FC: PORTFOLIO | RACHEL & BECKY GROWING UP IN KITCHENER AND ELSEWHERE 1964 - 1968
1: This album begins with our arrival in Kitchener, Ontario, after a long sweaty, crowded trip from Vancouver, British Columbia, in the late Summer of 1963. "Our" above, or better said, "we" refers to Rachel, then aged 5, Rebecca Beth (Becky), aged 2, Helen, at 32, still young and beautiful, and myself, Pete or Peter Lewis Silveston. We had rented a house in Waterloo, sight unseen, from a University of Waterloo colleague, Ted Batke, who had just become the university vice president academic. The small house was situated in the Forest Hills section of Waterloo near the brow of a wooded Hill. It had a great location bordering on an extended woodlot and the surrounding houses were distinctly "well-to-do". The house was located on the east side of Waterloo, which means east of King Street, the main thoroughfare of the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. It was too far from the University for walking so I had to take our station wagon or have Helen drive me each working day. A primary school was located a short way from the end of our street. Helen entered Rachel in the school, however, since Helen had taught Rachel to read, Rachel began in that Waterloo school in 1st Grade rather than in Kindergarten. Once in school, Rachel made friends with a girl in her class who lived just a few houses down from the Batke house. These folks, the Schmidts, became our first Waterloo friends and gave Rachel a buddy with whom to walk to and from school with. After a year or so, the Batke's wanted to sell their house , but Helen and I decided it was to small and so chose to look for a larger place. Timing was right because I had two non-teaching terms coming up in 1965 and I had decided to spend those two terms outside of Canada. Nevertheless, we began looking for a house to buy or rent in the autumn of 1965. Within just a short time, we chanced upon a distressed builder with a handsome shell of a house near the end of Glasgow Street (at that time). We negotiated with the builder to buy the shell and complete the house.. Barney, my father, gave us a very generous loan so together with a bank mortgage we were able to close the purchase.. The Glasgow Street house bordered, at that time, the practice driving range of Kitchener's prestigeous Westmount Golf Club. Thus, in back of our house we had a broad, well maintained green lawn. There was a generous front lawn. The house was two stories in height and had a full basement. Thus the house, effectively, had three stories. There was a broad back lawn which we promptly fenced in.. Viewed from the street, the Glasgow Street house appeared to be a one story cottage with a well over-sized slopping roof as there were no dormers on the second story..
2: The front door opened into a corridor and stairs to the upper and lower floors. The living-dining room was on the right with a large bay window looking out onto Glasgow Street on one end (the south end) and a set of French doors on the other end. These opened on to a narrow porch that overlooked the back yard. There was a sitting-room or guest bedroom on the other side of the entrance corridor. A 1st floor bathroom separated the sitting room from a comfortable family room with a stone fireplace against its side (garage side) wall. We kept a round table in this room where we normally took breakfast and other family meals. The TV set, a small, simple one, was set in a bookcase arranged between the fireplace and the door to the bathroom. A large window in the family room overlooked the back lawn. Of course that room was our usual gathering place. The kitchen was open in style and situated between the family room and the dining room, giving Helen a chance to supervise the girls while preparing meals. A corridor led from the family room, along the back wall of the house to a door and steps to the back lawn and to the spacious attached garage. There were three bedrooms on the upper floor......a large master bedroom on one side of the stairs with a narrow porch looking down on the back lawn. There were two smaller bedrooms on the other side of the stairwell. The upper bed rooms were separated by a single bathroom with a window on to the upper porch. Perhaps the only disappointment of the design was that the access to the upper porch was through the small bedroom rather than the master bedroom. The basement or bottom floor had a "cold" cellar for storing winter vegetables, a feature of Canadian houses. There was also two large rooms and an unfinished fireplace. Unfortunately, we hardly ever used the basement rooms.....except for the cold cellar. After we returned from California (see the following pages) in the autumn of 1966, we were fortunate to be given a beautiful stand of white birch trees to grace our front lawn. That story is a curious one. On a cold early evening in November, the family had just sat down for dinner when I noticed a man apparently digging in our front land. I threw on a sweater and went out. An elderly gentleman was indeed digging a large hole. Beside that hole were a stack of balled white birch nursery trees. He explained that he was planting them for us to enjoy. I, at once, invited him in doors to warm up and join us at our dinner table. He did so and explained to us that he was a retired lumber dealer and had taken upon himself the challenge to beatify Waterloo, his home town, by planting ornamental trees. His gift of a small grove of birch trees became the centerpiece of our Glasgow St. House. Our benefactor returned the next year and planted another gorgeous ornamental tree......again unannounced.
3: EN ROUTE | At the beginning of 1966, we loaded up our station wagon for a cross country drive to Davis, California, where Pete had agreed to work with leading researcher, Joe M. Smith. The trip took us south to Detroit, through Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, Los Angeles (Disney Land) and eventually to Davis in the foothills of the Sierra Madre. The photo on the left shows Becky and Rachel (in a halloween custom) in front of our Glasgow Street house just before leaving Kitchener. | THE GLASGOW STREET HOUSE | Well......two little girls insisted on getting into the photos but the house can be seen in the background. On the right.......Rachel & Rebecca Beth in their Sunday best. That's the storied ornamental tree above them. A corner of the house with the picture window is just below. Below....... Front door of the Glasgow Street house with the two girls in halloween costumes.
4: There wasn't much time for pictures as we were on a tight schedule heading West, but above are Tennessee mansions and a "heroes" statue we drove pass. | We stopped in the Ozarks for the view from an overlook (photo on the right). On the overlook (left), Rachel and Becky posed looking into a bright sun. | Left.... Rachel & Becky on a whirl-a-gig in our first California playground. | A desert scene as we drove into Southern California.
5: The desert in southern California. Different views on the left and below. The towering cactus.....alone or in a group was a "car-stopper" for me at least. All photos were taken from the roadside. The sky color reflects the time of day. | Rachel posing in front of a giant cactus as we drove through souther California towards San Diego. | CALIFORNIA DESERT
6: There wasn't much time for pictures as we were on a tight schedule heading West, but above are Tennessee mansions and a "heroes" statue we drove pass. | We stopped in the Ozarks for the view from an overlook (photo on the right). On the overlook (left), Rachel and Becky posed looking into a bright sun. | Left.... Rachel & Becky on a whirl-a-gig in our first California playground. | Above: A desert scene as we drove into California.
7: The desert in southern California. Different views on the left and below. The towering cactus.....alone or in a group was a "car-stopper" for me at least. All photos were taken from the roadside. The sky color reflects the time of day. | Rachel posing in front of a giant cactus as we drove through souther California towards San Diego. | CALIFORNIA DESERT
8: The historic San Diego Mission church..... an overall view from a distance. On the right, the entering portal for the church. | Left - Helen and the two girls strolling in the garden along the nave of the Mission. Right - A towering aloe in the Mission church garden. | Left: Helen, Becky and Rachel before a bell tower of the Mission church. | SAN DIEGO MISSION | Below, on the left, Rachel surveying the facade of the Mission church.
9: SAN DIEGO ZOO | On the right: If you are in San Diego, you shouldn't skip a visit to their fabulous zoo...... and we didn't. The photo shows Helen and the girls discussing the affairs of state with a zoo resident. | Rachel in front of the African Elephant pen. More Rachel.......This time in front of a turtle display. | Becky, Pete and Rachel resting in front of a garden of palms and other tropical plants. | Becky trying to talk to one of the zoo residents | Helen introduces Becky to a stray cat
10: LA JOLLA | Above......The La Jolla Mission. Below.......Our station wagon with Helen and the girls parked outside of a wall in the village. | Above........Rachel waving "good bye" to the sun setting in the Pacific from the cliffs on the UC San Diego campus. Below.......Becky waving to the setting sun from the La Jolla cliffs. | Left.........Becky getting a push on a swing in the playground on the UC San Diego campus. Right Rachel climbing on the jungle bars in the playground.
