Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Two years ago tomorrow, on December 1, 2009, I started this blog! Photos below are from a Gresham family birthday: either Mark's in 1943, Ann's in 1946, or June's in 1954.

©Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Fall - Thankful Thursday Thanksgiving

The prompt for Week 47 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is Fall:

What was fall like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

Well, I spent the first 27 years of my life in southeast Texas (Houston, College Station & Washington County, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi), where autumn (I prefer that term to fall) means it's not quite as hot as summer, it might rain a little more, and (when I was in junior high, high school, and college), you go to football games (St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas, and Texas A&M respectively).

Then I spent the next 21 years in the Seattle area, where autumn meant much cooler temperatures, skies that were mostly gray, and - because it is the Evergreen State - not that much autumn color.  Sometimes, though, you'd luck out with a perfect day, sunny, not too cold, and you'd find riotous hues:
My aunt Sister Jean Marie Guokas, my grandmother Sara Wolfe Guokas Archibald, and my son Eric Bolme at the Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, October 29, 1990
Now I'm back in Texas, albeit in the northern part of the state. Sometimes autumn is pretty warm (a high this fall of 100 on September 29), sometimes it's pretty cool (a low so far of 28 on November 4).  Today is a pretty typical day - it's sunny and 68 at 3 PM, and we just got back from walking to a local diner for a Thanksgiving dinner.  We'll be with Mark's family in McKinney tomorrow, and we couldn't both go there and to Austin for Thanksgiving with my family today (they're about six hours apart).

Autumn means I eat more soups (since it's finally cool enough!).  Autumn means I'll be walking more and biking less, because the days ARE shorter and cooler and it's more windy.   However, Mark is asleep on the couch after all that turkey, and I'm about to head out on a bike ride, since it IS glorious today.

November in particular is a tough month for me. I've suffered some personal losses in this month, such as a divorce filing and the death of my maternal grandmother.  It was particularly hard when I lived in Seattle and was so far away from family, especially combined with the often-gloomy weather.  I remember my very first month in Seattle was November 1984, and all it did that month was rain (or snow), and I thought, "what have I done?"  I remember my son Eric making a little book in kindergarten (1991) with his illustrations to these last few words of Thomas Hood's poem "No!", and thinking how fitting they were: butterflies, no bees.
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds.
Thanksgiving has been the one bright spot in the month.  When my grandmother passed away on November 16, 1997, I was in the midst of a long pre-divorce separation, and my offspring spent that holiday with the soon-to-be-ex, so I decided to stay in Texas after the funeral through the holiday.  My siblings treated me to a haircut and massage and manicure and pedicure, things I certainly could not afford for myself at the time.  The five of us had a new group portrait done of ourselves for our parents.  And, it was warm enough to eat Thanksgiving dinner outside:

Today I'm very thankful for my family, and to be living once again in Texas.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving!

Kindergarten project by my son Eric, November 1991
© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Politics - My Connection with a Governor (part 2) - Those Places Thursday

The prompt for Week 46 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is Politics.  The real prompt doesn't fit me very well, so I'm going to continue the story of my connection to Texas Governor Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson.

As I wrote in an earlier post, my maternal grandfather, Charles Guokas Jr., was appointments secretary to Ma Ferguson from June 1933 to January 1935, when her second term ended.  Ma and her husband, former governor James Edward "Pa" Ferguson , returned to their Austin home at 1500 Windsor Road (at the corner of Enfield).  Although my grandparents, mother, and her siblings moved back to Houston, they stayed in touch with the Fergusons, as evidenced by a photograph of my grandfather and Pa Ferguson in Houston, and this photograph (below right) of Ma Ferguson with her grandson, James Stuart Watt (born 1939); my mother, Geraldine Guokas Pape (the taller girl in back); my aunt, Jo Ann (Sister Jean Marie) Guokas; and my uncle, Charles Guokas III (1927-1999).  James looks to be about two in this picture, so I'm guessing it was taken about 1941, when my mother was 13:

When my mother attended the University of Texas at Austin (1945-1949), she roomed with Ma Ferguson in the house on Windsor. Pa had passed away in 1944.  The photograph on the left of my mother and Ma Ferguson was taken December 18, 1945, at a Ford House (like a sorority) dance at the University of Texas.

