Category Archives: Blog!

Friday Finds A Visit With Bonnie and George

People often think I pick up my inventory at local estate sales, auctions and the like. While this happens from time to time, I find waking up early and standing in line to be activities for suckers. I’ve better things to do with my time and I don’t like putting myself in competitive situations. My motto is: There’s plenty of dead people’s stuff for everyone! Last I shared with you my budding relationship with Jean at Willamette View and my visits there begat this Friday Finds.

Bonnie works in The Carousel, (a private thrift shop at Willamette View) on Wednesdays and was there on one of my recent visits. Jean had asked me to bring a list of things I like to buy. Bonnie noticed she had several things on my list and called me up to come pay her a visit. I was delighted to find a variety of things nicely laid out in her clutterless home.

I often find myself invited places where there is more digging to be done. I’m used to rooms looking like this so a tidy situation is always a welcome surprise. When bonnie initially called she mentioned a dress in a Berg bag. “A Charles F. Berg bag?” I queried. Indeed it was.

The late 1960s lace dress by William Cahill is strikingly similar to one I purchased in December. It’s what I call the Priscilla Presley style. A fitted sheath lies beneath a billow of lace that flows out into a tiny train. It’s sure to look better on a body and I’m anxious to clean it and find out if I’m having a twinsies bridal shoot.

Dreamy purses abound including this one (seen in the bottom right corner) that I already managed to list on Etsy. The rest seen here will head into the Emporium for local purchase.

This white beaded purse was made in Japan and it resides in it’s original box. The original purse mirror is still wrapped in the tissue from the manufacturer. Find out more about it here.

Fur collars, hankies and gloves. Oh my! I under priced the Persian Lamb collar and it was the first thing to sell at last night’s Vintage Fashion Show.

I was tempted to keep these black and white leather driving gloves.

I find that having to work makes it difficult to both put together a smart outfit and do hair and make up. While I achieved all three this day, my hair didn’t come out quite right in the back. Which is why one should always have a back check mirror. Or more hours in the day. Regardless, I couldn’t believe the size of this intricate tatted collar that must have taken someone many an hour to complete. Think of the eye strain!

The more we chatted, the more I found out Bonnie and I have in common. When I started asking where she found all these lovely things, she mentioned she used to have a pal with a secondhand shop where Bonnie would consign things. The shop is closed now and she hasn’t had an outlet for her excess treasures in awhile. She also mentioned that she bought the nearly flawless 1920s balloon style tulle veil to cut up for doll clothes. The accordion pleated slips were purchased to make tiny lingerie. Mr. Man found this doll house in the front room and it revealed more about Bonnie and George.

Bonnie informed me that she and George build doll houses that they sell at doll and toy shows around the Pacific Northwest. Naturally, I asked if she would show us some of their work. We were led down a corridor to a room stacked with highly detailed diorama boxes. This one was my favorite.

I couldn’t get over the inlaid pinwheel floor. Turns out George originally built houses before his MS became too severe to work. Now a paraplegic, he works in their garage making smaller versions of his former work. Each of the dioramas were quite nicely lit. The Library had an outlet on the wall that I thought was decorative. When I asked Bonnie about it she mentioned that the lamp that plugs into that outlet is rather expensive and she doesn’t like to leave it plugged in.

While some of the books were purchased, Bonnie had to cover many of them herself. She said that a man in jail painted the miniature picture over the mantel. He did work for many people in their miniature social circle.

There were lots of squeals when I caught sight of the Christmas room.

A latch hook rug. A tiny Santa collection. What more could you ask for?!?

They even have a gentleman’s study with a tiny German stein collection on the mantle.

Complete with a cocktail by his side, a wine rack, a taxidermied bear head and more! I even recognized the carved ivory fish on the wall. It a piece of jewelry I’ve had on several occasions.

Then when Bonnie mentioned that George was out working in the garage we had to meet him! He was cutting wood for the floor of a 1/2 inch=1 foot scale house at the time.

