The Decades of My Life

The first decade of my life was from 1951 until 1961. Born in East Los Angeles, moved to Montebello Gardens and then at the end of this first decade we moved up to Montebello. Warning up front that these decade posts will be a photo and information overload for many of you.

Somewhere in East Los Angeles possibly on Humphreys if my memory serves me right about the street name from our Pop. My sister Vera is telling me to shush. My brother Fred is not happy about me crying.

Yikes, I’m crying again. My little babushka is standing behind my mom. My parents good friend Zena Katkov next to her and my Uncle Paul holding my cousin Valia and then my Aunt Nina with my cousin Walter beside her. The lady sitting next to mom is a friend from San Francisco (Mrs. Hamzieff) with her son. Not sure who the lady is between her and my Aunt Nina.

These next photos are from our home in Montebello Gardens/Pico Rivera, California.

My sister Vera’s birthday party with many of our cousins on our Father’s side.

Camping in Big Bear, California with our maternal cousins.

The paternal side of our family.

Our cousin Johnny’s birthday on our Pop’s side of the family.

Maternal side of the family on Easter. Our Babushka with her grandchildren.

That’s a pigeon on my head.

Paternal cousins on another Easter.

Berry picking somewhere in southern California.

Paternal grandparents.

Our brother Tim was born and he usurped me of my title of being the youngest in our family.

My seventh birthday.

Cracking up at the way I lay my hands for photos.

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I’m on the rug in front of my sister Vera, sister Kathy holding our new baby brother Tim and our brother Fred with the accordion. Love my goofy expression!

Easter 1958. We always got new clothes and shoes for Easter and Christmas.

Christmas 1958

Another photo from Christmas,1958. I’m on the left at seven years old. Our little brother Tim was 11 months old. There’s a reason I’m the only one who isn’t dressed in their Christmas clothes in this photo. I had some medical problems that I can only remember as some kind of kidney infection that I was hospitalized for. I ended up having to have a teacher come to our home for a couple months in the new year, (1959). By Valentine’s Day I still wasn’t back to school because I remember that my home school teacher brought me Valentine’s Day cards from my classmates.

Easter 1959

My birthday in 1961 and our last year in Montebello Gardens. Our next little brother, Steve is on the left barely in the photo. Cousin Vera and Johnnie on my Pop’s side of the family. Our cousin Valia, Tania and Walter on our Mom’s side of the family and my two little brothers, Tim and Steve and older brother Fred who is not quite visible.

My 5th grade photo. I sent this photo to Paul Kushnerov when he was in the service. His girlfriend at the time asked me to write him while he was serving our country in the 50’s. This little act inspired me to be more of an encourager with letters and cards. It was always a joy to receive something in the mail. Paul and Vera were married and would be our youth leaders for a time at Bethany Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Paul’s son shared this photo he found in amongst his parents keepsakes after Paul passed away a few years ago.

At the end of my first decade I was still in elementary school. We were living in Montebello and we walked to school crossing busy Whittier Blvd. There were six siblings and our parents living in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. In my next decade our family increased.

Because I skipped a grade (2nd or 3rd). I’ve always thought it was 2nd grade that I skipped but now with a little detective work I think it was third grade since I do not have a school photo for the third grade nor do I remember a teacher from the third grade. Now I’m also wondering a lot about 3rd grade. What is 3rd grade known for? 4th grade you have multiplication. From 4th grade on I was a year younger than most of my classmates.

In this first decade of my life my parents socialized mostly with our relatives or Russians who we went to church with. Both of the churches we were a part of had services in the Russian language. Our pop made friends that were non-Russian at work but not lifetime friends. Work is where he picked up most of his English. My mom became friends with an Italian lady who lived across the street named Lucille. Lucille gave me simple jobs around her home and paid me. She made the best Italian cookies. She would let me have some out of the oven, delicious! She baked them for weddings and I remember them iced green and pink and stacked on every surface of the house! When I cleaned the detached room that 2 of her sons lived in she said if I found any money under their beds I could keep it. I did find some! Maybe that was a way of getting me to clean thoroughly. My mom learned a lot of her English from Soap Operas. As the World Turns. Lucille helped her, too.

There was another friend across the street who had an Avocado tree in her backyard. We learned to really enjoy Avocado on toast in the 50’s long before the current trend.

We had a lot of Hispanic neighbors. Rosie was my next door neighbor who’s dog bit me on the mouth. Not a fan of Boxers to this day! Her mom seemed to have a pot of beans simmering on the stove most days I visited inside the home. It was an aroma I had never experienced. Rosie and her cousin betrayed our friendship one day by jumping me and beating me up and ripping my favorite blouse when we were walking to the store. Our friendship ended. Needless to say I didn’t smell beans simmering after that day until high school days with my very good and faithful Hispanic friends!

Speaking of being beat up there was a day that I angered someone at school who let everyone know they were going to beat me up when we got off the bus after school. There was more than one school bus stop in our neighborhood of ‘The Jardines’ and at the last minute I jumped off the bus at the stop before our stop and ran home avoiding the fight.

We would watch TV as a family. Shows like Art Linkletter, Micky Mouse Club, I remember Chucko the Birthday Clown (popular in L.A.) because I went on the show for Victor Katkov’s birthday party. I would like to have footage from that show. I ended up winning a prize on the show, too. Can’t remember what it was. Other L.A. based shows like Engineer Bill were popular, too. “On the green light you go, on the red light you stop because no engineer would ever run a red light” They used that to get kids to drink a glass of milk. Sheriff John was another popular show and here’s his birthday song!

We were able to go to Disneyland shortly after it opened. We also would get in our jammies and load up in the car to go to the Drive-in to see all the latest Disney releases. Bambie was sooo sad. I couldn’t keep my eyes open for the sad parts.  Falling asleep in the car on the way home was a regular occurrence. Knott’s Berry Farm was another experience we enjoyed. If my memory serves me right the first time I ever ate in a restaurant was at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Chicken Dinner restaurant.

Many families that we knew had a story about one of their kids falling out of a car from leaning on the door or from the door opening going round a corner. No seat belts and no car seats in those days.

This post is an ‘all about me’ historical post and if you made it all the way to the end congratulations. Maybe my grandkids will enjoy reading about their Baba in the future when I’m not around to answer all the questions.

Happy Birthday to me and I thank the God who loves me and called me, Jesus who saved me from my sins and the Holy Spirit who indwells me, Three in One, that I have made it to my 7th decade 8th decade and to my 71st year. Thank you to Anneliese for noticing I’ve entered my 8th decade!!

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Moisi and Me

A look back at some photos with my Pop (Moisi).

I’m having a birthday later this week so I decided to find some photos with me and our Pop in them for my Tuesdays with Moisi post. Our mom is holding brand new me and it looks as if I’ve upset my brother Fred with my crying and my sister Vera is shushing me. Our Pop looks a bit strained in this photo. I wonder who is taking the photo. This was while we were still living in East Los Angeles, 1951. This was about 3-1/2 years after they arrived in the United States.

So my little babushka was here in the USA when I was born judging from this photo. My mother’s only brother, Paul, is standing with my cousin Valia and my aunt Nina is holding my cousin Walter. My cousin Alex must be the one standing in the front. I’m crying again but I think I have a good excuse since that sunshine is blinding my poor infant eyes! Zena Katkov is standing next to my little Babushka.

I started out as a towhead. Is the pole in the center of this photo the focus or am I?

Someone needed to hone their photo taking skills. Stories are told about how I’d take off away from home and give my parents a scare.

We moved from East Los Angeles to Pico Rivera (Montebello Gardens). This Easter photo was taken in the front yard of our home.

Don’t know where we traveled to for these photos but we end up amongst tall trees so I’ll guess we were in the Angeles National Forest.

Looks like I got to hold the thermos while our mom took this photo or maybe she let Kathy take the photo.

Wherever we traveled it was hot since the girls are all sleeveless.

Camping at Big Bear?

I’m on the happy side of this photo unlike the three on my left.

Berry picking somewhere in California.

A pigeon on my head. I’m not a fan of pigeons these days. All dressed up for church with our patent leather shoes. Why do I have a pigeon on my head when I’m in my Sunday clothes?

In 2011 I received a card with a check from my parents for my birthday. I copied what my mom wrote and am adding it to this post for my memory:

From my parents…лена моисееьна Gods blessings on you for your 60 birthday. We hope you have a wonderful birthday We love you very much папа мама Bagdanov and they enclosed a check for $60 My parents are so adorable.

I love that she added Bagdanov. 🙂

Me and my Pop in 1973 and 2016.

I’m thankful for the good relationship I had with my Pop. I’m sure I drove my parents to their knees many times but God was faithful in bringing me back in good relationship with Him and them.