The two black-and-white photographs below are in the book Miriam: The Southern Belle Who Became the First Woman Governor of Texas, by May Nelson Paulissen and Carl McQueary.

The first photograph (with the postman) is from page 281; the second is from page 172. Both are originally from the Bell County Museum.  The color photograph at the bottom shows how 1500 Windsor looked this past summer.

Part 3 - the last bit of the connection - will be posted sometime in the future.

1500 Windsor, Austin, Texas, June 2011.  Apartments have been built immediately behind the house fronting Enfield Rd.
© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans' Day! - Our Dads

My dad, Frederick Henry Pape, at his graduation from Navigator Training School,
Ellington Air Force Base, Houston, Texas, April 1952. 
Mark's dad, Francis Edward Gresham, US Navy, World War II, April 1944 - August 1945
My dad, Frederick Henry Pape, was in the Air Force from March 1951 through April 1955, and served in the Korean War from September 1952 to April 1953 as a navigator and bombardier on B-26s, mostly flying out of K-1, the Pusan West Air Base. He flew at least 50 missions and was awarded the Air Medal.

Dad attended flight school in Columbus, Mississippi and graduated from Navigator Training School at Ellington Air Force Base, Houston, Texas, in April 1952.  Dad went back to Ellington after his Korean War service and was training other navigators there when he met my mom.

Mark's dad, Francis Edward Gresham (1911-1990), served in the Navy during World War II, from April 1944 to August 1945. Francis was an experienced pressman and print shop manager, and after basic training in California, he was sent to work as a negative engraver and cameraman at the Navy's Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C. during the war. Afterwards, he returned to work as a civilian at the US Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, promoted from his pre-war job as a junior supervisor to supervisor of "miscellaneous duplicating devices." He went on to hold other civilian print shop positions with the Navy in Pensacola, Florida; Guam; and Bremerton, Washington.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Those Places Thursday: Dad's High School - Loyola Academy, Chicago

The prompt for Week 45 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is High School.  I'm going to continue the theme and talk about the school my father Frederick Pape attended for high school, which was then ninth through eleventh grades.

Describe your middle and/or high school. Was it a large or small student body? Is the school still in existence today? How has it changed since you went there?
Dumbach Hall, photo by Amerique, CC BY 3.0 license
Dumbach Hall, public domain photo, Wikimedia Commons

Dad went to Loyola Academy in Chicago from fall 1942 until he graduated in spring 1945.  At the time he attended, it was an all-boys Catholic school in the Rogers Park area of Chicago, on the campus of Loyola University (which Dad also attended).  The school was founded and still in Dumbach Hall (built 1908) on the university campus when Dad was in high school.

The school is VERY different today.  In 1957, it moved to nearby Wilmette, and in 1994, it went co-ed, merging with a nearby all-girls Catholic high school.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: High School Teachers

Keeping with the theme of High School for Week 45 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, here are a couple photos (taken by Mark) and stories from Mark's high school days on Guam.

Francis Howard Hildebrand (above left, born 1929?) was Mark's algebra teacher his junior year.  The back of the photo says, "Our buddy, Mr. Hildebrand."  According to Mark, he didn't learn much algebra, but Hildebrand told great stories about being a P-38 pilot in World War II. There was a photo of Hilbebrand in the faculty section of the 1958 Gecko yearbook, but not 1956 or 1959 (Mark does not have a copy from 1957).  Apparently Hildebrand returned to the States and earned a Master of Science in the Teaching of Mathematics from the University of Illinois in June 1959, and went on to write some math books.

Alvin L. Ratzlaff (above right, 1904-1978) was Mark's chemistry and physics teacher, and was in all three yearbooks. One story Mark tells about him goes like this:
One day Ratzlaff spilled potassium on his desk  Normally it is stored in kerosene (or another hydrocarbon), which isolates it from oxygen and keeps it inert.  While he was lecturing, pieces of potassium would "poof" into flame, and Ratzlaff would "clunk" his hand down to put the fire out.
Ratzlaff was a World War II veteran, and had a masters degree from Columbia University.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Matrilineal Monday: Mom's High School, Incarnate Word Academy, Houston

The prompt for Week 45 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is High School.  I'm going to continue the theme and talk about the school my mother Gerrie Guokas Pape attended for high school, which was then eighth through eleventh grades.

Describe your middle and/or high school. Was it a large or small student body? Is the school still in existence today? How has it changed since you went there? 

