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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Swimsuit Issue - The Mankini

Fred Gartz, left; Will Gartz, right.
Probably between 1928-1930
It's time for another CoG - Carnival of Genealogy. As always, thanks to Jasia at The Creative Gene, for sponsoring Carnival of Genealogy. All contributors' posts can be seen by July 4th. 

This month is the "Swimsuit Issue." Family history buffs (no pun intended) are sharing old swimsuit photos. 
Not quite as racey as the Sports Illustrated version, these folks were far from posing "in the buff."  Modesty was more in vogue. I've dubbed their suits the "mankini," a male bikini, about 1928-1930.

My dad, Fred Gartz (dob 10/10/1914),  left looks to be about fourteen-sixteen. His brother, Will, a year older. .

My grandparents, Josef and Lisi, worked non-stop during the week and Saturdays in their jobs as janitors in Chicago's West Side,  but Sundays were set aside for family. My grandfather was quoted in an article that reported on his retirement from janitorial work in 1954. "Whenever we went out for a little entertainment, we all went together, the boys, my wife and me." 

Given the number of snapshots I have of the whole family at the beach, even when the boys were young men,  their philosophy of family togetherness wasn't just lip-service. It was documented in photographs.

This is probably North Avenue Beach in Chicago, about two miles north of downtown. It was one of their favorite destinations on a hot summer day.


Dear Friends, Loyal Readers, and Newcomers:

Family Archaeologist is taking the summer off. I'd like to use this hiatus as an opportunity to share the backstory of my paternal grandparents, Lisi and Josef Gartz, that many readers may have missed when the blog was getting started. I'll still be posting every Tuesday, re-posting a bit about Josef and Lisi's  lives in Austro-Hungary a century ago, including the story of Josef's harrowing journey to America, as recorded in his journal and missives. I hope you'll all enjoy the vintage postcards, their loving sentiments, and Josef's diary and letters of the risks he took to start a new life in America. To see the very first post introducing the blog, click WELCOME.


Sheri Fenley said...

Mankini - I love it!

Jasia said...

Great period picture! I love the mankini name too, lol! Thanks for participating in the COG, Linda. Have a wonderful summer!

Carol said...

Agree, mankini = genius name!

Have a great summer!

Linda Gartz said...

Thanks to all of you for commenting on your enjoyment of this photo. I was reminded of the Seinfeld episode in which Kramer decides to invent a bra for men with overly large breasts! He called it the "Man-ssiere!.
Here's the swimsuit version for males.

Marian kurz said...

Wrong era, but hubba, hubba!
It has made Tuesdays much more tolerable to have your family history unfolding. Thanks for keeping us all entertained and have a glorious summer-hope the days are mostly like today!

Adrienne said...

Love it; happy summer!

Linda Gartz said...

Adrienne and Marian,
I can always count on you two to make a cute comment and so much enjoy getting the feedback! Thanks. Now get out your bikinis, tankinis, or one-pieces and head tot the beach!

Jacqi Stevens said...

Have a wonderful summer, Linda! I'm looking forward to taking you up on the suggestion to catch up on the back story.

Linda Gartz said...

Thanks, Jacqi,
I always love your visits here.

Linda Gartz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn said...

Perfect for the swimsuit edition! Great post!

Julie said...

I like that Mankini! Hope you have a wonderful summer!

Cynthia Shenette said...

I love the title, and the photo as well! Enjoy your summer vacation!

Ravenswick said...

Mankini--great name for those awesome old men's swimsuits. Great photo.

Robin S said...

I've just run across your site. I can see I'm going to have a great summer happily getting caught up reading it.


Linda Gartz said...

So glad you found me, Robin. I tried to go on your site, but wouldn't be allowed in. I'll try another way.

bikini swimwear said...

love it! Great post!