Friday, March 25, 2016

Love to Love Mew, Baby: Cool Kitties in the 1970's

I found another small collection of vintage cat pics from the 1970's. Can you dig it? They appear to have been taken in 1976/1977 in 1776 Sweetwood Drive in Broadmoor, California. I thought I'd share them in honor of Good Friday. Or, as you atheists call it, International Waffle Day.

Milan Mejia-Prieto and Amber the Cat in Broadmoor, California in the late 1970s

According to the calendar, it's November 1976—and this must've been the Thanksgiving turkey.

A big pile of cats at 1776 Sweetwood Drive in Broadmoor, California in the late 1970's.

If one thing drives blog traffic, it's cats. Cats, cats, and more cats. Here's a big pile of 'em. You can see more vintage cat snapshots featuring these soft rock-loving felines here.

Vintage picture of a baby and a cat, taken at 1776 Sweetwood Drive in Broadmoor in the late 1970's.

Babies are also fairly popular on the internet, albeit not as much as cats (and rightfully so). But just to be fair, here are some babies to go with the cats.

Vintage picture of a baby and a cat, taken at 1776 Sweetwood Drive in Broadmoor in the late 1970's.
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Vintage picture of a baby and a cat, taken at 1776 Sweetwood Drive in Broadmoor in the late 1970's.

It must be cool to be the same size as a cat. Infants are so lucky.

Vintage picture of a baby and two cats, taken at 1776 Sweetwood Drive in Broadmoor in the late 1970's.

Goodnight rug, goodnight cat. Goodnight plastic patio furniture.

Vintage picture of a baby and a cat, taken at 1776 Sweetwood Drive in Broadmoor in the late 1970's.

Goodnight purse, goodnight Herculon couch.

Vintage picture of a baby and a cat, taken at 1776 Sweetwood Drive in Broadmoor in the late 1970's.

I'm not talking about movin' in / And I don't want to change your life / But there's a warm wind blowin' the stars around / And I'd really love to see mew tonight

Saturday, March 19, 2016

San Francisco Days: Seoul Sisters in the 1950's

In honor of National Quilting Day, I thought I'd post this patchwork quilt-like collection of Vasilev family photos taken in the San Francisco, between 1953 and 1957.

Lana K. Thomson, Tanya Sarsfield, and Elena Vasilev—the original Seoul Sisters—pose by a fireplace in 1950's San Francisco

The original Seoul Sisters: Svetlana, Tatiana, and Lena Vasilev

Lena Vasilev
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Tatiana Vasilev aka Tanya Sarsfield and Lena Vasilev

I believe these snapshots were taken in front 319 Masonic Avenue, right after the Vasilev family arrived in San Francisco. Before that, they lived in Seoul and Shinagawa, Tokyo. All these countries in such a short time. When I was their age, I'd lived in two California cities and changed schools maybe twice.

Natalie Vasilev, Stephany Mitrofanenko, and Svetlana Vasilev aka Lana K. Thomson
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Stephany Mitrofanenko in San Francisco, California 1950's

This is Stephany Mitrofanenko. You can read more about her here. These pictures were taken at 1831 Santiago Street in the Sunset District. Stephany lived in America for three years before passing away at the age of 80.

Tatiana Vasilev aka Tanya Sarsfield, Elena Vasilev, and Stephany Mitrofanenko
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Tatiana Vasilev aka Tanya Sarsfield, Stephany Mitrofanenko, and Lena Vasilev
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Natalie Vasilev aka Natalia Feodosievna Mitrofanenko, Lena Vasilev, and Stephany Mitrofanenko

I think these garden photos were taken at 766 18th Avenue in San Francisco, California. These snapshots are noteworthy in that they showcase the Seoul Sisters holding a puppy, as opposed to a cat of some sort.

Steve Oleg Sheveloff, Svetlana Vasilev aka Lana K. Thomson, Mariya Alexandrovna Vasilev aka Mary Sheveloff, Stephany Mitrofanenko, Natalie Vasilev, Lena Vasilev, and Tatiana Vasilev aka Tanya Sarsfield

This is a rare portrait of the entire Vasilev Family together. The foxy dude on the left is Steve Oleg Sheveloff, my first cousin, once-removed. To the right is Lana Thomson aka Svetlana Vasilev. To her right is Steve's mother, Mary Sheveloff aka Mariya Alexandrovna Vasilev. Then you have Stephany Mitrofanenko, Natalie Vasilev aka Natalia Feodosievna Mitrofanenko, Lena Vasilev, and Tanya Sarsfield aka Tatiana Vasilev.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Kids Are All Right: 1983 in Piedmont, California

To honor the March 15th celebration of Absolutely Incredible Kids Day, I thought I'd post this absolutely incredible collection of 33 year-old birthday snapshots.

They were taken in August of 1983, at 19 Ramona Avenue in Piedmont, California. I'm the kid wearing the Mount St. Helens t-shirt. This was definitely during my volcano phase—that is to say, post-sharks and dinosaurs, pre-V: The Miniseries.

Tanya Pavloff Rockwell, Lyla Messinese, John Gayton

Behind me are my absolutely incredible kid friends at the time. Good Lord, the stripes! The thing I loved about my childhood birthdays was, the kids brought their adults. So the grown-ups would get drunk on white wine and cocktails while the kids and I got progressively rowdier.

Tanya Pavloff Rockwell, Lyla Messinese, John Gayton, Syler Silva

Yep. Things were lawless by this point.

