Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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The Mildred Project finalized

Now that I’ve scanned the dozens of photos loaned to me by Mildred Lombardi and spoken to Mildred in more detail, the project is essentially complete except for a few little tasks. Along the way, I’ve changed the plan somewhat.

The photos are being distributed in two forms: 1) in a single PowerPoint file containing all scanned photos, most appearing at 100% of their original size; and 2) right here in the post you’re reading. I’m only posting a fraction of the photos here though, for a couple of reasons. First, most of these photos are of people that I don’t know and that none of my readers know. Second, even with a fast connection, it would take a good long while for all of those photos to download to one’s screen. And third, if anyone would like to see the complete collection, drop me a line and I’d be happy to send you the complete PowerPoint file – though I should warn you that it’s presently about 10 MB in size, though I plan to create a lower resolution version of the complete file for the benefit of the casual viewer, so that number will go down considerably.

Before we get to the photos, I want to mention one other thing that became clear as I went along. These photos do not nearly represent Mildred’s complete collection. A great many of her photos are in storage back in Massachusetts and so are beyond the scope of what I will be able to present. What Mildred loaned me mostly falls into 3 groupings: 1) her wedding album; 2) a collection of photos from the 1920s (Mildred was born in 1921); and 3) a selection of recent photos from the last 10 years or so. It has been an honor, a privilege, and a great deal of fun going through this, and I thank Mildred for allowing these photos to be shared with the sprawling family of performers who will always think of her as our Nona.

Mildred and Primo exiting the church on their wedding day in 1957. Yes, Primo was a few years older than Mildred, while she for her part waited longer than most for the right man to come along. He is no longer with us, and Mildred will tell anyone who cares to hear that he was a prince of a man whom she still misses dearly.

Primo and Mildred at the reception.

I forgot to ask Mildred who this woman is! I will rectify that, but in the meantime, I just love this photo so I had to include it here. CC tells me that the clothing style suggests that this is from around 1912.

The little one in the front is our Milly, posing here with two of her siblings.

As you may be able to read on the border, that’s Milly on the left.

Milly in 1924 at the age of 3. She tells me that what appear to be stripes on her legs are actually multiple straps on her shoes. She tells me that shoes such as these were known as “chickies” in her neck of the woods.

Enlarged detail of photo above.

Mildred in 1959, married with child.

Primo and Mildred.

Mildred in the mid-1990s, when she was appearing at the Apollo Theatre here in Chicago in a long-running production of Lend Me a Tenor. Yes, that’s Mickey Rooney next to her. He had replaced John Astin in the lead role.

Taken during a performance of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding in Chicago. This is a dramatic moment early in the show when Grandma Nunzio faints on the dance floor, momentarily bringing everything to a halt!

Grandma Nunzio again, with Tony (Damian Vanore) n’ Tina (Jaclyn Mastrangelo). There’s no acting going on in this photo – that’s joy, my friends!

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