"Love is the substance of all life. Everything is connected in love, absolutely everything." - Julia Cameron
|I am always looking for signs to explain the universe|
Recently my mom sent me a big envelope filled with old family photos. Growing up in a house where you can literally wallpaper each and every surface with photographs, this is nothing new. But I always love knowing that in every handful of pictures, there will be images I have never seen before- treasures uncovered from the past to bind me closer with my loved ones.
As I look at each picture and study the images, the people and the places, I see how connected everything is and the way our lives are so intertwined. Many of these images I had never seen before but they jolted me into realizing how deeply rooted I am beyond DNA with my grandfather George. In a Seinfeld-esque world, my grandfather wasn’t really a George. He was a Kramer. He had a bit of the absurdly silly and impishness that connects with my own inner thirty-twoness. Like Kramer, you would expect Pop to have with him both party balloons along with his everyday balloons so he was always ready for a celebration.
|George and Kramer |
|"These are my everyday balloons"|
Pop was more afraid of being like everyone else than he ever feared a true enemy. He had a need for authenticity and wanted it stuffed with humor. What emerges from these beautiful photographs and memorabilia of life in the 1930’s and 1940’s in Philadelphia is how playful he was and how he loved to make others happy.
I resonate so deeply with that same need in my own bones- craving to find my own individual voice and explanation for why I am on this planet. Pops' need to be a creative soul and find freedom in seeing things from a fresh point of view squares with my own round world view. We are connected beyond grandfather and grandson. It is as if he passed along to me a gene that flies me toward the light of creativity, laughter and invention.
He used to kid me that how much he loved me was my inheritance since he didn't have much money. How true. How wonderful.
He was often creating invitations to parties that reflected the emotion of the times along with what was stirring in his heart. From a World War II celebration of victory to the joy of his daughter, my mother’s Sweet Sixteen party. He decided in 1936 that we wanted to have his own Masque Ball and he created this wonderful invitation for friends and family. He understood how important it was to celebrate life and to have fun.
|You must wear a mask to be admitted to the ball |
|To celebrate the end of WWII, he invited friends to celebrate|
two heros to his home at 717 South 59th Street in Philly
Captain James McLaughlin and Captain Ralph Affleck
|The invitation to my mother's Sweet Sixteen from May 22, 1943|
Pop never played the violin but it didn’t stop him from picking it up at family events like Henny Youngman. But Henny could play the violin- for Pop it was just a prop in his world of fun and frolic. George Ginsberg was the leader of the band.
|While Rome burned, Pop fiddled around |
His two daughters, Annette and Bea, like my daughter’s Sarah and Fanny, were always the light of his life. He adored them and tried to celebrate each of their special qualities as he supported their journeys from their beloved Catharine Street in West Philly to 186 Tuxedo Parkway in Newark to 20 Warwick Circle.
|With his daughter's, Bea and Annette in 1933 in Atlantic City.|
I love Pop's bathing suit that looks like a
Connections. Patterns. Overlapping of lives.
I feel it running in my blood every moment of each and every day. A lifeline, a bloodline- a thread that binds and pulls me back into the past, forward into my future while I live in this very moment.
Labels: Poppa George, Zen Moments