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  • Apr26

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    Mike Tierney & Pals, Central ParkA favorite photo of my Dad and some pals on a hill in a very un-treed Central Park, probably about 1942. (He’s on the left.)

    I believe the two-towered building back behind them is the San Remo building, which you can read more about on this Flickr page if you are so inclined.

    So, I’d guess they are probably standing somewhere in line with 65th Street or so.

    I’ll have to check out that spot next time I am in the neighborhood and see if I can find that hill.

  • Mar18

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    Last summer in my blog post Then and Now: Simanek Family Home I described a nice find when I looked up my grandmother’s home in the Czech Republic using Google Street View and then found a matching photo in our family albums.

    Aaand, we’re back in The Republic again!

    First, thanks to a distant cousin, Pavel Vanac who sends me all sorts of links and information on our shared Vanac lines. He has been looking for all the Vanacs and descendants and is hoping to have a reunion one day in Prague and I really hope I can attend.

    For this year he has scaled back the idea to an online reunion – which may be difficult since I have only a tiny bit of the Czech language in my brain. (We normally communicate using Google Translate between us – which has sparked some fun confusion on both sides.) But I am still looking forward to that!

    Back to the story here – Pavel sent me a small photo over the weekend with the message: Read More | Comments

  • Mar8

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    Family Resemblance - BabushkasBoy, when I started researching my family history I didn’t think I’d see such a strong family resemblance so far back in time.

    Can you say babushka? Sure you can.

  • Feb5

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    Horse Drawn Carriage Driver's LicenseAt right is my grandfather Joseph Vanac’s NYPD “Traffic Warning Card” for a a “Horse Drawn” vehicle, circa 1922.

    I am happy to report that Grandpa had a clean driving record. Not sure how clean the horse was on the streets, though.

    Calvary Cemetery, Queens, NY
    In the 1920 census he lived near the Queens cemeteries where he worked as a stone mason. His entire enumeration district contained only two pages – probably hundreds of times more people buried in that area at the time than lived there. Also: horses.

    (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.)

  • Oct12

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    My Mother in Traditional Czech outfitMy grandparents emigrated from Czechoslovakia in the early 1900s, met and lived up on the west side of Manhattan when they had my mother. That community had a very strong Czech component, as did some parts of Queens they later moved to.

    John Klecka in Traditional Czech outfitMy mother grew up learning both Czech and English, attended Sokol gymnastics and other social events at the Bohemian Hall in Astoria.

    My Mother and Great Uncle John Klecka in Traditional Czech outfitHere are a few photos of my Mom in her traditional outfits, along with her maternal Great Uncle John Klecka.

    (Good job fitting into that same outfit when posing with my Mom so many years later, Uncle John!)

    We still have my Mom’s flowery outfit saved in my Babi’s steamer trunk, although we are hesitant to take it out after having been folded in place for so many decades.