52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 24:
Father

My Father

For this week’s prompt I thought I’d share some favorite photos of my father, Bob LaFara. My father passed away back in 2004, but he lives on in our hearts. I enjoy looking at old photos and telling stories about him. My father was a research scientist with the Navy, but he was so much more than his occupation. He could build anything, and repair everything. He was a good teacher, he taught me to sew, how to change a tire and the oil, how to use power tools and even how to code. I still regularly do one of those things.

School Days

Here’s a sampling of my father’s school portrait photos, elementary, middle and high schools and college.

Bob at School

Military Service

I previously wrote about my dad’s service in the Army Air Corps during World War II for this year’s prompt “Air.” [1] My father was a member of a B24 bomber squad in the South Pacific. You can view the scrapbook of his military service on the web page I created, “WW2 Photo Scrapbook”. [2] Also, he blogged about his service experience, “My World War II Experiences in the Pacific”. [3] Here’s a photo of him sitting atop the gun turret of a B24 in 1943 and standing next to a retired B24 at an air museum in Fort Worth, TX in 1975. [4]
B24 Collage

Fatherhood

Photos of my father as a young dad with four children.

Daddy Collage

Computers

My father began using computers starting in 1950 when he was a mathematician with the Army at White Sands, NM. The photo below from 1955 is when he went to the IBM facility in White Plains, NY to inspect the IBM 650. [5] The IBM 650 was a vacuum tube machine, with a magnetic, rotating drum for memory and punched cards for data input. My father liked to marvel at how computing had advanced in his lifetime. He had personal computers at home as soon as they were being made. Every one of those PCs far exceeded the computing capabilities of that old IBM 650. Of course, now even our phones have more computing power than the old mainframes. Read my father’s account of his computing career, “Bob LaFara’s Computer Biography”. [6]

Computer Collage

Through the Years

Here’s a collection of images spanning nearly 40 years.

Bob as an adult

Because my father took most the family photos himself, he is in very few of the photographs. So, I particularly like this photo taken by my nephew, capturing granddad holding his camera.

Bob 1992

Bob’s Crafts

My dad really enjoyed making things. Wood, metal, textiles, and electronics. He even created a website to share his love of crafting, and storytelling, Bob’s Crafts. [7, 8] His website is still online, it is as he made it more than 20 years ago. We have resisted redesigning it for SEO. Here’s a link to the pattern for one of his most popular, and enduring, projects: The Little Red Chair. [9]
Red Chair Collage

More Crafts

Here’s a further sampling of just a few of my father’s creations, most are still in use or on display.

Wood Collage
Textile Collage
Wood 1967

Keep On Rockin’

Another family favorite, here’s the rocking horse pattern [10] and photos
Rocking Horse Collage

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this sampling of photos of my father. He would enjoy knowing I shared them. Be sure to try one of his craft projects and share your results with me.

Bob 1944 Air Corps

SOURCES:

  1. Blog post, Family Finds: Air; https://barblafara.com/air/
  2. Project post, LaFara Family Projects: WW2 Photo Scrapbook; https://www.lafara.com/project/ww2-photo-scrapbook/
  3. Blog post, Bob’s Crafts: My WWII Experience; https://bobscrafts.com/wwii.htm
  4. Website, Commemorative Air Force; https://commemorativeairforce.org/aircraft/3
  5. Website, Wikipedia: IBM650; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_650
  6. Blog post, Bob’s Crafts: My Computer Biography; https://bobscrafts.com/bio.htm
  7. Website, Bob’s Crafts; https://bobscrafts.com/
  8. Web Page, Bob’s Crafts: Bob’s Stuff; https://bobscrafts.com/bobstuff/index.htm
  9. Project Post, Bob’s Crafts: Little Chair; https://bobscrafts.com/bobstuff/chair.htm
  10. Project Post, Bob’s Crafts: Rocking Horse; https://bobscrafts.com/bobstuff/rockhors.htm
Remember Me and I Will Live

Frank Takeo Flucawa

Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.

The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.

Do You See A Resemblance?

While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.

Probate of Jesse King 1868

Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.

Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.

Sarah Smith: Challenge

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846

Laferre to LaFara: Unusual Name

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.

Luella Pressell: Surprise!

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.

Rumple Family Photo 1895

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Family Photo
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.

Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.

George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.

In The Paper

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.

Genealogy Brick Walls

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.

Catherine Landon: Out of Place

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.

Immigrant Ancestors, Fresh Start

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week1: Fresh Start.
The varied reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.

William and Uva Lafara: Favorite Photo

I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.

Close to Home

My grandparents. Earl and Pearl, met at church, close to home, in 1914,

So Far Away

My great-uncle Frank immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1905 to further his education, so far away

Same Name

I get excited when I discover an ancestor with the same name as a friend, or co-worker, or neighbor. Maybe we are related!