Saturday, April 9, 2011

Then and Closer to Now

I was sorting through the final box of stuff from our move three years ago and came across a photo that was a bit of a deja vu moment and it took me a while to put things together in my mind.

As the keeper of the family tree, I have hundreds (I daresay thousands would be more accurate) of photos old and new.  Most are somewhat organized into albums and nearly all are scanned on the computer.  In my retirement (might it be soon, long and financially carefree!!) I may finally get them all into some semblance of order, just in time for my daughters to delete and turf out, upon my demise.

But back to my picture.

In this photo, which I took in about 1998, are Sam Patterson (my uncle), Mom, and Loreene Ham (Mom's first cousin). Sam passed away in 2000 and Mom in 2003.  Loreene to my knowledge is still alive.  She lives in Oregon, but has moved from her former home, because the Christmas card I sent this year, came back stamped as "address unknown".  As she would be 86, she is probably in a nursing home elsewhere in Oregon now.

Compare it (and use your imagination) to this little gem:

If I was truly photoshop savvy, I would know how to do a reflection of this picture and then they would be in the same standing arrangement.  However, once again, this is Loreene, Mom and Sam. Mom was born in 1922, Sam in July 1924, and Loreene in August 1924. My best guess would be that this photo is summer of 1928 or 1929, which would make the separation between these two photos about 70 years.

The 20's photo would have been taken by Loreene's mother or father, probably.  They were the California cousins, who travelled by Model T, all the way to Ontario that particular summer, to visit with all the Canadian relatives.  I'm glad they did, because they took quite a few priceless shots of Mom's family that otherwise would never have been taken.  In fact I think any of the surviving shots from the early 1900's to World War II of Mom's family, I probably owe entirely to the photographic prowess of the California contingent.

Let's take a look at the photo.  Mom and Sam are obviously the poor country cousins, judging by their clothing.  Mom is wearing a little homemade dress ( you might note in the later photo, that the same is true -- Mom never wore anything but her own simple little homesown dresses). Loreene on the other hand has a tailored outfit, and looks prepared to toddle off to Sunday School, not play with the calves and chickens, as they probably did.  Mom is holding a little basket.  My first guess would be that it was a little Easter basket of some sort, but then I realize that the roads would have been entirely unpassable at that time of year from California to Ontario, let alone into the hinterlands of muddy, pre-Depression Parry Sound District.  It was probably some sort of little gift that the city cousins brought.  Mom often talked about the first chocolate bar she ever had.  She remembered being about 12 years old at that time, so that would have been several years after this particular photo.  Again it was some member of this California group, who delivered the chocolate treats.

The other noteworthy feature of this photo is the house.  The original farmhouse burned in 1926, so that would leave the new house at a year or two old.  Note the pine siding is not completed.  This is the house my brother still lives in.  Yes the siding was eventually painted and a veranda added, where the children are standing.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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