Tuesdays With Moisi

All the photos in this post were taken in the 50’s.  I believe this photo was taken after my parents bought our home in Montebello Gardens/Pico Rivera, 4635 Oak St. These are all family and friends who immigrated from Persia to the United States. Russian Baptists and Russian Molokans together. Moisi (Pop) is in the front row with his head on Nadia’s (Mom) shoulder.

The photo above was also taken on Oak street. Our mom is standing on the left. Our aunt Anna is standing on the right. Kneeling, our mom’s cousin Luba, and our aunt Nina. I recognize the lady in the center standing but her name has slipped my memory. Maybe my brother Leonard or sister Vera can leave a comment with her name. 🙂

This is a very rare photo of our mom and our aunt Ouiliana with trousers on. Our aunt Katie is in the center. Both of these aunts are from our Pop’s side of the family. One married to Uncle John and one married to Uncle Alex.

Aunt Zena, our mom, and aunt Ouliana in the back. Aunt Nina(our only aunt on my mother’s side of the family), ?, Mrs. Hamzieff, and Aunt Luba. We called most anyone our parents age aunt and uncle.

I’m not sure where photo was taken. Possibly it was at our Uncle Pete and Aunt Anna’s house since she’s the one with an apron on. Yikes! Is that a cigarette in our Pop’s hand? He did smoke for a while but always kept it a big secret from us kids. Generally you can tell who is Baptist and who is Molokan by whether or not the men wear ties. Ties were not a common dress code for Molokans.

Our maternal grandmother, babushka Vera with her dear friend and the mother of our Aunt Nina, babushka Manya.

The photo above is taken in front of our driveway at 4635 Oak Street.

Front yard of 4635 Oak Street. Moisi (Pop) is holding me.  I’m guessing this is Easter 1952.

Our sister Vera’s birthday since she’s holding the cake. This must have been in February in the early 50’s.

Easter on our driveway.

The same Easter but at our Uncle and Aunt’s home. Our maternal grandmother lived with Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina for many years before she got her own apartment a few doors down from the Russian Baptist church in Los Angeles.

We took a few camping trips to Big Bear with our cousins on our mother’s side of the family.

The photo above is a favorite of mine with our Pop working on a jigsaw puzzle while we were camping. He spent many hours working on jigsaw puzzles before he died.

Besides camping we’d drive to farms to pick berries and cherries for mom and pop to prepare for canning.

January of 1958 our brother Tim was born. This was in our living room on Oak street.

I’m guessing this is my seventh birthday.

Easter 1958 at our cousin’s home in Maywood, California. Our maternal grandmother lived with our Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina so we visited them regularly.

This photo above is from a road trip we took to Oregon stopping at Crater Lake.

Christmas 1958, Tim was 11 months old and we all needed to protect the tree from his curiosity.

This must be Easter 1959 at our Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina’s home in Maywood, California.

Backyard on Oak street after a deep sea fishing trip Pop took for yellowtail.

I’m guessing the photo above is from 1960 at our Uncle and Aunt’s with our maternal grandmother because our brother Steve was born in December of 1959.

The kitchen at a birthday for me just before we moved to Montebello. I’m guessing this is my 9th birthday. The next photo is of the same kitchen from a realtors more current photo. Looks like the kitchen has not been updated much from the 50’s!

Another photo from our backyard on Oak Street.

This is a historical post for my kids so I’m adding the three school photos I have from Montebello Gardens Primary School here, too.

And here is a current photo of what our house on 4635 Oak street looks like now.

This is the backyard now. Where this storage shed is today there used to be a pigeon coupe that Pop built.

This realtors shot of the hall to all the bedrooms in our house looks so dismal. I can see now why it was easy for us to jimmy up the walls since they were so close together. I ran down this hall one Easter or Christmas morning and slipped and slid into the cabinet of that utility room you can see at the end of the hall and broke one of my toes. I had to wear a slipper on that foot for church that day because of swelling, so embarrassing.

As I find more photos from our family’s time on Oak street I’ll add them to this long post. In a future post I’ll cover the time our family spent at 305 Los Angeles Avenue in Montebello.

Hope you all have a good Tuesday.

Good Fences circa 1957

Some time in the 1950’s in Pico Rivera, California.

This is ellen b. in all her glory with a good fence behind her!

In my early years my family lived in a little area of Montebello, California called Montebello Gardens. Later this area was known as Pico Rivera.

I see some similarities at this age with my sister Lana and my niece Hope.

Feeling nostalgic and linking up with Tex*Wis*Girl for Good Fences #35.