Sunday at Dining Table

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By today’s standards, holidays were a rather formal affair in 1950’s Detroit. Grandpa Gerard and Grandma Floersch house, Northlawn (16510)

Dining room – looking West –

Seated from left, Grandma Florence, Arnie (Armand) Floersch, Gerard Floersch Jr., Reggie Floersch, Granpda Gerard Floersch, Mami (Marion) Duva, Samuel (Sam) Duva, Harold Floersch, David Floersch, Dorothy Floersch, Michael Floersch.

Picture taken at house on Northlawn, Detroit, MI, circa 1951. Lace tablecloth, fine china, well served cake, likely for a Thanksgiving Holiday; Michael Floersch, seated on his mom’s lap was just one year old!

In 1950, Detroit was the wealthiest city in the world!

Florence Alberta Floersch (matriarch here) had same middle namesake as Gerard her husband! “Albert” was a famous name in the family… Albert was the crown prince of England, famous, well known, while not King was popular in the day, and Queen Victoria’s husband.

Gerard and Florence, grandparents here to following generations were thought of as Great people – truly a foundation stone for the family – where all gathered around because of Gerard’s ‘dragging’ them through America… Whereas starting out in Kansas – Florence was from Omaha… These were people that organized and provided (a cornerstone) for the family – could be depended upon – very reliable… had been through war, depression, ~whereas their children were unsettled, and uncertain, Florence and Gerard kept the family together. Notice significantly the family is all together here – where Gerard Jr. and Reggie came back to be with the family all the way from California! In this picture, Reggie is pregnant with Carole… Maureen remembers spending a lot of time together with her Uncle Arnie (‘AJ’) for Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Aunt Marian (Mami) and husband Sam were the first people to leave this enclave – leaving nephew David feeling devastated with their moving on – he felt he was losing someone he felt really fond of… David generally has very fond memories of his aunts and uncles, as he was the only grandchild for ten years! So he was the beneficiary of lots of attention, noting the “TLC” where Christmas was well celebrated, all attended church together (Catholic Mass), Santa Claus traditionally lived on, gifts, presents were always exchanged, and family loved to ‘party’ together (perhaps too many alcoholic beverages!) there was always something to celebrate…

While parents Gerard and Florence took a back seat, yet the younger generation wanted them there… they were not excluded in any sense… children very much desired their attention – while themselves were not drinkers, they didn’t prevent the children enjoying it either, although there was a lot of alcohol consumed! While maybe not thought to be healthy, it was very common in the 50’s, both tobacco and alcohol commonly enjoyed – where ladies smoked cigarettes and guys enjoyed cigars.

While Gerard senior didn’t smoke – he loved his sugar – routinely known to enjoy it on grapefruit! 🙂

Arnie is the energy in this photo – he was a real ‘live wire’ – had tons of energy – always seemed to be ‘turned on’ – he would say funny stuff, telling jokes – he would always come to birthdays – giving presents – where his nieces recall receiving very cute dresses!

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