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PostEstelle Veronica Mislik: Pioneer of World Travel (Patrick Mears, -Germany, 10/11/22 10:25 am)
Son Eddie and I dug up some historic photos in New York. They had been placed in my daughter's storage unit and we spent time this week recovering some of them. I have selected some that I thought would give the viewer a colorful view into the past of my mother, Estelle Veronica (Mislik) Mears, 1909-1992.
My mother took a few trips while working in Detroit before she married my dad. These are the ones that I know of.
1. Europe, summer of 1935. She joined a tour and sailed on the HMS Berengaria from NYC to Portugal (Azores/Lisbon) and then to Algiers and Naples. When she arrived in Naples, she broke off from the tour to travel by train to Florence, Venice and Vienna, stopping off for a few days at each place. In Vienna, she took a train to Lvov, where she boarded a local train for Horodnica, both of which towns were then in Poland. In Horodnica she met members of my grandfather's family. My Polish grandmother came from nearby Budzanow, but I don't know if Mom visited that town. She then rejoined the tour in Paris, with the final stops being London and Southampton. At Southampton, the tour returned to NYC on the Berengaria.
2. During another summer in the 1930s (not sure of year) while teaching in Detroit, she joined a tour from Detroit via train to the American West. From what I reviewed in her scrapbook of that trip, her first stop was Los Angeles, where the group took a local tour there to see (from distances) homes of famous actors and actresses there. There are photos of some of these places in her scrapbook for that journey and a number of postcards of other such homes. She also received the autograph of the actor, John Boles--it is in the scrapbook and she told me of that in my childhood/adolescence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boles_(actor) The group then took a train to Portland and then to Vancouver and Victoria in British Colombia before returning to Detroit, again via train.
3. Her trip to Mexico was in 1938 and was also via a group tour via train from Detroit to Mexico City. I believe that the group remained in Mexico City while visiting nearby places such as Taxco (silver mining town), San Angel (where she took a photo of the then-home of Diego and Frida), and what looks like in one of the photos as a agave-growing plantation.
See photos below. The first photo must have been taken either at a Polish celebration or maybe at an amusement park, e.g. the old Flint (Michigan) Waterworks Park, now long gone.
I believe that Photo #2 was taken on a street in Mexico City in 1938, when my mother traveled there.
Ditto for Photo #3.
Photo #4 was taken at Pompeii. My mother met an Italian man in Napoli on her trip to Europe in 1935, and he chauffeured her around the city and its environs. When she asked him on the street what he thought of Mussolini, he said that he could not speak about that in public.
Photos ##5 and 6 constitute a postcard that she sent to my father from Mexico before their marriage. It is interesting that Emperor Maximilian is depicted on a postcard sold in Mexico back then.
JE comments: What a treasure you've unearthed, Pat! Exotic trips of this type were unthinkable for all but the wealthiest Americans in the 1930s--and for a single woman to travel alone, as your mom did to Poland, was even more unusual. She was a true pioneer, a WAISer avant la lettre. This Hispanist especially appreciates the adiós mi amigo in the postcard.
I must add that you bear a striking resemblance to your mom (except for your mustache). This is especially evident in photo 2.