Here are the first six with transcriptions.  If you want a link to the tag with them all, click here.

Ida Colleen Dixon: “Clarice, I’ll remember you as being a little bit of a shorty in our class.  You’re short and cute!  Remember me!!! Ida.”

Joann K. Dixon: Clarice, Wishing luck to a academic girl who knows her stuff.  Joann”

Edward F. Traveny: “Clarice, To a swell classmate.  Luck and success in your future years.  Killr[??]”

Germaine K. Flynn: “Clarice!  You are one swell kid, and I’m sorry I ruined your book report.  You’re sweet.  Love, Gerry”

Philip I. Plottel: “Dear Clarice, How have you ever been able to ‘stand’ me for twelve years!?  Luck and success to a swell girl.  Always, Phil”

Barbara Ann Hegarty: “Dear Clarice, Three little girls, In a male class, But gee what fun, and Brady to sass!  Love, ‘Babs'”

I did find some photos for some of these kids, so I’ve added those to the name cards as I’ve found them!

Heritage Prints Socks

Heritage Prints Socks
Started: 29 April 2023
Finished: 8 May 2023
Pattern: Plain Old Socks (my pattern)
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Prints in color #75, “Roy G B Stripe”
Needle: US 1.5 / 2.5 mm
Notes: Pretty standard pair of socks!  I don’t remember where I picked up the yarn, but this was the last _anything_ I knit in 2023 till October.  Bee season was completely overwhelming and I just didn’t have anything left in the tank after beekeeping and processing honey, or any time to do much of anything else.  Really love the colors here, and with the 24% nylon content, no doubt they’ll last a LONG while before needing darning.

Randolph Field, Texas

Just a quick one today.  This postcard was sent by grandpa to grandma with a postmark date of 7 August 1941.  They were still just dating at that point since it’s addressed to her maiden name.  There’s a one cent George Washington Stamp on the back.  Grandpa had joined the US Army Air Force (before the two were separate branches).  The front of the card, at the bottom, states, “USA Formation, Randolph Field, Texas,” and shows what looks like 35 planes flying in a formation of the letters U, S, and A over the base administration building which was nicknamed the “Taj Mahal.”  The planes look to be biplanes, and quite possibly are the PT-13 which was the Air Corps primary trainer plane at the time.  My grandpa wasn’t an aviator, but I believe he was doing basic training there.  The return address states he was in the “Recruit Detachment.”  Still a neat photo, and I love the cars on the ground too!

Faux Kintsugi

I had a recent Kickstarter for Calamityware that arrived, and sadly one of the four plates arrived broken.  I absolutely adore Calamityware and using some slightly off-center tableware, so while the company’s customer service replaced the broken plate, I still had four pieces of a broken plate that I didn’t want to just throw away.  Enter Kintsugi.

Well, faux Kintsugi.  And let me be clear, this isn’t in any way, shape, or form, the traditional method of Kintsugi from Japan.  The traditional method uses a lacquer called Urushi and if that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s derived from a plant with the same allergic compound as poison ivy.  Being someone who is pretty badly allergic to poison ivy meant the traditional method was off the table.  I joke about being able to break out in an itchy rash from just looking at the stuff, so using a lacquer that has a long cure time, and then sanding said lacquer, well, no thanks.  I also read stories on reddit about people getting rashes and ohh goodness, no, nope, no thank you.  (One bad episode as a kid in the summertime that involved steroid cream and not being able to bend my legs for weeks was plenty enough of that nonsense, thank you).  Anyway, I’ve got a reel on Instagram that follows the whole process (here), but basically it’s epoxy with gold mica powder for color.  The seams between the pieces aren’t flat, but I actually like the feel of the bumps outlining where the broken pieces were mended together.  Of course, epoxy isn’t food safe, despite the kit I purchased from a large internet retailer saying it was (it’s not, it’s SO completely not), but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it as a candle plate, saucer for tea, water-catcher for plants, and so on.

  • Lessons learned:
    • My first seam, I didn’t hold long enough, so it bubbled out funny when I released and realized what I had done.  Patience.  Stay the course and let it cure completely, but not too long.  The seam does need to be dusted with mica powder to get a good shine.
    • Cleanup is easy with acetone or isopropyl alcohol, but it will dull the finish of your lines.  Also a good sharp x-acto blade will work for cleaning up epoxy.
    • I should’ve marked the spots where there were gaps and tiny slivers missing – it would’ve been easier to add a little extra epoxy there before fitting them and then adding more after.
    • Use way less epoxy than you think.  Seriously, unless you want a thick line, use less, way less.  And do a new mix for each seam, working/curing each seam one at a time.

Class Photo

I can recognize one face in this one, that of my husband’s grandfather Doede (Douglas) Jaarsma.  He’s sitting inside the sluice, third of the boys from the left, just next to the older man standing on the left.  There’s a small handwritten X just below him.  I’m assuming this is either a group of employees or school boys, and I’m leaning towards the latter since there’s only one man in the group that looks older and is presumably a teacher.  Doede went to a technical high school and became a blacksmith.  These boys all look to be either in their late teens or early 20s, so since Doede was born in 1911, this was probably taken somewhere around 1930.  A couple of the young men do have wedding rings, so it’s possible this was taken as late as 1941, before Doede himself was married.  To me, the trough structure looks like some kind of mill sluice, meant to direct water to a water wheel or sawmill possibly – it’s a little odd since the Netherlands is SO flat, especially in Friesland where this was likely taken, I can’t imagine how/why water would be first carried up so high and then brought back down.  It’s a pretty interesting photo!