Sunday, August 9, 2020

Belle Wyman Korn and Cary Grant - 1972

Belle Wyman Korn (1914-2015) was my grandmother's first cousin. They were the same age, and were best of friends. The Wymans moved to California in the 1930s, and this is Belle at her pool in 1972. That is Cary Grant standing next to her. I am not sure, yet, about the story behind the picture. For comparison, I've included a photograph I found online of Grant and Ingrid Bergman from 1972. It's definitely him.
 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Two Affidavits of Birth - One Person - Two Dates

My maternal grandmother, Myrtle Vanevery Deutsch, had her sister sign an affidavit of birth for her twice. In 1942, and again in 1945.

In 1942 my grandmother was living in Clayton, Missouri (part of St. Louis County). In 1945 she was in West Palm Beach, Florida. In 1945 my grandfather was returning to the states after serving in Africa and the Middle East during WWII. My grandmother took the kids to Florida to join him for the remainder of the war.

In 1942 my great aunt declared my grandmother was born on March 21, 1900. In 1945 she declared my grandmother was born on March 21, 1905. In both she states she was present at the birth. She provides several more details in 1942, such as the attending physician. In 1945 she simply states she was present. (I suspect she wasn't all too happy about filling out the affidavit in 1945, but was willing to do it for her sister. I suspect my grandmother was looking for a job and wanted to be five years younger.)

There is no question as to which is the correct affidavit. My grandmother is on the 1900 census, and is mentioned in the testimony given to the Dawes Commission in 1901 on the family's alleged Choctaw ancestry.

I have had a copy of the 1945 affidavit in my records for several years, having uncovered it in some folders at my parent's house over a decade ago. My parents gave me 20 boxes of family photos and documents this week, and in one I found the 1942 affidavit.

Update: I’ve been given another explanation for the second affidavit. My grandmother didn’t want anyone at the army base to know she was 7 years older than my grandfather. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Days of Love - 2020

Tu b'Av is a relatively obscure Jewish holiday that falls on the fifteenth day of the month of Av (sundown Tuesday Aug 4 to sundown Wednesday Aug 5 this year).

The fifteenth day of each month on the Hebrew calendar falls on a full moon, and the holiday was observed as a sort of fertility festival during the period of the Second Temple. After the destruction of the Second Temple, it was forgotten for the most part in the Diaspora, only to be revived in modern times as a Jewish alternative to St. Valentine's Day.

To some, St. Valentine's Day, or Tu B'Av, may feel manufactured for greeting card companies, florists, and chocolatiers. However, most couples have their own personal "Days of Love." Whether the annual date commemorates a first date, an engagement, a marriage, or another anniversary, it's significant only to the individual couple. The memories connected with these dates are often stronger than the ones associated with the annual religious or societal holidays. Still, any reason for two people to celebrate their love for one another is a good reason.

To A Lady
by Victor Hugo,
From Les Feuilles D'Automne

Child, were I king, I'd yield my royal rule,
     My chariot, sceptre, vassal-service due,
My crown, my porphyry-basined waters cool,
My fleets, whereto the sea is but a pool,
     For a glance from you!

Love, were I God, the earth and its heaving airs,
     Angels, the demons abject under me,
Vast chaos with its teeming womby lairs,
Time, space, all would I give--aye, upper spheres,
     For a kiss from thee!

translation by Thomas Hardy
photogravure by Goupil et Cie, from a drawing by Deveria, appears in a collection of Hugo's poetry published by Estes and Lauriat in the late 1800s.