North Hills News Record from North Hills, Pennsylvania on February 9, 1982 · Page 9
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North Hills News Record from North Hills, Pennsylvania · Page 9

North Hills, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Tuesday, February 9, 1982
Page 9
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accent TUESDAY, FEB 9, 1982 - NEWS RECORD - 9 m ^ i f i f f l News Record Of castles and cathedrals University o* P'lfiburgh photo Priceless pictures Herb Ferguson (center) of Hampton took 16,000 color slides while he was visiting Poland 2'/i years ago with Roger Conant (left) and Robert Scott (right) Some of these images were used m the recent broadcast of "Let Poland Be Poland " Ferguson and Conant are with the University of Pittsburgh, with Scott at Columbia University The three are checking Ferguson's collection of pictures , which the Hampton man considers irreplaceable images of life in that Eastern European country before martial law was imposed Herb Ferguson of Hampton took only a few black-and-white photos while m Poland in 1979 Among them were (from left) Malbork Castle, the largest Gothic castle m the world, Poznan Cathedral, another Gothic structure, and Gmezno Cathedral located m Poland's first capital The centuries-old buildings were interesting to Ferguson in his first trip lo the country, yet the people he met provided the most enduring memories "They are beautiful," he said simply Hampton man's photos put Poland on TV show By MARIE DONAHUE Staff Writer The Hampton man knew some of his pictures would be seen worldwide on "Let Poland Be Poland " What Herb Ferguson didn't know was his photograph of one Pole would open the 90-mmute TV program, or that it would be followed by 55 more These included images of a recent Poland -- portraits of people he'd grown to know and respect during his 1979 visit -- and from a more distant, but well-remembered, past -- haunting scenes of former Nazi concentration camps. Ferguson considers his collection of color slides from Poland, totaling 16,000 in all, a "priceless" look at ^Q^^^^^^^X^^^^^^^^^^^^»^^^^^^^ MH|M ^^ "No one will ever be able to do what we did There were no restrictions at all on what we did there in 1979," he commented "Unless there's a revolution and they win, it will be 20 years or more before you can go back...and then it will be like Czechoslovakia " As a University of Pittsburgh photographer, he said he definitely enjoyed the wide exposure his work received on the show The $500,000 production, highlighted by appearances by national leaders and Hollywood stars, was the first ever broadcast by U.S International Communication Agency both here and abroad. It was shown locally on WQED-TV Ferguson is with Pitt's University Center for Instructional Resources He went to Poland while working with Roger Conant of Pitt's University Center for International Studies department of Russian and Eastern European studies Conant's ultimate goal was putting together a multi-media show, showing the diversity of Polish culture through its 1,000 year history, Ferguson said. Its title is "Polish Phoenix," in honor of the mythical phoenix -- a creature which, once destroyed, rises from its ashes to live again. The 2,000-slide program, accompanied by Polish music, is now being ·huiiii lu VipgiiUi, »Hli a lum uf Mi England set for this spring. Much of its funding comes from the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation of New -York. Ferguson and Conant, along with historical consultant and interpreter Robert Scott of Columbia University, traveled through 30 Polish cities during the summer of 1979 Scott is the son of the Rev Harold Scott of the Pittsburgh Presbytery, a Ross resident. Their accommodations were usually, but not a l w a y s , in college dormitories. There was their weeklong stay in Pieskowa Skata, for one. "We left Krakow and finally arrived there at 11 p.m. There was the dramatic look- ing gorge with its outcropping and then there was the castle silhouetted against the hillside " They were the only visitors at the castle, which is a national museum Here and at other cultural sites in the country, Ferguson photographed precious historical artifacts, paintings, even illuminated manuscripts. He laughs, remembering one curator's reaction to his technique "They took an 800-year-old Bible out of a vault and respectfully placed it on a table. To get a good, clear image, I pulled out a plate of glass and started to put it on the book "The man turned white He must have thought, This American is crazy.' He seemed to calm down the manuscript and turned the pages " This story reminded him of another curator who took the three Americans to a historical institute in Warsaw "He had fought in the Resistance (during World War II) at the age of 12 or 14 He was looking at a picture in the museum and saia suddenly, 'I know that building.' He told us how he saw the church pictured there blown up right in front of him " Ferguson found the man's response to be typical of many there. "You can't talk to a Pole over 30 that won't start talking about the war sometime during your conversation. One-fifth of their population was killed during the war...There was no family left untouched by it." The photographer's own visit to two former Nazi concentration camps is mentioned time and again as he speaks of Poland. The m o r e n o t o r i o u Auchschwilz is a museum today, ac- lordmg to Ferguson "Buses drive up loaded with tourists They show a film, have exhibits, including a room full of human hair " .n his opinion, people who visit HUchschwitz without going to yet another camp at Birkmau only five miles away have "missed it all " "Birkinau was built like a temporary camp," he said "It