Mom went to Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) in downtown Houston, Texas, starting there in eighth grade in the fall of 1941, and graduating four years later in the spring of 1945, after completing eleventh grade.  Sometime during that period, twelfth grade was added for subsequent classes.  My mother's sister, Jo Ann (Sister Jean Marie) Guokas, younger by two years, attended IWA for five years, eighth through twelfth grade, graduating in 1948, after she'd already entered the convent.

IWA is the oldest Catholic high school in Houston.  Here's what Texas Historic Marker #10588 says:
Established by Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, a religious order founded 1625 in Lyons, France. In 1852, at request of the First Bishop of Texas, the Rt. Rev. John M. Odin, the order entered the United States to engage in religious education. The sisters opened their first school in Brownsville in 1853; second in Victoria, 1866; and the third here. Mother M. Gabriel Dillon and two sisters came to Houston in 1873 at request of the Rev. Joseph Querat, to begin teaching young girls in temporary quarters at the old Franciscan Monastery on Franklin. By Jan. 3, 1874, their own 3-story edifice was finished. Facing Crawford, it had a courtyard bounded by Capitol and Jackson. Boarding facilities opened in a few months. A State of Texas Charter empowered the Academy to issue diplomas, beginning in 1878. In 1899, the Exhibition Hall (auditorium) was built. To accommodate growth, another 3-story structure was added, 1905. Original building was replaced in 1948.
the original 1874 building on the left, with the 1905 building to its right and the 1899 auditorium at the far right.
From Incarnate Word Academy website
The 1905 building (demolished in 2015), designed by famous Texas architect Nicholas Clayton.
Photo by accent on eclectic, Patrick Feller, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
Mom, Class of 1945
A pre-1948 postcard with 1874 building in foreground,
and Annunciation Catholic Church in the background.
I probably would have attended IWA, too, if my family had not moved to Sharpstown in 1964 (about the same time St. Agnes did too, just one mile from my home), and if my aunt had not been principal of IWA from 1964 through 1978, which covered my high school years.

The 1899 auditorium (also designed by Clayton) and the 1948 replacement of the original 1874 building were both replaced by 1984 (while my aunt was president and then development director) with a four-story building that wraps around the 1905 building.  The illustration below, showing how the school looks today, is also from the school website.  You can see how close the school and church are to Minute Maid Park in this photo.
IWA is still an all-girls Catholic high school that currently enrolls about 280 students.  When Mom went to the school, it was a little smaller, but not much.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Mark's Schools in Guam

The prompt for Week 45 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is High School.  Continuing with that theme, I'm going to talk about Mark's schools while his family lived on Guam (late 1954 through August 1960).

Describe your middle and/or high school. Was it a large or small student body? Is the school still in existence today? How has it changed since you went there? 

Mark's dad was sent to Guam by the Administrative Department of the Navy (he was a civilian employee) in July 1954.  The family followed from Pensacola, Florida, sometime that autumn, during or just after the first six week grading period in eighth grade for Mark. He completed eighth grade, graduating June 8, 1955, at the Wettengel Elementary School, which as that time was housed at Andersen Air Force Base, and appeared to only enroll stateside students (at least, in eighth grade).  It's now a K-5 school in a building in Dedego that opened in 1968.

Mark then attended and graduated from  George Washington High School, at that time located in a number of quonset huts at the former Fifth Field Marine Depot in Mongmong. Here's an aerial view published in one of Mark's high school yearbooks, the 1958 Gecko:
The school was huge at the time Mark was there, with over 2500 students enrolled (based on the number in English, generally a required course all four years), according to this graph in his senior yearbook, the 1959 Gecko:
The photo below left is of Mark and his friend Paul Gillet ("Mr. Statesider 1959") outside the school, and the other photos are ones Mark took inside the library (below right) and in science labs (bottom). Mark said each quonset hut (there were about ten) held five classrooms, and one also served as a mess hall (cafeteria).

The school still exists today, but in a building constructed in 1966 in Mangilao. Mark's school was destroyed by Super Typhoon Karen in November 1962.

Mark attended the Territorial College of Guam in 1959-1960.  This two-year college was also built on the old Marine Depot in quonset huts.  A new facility opened in the fall of 1960, also in Mangilao, but by this time Mark's family had moved back to the States.  The College eventually evolved into today's University of Guam.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: St. Agnes Academy, Houston, Texas

The prompt for Week 45 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is High School.

