Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ivan Pereksa - (Almost) Wordless Wednesday

This photograph of my great-grandfather Ivan Pereksta stands out because of his ill-fitted suit. While it was not uncommon for immigrants to be photographed in borrowed clothes, the stories I heard growing up emphasized how dapper Ivan was. His jobs in the United States were unskilled manual labor, but he wore pressed suits, polished shoes and always had manicured nails. The photo below, taken with my grandmother around 1918, accurately reflects the stories. I suspect the first photo was taken some years later, when he was a bit older and perhaps a bit worn down. The clothes, his posture, gaze and even his mustache are less crisp, a bit gentler.


Ivan Pereksta and Anna Pereksta with Ivan Pereksta,  Photographs, undated. Digital Images.  Privately held by Susan Clark [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], 1986.

11 comments:

  1. Loved seeing the top picture, I haven't seen that one before. I have another picture taken same day as with Anna but alone, I'll send you a copy if you don't already have it

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  2. There's a strong resemblance between Ivan in the top photo and this picture of Pytor Pereksta, believed to be his son.

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  3. Great photos Susan, I have photo envy, AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

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  4. In the top photo he almost looks like he shrunk a bit and the clothes are too large.

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  5. Perhaps he had recently lost weight?

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  6. I wonder if the suit is the same in both photos (it was hard to tell because I couldn't enlarge it with Lightbox). If so, it's reasonable that the suit would be less dapper and Ivan, himself, a little smaller. Love the photos! They are so clear. It's always thrilling to be able to put a face to a name. Ivan was a very handsome man.

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  7. Those photos are so important - not only to us, their descendants - but to our ancestors themselves.

    It mattered not whether they came from across the ocean, or across the wide expanse of land in one country or another...

    Those photos said "See, we made it! And we are still making it!"

    So wonderful to have photos like this.

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  8. I think both pictures are fantastic! He doesn't seem to be the worse for wear to me. Very distinguished. And on another note . . .
    congratulations on yur Cards!

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  9. He looks go dignified in both photos--even if the suit is a little bit too big and slightly wrinkled in the second one.

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  10. Both photos are wonderful. One common thing I've noticed is that even though people didn't have much, they always did their best to look their best and keep a tidy home. My grandparents and great-grandparents had very little, but what the did have was well taken care of. They took great pride in their appearance and in their home. Today we take things for granted where possessions are easily trashed and replaced.

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  11. Maybe the photographers had an assortment of clothing that could be worn when people got their pictures taken.

    That would have been for people who worked on a farm or in industry and had no reason to buy a suit.

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