Monday, March 3, 2008

Myrtle Kalas

Many members of the Kalas family are buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, so having seen their headstones (and given the Star Trek connection), this family held special interest for me.

I've been fortunate in being able to find several items in the Oakland Tribune's archives on various family members, including several colorful ones involving Myrtle Kalas. The first was her "coming out" party, which featured a dramatic reading by Helen Maltesta (who was then about 12 years old):

(Click to enlarge)

When I showed this article to your Mom, she laughed. She was familiar with all the names of the attendees, and far from being a High Society Deb party, this was pretty much a family birthday party with classmates and young relatives in attendance.

The second article "Local Cupid Snubbed by 15-yr-old Neighbor" describes how Myrtle, when working in the Alameda County Recorder's office (next door to the marriage bureau), opted to apply for a marriage license in San Jose rather than have the snoopy marriage bureau employees find out about her impending nuptials. It was a whirlwind romance: Myrtle and Benjamin were engaged after knowing each other just three weeks:

When your great grandfather, George Maltesta moved alone to San Francisco, Eleanor and Helen moved in with the Kalas family (Anthony Kalas and his wife, Lucy, who was Eleanor's sister. The kids included Myrtle, Anthony, Charles "Quisty", Dolly and Bud.) Helen married Carl Raysor soon thereafter. William Lavery (Eleanor and Lucy's brother) also lived with the Kalases.

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