Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sepia Saturday: School Days

I thought that since school is starting soon for all the kiddies here in NYC, I would post this cute class photo of my grandmother. It was taken somewhere in New Jersey in the early 1920s.  You've heard a lot about my Nana (my maternal grandmother) in my recent postings for Sepia Saturday---this is my paternal grandmother Helen Zempol. She is on the bottom row, all the way on the right side.


My two grandmothers could not have been more different.  While my Nana was the domestic, Italian cook, knitter type, my Gram (pictured here) was a heavy smoker, liked to gamble at Atlantic City, took me fishing and crabbing at the beach, and liked to play the lottery and bet on the ponies.  Don't get me wrong, I loved them both for their unique grandmother qualities and they each gave me different life experiences, I just think it's funny how opposite they were.  I have so many fond memories of summers at the Jersey shore with my family and my Dad's parents.  Helen died in 1982 when I was 12 years old.

Check out more Sepia Saturday images over at

21 comments:

Barbara and Nancy said...

It was fun to study each of those faces(and the clothes). There are some very interesting looking kids there. Your grandmother looks so angelic. Hard to imagine that she'd grow up to be a hardened gambler! Not that there's anything wrong with gambling... some of my best friends...etc. etc. I "bet" she was a lot of fun.

CrazyasaCoolFox said...

Grandmothers are special people, I have fond memories of my grandmother as well. Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting my crazy blog.:)

Pam said...

I love looking at these old photos! I like that you appreciated each grandma for what they were.

Dawn said...

Love these pictures & both of your grandmothers sound full of character!

Ashley Sisk said...

Everytime I come over for this post I'm always jealous of all your old photos. These are great!

Meri said...

Boy does that teacher look bored! And your grandmother sounds like a wild woman for her time.

Titania said...

A beautiful school photo. They all look so well attired. The teacher looks blase and elegant in her hat and coat. You are so lucky to have known both your grandmothers. They had all the attributes of grandmothers neatly divided, one cooked you marvelous food (perhaps that is why you love cooking) the other gave you a sense of adventure. Wonderful post.

L. D. Burgus said...

My mother hated wearing those kinds of stockings. The clothing and the faces are all so special. It is a great photo that was taken at recess on a cold day.

Jamie said...

What a cool photo - and memories.

Tattered and Lost said...

A lot of interesting stories in this shot. Love looking at the details in class pictures. Wonderful photo.

VeganCraftastic said...

Very cool, I wish I had photos like that of my family!

Virginia said...

I like sepia saturdays. Mostly because your pictures are cool.

Joan said...

I love the fashions and the faces. They are very dressed up..must have been for something special.

Vicki Lane said...

A great picture -- the bored teacher, the boys' caps, and all the wonderful expressions! Thanks for sharing!

krissilugbill said...

oh my, what a cool pic! sounds like you had two fun and unique grandmas! gram's are the best

Marilyn said...

I love this photo, there is so much to study ..the way they are dressed and their facial expressions etc. And I love the memories of both your grandmothers, just lovely to hear their stories being told.

Alan Burnett said...

Great photo. I always find school photos fascinating and try to work out if you can tell the country they were taken in from the look and clothing of the children. We must try an experiment at some stage and gather together some school photos from around the world.

Mildred said...

That is funny how different your grandmothers were. This is a very good picture.

Christine H. said...

This photo is beyond wonderful. I spent a long time looking at all the hats, and then all of the haircuts...and then the coats, and socks, and shoes - and of course, all those young faces with lives ahead of them. There is so much to look at and wonder about here. Thanks!

Martin H. said...

What a precious photograph of your 'Gram', as a young girl. No way of telling then, what a character she would be later in life.

Karli said...

I LOVE, absolutely love pictures like this. So much history, it's amazing.

Thank you for your sweet comment on my ultra-simple button - LOL! It was so fun to make, but boy am I short on the ideas. HA! Happy Sunday! :-)