RELATIVELY speaking...

This real photo postcard comes from a collection of family photos from Scotland. Not one face looks familiar, so I'm left wondering who these ladies were and why did my grandmother have this photo.

Click on image to see it larger.

The influence of Japan on Western culture and art for the masses began, I believe, in the 1850s. Of course, this photo is not that old. I'm guessing this was taken sometime during the first couple of decades of the 20th century. It was never posted so it had to be before the late teens when my grandparents moved from Scotland to California.

A group of Scottish friends having this photo taken for fun? Sort of like photos taken today where you dress up like a character from the old West? Possible.

I'm more inclined to believe that these ladies were from a performance of The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. Now who wouldn't want to hear it performed by a group of Scots with a thick brogue?

So this card might have been for a theater troupe. We'll never know unless someday someone else comes across a copy of one and has a better explanation.

Whenever I look at this photo I think of the kimono I had that was stolen. Many years ago my home was broken into and many items were stolen. Damn alarm system wasn't working. Over the years I would suddenly remember things that I hadn't seen in a long time, adding items to the mental list of what the burglar took. My kimono from my childhood was one of them. They left the yellow obi, probably not knowing what it was. It was a beautiful red kimono with flowers and butterflies.

When I lived in Hawaii as a child my best friend and I would play samurai and geisha instead of the cowboy and indians we'd played when living on the Mainland. It still makes me very sad to think my kimono was taken. It was mine, it was infused with my memories, and I cherished it. Now? Who knows where it is or if it still even exists. It might have ended up as a rag and now be covered in refuse at the dump. Okay, now I'm just making myself really sad.

Let's go back to thinking that this was a group of ladies who were friends of my Scottish grandmother. They went out for the day to Edinburgh, had their photo taken, then went somewhere pleasant for tea and scones. Girdle (griddle) scones, please.

This is my submission for Sepia Saturday this week.


MADRID in February 1956

For the past few days I've been featuring slides from the Betty Schnabel estate taken by either Betty or her father, Donald, in Madrid in February 1956. These are part of the photo collection I purchased last year. Thousands of slides…seriously, thousands for less than 2 cents a slide. It will take me years to go through all of them.

For the first few posts I asked if any readers knew the locations, and if so to please let me know. Mike Brubaker and Intense Guy both stepped forward to educate me.

Cibeles Palace
Monumento a los Caídos por España

Well, this time I'm starting off with one I was able to research myself thanks to having enough sense to type "garden maze madrid" into Google.

Click on image to see it larger.

The Sabatini Gardens
The Sabatini Gardens (in Spanish: Jardines de Sabatini) are part of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, and were opened to the public by King Juan Carlos I in 1978. They honor the name of Francesco Sabatini (1722–1797), an Italian architect of the 18th century who designed, among other works at the palace, the royal stables of the palace, previously located at this site.

In 1933, clearing of the stable buildings was begun, and construction of the gardens begun, which were only completed in the late 1970s. The gardens have a formal Neoclassic style, consisting of well-sheared hedges, in symmetric geometrical patterns, adorned with a pool, statues and fountains, with trees also disposed in a symmetrical geometric shape. The statues are those of Spanish kings, not intended originally to even grace a garden, but originally crowding the adjacent palace. The tranquil array is a peaceful corner from which to view the palace. (Source: Wikipedia)
I'm really drawn to this place. I keep thinking it would have been a good set for an old episode of the tv show The Avengers or maybe an old Bond movie. There's something surreal about the place, especially with the pond drained of water.

Now we move on to the next shot. I haven't a clue other than it's also in Madrid. Put on your thinking caps and let me know what we're looking at.

Click on image to see it larger.

UPDATE: Thanks to Intense Guy this has now been identified as the Royal Palace of Madrid. You can read about it here.

And finally we head out of Madrid and on the road to…I'm really not sure. I can tell you this fellas name is Bill, but then things get weird. It says "Papraga, El Escorial, Spain." I find "El Escorial" at Wikipedia, but nothing about a place called "Papraga." Google keeps trying to convince me I really want "paprika" and I'm just as willing to convince them that I don't want that because I hate paprika.

Click on image to see it larger.

