22 February 2010

Irfan Altinbasak 1944 to 2008 (aka Charlie)



My grandfather passed away when I was 6 years old, in 1977. My father was 33 at the time, and he was here in the States. Father had three brothers and three sisters. He was the spoiled middle child- an oxymoron here, I know, but Charlie's interest in sports meant that he was always given the cream of the crop at dinnertime, and often ate steak when everyone was having leftovers.. If you ask my aunts and uncles, Charlie was the favorite. Five of his siblings left Turkey to be in America or Germany, Charlie and his sister Nuran were the only ones left. It is imagined to be a heart-breaking moment for my grandfather to discover that his last remaining son would also leave the nest and spread his wings toward America. Back in the late sixties, you would be driven out on the tarmac to board your plane, and your relatives could be observed watching you ascend the stairs to the cabin. As Charlie described it, his father was leaning on a fence watching him board, and between the time he entered the cabin and the time he took his window seat, grandfather had stopped looking in his direction and buried his face on his fore-arm, weeping as he leaned on the fence..

This is perhaps the only interaction I have seen between my father and his father. A young 25 year old Charlie is proudly showing off his newest possession, and bragging about it on the back of this photo. I was born about 2 years later.

Hamit Altinbasak- Paternal Grandfather


Hamit Altinbasak
Originally uploaded by Amerikan Turk
My grandfather the famous hat-maker of Bursa. Do you have an old gentleman's hat that has the Altinbasak label? Please let me know if you do because I may like to buy it from you.

03 February 2010

Bike for sale: Redline 9-2-5


I paid $450 for this bike and put maybe 500 miles on it.

I don’t know the size, but I’m 5’-9” and it fits me nicely.

Yours for $300.

Moustache bars are not included- I sold them on Ebay.

Yeah- someone paid money for them, go figure.