He showed me the plans for what he was working on.

Then my eyes spied the largest doll house roof I’d ever seen just hanging from the ceiling.

Evidently someone had given George this picture from a newspaper advertisement for a bank offering loans to remodel and update your home.

As you can see from the center crease, this was just a fold over of a beautiful Victorian home. George went down to the Oregon Historical Society and discovered it was the John W. Kern residence located on 3oth and SE Powell from 1890-1947 when it was carelessly destroyed.

After finding the photos above, he made a tremendous 1/12 scale model of it. When he first completed it, one of the great granddaughters of John Kern came to the unveiling. The Kern house model is being stored in George’s work space and hasn’t been displayed recently. Beneath a little wood dust Mr. Man noticed the inlaid floor with a K monogrammed in the center.

The more the four of us spoke and looked at things the more Bonnie and I realized how much we had in common. She mentioned that she collects half dolls, as do I. Clearly Bonnie is the reason I only have about a dozen. It appears as if she bought all the rest!

This one was her Mother’s and it seems to have begun a life long collection.

My favorite was this large, colorful, decidedly Art Deco dame.

I’ve never seen one wearing a shawl before and this doll was as nice in the back as she looks in the front.

These half dolls were originally used to top silk pin cushions or clothing brushes from the turn of the Century to the 1930s or so. I have one that is a tape measure as well.

I spent a little time just marveling at the sheer quantity, but the more I looked the more usual things I saw. I bought a few old timey stick pins from Bonnie having no idea that she still had plenty to enjoy. Note the tiny gold baby ring.

She even had several in their original box. This was my favorite of them all. The olive green velvet box reads: Established 1862 Fred Sauter Jeweler 2713 Girard Ave Philidelphia.

I have a collection of German mechanical bottle stoppers inherited from my Great Aunt and grown upon as the years have passed. I spotted one by Weir in one of Bonnie’s cabinets.

I’ll be pricing many of the little gems we found at Bonnie and George’s house at the Emporium this weekend if you’d like to take a closer look.

Wedding Dress Wednesday A Brooch Bouquet for Jessica

This week a real life bride for Wedding Dress Wednesday, though we focus more on accessories. While Jessica initially came to see me for a dress, we couldn’t find anything quite her style and she found another vintage dress across town at Xtabay. She had a change of heart and ended up with contemporary dress in a vintage style. Next on her list was a brooch bouquet. I made my first one over 8 years ago and even found a picture of one on myspace from a 2007 vintage bridal fashion show.

After looking at the price of brooch bouquets on Etsy, Jessica returned to me on her quest for brooches. I’m quite nosy about what my vintage inventory is being used for and as we discussed what Jessica was looking for she mentioned she was going to have a friend make her brooch bouquet. I stopped turning the key in the case of brooches I was opening for her and asked if she was doing the bouquet in a manner which would end with all the brooches being broken. As she confirmed my suspicions I asked if she was married to having her friend do it for her as I have a method that keeps the vintage jewelry from being destroyed. She brought me all the brooches she had already collected from family, garage sales and a bridal showers. We found some more in the Emporium and I dug up a few broken pieces of rhinestone jewelry and single earrings. Imagine having a bridal shower where you ask for family and friends to gift you brooches (or other broken costume jewelry) from family or vintage shops in your colors, weaving memories and stories into your bouquet.

Jessica went with a mixed metal theme of silver and gold. The monogrammed tie bar at bottom right (above) belonged to Jessica’s Opa, which I think is German for Grandfather. I pinned it into the back of the base and it draped over the handle of the finished product. We even filled in tiny spaces with some of her father’s tie tacks.

My favorite piece was the Eugene faux pearl and rhinestone brooch in a Miriam Haskell style seen in the upper center of this photo. Eugene jewelry was only produced from 1952-1962 making it scarce and valuable. When I informed Jessica that I thought it might be “worth” as much as $250 on today’s market (as later backed up by this listing), not breaking the brooches to make a bouquet starting making more and more sense.

