Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Carl's early married life in photos

Carl with his older daughter Karen, probably sometime in early 1962:
Nell and Karen, probably in 1962:

Carl and Nell with Karen and Ellen (and their blue Volkswagen station wagon), probably in early 1968: 

Family obituaries

Nell M. Kraft's obituary (oddly it does not mention her education; she had a BA from the College of Wooster and a master's from the University of Chicago):
Edward G. Maxwell's obituary:
Gladys M. Maxwell's obituary (found on; I have a clipping here somewhere and will post it when I find it):

Gladys McGrath Maxwell, 96, of Virginia Beach, died Aug. 11, 1995, in her residence. Mrs. Maxwell was born in Fruitland, Md. She was the widow of Edward G. Maxwell. Mrs. Maxwell attended the Blackstone Teachers College in Virginia, received a bachelor's degree from Barnard College in New York and a master's degree from Columbia University. She is survived by a daughter, Anne DeGeer of Urbanna, Va.; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, 1995, in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Norfolk, by Dr. Paul B. Watlington. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Road Chapel, will be handling the arrangements. Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA) - August 13, 1995 Page B6 Copyright (c) 1995 The Virginian-Pilot

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

More family photos

Carl Kraft married Nell Maxwell in February, 1958. This is Nell:
Here are some pictures of her and her family (left to right: Gladys M. Maxwell, Nell Maxwell, Jean Maxwell Browne, and Edward G. Maxwell):

This is Edward Gwaltney Maxwell, Nell's father:
This is Gladys Vincent McGrath Maxwell, Nell's mother:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Family history through gravestones

I went to Oak Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth and took some photos of my ancestors' graves:
Ira and Hattie Wilkerson were Carl's grandparents (parents of his mother, Marguerite Wilkerson Kraft). The younger Hattie was Marguerite's older sister, called "Sister," who never married. There is a picture of the family here.
This was Carl's younger brother, who died in a boating accident (the story of how he died is related here).

Another birthday

Carl is now 97:

Friday, January 3, 2014

"New" baby picture

Carl's niece found a new photo of him as a baby:
Behind him, you can see the bay window that is still present in the building today (see photo here).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A birthday

I see I failed to mark Carl's birthday in February:


Summer vacation begins for my children next week, which prompted this conversation.

Carl: You know how you knew it was summer when I was a kid? Shoes. You took them off when school ended, and you didn't put them on again, except to go into town or to Sunday school. We ran around barefoot all summer.

Ellen: Ugh. I bet you all had worms.

Carl: Probably had all sorts of stuff. But that's how it was, all summer long.

Ellen: I suppose there weren't any cheap shoe stores back then.

Carl: Right, the only shoe store was Hofheimer's, downtown. And shoes were expensive. So in the summer... *makes expansive gesture and quotes John Greenleaf Whittier wryly* "Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Portsmouth ferry

Carl, while traveling through the Downtown Tunnel (which goes from Norfolk to Portsmouth): I remember when this went in. It'll never work, they said. Portsmouthers love their ferry. Three months later... (He laughs).

Ellen: It's a lot quicker than a ferry.

Carl: Well, not really. I mean, if you were driving a car you had to line up. But if you were a pedestrian, you just paid your ten cents and walked right on.

Ellen: But this was built when the car was becoming the major source of transportation, right? In the fifties sometime?

Carl: Yeah. Before the war, most people didn't have cars. They took buses or streetcars, or just walked everywhere. But in the fifties... that was really the first era when everyone had cars.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Learning to love jazz

Carl: I guess I got into jazz because of WTAR. You know, "we'll try another record." They meant it. Back then jazz was an integral part of popular music, and they might just as well play a Red Nichols record as a Guy Lombardo record. I started to figure out what I liked.