Thursday, August 25, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Crucifixes and a Cross

I thought since we've been on the subject of Dad's ordinations for the last three weeks that I would share these crucifixes and cross that I found in the basement stash last year.

Dad's faith was complicated by his leaving the Church and it wasn't something that he ever really wanted to talk about, so I unfortunately don't know anything about any of these treasures. I do remember the first two hanging in our home when I was little.

This one is now in my back hall, over a collection of photos of Dad.

This one has a temporary home for now, until we have the room repainted and rearrange some furniture.

These are a mystery. I don't remember seeing them before last September and neither does my mother.

I only know that they were Dad's and that is enough to make them treasures.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Travel Tuesday - Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island, Michigan was a vacation spot for my grandparents and father at least three summers. Dad had slides from 1950, 1952 and 1953. As an only child it was fortunate for Dad that one of his school friends from Chicago also spent summer vacations there with his family.

I don't know how long a vacation my grandfather took in the summers but I get the feeling that they had time to relax and recharge. Although I'm sure my grandfather had plenty to do at any time of year, he did work for universities for most of his career and probably had a good amount of time off in the summers.

"Approaching Mackinac Island"
Ferries to the Island
Coachman for the Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel does live up to its name.

Mackinac Island City
Historic homes.
Fort Holmes

Pere Marquette


Construction of a bridge.

Lovers' Leap
Arch Rock
Sugar Loaf Rock

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Dad's Ordination to the Priesthood II

My father saved hardly anything from the day he was ordained. Luckily for me, my grandfather was a saver. He saved invitations, programs, photos and news clippings.

In one of the news items I shared last week and again on the second to last page of the program above, I discovered that a Wesleyan classmate and fellow Glee Club member had composed the postlude for the service and dedicated it to dad. I was able to find him and he still had the score which he mailed to me.

I'm hoping that I can get someone to play it for me soon and have it recorded. When I do, I'll be sure to share it here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Travel Tuesday - Gloucester, Massachusetts

If my father's unlabeled and un-indexed slides are in chronological order, which I believe they are, then he visited Gloucester, Massachusetts in the summer of 1954, shortly after graduating from prep school at The Loomis School in Windsor, CT.

I had no idea where these photos were taken until I used a Google image search to help me identify this statue.

My search revealed that this is "Man at the Wheel", also known as The Gloucester Fisherman, in Gloucester, MA.  Once I had a location I looked for Catholic churches in Gloucester, MA to see if I could identify these photos of an alter and a church.

The church is Our Lady of Good Voyage, originally built in the 1890s (and rebuilt after a 1914 fire) to serve the Portuguese population in Gloucester, which was then the largest Portuguese population on the East Coast. When I first scanned these images the flags made me think of a regatta, but a second look told me it was probably some sort of religious festival. Well, now that I had a location, it was easy to find and answer. Dad's photos are most likely from the Blessing of the Fleet, an annual event in Gloucester and, at the time, a very big event.

You can see even more photos on the Good Morning Gloucester blog. There is a six part series of photos from 1948 that starts here and if you're really interested you can do a search for "Blessing of the Fleet" on the blog for even more photos.

Dad's photos sure are giving me the travel bug!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday's Faces from the Past - Did you go to The Loomis School?

My father, Stephen David Matthews, graduated from The Loomis School (now Loomis Chaffee and co-ed) in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1954.  I have been scanning his slides and wanted to post his handful of photos of his schoolmates to see if anyone out there finds them.  Please let me know if you see yourself or someone you know.

"The Boys"

Jon Rieger


"Bill Cooke"


Graduation 1954