Here are some other fascinating angles. The photos from Jessica’s wedding day were taken by Courtney Jade Photography.

Jessica even worked a brooch from the Emporium into her groom’s boutonniere!

Brad at Dada Salon did a half up, half down style for Jessica’s hair. She had also purchased a 1940s sterling silver chatalaine (noun: two pins/brooches joined together by draping chains) accented with rhinestones to wear in her hair. Bobby pins anchor the brooches in Jessica’s hair and the draping chains were wrapped into the design.

A simple 1940s rhinestone bracelet also from the Emporium, completed Jessica’s jewelry choices.

As a winter bride in Oregon one faces many challenges. Not the least of which is the weather. Jessica and Peter were married in Scappoose on her parents property that features views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and Mount Hood.

This is just about the best a December bride in Oregon can hope for, sky wise. But Jessica was a realistic bride and prepared accordingly. Down to her footwear.

She asked about black vintage umbrellas of which I did not have any. Until I was out shopping the next week when two 1950s black umbrellas serendipitously presented themselves to me. Did I mention Jessica also chose to have a surprise wedding? That’s certainly one way to avoid having to nod your head and smile for months on end while all your relatives give their input about your special day. And a good way to keep it small. Only her Father and brother knew in advance. 36 hours before the wedding they texted this photo to their guests with the message “bring your boots & umbrellas…we’re getting married in the woods!”

Jessica’s sweet son walked her down the aisle.

They were lucky enough that the rain stopped for about two hours while Jessica’s Father performed the ceremony. As soon as they got in cars to head into town for dinner, the rain returned.

Mother Dear Monday On Turning 70

Last month among the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we celebrated Mother Dear’s 70th birthday. A mid afternoon party was enjoyed at what Mother Dear has always called The Mallory now known as the Hotel Deluxe. She and her acting pals would stop by The Driftwood room after performances at the Civic Theater. The Screening Room at The Mallory provided the perfect atmosphere to celebrate such a momentous occasion.

Mr. Man brought down an iPad and his huge new tablet. The mannequin was released from the Emporium to display Mother Dear’s prom dress with this blog post on the ipad while a slideshow of Mother Dear related photos played on the large tablet.

It’s always lovely to have an excuse to get together with old friends and have some laughs. Mother Dear and I always enjoy a good knee slapper!

We were so pleased that our age old friend Joan was able to stop by with her well wishes. She came in a smart vintage wool suit trimmed in chinchilla at the cuff and collar. She even donned a large rhinestone snowflake pin.

Carol Welch who hired us to help her last summer with the estate of Joanne Balkovic even attended. Note the 1961 oil painting (above the coat rack) of Mother Dear with her 10 day hairdo.

I was also super excited to see my niece, Rory.

We found a picture of Mother Dear from her 1968 wedding. Stay tuned for a coming Wedding Dress Wednesday which will feature and further discuss Mother Dear’s dress, which I naturally still have.

Mother Dear was in a production of Auntie Mame where she played Vera Charles in the 1970s at Civic Theater. Here’s who is left. From left to right: Suzanne Nelson as Agnes Gooch, Harvey Brown as Ito, Mother Dear as Vera Charles and Ethel Wheatley. I can’t recall who Ethel played. I was three years old at the time, so what do you want from me? I’m sure someone will fill us in utilizing the comment section below.

Here you can see a picture I brought from home of Mother Dear as Vera Charles. This has hung in my living room since I was just a wee thing and I always thought everyone’s Mother wore rhinestones and feather boas to work.

Can you spot the enormous piece of Miriam Haskell in this photo?

I made a toffee tiramisu torte cake and my brother and sister in law brought a sheet cake to make sure we had all our bases covered.

My brother came up with a game where everyone reads a statement about Mother Dear and the crowd determines if it’s true or false.

This was the perfect idea for a room filled with actors. Everyone gave a dramatic reading including Mother Dear’s closest and dearest friend, Suzanne.

As well as my sister-in-law Elizabeth.

And the inimitable Harvey Brown. You have to love a man who knows to wear one of his three tuxedos to Mother’s birthday.

A great many laughs were had!

There were old timey family photos strewn about sparking many a conversation. This photo is from shortly after Mother Dear arrived in her Mother Enhanced 1940s Persian Lamb coat embellished with jet beaded dress details of the same period to mask the bare spots and repaired tears in this aged garment.

Uncle Bill regaled us with tales of who was married to whom.

I am a big fan of my cousin Cassidy and Uncle Bill. They are a hoot and a half, and clearly always well dressed. This is the best view of my 1930s knit dress with ribbed skirt and faux pearl spiderweb neckline. Somehow it miraculously came with the original belt. I wore my Great Grandmother’s faux pearl brooch as a buckle. My faux pearl earrings are actual chandeliers!

Uncle Bill worked in my Grand Daddy’s store and I always make sure to check the label in his coat because on occasion it will say Ray Bolger Clothier!

Mother Dear did party tricks! She’s quite limber for having lived seven decades and spent a few moving heavy furniture.

My niece and nephew took loads of pictures with disposable cameras, which I can’t wait to see!

Elizabeth and I discovered we were wearing the same Sofft shoes, further proving great minds think alike! Hers were black suede and mine a granite patent leather. My buddy Heather found mine while we were at the Goodwill on West Burnside as I was complaining about my dislike of the Goodwill. She sure shut me up quick as she pulled out a size 11 Sofft shoe for $14.99.

We even had the opportunity to have a family photo taken.

We were very fortunate that Mr. Man brought a fancy camera and spent the afternoon taking all these lovely photographs. We tried to take a picture of ourselves, to no avail.

He documented all the surroundings and we are having a book made of all the moments he captured for a Mother’s Day gift. We considered a digital frame, but I thought the less electronics for Mother Dear the better.





I’d like to leave you with some more up close views of Sally Skelding’s Miriam Haskell baroque pearl necklace. We started talking about how much such a thing fetches these days and she began to ask about how I might go about selling it for her. This beauty may soon be available for sale!

Friday Finds: Willamette View

Willamette View is a retirement community that offers everything from apartment dwelling to full on assisted living in a large area off River Road in the Southern part of town. The back side of the building over looks the Willamette river that divides the East and West sides of Portland. I have recently made friend’s with Jean who helps run The Carousel, a private thrift shop operated by residents. When someone passes away, things not taken by the family go to the cage where they are priced and put into the thrift shop. Proceeds go to benefit residents who can no longer afford to live at Willamette View. Jean and I have a mutual friend who thought I might pay a great deal more for some of the more valuable merchandise than the over 500 employees of the complex who make up the majority of their customers.

The last time I was called out to buy this wedding dress, I bought a few more things including but not limited to this owl lighter by Florenza.




















I still need to clean this one up, put in a new flint and some lighter fluid. You can find a similar one for sale for $75 over here. I also bought a basket full of purses (including beaded and eel) and a 1927 Sellwood graduating class photo.

Mr. Man accompanied me both on my last visit and again today. Last time he spent a quarter on this Esquire magazine. The back featured a 1981 Delorean. I was clearly very excited by his find.

All of The Carousel donations go to the cage first where they are evaluated, cleaned and priced. Jean showed me a lovely Italian glass basket today that she is holding for a silver and linen dealer she knows.

I was specifically called about a couple of hair dryers and several Pendleton woolens. I ended up filling a shopping cart by the end.

They are getting ready to clean out another apartment and trying to clear out the cage. Mr. Man found a bit of irony on an over crowded work space where I left my big giant purse. Clearly, I can’t be told what to do.

I was temporarily distracted at The Mart, where furniture and other large items are offered for sale. Somehow (possibly because we came in the convertible) I managed to leave behind this tremendous oxblood leather office chair. I’m having a bit of Lack of Buyer Remorse.

I also found several milk crates of records to browse through. Things you would expect in this situation, loads of Bach and the Ray Coniff Singers. There were also a variety of Christmas records and folk favorites from different nationalities. All the Irish music came home with me. As did Scots Drinking Songs. Also known as Scots Songs.

After a busy day of shopping, we stopped at Mike’s Drive In for burgers and shakes. And then there was a little Sellwood browsing in which we visited Modern Pink and another place I don’t know the name of where I passed on buying a winter white wool coat with a leopard collar and pocket trim. Suppose I found there was enough to deal with already. I had an early morning dance rehearsal for the January 12th performance of the Copa Show at Tony Starlight’s. Afterwards we stopped at Antique Alley where I purchased a petticoat, an open bottom girdle, autumn haze mink stole and a fabulous How To Draw and Paint Fashions book.

I really need to get to tearing down the holiday decor including my collection of glass Christmas tree toppers. But I have to open the Emporium for the next two days so it sounds like it will have to wait.

The Carmichael Wedding Dress Wednesday

“Where do you get your inventory?”

This is one of the questions I am most often asked regarding my work.

The proper answer is long and varied, but this dress is a fine example. I have made friend’s with a woman named Jean who lives at Willamette View, one of the nicer places to retire in our community. They have a little private thrift shop in WV called The Carousel which I will discuss in more detail on Friday. I was fortunate enough to be called out last month when Jean informed me they recently acquired a wedding dress. Just seeing the box made my heart skip a beat.

A chandelier Lipman’s box always denotes something from the 1950s or earlier and I was not disappointed. Inside was waiting a 1940s ice blue embroidered lace and tulle dress. I could tell it was boxed up by the original bride, which usually results in more than just a dress. Jean confirmed my suspicions when she told me the matching shoes were buried at the bottom.

Once we got home I asked Mr. Man to photograph the unpacking of the dress.

The bride had quite professionally stuffed the bodice and sleeves in what Mother Dear and I refer to as I. Magnin wrapping. When she worked there in the 1960s I. Magnin would train it’s employees as to how to properly pack and gift wrap a dress.

The embroidered lace bodice comes to drop waist points from which a full skirt and train of tulle emerge.

I haven’t been able to find a single hole in the tulle skirt. The hem has an amazing 610 inch sweep and it was entirely hand stitched! We even found the original veil.

It’s a charming back of the head style in excellent condition with just a few brown spots on the headband.

As I continued digging in the box there were more rewards! Mr. Man began asking what one would wear under such a sheer dress.

Why the matching taffeta slip of course! The bride even stitched in a little bra.

I don’t recommend built in bras for bridal wear because the simply aren’t as effective as a long line strapless bra or regular bra if the dress style can accommodate straps. It appears that she tacked this in just to prevent it from being visible.

She even made little tulle straps to attach the “Over-ture” bra by Maiden Form better.

I still can’t believe what great shape this dress is in! It even retains it’s original tulle belt. The style is quite unique complete with finely pleated tulle trim at the sleeve and collar. The slightly poofy shoulders are accented with inner horsehair shaping.

The bottom of the box held not only the dyed to match satin shoes by Debutante with rhinestone trim but also the tulle scrap in case alterations or repairs ever need to be performed on this dress. I can’t wait to get it cleaned up and on a body. Hopefully in time for our January bridal shoot. This dress is rather small with a 34″ bust measurement and a 26″ waist. Jean said there was a photo of the bride hanging around somewhere and I hope to get it on a future visit. She mentioned the bride’s family name was Carmichael (same as my Grandmother’s maiden name), further proof that I am haunted by dead people through their belongings. In a good way.