11: TRAVELING THROUGH CALIFORNIA | Above........ Our station Above.......... Roadside wagon at a noon time stop Flowers along the Coast north of Los Angeles. Above........ A Highway. solar energy test station we visited. | Left........View of Mountains in California's Central Valley. Right...... Main street of a village in the Central Valley. | Below........ Coastal range near Santa Barbara. | Right...... Early snow near Yosemite in the afternoon. Below........ Helen with low mountains in the background. | Below........ Central range mountains in the late afternoon.
12: Right........Rachel on a valley ridge with the snow covered Sierra Nevada in the far background | Left & Right......... More mountain views traveling along the Sierra Nevada in California's Central Valley. | Above....... Looking into the valley in the Sierra foothills. Below....... Roadside flowers. | Left........ Central Valley landscape near Sacramento. | Below........ Silveston family in a Sacramento parking lot. | Below......... Countryside around Davis, California. Davis was the destination of our long cross-country drive.
13: ARRIVAL IN DAVIS, CALIFORNIA | On the left: Rachel in the Davis Campus cactus garden. | On the left: Rachel at the edge of a grove of trees on the University of California Davis Campus. On the Right: Rachel & Becky pleased and smiling now that the long trip is over. | PICNIC TIME Above on the right: Helen sets Becky on her feet. Above on the left: Rachel on the edge of our picnic blanket. | On the left: More Rachel on the blanket. On the right: A view of the Davis orchard......where we had our picnic.
14: Visiting churches, especially mission churches, has been an obsession for many, many years so as a family we went to as many as we could locate in the San Francisco- Sacramento area. The photos on this page chronicle one of our mission visits. | On the left....... A Mission Church outside of San Francisco. That is Rachel in the shadow. On the right........ Becky and Rachel sitting on a wall surrounding the Mission. | Paved steps led up to a wall and a gateway in back of the mission. These photos show Rachel and Becky descending the steps wearing matching skirts made by Helen.
15: MARRIED STUDENT HOUSING ON THE U.C. DAVIS CAMPU We were fortunate to be able to get an airy two bedrroom apartment in this housing complex on the University campus. Our place was on the 2nd flooor and overlooked an expansive lawn. We had to walk through the University's experimental orchard to reach the main campus. | Above....... Helen and the girls on Above......... Helen settling Becky a bench beneath our apartment. on her tricycle in front of our second floor apartment. | Right.......... Becky and friend on the tricycle patrol around the housing complex. | Below......... Helen and Becky in Below......... Rachel and Becky the apartment complexes swimming astride their respective vehicles pool. It is the middle of April but in around the married student housing sunny California. grounds.
16: Weekends in Davis were a time for visits to Sacramento, Oakland and San Francisco. The photos on this and the following page were made on those weekend trips in the winter and spring of 1966. On the left...... towers of a mission church near Sacramento On the right...... Rachel and Helen in front of the mission church. | Visit to San Francisco........ Helen, Becky and Rachel in the Golden Gate Park (On the right). Below: another mission church near San Francisco with family in the center photo. | Tombstones in the mission church. | Left: flowers in the Park. Right: Chinese Pagoda in the Park with Helen, Rachel and Rebecca standing tall in the foreground.
17: Sacramento was our destination for a couple of weekends. Immediate right: Helen and Becky in a city garden. Far right: Rebecca and Rachel on a monument pedestel. | Left: Rachel inspects a monument. | Lake Tahoe is some 70 miles east of Sacramento. We took a day trip there to look at the skiing. The photos below and to the right are from that trip. | Right: The road to the Lake Tahoe Ski area. Left: One of the ski slopes. | On the left......late afternoon view of the ski slopes On the right....... a last view of the Lake Tahoe ski area towards evening..
18: A horseback Riding School was somehow associated with the University of California at Davis. Rachel was enrolled and took weekly lesson during our Davis stay. She was enthusiastic and became a quite accomplished rider. Photos on the right were taken at a show/competition the student riders put on. The women in the black jacket was the riding instructor. Rachel is mounted in three of the photos to the right. | Left....... Rachel with her bicycle in the U.C. Davis married students complex. | Above.......... Rachel and Becky walking in Davis near the University of California campus. | Photos above and below....... Rachel in competition.
19: RETURN TO KITCHENER Life in Davis was enjoyable for all the family so we stayed in Davis as long as wecould, but Dad had a job to return to and Rachel had school on Glasgow Street to attend. Thus, we loaded up the station wagon and drove straight through to Canada. There are no pictures of our return trip. | The Glasgow Street house was still there on our return. | On the left: Glasgow Street seen from the fence bordering the Westmount Golf Course. On the right: a rainbow over the farmhouse across Glasgow St. from our house. | The Canadian National Exhibition is a major event in Toronto every autumn. The family attended after our return from California. On the left: Rachel and Becky at the C.N.E. They are dressed appropriately. The other photos show the Toronto Police Band. Dad was fascinated and took many shots.
20: We had been in the Glasgow Street house for over a year when Rachel celebrated her 8th birthday. On the right.....Rachel clutching "Blackie", the family cat for many years. The time is late winter, 1966. April, 1966, Rachel's 8th Birthday Party (Below) in the Glasgow Street house with rabbit ears, fashioned by Helen for the gaggle of girls. All the pictures were taken in the living room. | Before the "ears" were mouunted...Becky, Jillian Scott and another friend (on the left). On the right.... with"ears" on.... In the foreground.... Jillian Scott, Rachel and Becky. | Left: Glendie Gall, Rachel and another guest. Right Most of the party goers seated at the dinning room table. | Above: Jillian Scott and Rachel intent on something. Right: Rachel and "Blackie" asleep in front of the fireplace.after a "tough" day.
21: Main Street in Elmira thronged with visitors to the Festival. Below: several photos of warmly dressed Helen, Rachel and Becky sitting at a table in one of Elmira's streets sampling waffles and fresh maple syrup. | At the end of February, in 1966, the family, less "Blackie", drove up to Elmira to join in their Maple Syrup Festival. We rode out in a horse-drawn wagon (Photo on right) to the sugarbush outside of Elmira. On the left is a photo of Helen and the girls inspecting a sap collecting bucket. | Notice the Mennonite farmer dressed in their traditional black lined up in bacl of the serving tables in the photos above and to the right.
22: ARLINGTON VIRGINIA Summer, 1968, Pete had another two off-campus terms which he arranged to take with the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration in Washington, D.C. We easily found a house to rent in Arlington, across the Potomac River from the Capitol. | The house we rented in Arlington Virginia, for Pete's job at the FWPCA headquarters was a brick bungalow with a huge lawn/grounds. Unfortunately, we took over the house in a filthy state........bird droppings in several rooms, peeling paint, a wild lawn. We spent several days cleaning. We furnished the house sparsely with the help of Helen's cousin, Lucille Casey. The photos in the lower half of the page were all taken in the grounds of the Arlington House. After 6 months in Arlington, we moved to an apartment in Reston, Virginia. | Left........ Rachel & Becky after moving into the Arlington house. Right....... Recky in Sunday dreee. Below....... Alice came down from Boston for a visit. | Below.......... Helen, Becky and Rachel. Alice just at edge of the photo caused by the lack of skill of the photographer. | Above........ The family in Arlington, Virginia. Left......... Another pose. This time Pete and just the girls.
23: MONTICELLO Shortly after settling in in Arlington, we made a weekend trip to the Thomas Jefferson home in Monticello. It is about a 3-hr. trip from the DC area. The photos below are from our meanders through the historic site. | On the right: The iconic view of the mansion Jefferson designed. On the left: Rachel standing on a porch next to the Monticello portico. | On the right: Helen and Becky at the gate before one of the estate buildings' Below: Looking from the potico towards a side building. | Below on the left: Another view of the renown portico | Above: Rear view of the elegant estate building.
24: While living in Arlington, Virginia, we made travel short trips west. One of these was to the Blue Ridge Range. | Photo shows Helen and the girls at a turn off from the Parkway with the Blue Ridge behind them. | View from the Blue Ridge Parkway | One weekend we drove south to Richmond and then east to Colonial Williamsburg, a remarkable reconstruction or perhaps a restoration of the 18th century town. Below are two photos of the Colonial Assembly Building. | On the left, the Williamsburg Anglican Church and next to it a Magistrate's Building. Below...Rachel and Becky entering a house courtyard. | WILLIAMSBURG
25: Backside of the Colonial Assembly on the left, while, on the right, a street in the colonial village. | Rachel and Becky climbing and playing in the colonial village. | Left: a street in the villlage. Right: The Williamsburg Inn. | Photos below........scenes in Colonial Williamsburg.
