Friday, July 13, 2007

Some Time Ago

Some time ago, I said I would go dig up some photos of an earlier time. When I was in California, I snapped some pictures with the Cell Phone (sorry, Murray!) of---get this---Mr. Gawpo, Sr's screen saver slideshow. So here they off the computer screen.

To this very day, seeing this exhilerates me. I am standing next to noneother than the greatest baseball player of all time. Well, in my eyes he was. Mostly because he played for the San Francisco Giants and I got to meet him. My father took the picture with his 4X5 Poloroid and we got Mr. Mays to sign the photo. I have it framed in my bedroom. Ironically, this function took place at the S.O.S. (Sportsmen Of Stanislaus) Club in Modesto (go to Diesel's page to see the latest rating on this city's liveability). What makes it ironic is the fact that people of color were not admitted into membership at this all white club. This has changed.

Ever a Giants fan, this is young Gawpo, the model, eating icecream at Penguin Icecream. This was an advertisement shot for the business. Photograph by Mr. Gawpo, Sr.

I think this is my father's 8th grade class. Redwood City, California. Mr. Gawpo, Sr is seated in the front row, far left as we face the photo. I believe that at the very far left, but in the very top row, is Dave Verner. Dave was in the YouTube video I posted some posts ago, landing with me and the MRE on Center Island. He looks older in the YouTube video than he does in this photograph.

Closer look at the boy who would become my father...

This is my father's father, Antonino. And I believe that he is with his father, seated. My grandfather was a barber.

My Jewish mother, Mrs. Gawpo, Sr. She is with Mumino--Sicilian nickname for "Jimmy," which is what he went by. He was my grandfather's brother.

This gangster-looking gentleman is George Joseph. George is Persian (Iran). If you ever get a chance to hear the C'e la luna mezzo mare rendition on Louie Prima's "Live At Harrah's," you will hear George Joseph and his buddies whistling from the crowd. They started out in the back of the room and worked their way up. If you listen, you can hear the volume of their whistles increase as a result of getting closer to the stage. I believe this is the rendition I posted some time back. George came to Salt Lake City when my father was in law school and handed my father a copy of the album with his whistling debut. Awesome.

The Baby Gawpo

This is Dora, my mother's mom. My mother says she is not sure if she is depicted, or if it is her sister or her brother. My maternal grandmother's side is from the Romanian diaspora.

These three classy broads are wives of judges. When these gals get together, let me tell you---court convenes! At about the time that lady on the far right had her first child was when I got borned. All three ladies have very Italian sounding surnames. But that one on the far right looks a little Jewish if you ask me.

Mr. Gawpo, Sr is a photographer. He took this shot on one of our trips to Yosemite.


At Friday, July 13, 2007 at 5:28:00 PM PDT , Blogger LisaOceandreamer said...

I really enjoyed this post...sort of "Gawpo Then" I see you've had that same sweet face all your life! I loved the pic with Willie Mays...I can imagine what a huge thrill that must have been for a baseball fan at any age! When I see photos like that it really recalls a much gentler time for kids doesn't it? Looking at the relatives on Gawpo Sr's side they remind me of mine on my Mom's side (did you know my Italian half is Sicilian?) Could we be distantly related?
Your father is an amazing photographer, that shot although from a cell phone taken of a computer STILL fantastic.
Annie emailed 2 pics of you when you met do you know how bad I want to pinch your cheeks? LOL!! In my head I was singing 'matchmaker, matchmaker, make him a match'. heehee
ok I've rambled long enough! Again, have a fabulous vaca!

At Friday, July 13, 2007 at 5:57:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

LISAOCEANDREAMUH!: We could indeed be related. We are from Camporeale, to the west of Corleone and Prizzi.

I want to see those pictures of Annie's. I have one of her and Donaldo. Sweet folks! You shall pinch these cheeks, to be sure. I have no doubt!!! xoxoxoxoxoXO! G

At Friday, July 13, 2007 at 7:55:00 PM PDT , Blogger Pam Aries said...

WELL...Mama Mia! and Oy Vay! Ha ..THese photos are absolutely divine! I love old pics and your's are no exception! Wow..Those were the days! ..Last christmas my Mom brought some old slides from the 50's 60's and 70's! I wish I could show them on the PC! THey are a riot!

At Friday, July 13, 2007 at 7:58:00 PM PDT , Blogger AnnieElf said...

Oh No. I'm sending them. NOW!!!!!!

p.s. love that last picture.

At Friday, July 13, 2007 at 8:29:00 PM PDT , Blogger LisaOceandreamer said...

the matchmaker song was about finding YOU a was not related to me wanting to pinch your cheeks. Just wanted to clarify! LOL! xoxoxoxo

At Friday, July 13, 2007 at 9:09:00 PM PDT , Blogger Blue said...