But moving forward with Bill…we are heading to El Escorial. In the distance, to the left of Bill's hat, you can see the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escoria.
The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the King of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres (28 mi) northwest of the capital, Madrid, in Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and school. There is another town, 2.06 km further down the valley (4.1 km road distance), called 'El Escorial'.

The Escorial comprises two architectural complexes of great historical and cultural significance: the royal monastery itself and La Granjilla de La Fresneda, a royal hunting lodge and monastic retreat about five kilometres away. These sites have a dual nature; that is to say, during the 16th and 17th centuries, they were places in which the power of the Spanish monarchy and the ecclesiastical predominance of the Roman Catholic religion in Spain found a common architectural manifestation. El Escorial was, at once, a monastery and a Spanish royal palace. Originally a property of the Hieronymite monks, it is now a monastery of the Order of Saint Augustine. (Source: Wikipedia)
Click on the link to actually see a photo of what we're heading to.

And I thought I'd Google "Bill" to see what shows up. For your viewing pleasure…Bill at Wikipedia. Not OUR Bill, just a bunch of links to bill and Bill.

This is actually my submission for Sepia Saturday this week and it's way off theme. The only way to tie it to the theme would be postcards > travel > slides. Thin, very thin. Grabbing at straws really. Thin straws.

Seriously, imagine sitting in the living room of the Schnabel home in 1956 watching their vacation slide show. Hours of it. Here you only have to do it in small doses.


MADRID in February 1956

Another view in Madrid. And it is…?

Click on image to see it larger.

UPDATE: I knew someone would come through with information and this time it's Intense Guy and Mike. Thank you guys!
The Monumento a los Caídos por España (English: Monument to the Fallen for Spain), popularly known as the 'Obelisco' ("Obelisk") or the 'Monumento a los Héroes del Dos de Mayo' ("Monument to the Heroes of the Second of May"), is a monument in Madrid, Spain located in the Plaza de la Lealtad, between the Madrid Stock Exchange Building and the Ritz Hotel, next to the Paseo del Prado.

The monument is built on the place where General Joachim Murat ordered the execution of numerous Spaniards after the Dos de Mayo Uprising of 1808. After various attempts to create a memorial as an homage to the participants of the uprising, the inauguration of the monument took place on May 2, 1840, the anniversary of the event. On November 22, 1985, King Juan Carlos I re-inaugurated the monument as a memorial to all those who gave their life for Spain, including those that died in conflicts other than the Peninsular War. Since then, a flame fuelled by gas has been constantly burning on the front of the monument. This parallels other war memorials around the world of national symbolic importance, frequently known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. (Source: Wikipedia)


MADRID in February 1956

I've never been to Madrid. I've never been to Spain. Sadly I probably never will. I can dream.

We'll now go on a trip to Madrid with Betty Schnabel through slides taken in February 1956 by either Betty or her father, Donald.

If you recognize anything drop me a comment so I can add an update.

And now onto the Tattered and Lost European Tour.

Click on image to see it larger.

UPDATE: I knew someone would come through and tell me where and what this is. Thank you Mike of TempoSenzaTempo.

This is the Cibeles Palace.
The most prominent of the buildings at the Plaza de Cibeles is the Cibeles Palace (formerly named Palace of Communication). The cathedral-like landmark was built in 1909 by Antonio Palacios as the headquarters of the postal service. This impressive building was home to the Postal and Telegraphic Museum until 2007 when the landmark building became the Madrid City Hall (Ayuntamiento de Madrid). (Source: Wikipedia)
Seriously, who builds a post office like this? What type of mail were they processing? Spanish gold from a sunken treasure? That is one grand post office! Boggles the mind.

More of Madrid tomorrow.


How many children did this woman have? SEVENTEEN!

And I guess it begins again…how many children did this woman have? In fact, how many generations of people walking the earth today are related to the seventeen children in this family? Think of the stories to be told.

And of course, there's another person responsible for these seventeen…the father.

I think you'll now see where his genetics were stronger in some of the children and how all the DNA got mixed together to create these fascinating people.

And for those who thought this might never end, I give you the family. 

Click on image to see it larger.

How many other children died? Was it a happy family? What were their secrets? Their joys? Their sorrows? And since Mike has kindly dealt with some food possibilities…what was dinner like at their table? A moment caught in time that none of them could have ever imagined would someday be viewed all over the world by strangers who would one day be fascinated by them.