First, me and our standard poodle, Cookie, at our first southern California home on Columbus Avenue in Van Nuys. Every once in awhile Mom would get a wild hair and take Cookie to the groomer for one of those horrible poodle cuts with all the poofs. If ever a dog got embarrassed, this was when it happened to poor Cookie.
See the little rocking chair on the right side of the fireplace? I still have it! It originally belonged to my grandmother so it's officially an antique.
Here is my maternal grandfather, Walter. His family, the Evjues, were members of the liberal establishment of
Madison, Wisconsin and his relative, Walter T. Evjue, founded the Capital Times newspaper there in 1917. All of this is hilarious because while I don't remember my grandfather as being liberal or conservative, I do remember my Mother being a card-carrying member of the John Birch Society in the early 60's (fellow members: Ronald Reagan, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Barry Goldwater . . . you get the idea). However, Grandpa E died in January of 1960 so I don't think he and Mom ever got into it over politics. Walter was actually my STEP-grandfather but as far as I knew at the time, he WAS my grandfather. The most wonderful grandfather ever, believe me.
Grandpa E traveled a great deal, which he probably enjoyed due in part to my dragonlady grandmother. Here he is, poolsisde at the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas, mid-50's. Wonder why he's smiling and pointing at the water? Did Grandma E just fall in?
OK, now why is Grandpa E standing at attention above the Pacific Ocean looking like he's waiting for a firing squad to open up on him? Maybe it's the fashion police going after that tie . . .
I wish he had stuck around longer--he was only 61 when he died in 1960. In the 1930's, he married my grandmother, a divorcee with two small children, and gave them a decent loving home. I'm so grateful that I have these photographs to remember him by.