What a post! Little baby Gawpo. Gawpo as a young boy slurping sodas! Meeting Willie Mays! The boy who would be is all so magical. I love that you shared this. You are one hell of an interesting dude, dude.
I too, shall one day pinch the cheeks. Of your face that is! tee hee

At Friday, July 13, 2007 at 11:20:00 PM PDT , Blogger Diesel said...

Wait... you took pictures of the screen? Are you one of those people who folds the paper before putting it in the fax machine because you don't want anybody to see what you're faxing? I still don't know how you're trusted with a plane.

The post you're referring to is here, btw. Still not clear on the whole hyperlink thing either, eh? ;)

At Friday, July 13, 2007 at 11:55:00 PM PDT , Anonymous the quill said...

Nice photo achive. That Yosemite photo is truly breathtaking.

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 6:44:00 AM PDT , Blogger lime said...

what a fun post of special family album memories. what a cute lil gawpolet you were! c'mere and let me pinch those cheeks! and the last shot is just breathtaking.

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 7:00:00 AM PDT , Blogger Nana-g said...

Oh my lovely Gawpo, I am so dishin' on ya: in person, the gawpo, it truly is not possible to pinch em da cheeks: you can only go in for the whole big hug. I know, I thought the same thing about those cheeks, but when you are there you just gotta hug him, one of those really neurogroovey long hugs - and his gawpo-daddy? Same thing! Sorry Gawpy - I could not keep the secret any longer. could. not. help. myself.

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 8:01:00 AM PDT , Blogger vicci said...

Oh MY...I just adore looking at these precious are such a cutie Gawpo...then...and now! I think YOU...ME...and LISA...are all related! We could put all of our Italian photos together...they would all look the same...Here are some of the Italian names in my family...Frank...Louie...Tony..Anna....Victoria....Amedia....Carmen...Vicciann (named after Victoria and Anna)...Gawpo...and Lisa......XXXXOOOOOOOO

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 9:55:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

PAM ARIES: First of all---isn't it great being an Aries? Now that we've got that outta the way, I keep telling my dad to get those old 8mm films transferred over to DVDs so they can be viewed and shared. I think I know what his father's day present is going to be next year.

Mamma Mia! Oy Vay! Very funny!!!

ANNIEELF: Can't wait. I will check. And I will send you the one I took, too.

LISAOCEANDREAMUH!: Of course. I knew that, Honeybunny. You keep looking. In the meantime, I have a great cat who amuses and delights. And wakes me up at 3 in the morning, wanting some attention. Oh, she gets some. But not the kind she purrs for. I make it up to her later, though. Too cute.

BLUE TSG: Ha! Goody!!! Can't wait for the cheek pinches from one of my all-time favorite pinchers-to-be. I love the pictures of you and your brother that your momma posted. They are also magical. You two are so beautiful and SO Portagee beautiful!

I want to hear about every place you go on your cruise. Did you say if it's a western or eastern or southern venture? I was looking. I went on the western one. Cozumel, Tulum, etc. What amazed me most, though, was being so close to Cuba. Which you must pronounce like Desi Arnaz---"KU-buh." Bon Voyage, Blue!!! xoxoxoxoXO!

DIESEL: Yes. I know. I know. Of the screen. Yes. Lame. Sort of like that Steven Wright joke: "I made instant coffee in a microwave. Went back in time."

And forget being trusted with an airplane. What about being trusted with a gun? Huh? Yeah, baby. That's what I'm talkin' about.

And thanks for the link. I had to post in a hurry. I don't got no time for no stinkin' links.

THE QUILL: Just goes to show---half is ten times better than whole.

LIMERS: My daddy took so many fine black and white photographs. He had and eye for beauty. Just look at my mother. And she's in COLOR!

NANA-G: And it was so wonderful being able to hug you the other day. The three of us thoroughly dug the great Thee O'Clock Dock Talk that your son gave. And the food afterwards was wonderful. Look for a You Tube posting of Charlie filleting a tuna. LUVS!!!!

VICCANCE: Ha! I love those names. We have Augustus, Carmelo, Carlo, Stefania, Antonino, Gino, Enzo, Alberto, Manny, Moe, Jack----no, wait---it couldn't have been Moe (Spike Jones, "My Old Flame").

We are SO related, you, Lisa and I. I love that. Big Sicilian hugs and smacks to you!

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 11:38:00 AM PDT , Anonymous Brooke said...

First of all, I have to say I feel left out not being of Italian descent... lol... But I really love these pics. What happy, fun things to remember. And Gawpo Sr is quite the fine photographer!