You may also have noticed the 1920s red silk chiffon dress hanging by the door that Jean also had for me. It’s slated for photographing this month as well, so consider this a sneak preview! It has some amazing silk ribbon details.

January 1, 2013

I failed miserably at regular blogging last month. We will imagine that the holidays kept me busy both on the internets and in the shop. I also started dating a new gentleman in the fall and I’ve been trying to carve out time for socializing as well. Yesterday we finally fit in a downtown holiday date that we’d been trying to go on for all of December. Mister Man is intrigued by lighting of all sorts and we wanted to take in the Holiday lights in downtown Portland while doing a little shopping and eating. After we recovered from the night before, of course.

Because I live so close to the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) train, we opted for public transit to avoid parking and traffic. It’s been hovering around the freezing mark here for several days now, so bundling up was a must. I tried to wear a fur, but nothing was working with the 1930s black knit dress I was wearing. So my 1970s Pendleton plaid wool blanket coat would have to do. I wrapped my red wool Pendleton scarf around my neck and chin, adding rabbit fur ear muffs and the red glass cameo I bought on my last birthday. As it was a holiday, I simply recycled my hairdo from New Year’s Eve the night before.

First stop, an up close view of the Christmas tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square, also known as Portland’s Living Room.

I purchased some new boots (I wear a US size 11, so vintage footwear is few and far between for me) and we headed off to where my Mother worked when I was just a young thing. Snowflakes light the plaza at Portland’s World Trade Center. When I was little and my Mother was employed at the Willamette Repetory Theater (formerly housed behind the glass windows in the top of the photo below), some nights I would have to come to work with her for lack of proper child care. Her employer Nancy would bring me down to the old timey carousel that once sat beneath these snowflakes and told the operator to let me ride until I couldn’t stand it anymore.

So now it’s back to Wedding Dress Wednesday, Mother Dear Monday and a new regular post entitled Friday Finds. This week we’re going to visit Jean at Willamette View and I’m quite excited. Last time we went they had been saving a 1940s wedding dress for me. Who knows what they’ll have in store for me this week. I heard there’s a boat load of vintage Pendleton, so stay tuned!


Earmuffs: Store II, Inc. (where Mother Dear and I were once employed)

Pendleton Scarf: AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium

Pendleton Blanket Coat: Hollywood Vintage

Glass Cameo: Sylvia’s (tell her AlexSandra sent you!)

Boots: Khombu Nordstrom’s Rack (where big footed gals can have a selection of more than three pair of shoes)

In case you were curious what I wore on New Year’s Eve, it went a little something like this:

Glad memories of the past to you and may your future hopes come true.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2013!

New Year’s Eve photos were taken by this fine gentleman:

Who’s lovely wife blogs here and you can read more about what Janey wore on NYE here.

Mother Dear Monday Ballroom Dancing

Mary Lynn Bolger 1955Today’s Mother Dear Monday photos are from Mary Lynn’s first day of dance lessons. In the 7th and 8th grade children from the “other side of the river” (that’s west of the Willamette) are sent to ballroom dance lessons, a tradition that continues today. The girls then and now wear full skirted dresses and everyone dons a pair of white gloves. Around this time of year young ladies visit AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium to find the appropriate gloves and dresses. Lorenzo, the Italian exchange student who was living with my Grandparents at the time took these photos in their home on Talbot Road. Her red taffeta dress with Peter Pan collar and bow was topped with a gingham pinafore and cinched at the waist with a thin velvet belt.

For as long as I can remember my Mother would complain about how in her youth, my Grandmother would roll her hair in socks that she would have to sleep on only to end up with a well coiffed hairdo that never lasted. Our hair just doesn’t hold a curl well. To this day she recalls the pin curl seen in this photo and how she had to wait until the moment they walked into dance lessons to pull the pin lest the curl be hanging in her face before the hour was through.

