seventy years ago

Wedding of Ruth Jane Flanzer & Karl Freeman Rodgers, Jr.
14 July 1951, Cranford, New Jersey

Tim’s parents and grandparents (l-r): Joseph Asher Flanzer (1901-1997), Lenore Naomi Raven (1907-1961), Ruth Jane Flanzer (1931-1992), Karl Freeman Rodgers, Jr. (1930-1978), Allegra Estelle Hamilton (1900-1992), and Karl Freeman Rodgers, Sr. (1895-1971). Karl & Ruth were the parents of two sons. They divorced on 10 January 1958, after six years of marriage.

21 thoughts on “seventy years ago”

    1. I wish it was in color! The trees must have been very lush and green in July and I wonder about the color of the gowns…

  1. A wonderful photo. Don’t know what to make of the bride’s dress, but that’s neither here nor there. The marriage didn’t last, but the photo is timeless.

    1. Just curious, what is it about the bride’s dress that puzzles you? It’s sad that the marriage ended but it’s nice to know Tim’s parents were once in love. (I have the letters to prove it!)

      1. With the lace and tucks that style dress looks more like a 1960s or 1970s bohemian flower child wedding dress than a 1950s full-skirted satin ballgown wedding dress. Just surprised to see a 50s wedding photo that didn’t involve a veil made of tulle.

        1. Ah, I appreciate your observation. I’m not at all fashion-history aware. I wonder if the wedding dress might have been in her family. But she was definitely a nonconformist and maverick when I knew her.

      1. Perhaps the mother of the bride is unhappy to be standing next to her ex-husband, or soon to be ex-husband. Haven’t found the date of their divorce yet.

          1. Both couples divorced. In fact, Lenore was married three (or four) times. (I haven’t been able to find evidence of the supposed fourth marriage.)

    1. Yes, sadly, Tim’s father was only 48 when he died of stomach cancer. His mother was only 60 when she died of lung cancer. Now that he’s 68 he feels like he’s beaten the cancer odds. Interestingly, his grandmother Lenore died at age 54 of a heart attack and Tim had one at the exact same age. Without a trip by medical helicopter to a big hospital and triple bypass surgery he would have died, too. The cardiologists feel there is a strong genetic component to his heart disease.

      1. Yes, we have much to be grateful for with today’s medical advances. My mom died at 55 from a genetic related condition that 6 of us kids have, but we can now expect to live a full life due to treatment. Miracles!

        1. Grateful for medical miracles, indeed. I am so happy to know that a treatment was found for the genetic condition afflicting you and your siblings! Tim’s brother also had a heart attack in his 50s. Genetic gene pools…

  2. A shame the marriage was short-lived and studying this very clear photograph for 70 years old, no one looked happy on this joyous day, even the gentleman who was sipping champagne (maybe for a toast).

    1. I do wonder what was going through the parents’ minds. Perhaps they had a feeling the marriage was doomed from the start. I also noticed that the mother of the groom had a cigarette in her hand. She was a heavy smoker but lived to the age of 91.

      1. [Hmm – I typed the comment and it went into cyberspace.] They were a dour-looking bunch weren’t they? I went back to look at the photo. I didn’t notice the cigarette, just the drink Maybe she was health conscious in other ways, so no cancer from the cigarettes. My great-grandparents had a farm and my mom told me he’d work out in the field for the entire day sometimes. He’d have a huge (greasy) farmer’s breakfast (sausage, bacon, fried potatoes, fried eggs) and my grandmother packed up another plate of what he had for breakfast and put it between two hunks of bread and took it out to him for a mid-day break. And he lived to a ripe old age. Good constitution or working very hard as a farmer?

        1. Frustrating when that happens. That’s why I type my comments in Notepad and then copy them to the comment box… For your great-grandfather I think it was both things working together, his constitution AND his active lifestyle. There sometimes seems to be no rhyme or reason as to who gets a long life and who doesn’t. (And some long lives can be very miserable, health-wise.) Genes are probably the biggest factor, in my opinion, although I think our environment is so full of carcinogens that it probably skews the risks.

          1. That has happened to me on Facebook a few times with a friend I’ve known since high school. She writes long messages, as do I and I have had them go into cyberspace, so I open up a blank Word page and write it there. Yes, the farmers back then led a rough life, dawn to dusk toiling in the field or barn. Not a life of Reilly for sure but they had a strong constitution as you say.

          2. Good idea. And hats off to hard-working farmers then and now! We’re planning to go to the farmers market today if the thunderstorms don’t roll in…

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