Dolls That Did Something

mel-with-dollThe fresh faced kid with the Christmas glow in her eyes is me.  It was Christmas morning 1967.

Each year Santa gave me a doll.  But, not just any doll.  I only wanted dolls that did something.

This doll is Tippy Toes.  She could ride a bicycle, scoot on her horse, and she was learning to walk.  What a doll!

(Submitted to Smile for the Camera, 19th Edition: Gifts)


One of the Women in the Signal Corp

It’s the 21st Edition of Smile for the Camera.  In honor of Women’s History Month, this edition is called “Give their Face a Place” and focuses on the unsung female heroes in our tree.  May I present Tante Marie, my Great Aunt, Marie Lassalle, who served in the Signal Corp. in WWI.

marie2Marie, mostly known as Tante Marie, was born in Ogeu les bains, France, in 1891.  She came to America ca 1908.

Marie signed up for the U.S. Army Signal Corp. during World War I, when a special call went out for women who could speak French.  She was sent to France and was probably one of the switchboard operators who made use of their knowledge of the French language.  This photo was taken around 1918.  I think she bears a slight resemblance to Margaret Hamilton, the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz.

You can learn  a little bit about the Signal Corp in the article History of a Hello Girl by Michelle Christides.


Laundry Delivery, Ma’am

My Great Grandparents, Charles and Brigitte (Breilh) Mazeres were in the laundry business.  They first ran French laundries in San Francisco, then Modesto, and finally ended up in Oakland, Alameda County, California, around 1910.

This photograph was taken around 1915.  The dapper gent is my Great Grandfather, Charles Mazeres dit Salanave.  He is standing in front of the Tenth Avenue French Laundry horse and carriage.  This is how he traveled the Oakland area  delivering laundry to their customers and promoting their business.  If you look closely, you can see a telephone number.  What a modern business they had!


This is my submission for the 18th Edition of Smile for the Camera, “Travel”.