Genealogy Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition

After months of being cold in Philadelphia, I relish the mere thought of summer. I’ve always loved the beach. I don’t remember many trips there as a child, but there were a few. Fortunately the beach is an easy drive away — in Philly-speak, it’s called “goin’ down the shore”. As a teenager, that meant trips to Wildwood, which recently gained bragging rights as “New Jersey’s Best Beach”. Then I discovered palm trees, which sadly are not native to New Jersey and don’t like our winter climate well enough to grow here. I fell in love with some marvelous beaches with palm trees as I had opportunities to travel, including Bellows Air Force Station in Hawaii and Luquillo, Puerto Rico. I can’t wait to see some Croatian Beaches this summer, and my new favorite closer to home is Island Beach State Park. I wonder if my love of beaches is genetic? I’m not brave enough to post my own bathing suit photos for all to see, but here are a few family photos to show that I may have inherited the beach lover’s gene!

Grandmom 1936

This bathing beauty is my grandmother, Margaret Bergmeister Pointkouski. It was taken in 1936. Although my grandparents enjoyed visits to Wildwood, NJ, in their later years, this was likely taken in either Atlantic City or Cape May (where her brother had a house).

Grandpop 1936

Here is the companion shot of her husband, James Pointkouski. The photo is in need of some repair to remove some purple markings, but check out this fashion statement! One-piece bathing suits for men? [Well, technically men do wear one piece bathing suits, but I meant similar to a woman’s one-piece that includes a top and bottom covering!] Who knew? And aren’t we all glad this is one fashion that hasn’t come back again?


This little cutie is their son, my father. It was taken in 1937 when he was about three years old. Based on the Boardwalk in the background, this was taken in Atlantic City (pre-casinos!). Nice shades, Dad!

Pointkouski Family

Finally, here’s the whole family seated under the Boardwalk in Atlantic City in 1937. I see by now Grandpop has given up the “onesie” bathing suit, but it looks like my dad has one on…maybe that’s why he’s crying.

Okay, I’m ready – I can hear the seagulls calling me! Let’s load up that car with beach blankets and cold drinks, and call in sick to work…it’s time to head down the shore!

[This post was written for the 49th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Swimsuit Edition.]

5 thoughts on “Genealogy Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition

  1. Great photos! Great story!

    When you mention the Jersey shore I can’t help but think of Point Pleasant Beach because that’s where Stephanie Plum hangs out in the Janet Evanovich books… LOL! Have you been there?

    I’ve not had the pleasure of visiting the Jersey shore but I hope to one day 🙂

  2. Enjoyed seeing the picture “under the boardwalk”! I have one of my grandfather in more casual cloths on the boardwalk taken in the 40s. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have great memories of the Jersey shore. I live in Florida now and no one knows what “the boardwalk” or “the shore” is. We vacationed in Wildwood, Jersey every summer. You have some great photos that brought back lots of good memories. I made a heritage book about my great grandparents and there are some photos of them at the shore.Y ou can view them on my blog under pages, then click on “view a heritage book” scroll down and you’ll see them. I’m leaving tomorrow to visit my brothers in Philadelphia. I am in search of old family photos that they have.
    I’ll post them when I get back. Thanks for sharing your memories!

  4. Jasia, I’ve never been to Point Pleasant, but it’s not too far from Island Beach State Park that I like to visit. Definitely put the Jersey Shore on your “to do” list…it’s not exactly the Caribbean by any stretch of the imagination, but it has a charm all it’s own. Just don’t come in the winter!

    Thanks, Wendy!

    heritagebooks…thanks for stopping by, but you didn’t tell us the URL for your blog so we can all check out your photos! Be sure to let us know so we can all see. Have fun in Philly!

  5. Ugh,

    You Philly folks are such sissies if you think it gets cold there in the winter…. try the Maine or New Hampshire coast for the months of January and February in any year 😀

    Seriously, I enjoyed your story and the photographs.


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