26: A highlight of our visit to Colonial Williamsburg was a tour of the village in a horse-drawn carriage accompanied by attendants dressed in colonial attire. The photos immediately below show the carriages ambling through the village. | Left: Becky descending from the carriage with Rachel and Helen awaiting their turn. Right: Rachel patting (or trying to feed ?) the carriage team. | Left: tourist being helped down from a carriage by a smartly dressed attendant. Right: Rachel leaving the carriage with Helen set to step down.
27: Left: View from the carriage of a Williamsburg Street. Right: Pete, Rachel and Becky riding in a carriage. | ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA Late Spring......... after our return from Williamsburg, we began to look for another place to stay in the Washington area. The new town of Reston, Virginia, was in the news. We visited the town, liked it and rented an apartment there. The photos below were all taken in Arlington. | Above: Becky in Above: Pete and a cherry Above: Rachel and Becky Sunday finery. tree in bloom. playing. Below: Pete and Helen Below........ Rachel on a Below......... The girls in in Reston. Pogo Stick. Reston.
28: Our sojourn in the Washington region extended into the Spring and cherry blossom time. The photos below show the mall and the walk along the Potomac River. | On the right: Rachel perched in an apple tree on the National Mall, | On the left and left below......A visit from Maurice and Diana Bergougnou and family (?) | On the right....... Rachel in plaid dancing under a cherry tree by the Potomac River.
29: Washington's grand buildings provide a fine backdrop for a parade | The photos above and to the left show Washington's Easter Parade.....which we watched. | Iconic Washington scenes..........the Jefferson Memorial to the left and on the right.......the Washington Monument seen through blooming cherry trees. | Left: Pete with Becky, Rachel and a Casey daughter (?) at the edge of the Reflecting Basin Right: Helen with tree climbing girls. Left: Helen with John Kalvinskas, Pete's M.I.T. roommate.
30: HOLIDAY IN THE BAHAMAS With school over the Christmas break, we flew d from Washington down to Nassau in the Bahamas for a 10 day break. There we stayed in a small, quaint lodging house away from the tourist hotels on the beach front. | After breakfast at our lodging house, it was our custom to wonder down to the luxury hotels on the beach front where we would use their spiffy facilities and enjoy their beaches. The two photos above show Helen, Becky and Rachel at lunch or morning tea t the luxury hotel swimming pool. As long as we had meals or teas in the hotel we were not chased away. Below........enjoying the beautiful, white sand beaches of the Nassau seashore, | Two views of Nassau from the town center looking towards the shore and beaches.
31: Above......... The gorgeous Nassau Above.......... The harbor in Nassau. palm-lined shore. | Above.......... Helen and the girls Above.......... Flamingos in a nature strolling along the Nassau harbor. park on the outskirts of Nassau. | Left......... Rather bleached flamingos close-up. Right........ More flamingos in the nature park.
32: On one day of our stay in Bahama, we rented a car and drove around the island. These three upper photos are from that drive. Photos on the right are of an ancient British fort. That's Rachel standing by the cannon. | On the left......... Pete working on a sunburn at the lodging house where we stayed in Nassau. | Left & Right......... Rachel and Pete in a shuffleboard contest at the lodging house
33: Relaxing on the luxury hotel beach in Nassau. Note the glistening white sand. | Left: Helen in a bathing beauty pose on the luxury hotel beach. Below: Becky exploring the Nassau beach. | Left: Nassau beach deserted at dusk with a cruise liner and the shore of the Grand Bahama island in the background.
34: We watched the entire hour-long parade. Early the following morning we flew back to Washington, D.C, | Photos of the colorful New Year's Day parade in the streets of Nassau.
35: Above..........Rachel and Becky at a luxury resort in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island. Below.......... Rachel gazing out over the cruise ships in the Nassau Harbor, Grand Bahama Island.