Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kharitiniya, We Hardly Knew Ye: Harbin in 1936

To honor Business Women's Day, I thought I'd post this 80 year-old snapshot of my Great-Great-Grandmother Kharitiniya Afanasyevna Kozyreva (Козырева Харитиния Афанасьевна). It was taken in 1936 when she was 74 years old.

Козырева Харитиния Афанасьевна, 1936, Harbin, China

Not much is known about Kharitiniya, but I do know she was something of a business woman. And she had a fondness for head scarves.

She was born in 1862 in Staro-Konstantinov, Ukraine. At the age of 14, she married Ukrainian merchant Yakov Kozyrev, and—at some point in the late 1800's—they migrated to Ust-Karsk, Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia (Усть-карск Забайкальск) to run a department store. They had five children that I know of—Stepanida Yakovlevna Kozyreva (b. 1877—d. 1958), Ivan Yakovlevich Kozyrev ("Vanya"), Mikhail Yakovlevich Kozyrev ("Misha," d. 1918), Aleksandra Yakovlevna Kozyreva ("Shura"), and Zinaida Yakovlevna Kozyreva ("Zina").

BREM file for Kharitiniya Afanasyevna Kozyreva.

According to family legend, Misha was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Yakov may have been as well. The now-widowed Kharitiniya fled to the Russian community in Harbin with her surviving children, in-laws, and grandchildren—including her also recently widowed daughter Stepanida Mitrofanenko née Kozyreva and her daughter, Natalia Feodosievna Mitrofanenko. You can read more about them here and here.

Obituary for Kharitina Afanasyevna Kozyreva, Jan 11 1941, Harbin, China.

"The grief-stricken son, daughter-in-law, grandsons, and granddaughters notify friends and acquaintances of the death of their beloved mother and grandmother Kharitina Afanasyevna Kozyreva. The body will be carried from the home at No 23, 7th Street, Zelenyy Bazar (Green Bazaar), to the Uspenskaya Cemetery Church (Church of the Assumption) today at 12:00 noon. The funeral service will be held at the Uspenskaya Church at 2:00 p.m."
Khartiniya (or "Kharitina") passed away sometime around January 11, 1941 at the age of 78 or 79. I don't know the cause, but I theorize old age may have had something to do with it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Afternoon Delight: a 1970's Baby Shower

If one thing drives blog traffic, it's baby showers. Baby showers and cats. And apparently some broads named Lisa and Lena. We get a hundred hits a day from folks Googling Lisa and Lena. Who the hell are they?


Anyway, in late celebration of Labor Day, here's a cool little collection of 1970's baby shower pics. These snapshots were taken in the Spring of 1976 at 5 Coronado Avenue in Daly City, California. People ask why I'm so specific about locations. It's because—okay, if I Googled my address, and found a bunch of old snapshots taken in my house with, like, old Russian ladies, or foxy 70's chicks hanging out on Harvest Gold couches, I'd totally be psyched.

1970's baby shower cake

This is Lena, the youngest of the Seoul Sisters. She was expecting a little bundle of joy in what appears to be three-to-four months. I feel like it'd suck to be pregnant in the 1970's; no sonograms, no epidurals. And then after you have the baby, there are no baby monitors—so you'd actually have to stay close and listen for your own baby. What a hassle.

Elena Vasilev's baby shower in 1976 at 5 Coronado Avenue, Daly City, CA

Here's an authentic baby shower cake from 1976. That means, the baby just celebrated his 40th birthday. You know who else had a birthday around the same time?

Elena Vasilev's baby shower in 1976 at 5 Coronado Avenue, Daly City, CA

That's right; the evil monster babies from It Lives Again (1978). I'm not saying there's a connection, I'm just saying it's interesting.

Elena Vasilev's baby shower in 1976 at 5 Coronado Avenue, Daly City, CA

Women love small things. I forget who, but some comedian used to joke about women going nuts over miniatures, and baby booties, and crap like that. They say it's instinctive, like using a Crockpot, or knowing how to stretch your husband's hard-earned dollars at the grocery store.

Elena Vasilev's baby shower in 1976 at 5 Coronado Avenue, Daly City, CA

Far-left is a bored time traveller from 2016, obviously checking Snapchat. The others—being authentic citizens of the 1970's—are paying attention. And smoking. And drinking. Old Timers lament about when we stopped talking and started texting, but what I wanna know is: When did we replace smoking and drinking with texting? That's the real tragedy, there.

Elena Vasilev's baby shower in 1976 at 5 Coronado Avenue, Daly City, CA

If you ate this picture, it'd taste like Shalimar, Woolite, and Virginia Slims.

Elena Vasilev's baby shower in 1976 at 5 Coronado Avenue, Daly City, CA

That's my late cousin, Rory Sarsfield (b. 1965 - d. 2000), stage left, brandishing a stuffed bear. Does anyone remember the episode of Charlie's Angels with, like, a bomb hidden in a Teddy bear? Or was that CHIPs?

Elena Vasilev's baby shower in 1976 at 5 Coronado Avenue, Daly City, CA

And this is the last picture in the collection. Maybe because the party ended soon thereafter—but most likely because the Teddy bear blew up, and this roll was found among the wreckage.