Birthdays – Family Finds

For this week’s prompt I take a look at my hometown paper on the day I was born. Newspapers provide a synopsis of what is happening in the world, as well as local events. But, they also are a time capsule of product prices, entertainment and sports. It’s interesting to discover the headlines my parents read in the paper on my birthday. But, I did not stop at the front page. I’ve picked out a few items to highlight. Below are select pages, above the fold, from The Indianapolis Star for Thursday, October x, 1959.

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Fun and Games – Family Finds

My father, Bob LaFara, grew up in the Indianapolis east-side neighborhood of Irvington during the 1930’s. The LaFara family lived in a house on South Ritter, right next door to public school #57. Recently, for the prompt “In the City,” I shared a story my father wrote about his childhood neighborhood. [1] This week, I am sharing another one of his childhood stories, “Bob’s Tires.” [2] This one is about fun and games with some old tires. It’s the sort of game a boy during the depression years could create with found items.

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Working – Family Finds

Nearly all my ancestors can be found in the records working. For the most part, the men were farmers, the women were keeping house. The few exceptions included a weaver, a preacher and a lime burner. More recently my ancestors have worked in cities, including a paper hanger, a postal clerk and a research scientist. The ancestor who stands out is one who made the transition, as an adult, from rural farmer to city worker. My great grandfather John LaFara, 1864-1945, was a farmer in Tipton County, Indiana but sold his farm and moved to the city to work as a laborer.

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Character – Family Finds

I did not personally know my great aunt Grace, but those who did often described her as being fun, and full of life. My father said his aunt Grace was “a character,” my aunt Lois would say Grace was “lots of fun,” and my grandmother said her sister “liked to laugh.” Grace’s husband, my uncle Frank, would say “Grace loved her flowers and her family.” From records and family photos, I think Aunt Grace looked for the positive even when life was a challenge. Aunt Grace was a character with character.

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In the City – Family Finds

Bob LaFara, 1937
Bob LaFara, 1937

My father, Bob LaFara, lived most his life in the city of Indianapolis. He told many stories about his childhood, growing up in the east-side neighborhood of Irvington.  My father created his own website back in the early 90’s called Bob’s Crafts, in addition to craft projects, he also shared a few of his stories. This week I am sharing one of his stories about life in the city when he was a boy.

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