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 3:42:00 PM PDT , Blogger S said...

What a fun post! And a baby Gawpo even.

That snap of Yosemite is fabulous! Really!

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 3:50:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

BWOOKIE: Well, then I must ask these two questions:

1) Are you sure you don't have a little Italian in you?

2) Would you like one?

S: I am delighted that you got a peek at my life. I will pass on the kudo to Mr. Gawpo, Sr.

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 4:30:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Brooke said...

Ok, I must really be tired because even as I was reading question #1 I did not see question #2 coming. It truly made me laugh.

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 4:31:00 PM PDT , Blogger Claire said...

Jewish and Catholic? Whoa boy, you got a double dose of the guilty gene!
Love your Willie Mays photo, that's awesome!
btw- my mom's parents (Augustino and Emilia -god rest their souls) are from the Friuli (northeast) region of Italy. They never had anything nice to say about Sicilians. WTF was that all about? You seem like a really nice guy to me!

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 7:22:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Kat said...

Okay I'm feeling real left out here with no sicilian blood...darn those ancestors! These are great pictures Gawpo, I love looking at pictures of my friend's "roots".

At Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 7:22:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

BROOKE: Ha! That is so funny. I didn't think it would work. Glad you were tired enough for the laugh. tee hee...

Oh, CLAIRE: Yep. My friend Jason calls me a Jewsilian. Great names in your family, too. They are called "polentari" because they eat so much polenta up there. Every culture has its share of creeps. And wonderful people as well. I know you know that. You and I are in the same group. smile

At Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 2:46:00 AM PDT , Blogger singleton said...

ah, great scrapbook of your life, Gawpo....and man, that picture of Yosemite looks so from an imagination! way cool!

At Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 5:32:00 AM PDT , Blogger somewhere joe said...

My brother met Ted Williams. But with your Willie Mays schmooz, you've set the sibling rivalry bar even higher... grrr.

And look at that pup eating ice cream - his sneakers are big as his forearm! LOL. Those judges have good taste in women.

The Yosemite photo is sublime - calendar caliber.

So why are old family photos of other people's families so fascinating? It's the family of man, m'man.

At Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 7:01:00 AM PDT , Blogger mindy said...

aahh.. gawpo, you were an adorable baby!!!

At Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 10:10:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

SINGLE2Klbs: I do so love the pics of you and your family. These comments about my father's Ansel Adamsesque shot of the dome are prizing and sweet. I will convey the kudos to Mr. Gawpo, Sr when I see him today (if this drizzling cloud layer ever burns off!) up in the San Juans.

SOMEWHERE GIUSEPPE: My brojoe: you always know just what to say. Good thing, too, or you might not know just how to photograph what and you might then not be able to afford the ingredients for a frittata.

I'm going to have to acquiesce, out-rivaled as I see it. However, there is the criterion of "hang time" in the actual schmooze to consider. This could put me back in the schmooze-off....

It went down like this: My father gives me the gentle shove, in words, that I could now go up there. The coast was clear. We were standing right in front of the table, not 10 feet from the man. It was a banquet. My memory bows to my CSI skills---we had not yet eaten. Either that, or Mr. Mays does not drink water and neither he nor the little girl drink coffee. There was no line. I was so nervous. Look at my forward figleaf. This is the pose for the picture that I would have to go back to my father to retrieve. But the Poloroid process required some time, and then you had to sweep that chemical-smelling fixer bar over the picture to preserve it. Remember those? It was the last vestige of the darkroom, that pinkish, wet applicant tool. The good thing about this was that I got two at-bats with the man: One to pose, and one for the autograph.

He asked me my name. I told him. But I was so nervous and timid that he had to lean way in to me and ask me to repeat it loud enough to hear. He signed it the first time on the front. No dice. The ink wouldn't leave the pen on the slick surface. But I have the impression to prove it. He flipped the photo to the obverse and that is what most people see. But I know that I got two autographs that day.

The boxes of baseballs were for those who could afford them. I don't remember getting one. The six packs of soft drinks up on the stage are Teem. Remember Teem? Did you have that with your Hellman's back there?

I had not noticed my new, white tennies. Yes--as long as my forearm.

Thanks for helping kick all this up. It was good to jostle through the webs, Joe.

MINDY: Aw, shucks. (picture Goofey with finger to lips, eyes rolled, sweeping floor with shoe)

At Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 10:21:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

SOMEWHERE JOE: Oh, and I almost forgot...

