This is my fourth Sepia Saturday post. Click on the link to see who else is "playing" this week!
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I'm posting this Sepia Saturday entry even earlier than last week's -- in terms of it not yet being Saturday, I mean -- because this weekend is already shaping up to be hectic. Anyway, here goes...
A close-up of the oldest existing
photo of my mother , which I used
in last week's Sepia Saturday post,
cropped and re-printed here because...
well... because I like it. Sue me.
I've purposely done no computer "touch-up" work on any of the photos I've presented during these Sepia Saturday posts of mine. I've done nothing to smooth out creases, "fix" chipped-off corners, etc. Even if I were to do so, however, the following shot is one I couldn't even begin to restore. Surprisingly enough, the first time I ever saw it was at my mother's apartment, less than two years ago. Quite frankly, it's trashed... yet it's obvious why my mother saved it, preserved from further damage in a little Ziploc bag along with a piece of carboard to keep it from bending.
It's a picture of my mom's sister Josie, lovingly holding her fifteen-years-younger sibling, my mother Anita. (It's also one of the few early shots of my mom actually smiling, rather than grimacing due to -- I assume -- the era's annoying necessity of the photo's subject(s) having to stare into the blinding sun whenever photographs were taken!) What's left of the caption hand-written in ink on the lower border reads "Sisters" and "April." (Although a lot of these little notations have faded into illegibility over the years, I remain grateful to my mother and whoever else supplied these bits of written information on the various early family photos. It's helped me a lot in terms of names and dates, obviously.)
Going through literally hundreds of photos as I began this task of posting my family's history, I was frustrated at the missing lower right-hand corner of this photo, however. "April of what year?" I wondered. I estimated it as being between 1921 and 1923. But luck was with me. In with a separate group of photos, I found one of Aunt Josie, standing alone on the very same steps, in the very same outfit, plainly labeled "April, 1922." So my mom was four-and-a-half years old, making this the second-oldest photo of her that I have!
Another couple of early shots of my mom follow. I estimate her age in these two as being between ages five and seven. A picture of " 'Nita" with a younger child named Alvina -- a cousin, I believe(?) -- is first, and a playfully-posed shot with my mother's brother Eddie is second.
And last, but definitely not least, is the photo which inspired the title of today's post. My mom labelled it "Pigeon-Toed," due to her slightly unusual stance, and in it, she was about six years old.
More than once, when I was a child, my mother would tell me the two-part story this picture called to her mind.
Note the hairstyle, such as it was. That was the result of the day my mom mischievously ran amok with a pair of scissors. She cut her own hair (hence the uneven bangs in the snapshot). It was warm weather, so she "shortened" the sleeves of a winter coat. She also decided that the drapes in her home were too long, so... Well, you can guess the rest.
I really doubt she was able to sit at the end of that particular day...
Mom's "Pigeon-Toed" story didn't end there. On (presumably) another day, she was in Elm Park in Worcester, Massachusetts, feeling envious of the many other children who had toy boats to sail on the surface of the park's pond. Mom's family couldn't afford such minor luxuries, so she used one (or both) of her shoes, and her hat. (I have no way of confirming it at this late date, but I like to think it was the very hat she held in this photo, a photo taken with that body of water in the background... a "body of water" made ominous-looking in the context of this tale.)
The makeshift "boats" sank. And so did little Anita's hopes for a trouble-free day once she returned home, I suspect.
My mom was certainly never much of a trouble-maker at any time in her life. (She often told me that by the time she married my father shortly before she hit 23, the worst word she'd ever used in her life was "darn.") Nevertheless, kids will be kids, and she was no exception. Not to mention, it was always nice for me to hear the so-called "dirt" about my elders, as harmless as it may have been.
So, who'da thunk it? Even my mom wasn't perfect, not that I ever thought -- or wanted -- to believe otherwise. But she was still a doll.
Thanks for your time.