Monday, September 12, 2011

My Georgia Monday: Vintage Family Photos

My maternal grandparents Simon Topadze and Nina (Dochviri) Topadze, Tbilisi 1940s
If you've been visiting my blog for sometime now, you may know I love vintage photos.  When immigrating to the U.S. from the country of Georgia, our family photos were the first things I packed.  I knew I would not be back to my old home for a long time...  What would you pack if you were moving across the ocean, not knowing when you get to see your family and friends again?  I was just 22...  Honestly, I don't know if I could be as brave, determined and faithful  today (I'll be 40 in two days).

My Grandmother, Nina Dochviri Topadze, Tbilisi 1940s
Her hair is so much like Prada S/S 2011, isn't it?! 
And oh, how I wish I had granny's vintage dresses, purses and shoes!!

My sweetest childhood memories are all of me spending summers with my grandparents on their farm in Imereti, Georgia.  My grandparents got married after completing their studies in economics at the university in Tbilisi (the capital of Georgia).  I think they actually met at work... (so did my parents, and also my husband and I).  My grandfather survived the World War II (unfortunately, his brother Bezhan did not) and they settled in Tbilisi.  A few decades later when granddad's mom got ill, they moved back to Imereti to take care of her.  I always thought that was special that my grandparents were probably the only farmers with bachelors degrees in the whole village of Siqtarva, lol!  My poor grandma never liked living on the farm.  She really was a city girl.  I named my daughter after her...  My granddad was a very intelligent man.  He read the newspaper everyday until just a few months before his death at 92..  He knew current events better than me or other grand-kids.   Without any hesitation he could discuss any local or world news, offering his "black and white" opinion. There were no gray areas with Babu. 
My grandma Nina (left) and her girlfriends in Tbilisi, sometime before WWII

My Mom in her Daddy's lap
And check those amazing giant shoulders on Aunt Mary's coat in the photo below.  Actually, this is my Mom's Aunt, but she never got married and we all called her Aunt Mary, though she was like our grandma.  I used to love to visit Aunt Mary's flat in Tbilisi and raid her closet.  She had the most beautiful vintage dresses and shawls, and handmade crocheted accessories.  Handmade by her that is. 
Mom with her Aunt, Mary
Mom and my Uncle Vladimeri, Tbilisi, around 1950-51
I've always loved looking at my Uncle Vladimeri's baby photos (like the one above).  He had golden curls and blue eyes and looked like a Cupid off some vintage postcard.  And check out Mom's over-sized bow.  What can I say, she knows how to accessorize! 


  1. Wonderful piece of histori, my dear Maya.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    I think you look like your mum. Don´t you think???

  2. Thank you for sharing your pictures Maya! Funny, I have TWO Aunt Mary's in my family who never married. My Mom's sister, who is like another mother to me, and my grandma's sister, who was like a bonus grandma.

    And my grandfather, who stopped attending school at about fourth-grade level, read the paper EVERY DAY like yours and was smart as a whip. If he were alive today he could have outsmarted any candidate in a debate, let me tell ya!

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.


  3. Hi Maya!

    Started my blog! Just one post and I need to play around and personalize it.
    I have a lot to learn about blogging!

    Have a nice week!

  4. Nice memories and photos. I can see you got your DIYing skills honestly.

  5. i would definitely grab photos, too...these are so wonderful to look it. our families were very well dressed!! thank you for sharing these with us!

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  6. Very lovely photos, I know if I were leaving home I would definitely take mine as well (although now a days, everything is on my computer). Everyone looks so well put together and dressed to the nines, such a change from all the pictures you see today.

  7. These pictures are so beautiful ! Thanks for sharing your family treasures !

  8. Love these pictures so much! Such a beautiful faces. I love vintage photos too - I have a few boxes of my family's pictures dated 1909 and even earlier.
    Thank you so much for sharing <3

  9. Just beautiful! my husbands family is from Nice, France and his mother came here at 21...I love her stories of her homeland and the adventures to become a US cit. Very brave indeed!

  10. These are so great! I would love to see the clothing your mother had made...sigh...

  11. Dear Maya, Thank you for so interesting story. My name is Irakli Dochviri, I live in Tbilisi. As I informed from my parents, all members with the second name Dochviri are in close alliance. I have interest to know Nina's father name, where he lived befor, hed Nina brother(s) / syster(s), and have you with their descendants connection?

    With warmest wishes,
    Irakli Dochviri



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