Thursday, April 30, 2009

Greenmeadow, Part II (Palo Alto, CA, Summers 1991-93)

During all three of our Greenmeadow summers, Dora hung out a lot with the Cooke family around the corner. Margaret was around her age, and had 3 (I think, and judging from the pictures) younger sisters and a little brother (who called Dora "Doe-fully"; he couldn't manage "Dorothy").

The rest of these are more family pictures; see yesterday's post for commentary.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Greenmeadow, Part I (Palo Alto, CA, Summers 1991-93)

When I joined HP, I was asked to spend summers in California for a few years, since I'd be something of an island in Boston. In 1990, we spent about a month in boring corporate apartments (if you go to the link, you'll see the pond where Dora got to know about 40 ducks by name--the rest of us were just bored there).

But in 1991, 1992, and 1993, we rented the same absolutely wonderful Eichler house in a neighborhood of them called Greenmeadow, in Palo Alto. If you don't know about Eichler houses, I recommend the short Wikipedia article I linked; they are very special. The owners, Ken and Virginia Crittenden, were a retired couple who went to their cabin in the the Sierra each summer. They had bought the house new in the early 1950s, and were among the few remaining original owners in Greenmeadow.

In the Eichler philosophy, the house was a wall to the street, but inside it was built around a wonderful courtyard.

We had a few visits from our family members, especially the California ones, but all three of our living parents visted as well. Below, my Uncle Bud and his wife Laura are at the outdoor table with us, along with their three kids, Matthew (Cousin #10/Bud's #3), Natasha (Cousin #11/Bud's #4), and Sophia (Cousin #12/Bud's #5).

The Crittendens had a dog who went with them to the Sierra, but they left the cat, Sooty, with us (I don't think it would have worked to take him).

We "asked" the kids to engage in some activity for the summer, which was always hit-and-miss. But by the third summer there, Dave had gotten pretty old, and rebelled. So I set up a serious computer science exercise for him: He had to write a Pascal program that would efficiently find a solution to "Dad's Puzzle". I outlined the general nature of the steps one would take to do so (using a breadth-first tree search, and hashing to prune the tree), and, sure enough, by the end of the summer he had succeeded. It was even animated, so you could watch the solution happen on the screen.

The 4th of July parade was a big Greenmeadow thing, and if you look at the pictures of last year's, little has changed. Dora became good friends with a neighbor family, the Cookes (more on them tomorrow).

Willa's identical twins, Sherry (Cousin #13/Willa's #2.5) and Heather (Cousin #14/Willa's #2.5) came with Willa (no, I don't know who is who, though I imagine Sherry to be on the left).

That's Willa, with Dave, my father, Heather or Sherry, and Betty. There's my parents' two families together at a small gathering 40 years after the pictures I had before.

Bud's son Barry and his wife.

Matthew and (I think) Sophia, with the very-tolerant Sooty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

University Avenue (Bronx, NY, 1972-76)

We lived in an apartment on University Ave. in the Bronx from January 1972 through the Fall of 1976, when we bought our first house (in Teaneck, NJ, where my Aunt Betty & Uncle George and friend Mel Hausner also lived). Those were pretty important years for both of us: Elizabeth started working at the Equitable, and I went from my years of "finding myself" (as Betty says) to being a computer science graduate student.

We shared an office in the second bedroom, where Elizabeth painted and I had my desk/workshop:

Elizabeth in the kitchen:

Our dining room table. Yes, our cats were allowed on it (probably couldn't have stopped it, anyway), to the chagrin of many. That's Calico, our main cat. We had a total of five over time (Kitchen, Calico, Sarah, Rosemary and Rosemary's sister, Lemon). Kitchen died before we accreted the other 4. That's Elizabeth's artwork all over the place, including her great Boy's Club basketball poster.

Me in the kitchen. Note the executive chef looking over my shoulder.

In the livingroom. That's Lemon on my lap. Lemon had like a 3 IQ, in human terms. That is, she was truly dumb, and could never figure out anything, like how to get out of the way of opening doors so that her foot didn't get stuck in it. But very affectionate.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Elizabeth and The Studebaker (Port Washington, NY, around 1949-50)

Not long after I met Elizabeth, I learned that when she was a child, her family owned a Studebaker (one of the Raymond Loewy designs). But only when we had our pictures scanned did I get to see what it was: A Studebaker Champion. These pictures are in black and white, which kind-of loses the effect. But a Google Image Search can fix that. [The best site I have found for old Studebaker pictures is HERE. It has everything, through the beautiful Hawks and Avantis.]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Family Additions (Boston, Miami Beach and Queens, 2006-2009)

With the two older members of our closest family facing great health challenges (to say the least), it's been nice to reflect on the three unambiguously wonderful additions it has had in the past few years.

Here, stolen without permission from Allison's Facebook profile pictures, are our daughter-in-law, Allison, and our grandson, Ari:

Allison and our (not yet) son-in-law, Norman, from Christmas 2006:

And, one of my all-time favorite photos, from Dora and Norman's wedding (stolen without permission from Dora), when Norman officially became part of the family:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Aunt Judi (various places and dates)

Aunt Judi married my uncle HWMNBN right after Elizabeth and I got married. Although they later split up, Judi has remained a real family member. We've been lucky enough to get two visits from her in South Florida.

Here's Judi with, I guess, Stefanie, probably in their apartment in the Bronx. If it's Stefanie, it's probably around 1972.

And with my father in our Miami Beach apartment (around 2007).

Friday, April 24, 2009

Davey and Dorrie (Darien, CT, 1982)

Random pictures from our house on Maple St. in Darien, when Dave was 4 and Dora not yet 1. Darien was midway between New Haven (where I worked) and Manhattan (where Elizabeth worked).

And here's the house itself, snarfed from Google Street View. It looks about the same as when we owned it.