Matthew Gayton, Barbara Gallagher, Lisa Katsle, Dean Robinson, Kim

The woman with the lavender headscarf was Lisa Kastle. She was this awesome hippie chick/local celeb who designed and sold t-shirts festooned with dinosaurs. Needless to say, I was obsessed with her. Her company was called Tough Shirts. At the time, I didn't get it. But now, it makes me chuckle.

Kim, and Margaret Shellada (Butz)

These pics were taken one year after these, and they're positively minimalist in comparison. In 1982, the place was decked out in potted plants and olive-green carpet. This year, we were refinishing the hardwood floors. Looking back, it looks kinda cool, like a warehouse party.

Kim, Margaret Shellada, Jessica Butz.

This was my babysitter, Jessica Butz. She's the belle of the ball, must've been that kick-ass puff-sleeve, wide-collar, sailor-ish dress(?). I'm sorry, I know nothing about apparel. I lost touch with Jessica in the mid-1980's, but I hope she still has this outfit.

Barbara Gallagher, Natalie Vasilev, Jessica Butz, Natalie Pavloff Powell, Tanya Pavloff Rockwell

These girls were Natalie and Tanya Pavloff, daughters of my mom's high-school friend,
Catherine "Cathy" Pavloff (January 25th, 1943—September 3rd, 2013). You can read Cathy's obituary here. They were a lot of fun. I love that Tanya is holding a cocktail of some sort.

John Gayton, Syler Q Silva

The more I think about it, this particular "warehouse party" birthday celebration must've been responsible for my predilection for raving in the mid-90's. I don't remember who took these pictures, but there's a certain artistry involved, verdad? Depth of field, crap like that. There was a really good lens involved.

John Gayton, Syler Q Silva

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Goin' to the Chapel: a Russian Wedding in 1970's San Francisco

To honor National Panic Day, I found it apropos to spotlight this vintage collection of Russian wedding snapshots I found in an old manilla envelope. They were taken to commemorate the youngest of the Seoul Sisters, Lena's nuptials. The marriage took place on Sunday, June 21st, 1970 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church located at 1520 Green Street in San Francisco.

Mary "Masha" Goosev helps Elena Vasilev get ready for her wedding in June 1970 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Elena Vasilev before her June 1970 wedding at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Jill Weissich, Elena Vasilev, Mary "Masha" Goosev, Marie "Rhea" Thomson, and Natalia "Tasha" Thomson at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California in June, 1970

The husband-to-be was Franklin William Storti (1931-2006). Ever notice how there are never any traditional "getting ready" pictures of the bridegroom before the ceremony? What do men do before their weddings?

Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev get married at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev get married at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev get married at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California

The officiating clergyman was a young Polish cleric by the name of Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky. You can read more about him here. The year prior, he was assigned to build an English-language community in Holy Trinity's downstairs chapel, St. Innocent. He and his wife, Mimi, were also actively engaged in Orthodox fellowship work with college students in the San Francisco area before they moved to Sea Cliff, New York in 1974 to serve at the Church of Our Lady of Kazan. He sounds like he was pretty hip. You know, for a Russian Orthodox priest. *dodges lighting bolt*

Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev after their June 1970 wedding at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev after their June 1970 wedding at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Elena Vasilev and Frank Storti pose outside the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California after their June 1970 wedding.
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Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev after their June 1970 wedding at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California

According to California public records, Frank and Lena's divorce was finalized two years later in July 1972.

Oh well, here's to the happy couple—for the short time that they were happy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Friendship in Hardship: Childhood in Post-War Japan

Svetlana, Tatiana, and Lena were three Russian sisters born in Korea to Konstantin Aleksandrovich Vassilieff and Natalia Feosodievna Mitrofanenko. You can read more about them here. Driven from their home at the outset of the Korean War, the Seoul Sisters fled to Tokyo—where they lived for 2 1/2 years, before ultimately emigrating to San Francisco.

In observance of Old Stuff Day—and in early observance of Friendship Day—I thought I'd feature this 64 year-old set of snapshots I discovered, spotlighting the Seoul Sisters with their neighborhood friends in Japan. These prints were snapped sometime between the Summer of 1950 and January of 1953—and yes, I'm starting off with a cat pic.

Elena and Tatiana Vassilieff aka Elena Vasilev and Tanya Sarsfield, in early 1950's Tokyo, Japan
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Elena and Tatiana Vassilieff aka Elena Vasilev and Tanya Sarsfield, in early 1950's Tokyo, Japan
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Elena Vassilieff in Japan in the early 1950's with a neighborhood friend

This next series shows them outside, at play in the neighborhood. From what I know, these photos were taken in Shinagawa, Tokyo, on "a little lane off Sarumachi (Monkey Street), a short walk from Gotanda Station." Also, the Vassilieff residence was "across the street from a large high school for girls" and there was "a small monkey shrine nearby."

Elena Vasilev in Japan in the early 1950's with a neighborhood friend
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Tanya Sarsfield and Elena Vasilev with Japanese friends in the early 1950's in  Shinagawa, Toyko, Japan

I like to think, in this next couple of photographs, that they're double-dutching.

Tanya Sarsfield and Elena Vasilev with Japanese friends in the early 1950's in  Shinagawa, Toyko, Japan
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Tanya Sarsfield and Elena Vasilev with Japanese friends in the early 1950's in  Shinagawa, Toyko, Japan

If you, your mother, or grandmother is featured in these photos—or if any details ring a bell—or if you've got a family story to share about life in Shinagawa in the 1950's, leave us a comment.

We'd love to hear from you! :)