was just small fenced-in area that at any one time had a^ quarter of a million qu jil ck ,, - _ u was. lucre 5 a railroad track down the center where they rolled people in bv the millions." While there, he turned his camera to one scene he considered visually ironic: clusters of beautiful wild flowers entwined in the barbed wire. Another memorable sight was a crowd of teen-agers placing bouquets by plaques which said in Hebrew, Russian, French and German: "At this placer the Hitlerites killed four million people." Peace, too, was a common theme in the Poland of 1979. "At that time, it was the 35th anniversary of the Polish Republic," he commented. "That was the longest time the Poles had gone in the last years without fighting someone." Designer patterns her work on clothes from the past By BARBARA DAUGHERTY Staff Writer Your past influences your present to a great degree. No one appreciates t r a d i - tionalism more than Saundra Ros Altman, owner and proprietor of Past Patterns, a small firm that manufactures clothing patterns of yesteryear. While demand for patterns for clothing of our ancestors isn't overwhelming, it is steady enough to keep her small company thriving and growing. Only in existence three years, Past Patterns is a tribute to Altman's past. She said, "I was raised by my grandparents who were 50 years older than I and emigrated from Barcelona, Spain, to Miami "I grew up to prefer the older things of life and with a whole different set of values than others my age. I learned to have more respect for old values and a different type of product. I was trained to buy and think differently from my peers." In her grandfather's furniture studio, Altman learned to sew on an old industrial sewing machine, utilizing all his European building techniques for designing and completing garments. A stint at college and marriage brought her to the Heritage Hills section of Grand Rapids, Mich., a preservation area m which homes are open to tourists. She said, "When tourists would go through the house, I liked to dress up in costume. It just made it more fun." From there, it was one step more to making costumes for volunteer organizations. An interest in historic preservation affected a decision to subscribe to "Old House Journal." Glancing through it, she noticed no Mtverttaments for old clothimt ing old-style patterns for her own use, she inserted an ad featuring two patterns in the magazine and her business was born Her first patterns were turn-of- the-century day dresses with an Edwardian look One was designed in organdie with a lace insert, another, in dotted swiss and cotton muslin with tucks over the hips, a center front lace panel and lace edging at the hem. The bottom flounce featured 125 pleats. ^That was three years ago" said Altman, "and those still are my leading patterns " Her catalog of available patterns now features almost 50 items Included in the collection are underwear patterns like Edwardian and Victorian corsets, day dresses, evening apparel and six bridal gowns dating from 1887 (very complicated) to 1939 (very simple) She concentrates on the period between those years "That is the most popular period because the clothing that was worn then looks good on anybody if it is properly fitted -- even without corsets " While the pattern styles may be old, the patterns are completely up-to-date, printed and with complete directions. They also have been modified to accommodate modern figures in size 10, 12, 14 and 16. Sizes easily are diminished or enlarged, she said. Garment bodices are constructed with many seams, so enlarging or reducing a pattern is easy. Skirts were designed with two inverted pleats in back to control sizes. If patterns are made correctly, they will be authentically constructed to time periods they represent. Hooks and eyes are used as closures, Altman said, never zippers. Suggested fabrics also are authentic -- silk satin with polished cotton lining or Honan silkjrith China silk lining - syn- thetics are not recommended Altman also provides complete kits for making garments The cost for a Victorian special occasion gown (A wedding gown of today, perhaps?) would be $170 for satin, $175 for Honan, $190 for silk faille or $203 for a silk taffeta kit The patterns range in price from $3.80 for corsets to $25 for an extravagant 1893 wedding gown Altman said, "A person with medium sewing skills could put together the patterns You can't zip through them like modern patterns and to do a good job, you have to work at them It probably would take about a month for a working woman to put one together. But you would be surprised at the number of people who do it." Altman shudders as she related the story of a North Dakota woman who asked her to rush a pattern for the 1893 wedding gown (the most difficult) to her and proceeded to put it together in five days! "I was a nervous wreck," said Altman "She lived out in the middle of nowhere and I couldn't get the pattern to her by Federal Express or anything like that It finally went special delivery " Patterns are purchased by people involved in old-fashioned celebrations, members of the Victorian Society of America and brides-to-be who are entranced with gowns that feature the look of yesterday. Altman said people buy her patterns because "there are no shapes on the market like these. That's what makes them so different, so interesting They look new and refreshing, that's what sells my patterns " A catalog is available at $10, a pamphlet of patterns suitable for bndal gowns \a S3. For information write Past Patterns, 2017 Eastern, S.E., Grand Rapids, Mich., 49507 or phone 616-245-9456. Round-cornered sack suit Fancy promenade suit styles from the past

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