Saturday, January 11, 2020

Generations of Family Art - Part 3

Fabric Waxing 1969 Mary Cooper

My brother & I attempted our adventures with drawing in our teen years with school art classes.

I found some pictures & my brother sent me a few of his drawings he had in his possession. 

Gib modelling art on his clothing 1964
Ink drawing by Gib Cooper

Ink drawing by Gib Cooper

Ink drawing by Gib Cooper

Ink drawing by Gib Cooper 1969

Pencil drawing by Gib Cooper

My mother wrote in her calendar pages, that I took some advanced recommended art classes during the summer of 1967. I was so surprised by this oil painting I had forgotten about.

Winter Fun Oil Painting Mary Cooper Summer 1967
at a local art show Spring 1968
This painting was even seen in the local newspaper with my mother's comments on the clip out. I found the clipping first & found the painting later after digging in some labelled boxes.

I continued with art classes in Junior High in California.

Chalk drawing Mary Cooper 1969

Pencil drawing Mary Cooper 1969

Oil painting Mary Cooper 1969

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Mrs. Johnson's 4th grade Field Trip to the USS Austin (LPD-4)

Mrs. Johnson's Fourth Grade Class of Shelton Park Elem. School,
Virginia Beach, VA, aboard the USS Austin (LPD-4) on 2 Apr 1966.

 I have memories of my father, Commander Stanley G. Cooper, Executive Officer, inviting my fourth-grade class at Shelton Park Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. My teacher, Mrs. Johnson gladly accepted the invitation writing a letter to my father on February 7, 1966, with her signature & all of the classmates' signatures. 

The date of  April 2,1966, finally arrived for the young invited “shipmates” to tour the ship ported in US Naval Base Norfolk. I found pictures & documents years later filed away in my mother’s home. Memories flashed right back as if it were yesterday of 54 years ago. After our delightful trip, Mrs. Johnson had us write Thank You notes to the officers & crew involved as we felt like royalty. My father also sent these letters around to each involved with an official memorandum attached. The students were also assigned to write an essay of our summary of the trip. Here is my summary written by a 10-year old. 

Our trip to the U.S.S. Austin (LPD-4)
By Mary Cooper

We were in our classroom when my father came in.
Then we went outside to wait for the cars, but they were already there. We went to the cars & away we went. I was in Mary Ellen’s car. We sang songs.
When we were there, we walked in, where we were divided into groups. Our guide showed us the well deck. That is the place where they fill it with water, let ships in & load.
Then we went into another room, the side ports. If the well deck is too full, the ships go beside & the crane goes in & out. 
Then we went to the place where, if one person is sick, they have a bed that has two mats & a rope that ties around it.
Then we went outside & saw the front of the ship & got our picture.
Then we went to the pilothouse. We sat in the captain’s chair.
Then we saw the boats & life rafts.
We went to the other side of the ship & he showed us the flight deck. Then he showed us the captain’s private boat. 
We were told that they had special grey paint because if they have a storm & if the lightning strikes they will not get hurt.
Then we went to eat our cake. On the cake it said,

Shelton Park School
April 2, 1966

We ate the cake & we got a hat. Then we went to the wardroom & watched cartoons. 
Then we went to the bathroom. We said good-bye & left.
While we were going home, we wrote a song about the USS Austin.

USS Austin
You should go there often
You’ll be proud of it
Because it’s the world’s best ship. 

So go to the USS Austin
You’ll be proud of it.
Because it’s the world’s greatest ship.


When we got out of the car we sang the song to my father & said thank you.

I later found my artwork about my memory of the trip.

Other photos were taken by another parent for my mother, who could not attend the trip with us.

Cdr. Cooper discusses the plans with Mrs. Johnson
as the students wait to be served cake.

Mrs. Johnson cuts the cake.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Family Camera History - Part 3

Kodak Six-20 C Camera

I posted an earlier blog about taking my mother's camera to a local camera store that also works with analogue cameras. 

Her first camera was the Kodak Six-20 C produced in the 1930s. I am sure that this was the camera she used as a teenager to produce her first photo album.

Here are some photos that were taken during this time period.

The Gabuzda Family at home in Freeland, PA. Martha sitting first on the left on the couch to the right of her father, Stephen A. Gabuzda.

I found a copy of the Kodak Six-20 Instruction Manual online. Looking at the Price List at the end of the manual, I found more answers to this camera. The most important fact was that a roll of 620 film only had 6 exposures! The cost was $.25 for a roll of film. So there were not 9 pictures as I had hoped, but Mom had taken all 6 exposures & ready to take out the roll of film when the winding key had broken off of the camera. No wonder the film was never developed! 

                              Notice the broken winding key.

I got a phone call from George's Camera Store informing me that my pictures were ready to be picked up. I was so excited. I opened the envelope & a large roll of negatives rolls right onto the floor. Of the six pictures, only three came out that could be recognizable. 

Print #1

Print #2

Print #3
By the content of the photos, I assume these were taken around 1954 when our family lived in San Diego, CA. We were a Navy family & we lived in this beautiful city in 1949-1950, 1952-1954, & 1961-1962.

I was surprised that mom still used this camera 15 years later when I have photos of her using a more updated camera in the late 1940s. 

Martha with her Brownie Reflex Synchro in 1948. Mom must have used both cameras until she could no longer use her Kodak Six-20 & stuffed it in the back of the drawer to be discovered 65 years later.

My father also used a movie camera. I found this camera with the other cameras. This he purchased when we lived in Japan in 1964-1965. Back in 2005, my brother (found a projector to show the films on). He then videotaped the movies as our mom spoke into a microphone narrating her memories what was taking place. I would love to take a look at them again. Before Japan, in the picture to the right, dad is taking movies when we lived in the Philippines in the late 1950s.
I also found this earlier photo taken in the mid-1950s, when we lived in Texas. Dad is setting up the film projector to share family movies with his parents.

I also found our Polaroid Pronto! 

I found many prints taken with this camera up to the 1980s. I tried to use this one last summer when my brother & his family came to visit. It was very difficult finding film. Amazon came to the rescue. I took one shot of 3 generations of surfers. When I snapped the button for a second shot, the film jammed in the camera. Now I see why digital has taken over the world. 

Surfers Lola, Gib & Elias.