Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week 34 - Coffee Cup

The Coffee Cup block serves to remind us of the days - even during my working life - when women were paid less than men working in the same jobs, and were expected to make the coffee.

Instead of the single cup in an 8 inch block, I made four 4-inch blocks to have a variety of pattern in Dana's green and yellow. At least two of the fabrics  - the backgrounds on the left - came from my friend Sherrye's fabric collection. The little calicos reminded me of the 1970's, the era of the history lesson.  The buttery yellow is also a reminder of my father's mother Mary's kitchen.  I don't remember her favorite foods and beverages, but when she hosted family dinners, she did have a big coffee pot in her yellow kitchen.

I'm thinking about my grandmother and her kitchen because Tuesday this week is the 89th anniversary of Mary's wedding to Francis.

We don't have a formal engagement photo, but my father explains that his mother is holding her ring in this photo so it can count. The photo was taken in the nearby Starved Rock State Park.

We do have a formal wedding portrait from April 23rd, 1924.

Pictured with the happy couple below are Best Man, Francis' brother Martin, and Maid of Honor, Mary's sister Anastasia. We knew her as (Great) Aunt Annie.

It appears this next photo was taken outside on the same day. Everyone is dressed the same and the men have the same flowers.
Lastly from that day, standing with Mary and Francis are their mothers. Francis' mother Paulina (born June 17 1867, died April 25, 1939) is next to Mary, while Mary's mother is next to Francis. We knew our great-grandmother Walentyna. Born on St. Valentine's Day in 1871, she lived until July 29, 1964.  Both of these great grandmothers were born in Poland. Mary and Francis were born in Illinois.

Sadly, Francis did not outlive his mother, dying on February 3rd, 1932.  Born October 4th, 1897, he would have been 27 in these photos.  He left Mary with three children, pregnant with a fourth. Mary managed to raise her four children as a single mother during the Great Depression, working at the town grocery store she walked to.

We don't have many pictures of Francis. These were honest, working class people. I think he's probably wearing the same suit in this photo on a different day.


Mary never remarried. Francis appears to be a happy man in the photos, and perhaps his children took after him:  they are a delightful group who love to laugh at themselves. Dad and his younger brother Francis both look a lot like their father. 

1 comment:

Dorry said...

Goodness, you were busy doing a lot yesterday. A lot of coffee cup stitching (four handles to be appliqued) and a lot of family history to be shared and explained. I would have been worried about dropping the ring perched that high up on a bluff in Starved Rock State Park. You have a good variety of cups in the china cabinet here!