Wednesday, June 05, 2013

life in clippings: joinery

i'm about to wrap up my study of the mintzes of ithaca.

you know that awkward stage in a relationship where you're just falling in love with a whole group of people who have been dead for a few decades and at first blush everything they do is fantastic but then you start to notice the little things about them, like their family fights and it's a little embarrassing but then you realize they're just regular people like you and you think it's cute when they have spinach in their teeth?

i think i'm done finding all the information i'm going to find, and i'm trying to tie the bits of news into some data you can look at.

i have a lot of information about the mintzes and their affiliations with various organizations, and i have been thinking for some days how to make a graphic representation that shows the sheer volume of their affiliations and memberships.

the mintzes are joiners. they join civic and service clubs, professional and alumni associations, fund raising drives, sports clubs, and political parties.

where there exist insufficient clubs for them to join, they found new ones.

they go right ahead and join the military if there's a need, and i think i want to devote a whole post to that.

(i know, right? i swear, at some point i'm going to stop blogging about the mintzes and post about some civil war soldiers whose graves i found on my way BACK from the party that saturday afternoon because when all is said and done what this blog is really about is telling the story of where i am, what i'm doing, and what i'm thinking about. and right now what i am thinking about is some people who are buried in a place where i happened to see them and wonder what i could find out about their lives. you know. like you do.)

all right, so i've been going back and forth about how to represent the data about organizational affiliations. i keep making charts and tables and then as i move data in, it looks very flat and what i am concluding is that not all information is interesting when you look at it in a graphic representation.

so i've settled on just listing anecdotally the organizations the mintzes belonged to or worked with.

etta was a member of the choir at the first presbyterian church and performed as a soloist as parts of shows for the cornell music clubs and a lot of assorted pageants and concerts.

the mintzes were heavily democrats. they are recorded as belonging to the democratic party, running democratic campaigns, being endorsed by the democratic party for office, helping to run democratic party machines, and even serving as a delegate to the democratic national convention. it should be noted that the ithaca daily news, for which lionel worked, is the democratic party mouthpiece of tompkins county.

they worked in local government, serving on various boards and commissions.

lionel and gustave were involved in the chartering of ithaca's brand new chapter of the american legion. it is possible that lawrence also was involved in the organization, but the clippings i have seen do not mention it.

they belonged to professional organizations and alumni organizations. they ran charity drives.

they belonged to the elks, the rotary, the royal arcanum, and the maccabees.

they were active on sports teams, and lionel was commissioner of the ithaca city baseball league.

they sang and acted in pageants, variety shows, and comedy routines. they gave lectures. one or two of them even appeared in silent films.

if you could join a thing, they joined it. if a thing was not available to join, they opened up a chapter of it or created a whole new club from scratch.

the mintzes were enmeshed in the fabric of their community.

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