Several girls from St. Thomas More would car pool to dance lessons with a different parent driving each week. Here they posed for a precious Catholic Girl group photo. From left to right are Tory Boone, Mary Gay Malarkey, Colleen Doherty, Mary Lynn Bolger and Patty Volstad.

Mother Dear had a toy shepherd dog named wags that she loved very much. He saved my Grandmother’s life on more than one occasion and was a beloved member of their family.

These pictures (and this one of Mother Dear’s prom dress) are from a recently discovered box of photos that we thought had been carelessly donated many years ago. Most of these pictures I have never seen before, unlike the photos from her acting career which I have periodically poured over from age four until today. What I have been enjoying most about these more personal family photos is discovering things in the background. The clock seen on the mantle in my Grandparents house sits above my own fireplace today!

Wedding Dress Wednesday 1925 Ida Clifford Niesen

1925 Wedding Dress Veil Bouquet

I spent the bulk of May, June and July “Summering in Lake Oswego” which is to say Mother Dear and I worked for her friend Carol Welch on a rather large and overwhelming estate sale. The house belonged to 89 year old Joanne Balkovic who had recently passed leaving a house stacked high with her personal belongings and more. When her Mother, Ida Clifford Niesen passed away Joanne crammed all of Ida’s things in her basement. This made the chore of sorting the 40′ by 15′ corridor stacked to the ceiling with just an 18 inch goat trail to get through to other cram packed rooms a bit more entertaining. I discovered several antique trunks under piles of boxes and several televisions. One containted Ida’s wedding photos. Eventually in another part of the house I found a framed invitation from Ida Clifford and George Niesen’s 1925 wedding.

I’m in love with Ida’s tremendous pointed lace crown and veil. It accentuates her hairstyle and makes the demure eyes cast down posturing of her photo all the more interesting. If you are looking for something similar for your own wedding, check out this gem on eBay. Beware the frightening model! And if you’re curious what a 1920s wedding dress looks like, try this one available at Union Made Bride.

1925 Wedding Bouquet Veil Lace Crown

I love the grandiose shower bouquets of the 1920s and early 1930s. Filled with greenery and often trailing ribbons with love knots and more, they show a commitment to keeping florists in business. In addition to throwing the bouquet to unmarried female guests, only half of the original tradition – the catcher of the bouquet was entitled to untie a lovers’ knot and the wish she made was said to come true.

George Niesen 1925 Groom

Grooms don’t change much from year to year, or even decade to decade for that matter. I’m fond of George Niesen’s boutonniere that appears to have been clipped and never missed from Ida’s bouquet. His Dapper Dan hair is also quite attractive.

I don’t know exactly how long George and Ida were married, but I did find a bunch of things from their 50th wedding anniversary in 1975 so they made it at least that far.

1975 Wedding Anniversary


Joanne loved her parents so much and was such a prolific painter (mostly of landscapes, to be fair) that she made an oil portrait from her parents wedding photo. I only had a chance to snap a picture of it at the sale with my phone before it sold.

1920s Wedding

I have many more tales from the house of Joanne and they will be shared as the weeks and months pass.

Mother Dear Monday Back to School

My Mother and her brother, my Uncle Bill both attended St. Thomas More Catholic School for grades K-8. It’s just a short walk from where their house was, on the top of Council Crest where the water tower now resides. We recently uncovered some of Mother Dear’s school pictures and thought it would be fun to see if you can pick her out. She still smiles the same!


St. Thomas More Portland Oregon 1950s

Top: St. Thomas More’s 7th grade early 1950s

Middle: St. Thomas More’s 2nd grade late 1940s

Below: St. Thomas More School’s 3rd + 4th grades 1949

I’m off to Enchanted Forest for the Labor Day Holiday and will tell you who’s who upon my return later this evening.

MLB Center Front

Mary Lynn Bolger Mary Gay Malarkey

MLB Left Most Girl