Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Picture in Profile

Family pictures have a way of telling our family's stories. The picture to the right shows Granny Ewen, with her second child May Millicent born December 7, 1920. The picture was taken March 26, 1921, which would make Millicent around four months of age. The lady she is sitting with is not identified, but I would guess it is Granny's mother, Malaha Morton, nee Howell. The most striking thing about this picture is that Granny is sitting in profile. Almost every other family picture that I have show the folks sitting forward and facing the camera. Here Granny is gazing at Millicent who seems a bit shaken at this picture taking experience. Malaha is looking to the camera with a gaze that seems to say, don't you hurt my girls, or your life will be forfeited. The date of this picture gives the context. Granny had just lost their first child, Minnie Thelma Clay Ewen. In Granny's hand writing, she records "Minnie Thelma Clay Ewen - born March 24 1919 - Died March 11, 1920. age 11 mo. 16 days." Therefore, this picture would be taken around the anniversary of the death of her first child, and holding the hope of her second. No wounder Granny's gaze is to her daughter, and not to us. Her contented look seems to say, life goes on, and she is sitting in my lap...a picture in profile.

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