Anne, Margie and cousins

Anne, Margie and cousins

1952, Kewanna, Indiana.

My wife Anne (on the right) and her younger sister Margie (center) and cousins at their aunt’s house. Anne and Margie grew up in Evansville, Indiana but spent parts of summers at their aunt’s farm upstate.

Update: Left to right: Mary-Nell Masteller, Sally Masteller, Margie Latham, Barbara Masteller, Anne Latham.

For perspective, here’s a more recent picture of Anne, Margie, and siblings:

Latham siblings

Left to right: Mary (Latham) Weeks, Margie (Latham) Bosse, Buzz Latham, Betsy Latham, and Anne (Latham) Wanderman (my wife).

Images of Ellis Island

Uncle Sam, host. Immigrants being served a free meal at Elli...

Immigrants being served a free meal at Ellis Island.. Levick, Edwin — Photographer. 1902-1913

The New York Public Library has a Flickr album of images of immigrants coming through Ellis Island at the turn of the century: Ellis Island Photographs.

My mother’s father Samuel came through Ellis Island in 1904 when he was 15 years old. He was the first in his family to come to the United States from Europe and over the next ten years he brought his eight siblings and his parents to the U.S. All of them are in this picture at the burial of his mother at Mt. Zion Cemetery in New York in 1918.

[via PetaPixel]

Frances is 100 today

Frances is 100 today

Los Angeles, California.

I’m in LA for my mother’s 100th birthday and while she’s definitely not as with it as she was a month ago, she’s still with it enough to know it’s her birthday. We have a small group coming over to celebrate and I’ll give each of them one of the albums I made for her.

100 years old. Wow, it’s quite an amazing thing and tough to wrap one’s mind around.

Latham siblings

Latham siblings

This image, left to right: Mary (Latham) Weeks, Margie (Latham) Bosse, Buzz Latham, Betsy Latham, and Anne (Latham) Wanderman (my wife).

Evansville, Indiana at the funeral of Eugene (Gene) Latham (the father of these kids).

Unless an entire extended family remains in the same town or city, it can become rare for larger families to come together except for weddings and funerals and that’s the case with my wife’s extended family.

My father in-law, Gene Latham lived a long life and had been going downhill so his passing wasn’t a surprise. Anne was there with him in his last days.

The images that follow came from Gene’s bedroom and are these kids at various stages in their young lives (late teens to early 20s). You can certainly see who’s who and the arc is amazing.

I tend not to post things like this here but in scanning a lot of the old images I got from family and friends these stood out for a variety of reasons.

Gene was a serious basketball player who in high school was a forward on the Central High School (Evansville) team that went to the Indiana state championships. If you’ve seen the movie Hoosiers, you’ll appreciate what that means. Gene was the last surviving member of that championship team and there were people at his funeral who had seen him play including the mascot of the team.

These Latham kids were extremely popular growing up in Evansville (for obvious reasons) and I was told by many who attended the funeral that their (small) house was the place to hang out.

I can say now, without reservation that hanging out with them (which doesn’t happen often enough unfortunately), even at the occasion of their father’s funeral, was incredible, they’re all special people and I’m honored to have them as my extended family.

Mary Latham

Mary Latham

Margie Latham

Margie Latham

Buzz Latham

Buzz Latham

Betsy Latham

Betsy Latham

Anne Latham

Anne Latham (my wife)

Greg Newman’s Search

The Stork Lost One, An Adoption Reunion

My long-time online friend Greg Newman (who I’ve never met) searches for his biological mother and in the process, finds a sister and brother he didn’t know he had.

These kinds of incredible reunions happened less frequently pre-internet and as Greg says, adoption privacy laws can make searching tough. But he and his wife persevered over many years and hit the jackpot. Read his great post.

My father and me

My father and me

New York City, 1952. Walter Richard Wanderman, Richard Samuel Wanderman. My father is about thirty seven here, I’m six months.

My father died in 2000, just before the tech bubble burst, George W. Bush stole the White House, and 9/11 happened. He was 84. Had he not died in 2000 any one of these events would have likely killed him: he was heavily invested in many stocks that tanked, he was a Gore fan and supporter, and he loved New York, The World Trade Center, and he was a patriotic guy who loved his country. After a very rough summer being with him as he died, Anne and I figured that he’d checked out just in time, 2001 would have torn him up.

My father was an interesting guy: he went through the depression and worked to support his family who lost everything, he fought Nazis in Europe, and he kick-started his life through the GI Bill and hard work. He was late to get married as was my mother and neither of my parents had great models to teach them how to be parents themselves. Still, they went for it.

I’m glad my father lived long enough to both see me get traction with life and meet and know my wonderful wife Anne, who he adored.