That shot of half-dome was taken with the "big camera." It was the 4x5 with the plates that you had to slide out to expose the film. Each plate had two sides, as I recall. And when he replaced the cover plate, my father was careful to flip it over so that he could tell it was an exposed side. We had our own darkroom. My father's enlarger was an Omega. He somehow came across a huge roll of photo paper that he suspended somehow and then, turning his projector to the wall like it was some slide projector, he exposed the paper. I don't remember what he did to develop it, but I do recall his fashioning huge developing trays out of wood and then covering them with plastic to hold the chemicals. The picture hung in his Hilmar pharmacy until we packed up for the move to Salt Lake City and law school in 1963.

The picture of Half Dome that you see here is in our gigantic photo album. The album itself is approximately 30 inches long and 18 inches top to bottom on the page. It is heavy with paper and silver.

At Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 3:30:00 PM PDT , Blogger ARM said...


You're a Giants fan?

I don't think we can be friends anymore, Gawpo.

I'm a Dodger fan. True Blue, baby.

At Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 3:32:00 PM PDT , Blogger ARM said...

KIDDING! Well, about the not being friends part. I'm telling the truth about being a Dodger fan. Just don't tell my dad or my husband that I'm associating with a Giant fan, K?

I love this post, Gawpo. Especially the picture with Willie Mays. Wow!!! That is so impressive! And wreen't you just the cutest? And I think I have a great-great-grandfather named Antonino!

Tho, I'm betting that was a fairly popular name...

At Monday, July 16, 2007 at 9:52:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

ARM: As in, Sandy Koufax? Dude--the guy threw like a girl. But wow, what a girl!

Dodgers? DAWD-JERS??? We hated the Dodgers. Between Koufax and Don Drysdale, we had a lot to hate. They were always winning those games. We hated that. Hate is a strong word. Yes. I know. This is baseball.

I was in the left field seats when Barry Bonds hit his 600th homerun a few years back. I had just arrived at my parents' house in Turlock and my brother-in-law asked me if I wanted to go to the game. Turns out the niece (pictured holding her baby sister without Original Sin two blog posts ago) wanted to stay at home and watch Raven. Lucky me. Bonds hit a home run and the cheering was deafening. As I am sure you know, Willie Mays is Barry's godfather.

ARM: Whew! Goodie. I won't say a thing to the Misters Arm. Proximity is everything. Now I am going to save you some grief: I root for the Mariners. Is that better? Good.

Yeah, cool pics, huh?

At Monday, July 16, 2007 at 5:11:00 PM PDT , Blogger Candace said...

Ooooh! Gawpo, I loved these! And that last one of your dad's is just stunning. Wow!

At Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 10:36:00 AM PDT , Blogger Katie McKenna said...

What a fabulous set of memories and photographs!


At Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 6:07:00 AM PDT , Blogger goldennib said...

I love looking at old photos, you cute little baby, you. Your dad is a fantastic photographer.

At Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 10:59:00 AM PDT , Blogger Ps said...

Wow!! What a TREASURE of memories.Amazing pictures Gawpo.Really amazing.Do you realise how LUCKY you are to have them?(I have just 1 pic of my dad when he was a little boy.India was still not independent (it was under the British Empire) and everything was expensive.Spending money on photos would have been the ultimate luxury during those times.

"These three classy broads are wives of judges. When these gals get together, let me tell you---court convenes!" LOL! LOL! They are classy all right.But what a way of saying it Gawpo--So full of that Gawpo cheekiness! Loved it!

And that baby picture of you made me go "AWWWWWWWWW" I will be showing them to Atul and purvi for sure.They will find it hard to believe that you were a baby once upon a time :-)

At Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 12:12:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

CANDACIA: I have been without internet for over a week! I am at the desk of Logophile, finally checking in.

And yes, I love what my daddy-o has done with photography and all things creative. He is amazing.

NIBBY: Aw, shucks....

And I will tell Mr. Gawpo, Sr you appreciate his gift.

PS: I guess I have taken the photographs for granted. We had literally THOUSANDS of black and whites around the house, in boxes and bags and photo albums. Having our own darkroom was very cool. I spent many hours with my dad in the subdued glow of yellow light. I can still see the clamp that held that light fixed to the 2x6 ceiling joist. Or is that a beam? Doesn't matter.

That is so interesting---that you have few pictures from earlier times. Atul and Purvi are fortunate. They will have many memories preserved in pictures.

As I type, I am on Logophile's computer. I am soooo thankful for being able to log on and see what is going on in Blog Land.

Hugs, Ps!!! G

At Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 6:46:00 PM PDT , Blogger Sheila said...

This great collection of photos is enhanced by your words Gawpy.
Great to see you as a kid.
BTW..we may be related, Blue's grandfather is called Antonino..!

At Friday, July 27, 2007 at 1:01:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

SHEILA: Why, thank you so much, MOB. And I am delighted to finally have that second shoe drop---that in fact we are realted. Whew. I just KNEW it!

Gawpy loves his relatives....



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