That's my Mom- second from left with the big hairbow and white dress. Her sister Jackie is the tall one- first on the left in white dress. I love this photo of her because there are not many photo moments captured with my Mom smiling. Maybe she was just squinting from the sun in her eyes here.(?)
My Mom was a bit of a non-smiler in young photos for some reason. From what I know she had a good childhood, although her Dad was pretty grumpy a lot of the time, from what I am told. He seemed to have been that way after he had survived a bad bout with Black Small Pox back when my Mom's older sister was a baby. There was an outbreak in Lucas County and, among the inflicted, he and only a few others survived it. My Great Grandmother (his mother) came to the house to care for him and never got the sickness. Their house happened to be very near a contagious disease hospital and the story that has been passed down is that "the sick were brought in the front door and the dead were taken out the back door....and there were plenty". He did not go to the "in the front and out the back door" hospital. They had to hang a sign on their house that indicated to the various delivery men, common in those days, that it was a sick house. He was left with deep pock marks and scaring and some apparent nerve damage. Mom said he had a pretty short temper sometimes.
When my Mom was a teenager and was a secretary for the dept of surplus war assets in the 1940s, she would invite Navy sailors- just back to the states- to have lunch or dinner at her house. Mom said her Mother loved having an extra person around the table and always cheerfully added another plate. Her Dad wasn't so happy about it, and thought his daughter was silly bringing home strays! There are many photos of Mom with Navy sailors. Some have names written on the back and some don't. I do not know any of these men. Sometimes I have looked at these snapshots over the years and wondered if I should throw them away. I never have. First of all, my Mom is in them, right? Secondly, they are a part of her genealogy as a young adult and also a piece of history. She is smiling and acting silly like a young happy go lucky girl in the photos= wearing her penny loafers and bobby socks and pleated wool skirts with twin sweater sets and wavy long auburn hair.
My Mom ended up marrying a WWII Navy sailor, my Dad= a Navy Sea Bee who was stationed in Guam. He wasn't one of the strays she brought home. He was a boy who lived on her street and fixed her bicycle for her when it broke.
I knew my Grandpa in his old age and always thought he was kind of quiet. I never really felt all that close to him and being able to carry on an easy going conversation just didn't seem to click for us. He loved gardening and building things, and drawing. I still have some of his white hybrid Iris flowers in my own garden, given to me from his garden in Michigan. The huge showy flowers have been blooming for decades. Here is a weird thing-- there always seems to be a hard rain storm the week that they are in full bloom each year-- and if I do not get them staked up right away when they begin to bloom they're beat down onto the sidewalk.
This is another great old family photo. It is my Mom's sister Jackie, taken in 1928 when my Mom was only a year old. I love the pose and the clothes, don't you?
I am absolutely crazy about genealogy. I wish I had more time to devote to organizing my photos, written memorabilia and such. I will need to live to be 110 to get it all in order. Good thing my two Grandpa's lived to be in their 90's...that gives me some hope to live to 110 doesn't it?