So, happy father’s day dad. Mom’s more than solvent, Bush is about to leave office and if we’re lucky we’ll have the first black President in November, and even though things are rough in the US and the world, you saw worse times than this and things worked out okay. I’m guessing we’re going to be okay too.

Ben and Sadie’s Wedding

Ben and Sadie's Wedding

This picture was taken in New York. L-R: Ben Diliatsky, Gladys Dick, Rose Dick, Sadie (Dick) Diliatsky.

All of these people were alive when I was 16 and I met them. They’re all gone now.

The women in this picture are three of my grandfather’s four sisters (my mother’s aunts) and all three are to the left of the tombstone in this image.

My grandfather brought most of his family to the US from Autro-Hungary between 1890 and 1900.

I don’t know when Ben Diliatsky came to the US from Europe but I do know that he fought in The Spanish American War which means he was here before my family, probably the mid-1800’s. I also know that he was a Trotskyite.

Dick family at Leah Dick’s grave

My great grandmother Leah's tombstone

This picture, taken at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Queens, New York in 1918, has much of my mother’s family in it. My mother is the smallest child on the right. Her maiden name is Dick. She is 90 now.

The old man with the beard is David Dick, my great grandfather and the husband of Leah, the person who has died. David and Leah were a busy pair, they had ten kids, some of whom are in this picture. David’s name is now on the other half of that stone although I have yet to photograph it but I will as the Mt. Zion Cemetery is like something from another world.

David and Leah were brought to the US from Austria by Samuel (Sam), my grandfather who is in the derby with his hands on his son’s shoulders (Sam died before I was born and Samuel is my middle name). Sam was a successful dressmaker in New York.

Sam and Ida, my grandmother (second from the left in the lighter colored dress who came from Russia) had four children, three of whom are the kids in front of Sam and the youngest of whom was being carried (womb) by Ida when this was taken.

The older girl is my aunt Bertha (Bunny), the boy is my uncle Irving, and my mother Frances (3 years old). The unborn sibling, Lilly (changed from Leah).

Women on left, L-R: unknown, Ida, Pearl, Sadie, Rose and Gladys kneeling (all but Ida are Sam’s sisters, my mother’s aunts). I met and knew Sadie, Rose, and Gladys. I still see Glady’s son, Bob from time to time in LA as well as Pearl’s daughter Dorris.

Men on the right: David, Pearl’s husband, Sam, and the three men to the right of Sam are his brothers.

Everyone in this picture except my mother is now gone (including the unborn Lilly).

Knowing Ida (my grandmother, second from the left) this picture was probably taken by a pro with a big view camera. Ida spoke Russian and Yiddish and very poor English and she was probably schizophrenic. However, she was highly creative and encouraged her children to be individuals. I think she had a pretty big impact on my mother.



I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No religion. No commercialism. Just a family get-together and a good meal. Nice.

While everyone in my family was busy whipping cream and cutting pies I looked out over our table and considered how lucky we are to be able to have a meal like this. I’m thankful.

I am also thankful for flickr and the wonderful community of people who I’ve met there. If it weren’t for flickr I’d never have met hundreds of people from all over the world who inspire me to attempt to become a better photographer by sharing their work with me and by giving me feedback on mine. What a great thing flickr is because it represents connections beyond our Thanksgiving table. However, because I spend so much (too much) time there, I feel like flickr is a table of sorts.

I hope wherever you are you are having a nice weekend full of good food, family, and friends. Time to clear the table and get ready for a new bunch of images.

David’s bells

David's bells

My wife Anne’s ex husband is David Darling who is a world-renowned cellist and improvisationalist. He’s also a great guy and over the years Anne and I have been together, David and I have become friends.

When their younger daughter Bonnie (Erin’s mom) was in high school and David, Anne and I went to see her in a play, invariably David and I would sit and talk computers and maybe even walk out together at intermission. The small town we all lived in then wasn’t sure just what to think about all of this (ex husbands are enemies, to be banished to Siberia, and they are not allowed to be friends with the new husband, etc.).

Anyway, over the years it has become tradition in our extended family for all of us to be together during holidays and lately we’ve been having Thanksgiving at David’s house.

David has a collection of beautiful, small bells and the tradition is to place a bell in front of each person at dinner. After we hold hands and give thanks we commence ringing bells and play around with the different tones these bells make. It’s a lot of fun and of course Erin, who is four has now experienced it four times and looks forward to it.

I’m thankful that my wife decided that the best thing for her two daughters, for David, and for me was to move forward with her new family (me) in a way that kept the best parts of her old family alive.

Bells are just objects; it’s the people who hold them who are important.