Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Palisades Amusement Park

I just finished reading Palisades Park by Alan Brennert and wow! did it bring back a lot of memories. Palisades Amusement Park was located in Cliffside Park, NJ, two towns away from where I grew up in Leonia. When I was in high school the Park was one of the "in" places to go.

But even before I was old enough to go to the Park, both my aunts, Midge and Leila, enjoyed the attractions as well.

Here I am with my best friend Kitty having our picture taken in the photo booth in the Penny Arcade ...

. . . where machines dispensed licenses of every sort. The Jitterbug License "is a certificate of graduation from the Hoppy-Go-Waukee School of Dancing, and entitles bearer to "Get Hot" wherever and whenever she meets a Jazz Band. . . "

The Musician's License ". . . successfully passed the combined examination of the "Boiler Maker's and Barber Pole Musical College," is hereby licensed to sing or play any instrument off key . . . "

The Certificate of Emancipation: ". . . by reason of this am protected against all the vices and vicissitudes of life and may now live my own life the way I see fit without any orders or suggestions from the boy friend, that I am relieved of all adherence to the conventionalities of life; and especially exonerated from washing any socks, sewing on buttons, cooking, waiting on, or waiting for the male animal . . . "

A page from my high school scrapbook in 1958. I particularly like the cards that predicted "Your Future Husband - Your Future Children. The one in the upper left: "Your husband will be a handsome sailor. . . you will fall for his line of business because you like salt water taffy and this is all he will be able to give you. . . you will be deliriously happy rearing four little blue jackets." Hmmm. . .

Lower right: "Your future husband will be a prince. He will fall in love with you at first sight and rush you off your feet. No use saying "no" to him because he will come back with his entire navy and get you. You will have a castle, a steam yacht, and a title, will join the social world, see the four corners of the earth, and will live a happy and contented life with one little prince." omg, I was deceived <g>

Aunt Midge was thirteen years old when this picture was taken at the Palisades Amusement Park Swimming Pool in 1937. 

And here she is on the beach in the 40's. . .

. . . and goofing around in search of "men."

 A souvenir photo of my Aunt Leila and Uncle Russ.

And my cousin, Kris, on a boat ride in Kiddieland.

I have so many fond memories of Palisades Amusement Park and was thrilled to find this website :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, January 20, 2014

Livingston's 200th: A Recap

The Livingston Bicentennial Historical Committee had their final meeting last week to celebrate their accomplishments in making Livingston's 200th Anniversary in 2013 the best it could be. For me it was the culmination of two years of researching Livingston's founding fathers, tracking down descendants, and providing costumes for various events. Below are some of the events that were held last year.  

January 1st, 2013. Kick-off event. Livingston Township Organizational Meeting where the new mayor and town council were officially sworn in. That's Governor William Livingston (1723-1790) on the right :)

January 24th, 2013. Volunteer Appreciation Celebration where all town volunteers received medallions for their years of service.

February 5th, 2013. A descendant of founding father Aaron Beach (1767-1826) stands in front of her Genealogy Board. More info about this event in last February's blog.

 April 11th, 2013. Greeters at Livingston's "First Town Meeting" where . . .

. . . Governor Chris Christie, a Livingston High School graduate, was the featured guest. 

May 22nd, 2013. The film, "Livingston's Military Heroes In Their Own Words," debuted at the Library. Through interviews veterans told stories of their military service.  

May 23rd, 2013. The West Essex YMCA held A Diversity Festival with live music, cultural performances, a fashion show and food samples from around the world.

May 25th, 2013. As part of Youth Appreciation Week, a Family Festival was held at the high school.  We had a table of early crafts and games.

May 27th, 2013. Members of our committee riding in the Memorial Day Parade.

September 23rd, 2013. Bus tours of Livingston's Historic Sites were one of the events offered on Family Picnic Day. We put up 45 signs. This one is in front of our house--the oldest in Livingston.

Large vintage photo stands were placed throughout the grounds of The Force Home. 


October 26th, 2013.  A Bicentennial Haunting was held at the Ely Cemetery where costumed actors and actresses portrayed some of the people who are buried there. A student as Emma Samo (1799-1874).

 Photo by Susan Cai

We had a wonderful chairperson who never ran out of ideas and a great group of volunteers who made them happen! 

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wild Goose Chase Repro

Yay! I just finished a quilt I started 6 years ago. Wild Goose Chase is a reproduction of a c.1840 quilt from my favorite book, Calico and Chintz: Antique Quilts from the Collection of Patricia S. Smith, (Smithsonian, 1997.) I'd already made four other repros from this book and love the challenge of searching for "just the right fabrics."

I started collecting fabrics in 1999. The large blue plaid I ordered from Keepsake Quilting but all the other prints I purchased at a small quilt shop in NJ.

I had been saving an article from Quilters Newsletter Magazine with instructions for making this block so that was my starting point. I drafted my block and then made this prototype in 2008.

I used Quilters Dream Cotton Request for the batting. The quilting design in the original quilt was concentric circles but I nixed that idea real quick and did concentric squares instead.

Double row straight line quilting was easy to do in the large 1/2 square triangle blocks.

Chevrons were quilted in the edge triangles.

These are the fabrics I used on the back.

And, here's my label. DONE! I kept track of the time I spent quilting and the total was 57.33 hours. My husband said "that's only 2-1/2 days." <g>

Here are my UFOs and works-in-progress. Next in line to finish is the Quilt of Valor quilt plus I have to sew sleeves on four quilts for an exhibit at Town Hall that is scheduled to open in April. 

Lots going on :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Midgie's Memories

In 1996 I made my Aunt Midge a quilt and named it Midgie's Memories. It was both a Christmas and a birthday present because she was born on January 2nd. Today she would have been 90 years old.

After I decided on this simple basket pattern I made a list of her interests and then chose fabrics to represent them. Starting upper left and clockwise: love of antiques, Midgie and Warren, vintage hats, fans and accessories, paper dolls, backyard flower garden, blue and white china, dogs, Vermont, sewing, cats, and jewelry.


I chose the Victorian ladies fabric for the center panel because we were avid vintage clothing collectors but . . .

. . . she always said the center panel represented her and her sisters, Leila (center) and Etta (right, my mother). There was a 7 year age difference between each of them.

Through the years Midgie and Warren refinished lots of antique furniture. This border fabric was perfect. 

Their pine hutch is one of my most treasured antiques. 

This block represents the Blue Willow dishes that once belonged to my Great Aunt Leila and Uncle George.

Ever since she was little, Midgie loved animals. The year before she died she put together a binder with photos and documentation of every cat and dog she ever owned (or even hoped to own:-) This is her 4th cat Frisky watching TV. She wrote: "From the barracks, we moved to a garden apt. . . "No Pets." After living in our apt. for sometime, a stray cat wandered into our section of 3 buildings. Everyone was feeding him and the children named him Frisky. Midge & Warren adopted him. We were never caught keeping him in our apt. When the owner came around the superintendent warned us. He loved cats."

This block represents not only the many feral cats she fed and trapped for neutering but also the ones she owned.

Rosie is one of two cats I inherited after she died in 2009. His official name is Roosevelt named after Rosey Grier but having the name Rosie sure causes lots of confusion because everyone thinks he is a SHE. Rosie is about 14 yrs old now and diabetic.

During her lifetime there were more than several dogs--including two collies.

I was twelve years old when my parents bought me a collie puppy. Her official AKC name was "Barstan's Princess Lassie" but we just called her "Lassie." When my mother became ill with breast cancer and it became impossible to care for a puppy she asked Midge & Warren if they would take her. Lassie and Frisky lived long and happy lives and both are buried in Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County, NY. 

When the quilt was finished I made this label using the techniques I learned in a workshop with Susan McKelvey, author of Friendship's Offering: Techniques and Inspiration for Writing on Quilts.

Happy Birthday, Midgie, I'm thinking of you today :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer