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And here’s my salute to all the historic mothers in my family tree of which I actually have photographic evidence.

Starting with the maternal side of the tree..

Anna Rosalia the First – My Great Grandmother in a photo taken about 1888. She was born in Poland and immigrated to Saint Louis with her mother and father and a half-dozen brothers and sister.


Next, Helen Louise my grandmother in a photo taken about 1940.  She was born in 1890 in Saint Louis, the first of seven siblings. Her father was a successful businessman owning both a livery stable and a funeral home.HelenBarylski001

Next, my mom, Anna Rosalia The Second. This photo was taken when she graduated from grade school.Anna Barylski 1927

And this one in the late 30s. She was quite a looker, and she had six very protective brothers.Anna Barylski 1935


And this was the last photo I took of her when she was 94.Anna Rose Edler

My father’s German side of the family tree apparently didn’t believe in photography, so this is the only photo of my grandmother, other than a few taken with a Brownie box camera.AnnaEdler

I have no idea when it was taken, but it doesn’t make any difference. because my Grandmother was a blond and she never looked any different as long as I knew her.Mom1940But on Mothers Day, this is the photo I always remember.  Yes, boys and girls, my MOM was really Princess Leia! But I didn’t know that until they made the movie.



A most happy Mother’s Day to every mother visiting the Smiling Bagel, today.DSC07067



A pink rose bud and a floral pin wheel!

My mom always loved the small things.


And woe be the person who can’t figure out this one!

BTW, the answer to yesterday’s puzzle was relkcubhsaws!


This one will require some serious concentration and consideration.  And it has nothing to do with Mother’s Day! Pass the chips, please.

Hope you can track my path. DSC07079



The first of many Mother’s Days with my mom.



I bought that heart for my Mom sometime in the 80s. I was in New York on business, and I wouldn’t be flying home until Sunday, which happened to be Mother’s Day and I had forgotten to get a gift for her before I left town. So Saturday morning I was running around NYC looking for a special gift to bring home to her. And I couldn’t find anything that said what I want to say to her. Finally I passed a small jewelry and gift shop on a side street in the West Village. My Mom wasn’t big on wearing jewelry, but I figured I might find something she’d like in the shop.

I looked around the shop not finding anything that said what I wanted to say … until I saw a small lucite heart with a red rose imbedded inside. And the inscription said everything that I wanted to say …

Thanks, Mom, For Everything!

I asked the shopkeeper if I could see the heart.  She was a very little woman, much like my mother. Mom was only 4′ 10″ and the only time she reached 100 pounds was when she was pregnant with each of her three sons. The shopkeeper also had a very Germanic accent which I discovered when she said, “You get this for your mama?”  When I said yes, she said, “You’re a good boy …  I’ll put it in a special box for her.”  Which she did, and wrapped it up in fancy paper with a ribbon and a bow.

It wasn’t an expensive gift, but I think my Mom liked it. She put it in the center of her dresser, and there it remained until the day she died. It still sets in the same spot, I’ve never taken it off or put it away. It’s like my everlasting message to  Anna Rose … my very special Mom.

This is the oldest picture I have of my Mom. It was taken in 1928.

It was her grade school graduation picture when she was 16.

Mom wasn’t kept back, but she did drop out of school for two years in the early 20s when had to help her mother take care of her seven younger brothers and sisters. Mom was the second of ten children.

After two years she returned to school to complete her grade school education.

The last picture I took of Mom at the wedding of her youngest granddaughter and namesake.

She was 93 at the time, and she would be with us for one year more.

Thanks, Mom, for everything!


Forty years ago on today’s date, I went shopping for a Mother’s Day gift for my Mom. I realize that I had started a couple of weeks early, but my gift was going to take a little time and effort to complete. My mother had always longed for a full length mirror, and she had the perfect place for it. It was a small rectangular alcove that opened into the bath, bedrooms and the dining room. What I didn’t realize was that most mirrors sold at retail were junk — single strength glass with a silvered back that would quickly rust or flake off. So after checking out a number of  stores around town, I finally visited a glass  company that was just two blocks from home.

It was a great mirror … a half-inch thick glass and six-feet tall by 18-inches wide. Also the mirror had to be attached to the wall with clamps anchored into the studs. So the mirror wouldn’t really be a Mother’s Day surprise. So, I convinced my brothers to shell out a few bucks more for a second gift that she would actually be able to unwrap on Mother’s Day. It was a reproduction of a poster painted by Alphonse Mucha, the great  Czech Art Nouveau painter. It was almost the same dimensions of the mirror and I thought it would look great hanging on the wall opposite the mirror.

 My mother liked her mirror, but she really loved the poster.

The poster was for a Sarah Bernhard play titled GISMONDA. It was a Greek melodrama with a plot so ridiculous it could have been turned into an opera. As a matter of fact, it was turned into an opera … one that was quickly forgotten.

But the mirror and the poster look exactly like they did forty years ago. Wish I could say the same about me.

I have one other Mucha poster. It’s the one he did for the Saint Louis World’s Fair in 1904. I always think of it as THE LUST FILLED NATIVE AMERICAN.


She was born on September 4, 1912 and christened Anna Rose.

She was the second of ten children which meant she was expected to take care of younger brothers and sisters as soon as she was old enough.

In 1938  she was married…

And soon began being MOM!






On her 92nd birthday mom said that she’d like to live to be 100!

That will be 2012.

Mom missed it by six years.

Mom often felt sad because she thought she didn’t give us everything she thought we deserved.

Oh, she was so wrong. She gave us all we needed. She gave us love.

Missing you, mom.