Okay, who’s going to bid first?


Jim Doran and his two brothers-in-law, Joe and Steve Mirota, are carefully scrutinizing their cards as they engage in a friendly game of Pinochle. They don’t even seem to notice they are having their picture taken. Back in the 1950s when family got together, the men often regrouped at the dinner table to play Pinochle or some other card game while the women retreated to the front parlor to catch up on family gossip. We children might have been sent outdoors or to the sun porch to play board games and admonished to be quiet and to stay out of the grownups way.

This photograph was taken at Steve and Jean Mirota’s lovely home in Dunellen, NJ, probably in the late 1950s. Two tables are butted up against each other to make room for everyone. An ash tray is on the table as all three of the men smoked cigarettes back then. I don’t think any of the Mirota women ever smoked as it wasn’t considered by them to be ladylike. The two tables haven’t been separated so dessert and coffee will probably come later. Since there are only three players this particular day they don’t need the fourth side of the table anyway.

Pinochle is not a game I ever learned to play. I had to look it up on Wikipedia to find out that “each hand is played in three phases: bidding, melds, and tricks.” Since there are no cards on the table yet, they are probably still in the bidding phase.  Can anyone guess from this photograph who is going to bid first? From left to right they are Joe, Jim and Steve.

“Six Word Saturday” is the brain child of Cate at Show My Face. She encourages everyone to play along by posting 6 words that describe your life or a moment of it. You can keep your post to six words or add some background to explain.



Posted in Blogger, Doran, Dunellen, Family Traditions, Mirota, New Jersey, Six Word Saturday, Veronica | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Six Word Saturday – 12 April 2014

Getting ready to dye Easter eggs!

EasterDying Easter eggs always makes me happy! This photograph shows my family with our traditional cups for dying the eggs. These were the chipped cups, that had some handles broken off, and were stained. This was my first Easter, so I must have been off taking a nap. My grandfather is looking down with love and fondness. Most likely my father took the picture.

About two weeks before Easter we would make sure we had enough white eggs to hard-boil. Everyone knew you couldn’t use real fresh eggs, or they would be hard to peel. We would make sure we had food dye, vinegar, and those magic wax crayons for putting our names on the eggs.

I remember a few times with my own children trying all natural products like yellow onion skins and beet juice to stain the eggs. We always went back to the food dye or the PAAS kits. At the PAAS website I was amazed to learn they started in Newark, New Jersey 130 years ago. I guess dying Easter eggs makes lots of folks happy!

Here’s another photo from the same year showing the eggs arranged at Easter. All of the food would have been blessed at our church the day before, including the salt. I can almost smell the beet horseradish. My siblings look so happy, and ready to dig in!

Easter2Six word Saturday is a blogging prompt suggested by Cate at Show My Face. Take a look and see if anyone really sticks to six words! Happy Saturday!

Posted in Blog Prompt Series, Blogger, Doran, Family Names, Family Traditions, Maryann, New Jersey, Readington Township, Six Word Saturday | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Sympathy Saturday – Walter Emilut’s Funeral – 1930

"June 23, 1930 - Walter Emulet's funeral"

“June 23, 1930 – Walter Emulet’s funeral”

The group of young mourners are shown in this 1930 photograph at the Emilut’s front yard in Whitehouse Station, Readington Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Most likely Walter Emilut’s wake, or vigil, was held at his family home. All of the young women were dressed in white, and this seems to have been common then, especially in the summer. White is often a mourning color in many different cultures, along with black, and gray. In the background is Cushetunk Mountain, also called Pickle’s Mountain.

The shock and grief shown on the young faces is very apparent. Walter Emilut was eighteen when he was tragically killed in a railroad accident. I’m only sure of two of the mourners. Stephen Mirota (age 18) was the second young man from the left, and his sister, Mary (age 16), was the first girl to the right of the casket. The Mirota family were neighbors, living at the farm across the road from the Emilut family.

Knowing the date made it easy for me to find an article from the local newspaper, The Whitehouse Review. I went to the Hunterdon County Historical Society, at the county seat of Flemington, New Jersey, and looked at microfilm copies of the newspaper. Roll #13, January 15, 1929 – December 8, 1931, had this article, dated from Tuesday, June 24, 1930, entitled “Railroad Accident” describing what had happened.

“Two Whitehouse men were killed and another injured and four more had a narrow escape at 2:45 Saturday morning, when a speeding freight train bore down upon them while they were working on the New Jersey Central tracks between Bound Brook and Dunellen.  John Sheets, thirty-three, and Walter Emilut, eighteen, both unmarried, were instantly killed . . ..”

The complete article is shown below, along with another article at the bottom of this post, from the same page entitled, “Be Fair” that the editor inserted because of complaints from readers of the newspaper. Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

"Railroad Accident." The Whitehouse Review, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Thursday, June 24, 1930.

“Railroad Accident.” The Whitehouse Review, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Thursday, June 24, 1930.

Sympathy Saturday is a blogging prompt suggested by GeneaBloggers, to add content about any aspect of the death of a person.

"Be Fair." The Whitehouse Review, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Thursday, June 24, 1930.

“Be Fair.” The Whitehouse Review, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Thursday, June 24, 1930.

Posted in Blogger, Death, Hunterdon County, Maryann, Mirota, New Jersey, Readington Township, Research, Sympathy Saturday | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments