Sunday, December 10, 2006
great neck -winter 1960

This is an early Polaroid Picture....back when it was only black & white. We had had a huge snow storm with the kind of snow that just sat everywhere in these packed heavy drifts....and because it got colder, it just hung that way....The photo above is on a little side porch leading to the back garden....you can see the door going to the Dining Room, across the way....and that is a glass table and a side chair.... A closer look at that snow on the table and chair and over in the corner by the Dining Room door....you can see that there was so much snow it is even coming up on that door across the way....Where is this? Well, this is the house I grew up in in Great Neck, New York. Great Neck is on the North Shore of Long Island, 17 miles from New York City, 45 minutes from Broadway, as they use to say, on the Long Island Railroad----the Port Washington line. This is a picture of the train station somewhat later in time, but still pretty much as it was when I was growing up. My father commuted to Manhattan every day on the the train, and I commuted to my Violin lessons every Saturday morning taking the subway, once we came to 34th street at Penn Station, up to 110th street. Of course all of my family took the train at various times throughout those early years. That changed once everybody could drive and we all had driver's licenses....then, I would commute by car.Here's another shot of the train station looking the other way. That apartment building over on the right was there when I was growing up. The first time I ever saw a dead body was on the sidewalk at the base of that apartment building, right across from the station behind those trees....a woman had jumped off the roof early that morning....pretty horrific, to say the least. But I digress.....Each morning I would walk to the station, which was about four very long blocks from our house, and I would cross that little bridge to catch the bus which took us up Middle Neck Road to what was called the 'Old Village'...(we lived near the newer portion of Great Neck Village which was never called the 'new village'....)...and then we would get off the bus and walk the 6 or 7 very long blocks to school....the Junior & Senior High School all in one building....it was called Great Neck High School....now known as Great Neck North, there being two High Schools in Great Neck these days. A beautiful building, isn't it? Back to the snow.....

The snow was so very heavy in this particular snow storm that big huge drifts settled on the roof of the house, too, as well as on the ground and on the trees....And, eventually some of it began melting but then it would get cold again causing incredible icicles..... There was this huge ice pack that began to melt all in one big chunk and you can just see it towards the top of this Polaroid beginning it's slow trip down as it melted while remaining this big huge chunk as it made it's descent....I love the look of this, don't you?

This next picture I believe I was looking out the front door at the trees laden with this wonderful compact snow and there in the background is the house across the street...a rather famous house because Charles Lindberg slept there the night before he took off from Roosevelt Field for that amazing first transatlantic non-stop flight, landing in France 33 1/2 hours later.....the year was 1927 and my parents were already living right here in this same house where I took these pictures, having moved to Great Neck in 1926. My mother lived here in the house in Great Neck for 40 years until she died in 1966....

Because this was the perfect kind of snow to build a snowman.....we did. Three of us....my brother Gordon and a great family friend Zeke Cohen and me....and after we finished him including his eyes, nose, mouth, hat and even buttons going down his belly....I stood across the street to get this picture.... We thought he was a work of art, of course...and in a way he was, but I think it was mostly because we had that perfect kind of snow to build with....Here is a closer look at him....pretty elegant, isn't he?This being the winter of 2006, almost 2007, and so very many bloggers are writing about snowstorms happening right now, I was reminded of this one that took place so very many years ago in 1960 and luckily I had these pictures that I had taken to illustrate these remembrances....Isn't it great that the camera was invented? It certainly has enriched my life in every respect, I'm happy to say.....







More To Come.....








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29 Comments:
had this to say:

It IS wonderful you had these pictures! I have such similar memories of snows that we had -- but never too many pictures. You were quite the shutterbug even when you were young! I didn't grow a camera on the end of my arm until I had Amanda...

Naomi - it WAS fun to answer the questions. I only wished that more of them had been more serious questions like you asked! Most of them were quite silly! And yea... we have picture proof of me in the cart! (and i climbed in... perfectly willing!)

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 5:50:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Oh, Naomi, what great pictures and it brings back chilly memories of growing up in the Boston area.
I'd say you always had your artistic talent...from the looks of that snowman. Very stately!
Love the black and white of the snow photos.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 8:02:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love the snowman...he looks like they are actually supposed to look! You don't see that much anymore.

When your page first opened I thought "What is Naomi doing with all that snow in LA?"
Beautiful snow pictures....and trains...I think everyone likes trains!

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 9:39:00 AM PST 

Anonymous LYN M.
had this to say:

WHAT MARVELOUS IMAGES AND GRAND MEMORIES OF HOME IN A NEW YORK WINTER LONG AGO. WHILE YOU MAY NEVER WANT TO SHOVEL SNOW AGAIN, THERE'S A SERENE PEACEFUL PLEASURE IN THE STARK CONTRAST OF BLACK AND WHITE WINTER SNOW SCENES THAT COLOR CAN'T DUPLICATE.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 10:08:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What a handsome snowman, you guys did a great job building him.

What beautiful pictures. Love the train station photos, too.

Kind of scary that someone jumped off that building. And that you saw the effect of it. :(

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 10:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

"Isn't it great that the camera was invented? It certainly has enriched my life in every respect."

Yes, it is. From my earliest moments of remembered childhood, I have always been fascinated by our ability to capture images with a simple camera. Only, it isn't so simple, and those images are much deeper stories and memories.

Few are more masterful in their storytelling than you. I feel as if I've walked alongside you on your many journeys, Naomi, and it motivates me to look deeper into my own writer's soul and wonder if I can paint similarly vivid pictures of my own experiences.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 10:51:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What a gorgeous snow that was! I wish I had pictures of some of the great snows we had growing up in upstate NY in the 70s. We just didn't take any that I can recall. :-( Oh well! I also think your snowman was fabulous!

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 1:46:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

that's quite a snowman there! It is a piece of art. I've always wondered about the name Great Neck. Does it come from geese, the comments of a boy to a girl in the back of a car, or perhaps a bad joke by a guillotine operator? Sorry, I wander. Here from Michele's.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 2:37:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Great photos of Great Neck! My best friends got married at Leonard's... ;)

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 5:40:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That is some snow!! Aren't you glad you don't have that in CA??
Snow is pretty though! It does make a winter wonderful for sure.

I love your snowman. He is really great!

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 5:57:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

those are great pictures- better than most of the ones from my childhood, even with color! i don't miss northern winters! i lived in MD for 8 years in my hubby's hometown. it was in the western end of the state where they get almost arctic weather- ugh!

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 6:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That snowman was elegant, Naomi. I don't think I have any pics like that from my childhood, but I do from my children's lives. If I fcan find them, I will post mine.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 7:00:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'll have to dig out my snowman photos...soon! We just got home from Asheville and the house is cold. I need to blog in gloves! I love the swirly lines of the table filled with snow!

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 8:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

b&w photo's are great!.. I can remember a few blizzards we had when I was a kid...but have very few if any photos unfortunately..

One thing I do remember is the hair in my nose freezing it was so cold out! That hurt!!

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 6:05:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Good Morning Naomi! I like these pics! You may not believe this... but Michele sent me!

Mike

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 6:45:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Love snow's photos! Those are beautiful pictures, Naomi! Thanks for sharing your illustrated memories!

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 8:18:00 AM PST 

Blogger dan
had this to say:

So the question is raised.... Do you miss the snow?

:)

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 9:49:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I am anxiously waiting for lots of snow here.
It doesn't snow as much as it used to when I was a kid, and I so want to have a White Christmas.

Kendra

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 10:50:00 AM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

There is something to say about those old black and white snap cameras. Things like snow and winter scenes seem more vibrant in black and white. Great pictures. Great snow!

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 12:21:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

After seeing that snowman, I remember that I have a pic like that from my childhood...I think I was about 6 (1977) and wearing this awful flowered print coat that was SO in style at the time. Thanks for taking me down memory lane for a few moments.

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 2:08:00 PM PST 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

Love the "mountain" of snow on your table! and the snowman is adorable and yes, very elegant!! I am thinking snow as I am slowly starting to pack for our ski vacation over Xmas

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 2:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'm not a fan of snow but it was nice to read about your stories :)

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 5:47:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What wonderful pictures tell"Sweetie"that A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night. Don't bite him. sniff-sniff

Have a pawfact Holiday!!

Lot's of Lick's
Sam

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 8:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

We very rarely get snow like that in England. Bit of a shame, but it's never all bad.

I can just picture the Young Naomi rushing up those steps into that wonderful High School, clutching a pile of boooks.

:-)

cq

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 12:13:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

As ever I love your pictures and reminiscents! Great snowman. I have never really experienced anough snow to make a good snowman as we don't get that much over here and even less these days than when I was a child!

The camera has certainlt enriched our lives - I would be lost without mine!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 5:57:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

PS - I used the subway at Penn Streeta couple of times while I was in NYC so I know exactly where you meant!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 5:58:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't think I've ever known you were originally from Great Neck, but so is my best friend. And she lives in Port Washington now, where her ex was the Rabbi at the big reform Shul in the very ritzy part of PW. I love going to visit there as it's so pretty, and boy does GN have great restaurants and shopping!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 9:03:00 PM PST 

Anonymous the fat lady
had this to say:

When I was a little girl, I loved the IDEA of snow. The only snow I had experience with was the faux variety in Burdine's Toyland. Oh, what a shock when I discovered the real thing was wet, cold and messy!! lol This led to an aversion to ski slopes and a fondness for ski lodges.

Friday, December 15, 2006 at 5:49:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Fun to get an idea of what growing up and living on Long Island was like. I enjoy reading these posts. :)
~S

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 2:50:00 PM PST 

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