Describe your middle and/or high school. Was it a large or small student body? Is the school still in existence today? How has it changed since you went there? 

For high school, I went to St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas. The school was founded in 1906 and was originally at 3901 Fannin near downtown Houston, but moved in 1963 to Sharpstown, about one mile from the house my family moved to in 1964.  Here's how it looked when I graduated in 1975:

Illustration on the commencement invitation for the Class of 1975. 
Here's how the school looks today. Above left is the administrative wing, with a library addition (since I graduated) to its right. According to the school's virtual tour, this wing still has a beautiful foyer and the lovely chapel on the second floor. To the right is the new "Center for  the Sciences and Student Services," a three-story building constructed in front of the old two-story student entrance and classroom wing (also to the right in the announcement engraving above).

The back side of the school has changed quite a bit.  The photo of me below left was taken in the fall of 1972 behind the cafeteria.  According to the campus map, the cafeteria has been enlarged a bit, and a new larger gym was built (part of it covering the location of the previous gym) in 1983.   As the existing school site is landlocked with no room for expansion, an 18+ acre site one mile to the east was acquired about a year ago for a new athletic complex.
I was pleased to see from the virtual tour that the classrooms in the two-story wing still look similar to the photo above right (of me in advanced freshman algebra in the winter of 1971-72), except of course blackboards have been replaced by whiteboards. There's still an auditorium (where our commencement was held) and art/music areas, and the courtyard is still there (with big trees now!). My graduating class had 119 students with about 600 in the school overall; today the school has an enrollment of about 850.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Those Places Thursday: St. Margaret Mary, Chicago, Illinois

Dad's first grade class at St. Margaret Mary in Chicago, 1935.  Dad is kneeling right in front of the nun.
The prompt for Week 44 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is Elementary School.  I'm going to continue the theme and talk about the schools my father Fred Pape attended for kindergarten through eighth grades.

Describe your grammar/elementary school (or schools). Were they big or small? Are any of these schools still in existence today? If so, how have they changed since you went there?

As mentioned in yesterday's post, Dad went to St. Scholastica for kindergarten.  However, he attended St. Margaret Mary in Chicago for first through eighth grades.  He started in September 1934 (at age 5) and graduated in June 1942 (at age 13).

A few weeks ago, my cousin Terrie and her daughter Lisa checked out the house our dads and their siblings grew up in, and they also visited St. Margaret Mary. These photos are courtesy of Terrie and Lisa.

Terrie wrote, "At the school [pictured above] they were setting up for a school fair and we met a man named Jim Sampson whose dad would have probably been in Dad's [Uncle Bob's] class as they were the same age. His uncle was Conrad Camp & also went there, as did the son (who we spoke with) and his kids. He also told me a story of a bear named Chip back then."  Dad wrote,
In the picture of the west side of the school you can almost see the northwest corner. It is partly hidden by the side of the tree. On the backside of that corner was the bear cage of Chip. He was in a strong steel cage, with a high steel fence about 5 or 6 feet in front of the cage. The bear was found as a cub in the Northwoods of Wisconsin by then-pastor & founder, Reverend Father George McCarthy.

The school has three levels, as you can see, because when this building was completed, there was no separate church building, so the church was on the second level for many years until the new separate [church] building about 1938. In the top right of the picture you can see the roof, which still has Spanish tile like we had on the 2093 Lunt house.

The church looks about the same from what I can see in the pictures. Bette, Moe, Bebe [my aunts' nicknames] and I were all baptized in the first church in the now all-school building. Amanda [that's me] was baptized in the present church.

(The photo above is of the exterior of St. Margaret Mary Church; below is the interior.)

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dad's Kindergarten Class, 1934

Frederick Henry Pape's kindergarten class at St. Scholastica in Chicago, which still exists today but is now an all-girls Catholic high school.  Dad says, "I am the first one on the left in the top row. The third from the left on the top row was Bill Rafe who was with me at St. Margaret Mary through 8th grade. The only other one I can identify is the boy who is 2nd from the right. His name is Don Campe. We were friends all the way through 8th grade at St. M. M. and at Loyola Academy and Loyola University and until I entered the Air Force."

More about St. Margaret Mary tomorrow!

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.