Monday, April 23, 2012

Peter's Postcard Legacy: Part 2. Vicki and Chums

Vicki, en route from a family wedding (Boise, ID, 2002)

Dear George,
My younger brother Peter, who passed away in 2006 at the much too young age of 61, was a prolific and skilled photographer. He was initially inspired by our dad, Vic, as were a lot of our family members. Around 2001 Peter started reproducing Vic’s photos from the 1940s and 50’s of our family and friends. He mailed these in the form of postcards to his kids, siblings, and nieces and nephews. Then he started adding in his own photos from the 1970’s to the mid-2000’s. The cumulative result was a treasure trove of family memorabilia. Here are some of Peter’s photos (all taken by him over a thirty-year period) of our sister Vicki and her family from our California branch.

Vicki at the Plaza in NYC (2004)

Vicki was born a couple of years after World War II, the youngest of Vic and Doris’ four children and the only girl in the family. I always think of Vicki as managing to combine a sense of seriousness and responsibility with a sense of humor and a great capacity for fun. One can see hints of these various qualities in Peter’s portrait.

Dave, Vic, Vicki, and Steve at Farm

It’s not the easiest thing being a young girl with three older brothers. Vicki was adored by her parents and also by her brothers, though the latter combined that with a degree of envy and perennial teasing. As adults, we’d all meet for annual reunions at my parents’ Farm near Birch Creek in Menominee County, MI, and we enjoyed loving connections and lots of laughter. Here’s some of our group having a good time.

Peter, Steve, Vicki (Baker City, OR, 2002)

Vicki and Peter were closest in age to one another and grew up as a subgroup of their own within the family. Both admired their older brother Steven, and one can see that they all got along famously.

George (Boise, Idaho, 2002)

Vicki met her future partner and husband George on an elevator on the University of Michigan campus where she was completing her B.A. in Psychology and George was a doctoral student in Political Science. They fell in love right away. George, who passed away in 2007, was a completely unique person. Reflective and philosophical, George was equally capable of madcap antics.

Vicki and George at Sawyer’s camp (circa 1971)

Vicki and George became partners in the midst of the counterculture era of the late 60’s and early 70’s, and, drawing from that social revolution, they lived by values that often gave our sheltered U.P. parents mild fits.


All the kids in our family grew up in the woods, and, on our visits home to Farm, we’d help out with various outdoor tasks, e.g., trimming evergreen trees in the nearby forest.

Faith, George, Vicki, and doggie in Green Bay

We also grew up as swimmers. Farm was a mile away from Green Bay, and we’d make regular excursions there. Here are Vicki and George with Peter’s wife Faith and a family dog.

Jacob at his NYC book reading

All of Vicki and George’s kids were home schooled as children, then studied and graduated from UC-Berkeley. Here’s their son Jacob doing a reading of his book on AIDS in the Black community at a New York City bookshop. Jacob married Kazandra in 2005, and they are raising two kiddies.

Rhys and Tim’s Wedding

As Vic and Doris’ grandchildren entered adulthood, one of our great joys has been gatherings at family weddings. Here’s Vicki and George’s oldest daughter, Rhys, and her soon-to-be-husband, Tim, at their 2003 wedding in Santa Cruz. Rhys and Tim are parents of two children also.

Grandfather Vic and Abra (circa 1990)

Abra is Vicki and George’s youngest daughter. As one of the youngest grandchildren in the family, she and her grandfather had a special bond. Abra recently married her long-time sweetheart Michael and is finishing up her doctoral degree in Art History at Princeton.

Vicki, George, Peter, and Gayle celebrating in NYC

Our family has been spread all across the country, but we’ve all enjoyed many get-togethers over the years. Vicki and George flew in for Jacob’s book-reading in NYC in 2004, and Peter and Gayle came in from New Jersey to celebrate the occasion.

Many thanks and much gratitude to Peter for keeping all these memories alive for posterity.

G-mail Comments
-Phyllis S-S(4-23):  Dave,   What a sweet story - maybe Vicki will see it and be back in touch if she isn't already.  Hope all is well.   pss
-Kiersta K-B (4-23): beautiful david, thank you. It's hard to believe that Peter, Steve and Georgie are all gone but it's nice to be reminded of how they live on in their kids and grandkids.   K

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