On Jan. 23, 1943, my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, (photo in uniform, above) reported to the draft board in Chicago to start his training for WWII. So began the correspondence between him and family & friends, comprising almost 300 letters going both ways. I’m posting many of these World War II letters, each on or near the 70th anniversary of its writing. To start with his induction, click HERE.


This blog began in Nov., 2010, when I posted a century-old love note from Josef Gärtz, my paternal grandfather, to Lisi (Elisabetha) Ebner, my paternal grandmother, and follows their bold decision to strike out for America.


My mom and dad were writers too, recording their lives in diaries and letters from the 1920s-the 1990s. Historical, sweet, joyful, and sad, all that life promises-- and takes away--are recorded here as it happened. It's an ongoing saga of the 20th century. To start at the very beginning, please click HERE.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Family poses with baby on dead dog!

Growing Family: Lisi and Josef Gartz with sons,
Wilhelm, standing; Friedrich on dad's knee.Late 1915 or early 1916. 
Last week I posted photos of my mother taken in 1918, showing the dual sides of her personality. . On this page are are family photos of the Gartz family, the one below taken about the same time as my Mom's photos. Lisi, my paternal grandmother made sure the family had regular formal portraits taken, sending copies back home to both her and Josef's families in Romania. I have many letters thanking her for the pictures.

If you've been following along, you know this blog started with the postcards and love letters from Josef Gärtz to his sweetheart, Lisi Ebner (see Can Love Last 100 Years?), many of which were written as he made way toward America from Transylvania. You can read more of  Josef's diary recounting that harrowing trip, including Terror Atop the Train, if you scroll down on the right side of this page, to "Blog Archives," and click on "December, 2010."

In the photo above, my dad (I'd say he's about 12-14 months old)  is standing on his father's knee. 
Below is a photograph that hadn't been part of any family album, and I only recently discovered it.  Maybe the full content explains why. 

My grandparents, Josef and Lisi, are on the left, and their sons, Wilhelm (nicknamed "Helmie" as a little boy) and my dad, Fred (left) are seated. I don't know the other two adults on the right, but the baby must be theirs. 

They're all posing in front of a typical West Side Chicago back porch. It seems to be a special occasion based on the clothing. Perhaps it's the Christening of the baby, center. But what's with posing the baby on a stuffed dead dog! 

I'd love to crop the photo to see just my Dad and Uncle Will, but scroll down to the bottom to see what I'd get! The dog's very dead head comes with the close-up. What would you do? 
Josef and Lisi Gartz, Left; Fred and Will Gartz seated. About 1918
Friedrich Samuel (called "Sam" by his family), left  and Wilhelm
("Helmie" or "Will"), right. Dog's name unknown!

13 comments:

Marian Kurz said...

DON'T CROP IT, IT MAKES IT REALLY FRIGHTENING! SOME PEOPLE POSE ON BEARSKIN RUGS, THIS WAS YOUR FAMILY'S VERSION--PROBABLY EASIER TO FIND A STUFFED DOG THAN A STUFFED BEAR IN CHICAGO!

Jen Baldwin said...

I would use PhotoShop to remove the dog! :-)

Anonymous said...

Yes, this photo is, well, weird if not frightening. What's with these mens' white outfits, a dead dog, stilted postures, etc.? Something looks wrong here and we can all be glad to have made it out. Henry

Jacqi Stevens said...

Insert a cartoon balloon next to Sam's head and let him tell us. He seems like he has something to say about it.

Claudia's Genealogy Blog said...

The dead canine has me stumped...

Adrienne said...

It's an arresting and odd photograph. I'd guess the photographer provided the prop. When Syd got professional photographs a few years ago, the photog suggested trying a few shots with a stuffed parrot posed on Syd's shoulder.

Jana Last said...

Well, perhaps there are two options: 1) Photoshop the dog out of the pic to have a freaky canine-free photo, and 2) Just keep the dead dog in the pic for historical value's sake. Thanks for sharing these most interesting photos!

Kathy Reed said...

I vote for keeping the dog in! It is a little strange, but makes for great conversation!

linda Gartz said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions--one person, who didn't comment here, sent me a quick version with the dog removed! Thank you! I will probably keep the dog as the original and try to use a simple program to remove it in another I kinda like its weirdness. It speaks of another time, when folks weren't obsessed with presenting their families in ways that would meet with world-wide approval. Jacqi--the balloon idea is hilarious! And my dad, Fred, does look like he's annoyed just to have to be there -- dressed all in uncomfortable white clothes!

Kristin said...

Maybe it was a beloved family pet, although I have had no pets I would want around the house stuffed! I might take the head out if I was blowing up the two boys but definately leave it in with the baby sitting on it. Yikes!

Sierra said...

I know this is creepy but I find myself laughing hysterically. You see/learn something new every day.

Nancy said...

Linda, are you sure that's a dog? It looks a little more wolf-like to me....

Aside from the "dog," this photo is so interesting. There's lots of detail to look at (except Lightbox doesn't enlarge). What is the little box between the two boys? Did you notice Lisi's skirt and the detail work on it? Also, I think it's interesting that she (or someone) put doilies (probably handmade) on the box the boys are sitting on.

What a photo!

Linda Gartz said...

I have to agree with you, Nancy, and thanks for taking such a close look. The boys, with their all-white clothing with wide collars and white button-up boots, must be quite uncomfortable.

Whether it's a dog or a wolf (seems the snout is a little short for a wolf) I can't know for certain. Maybe we'll just say canine!