Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Circa. 1920

"Gertrude Monroe Circa ; 1920" is written on the back of this family photo.  We knew her as "Mam maw".

She was born August 11, 1904, and she would be around 16 years of age when this picture was taken.  I have never thought of Mam maw as ever being a teenager until this picture crossed my path this morning.  Flipping through a stack of family pictures, this one caught my attention.  Mam maw as a teenager!  What a deal.  She certainly looks like she is ready to go to where ever life was to lead.  Maybe it was one of those first dates with Pap paw.  Hair fixed, purse in hand, and a hat of some sort that helped block the sun from the eyes.  I am ready to go...she seems to be saying.   There is a lot of life yet to live.   She certainly did.

She died March 17, 1989 at the age of 84 years.  She introduced me to cinnamon toast, coffee, and a great number of family stories that remain alive in my heart.  Thanks Gertrude Monroe Circa. 1920...it is good to see you as a teenager.  Your coffee cup sits on my mantel as I write... still dancing with your stories.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Eyes Have It

Here she is, in living color.  Taken around 1890, this photo is unique among the many, many, family pictures that have been captured  among my ancestors.  It is the only color picture taken during this time period that seems to have survived.

 Her name is Lillie Henderson, and she was the older step sister to my maternal great grandmother Ellen Dorcas Henderson.  Not much is recorded of her life among the family records.  Her mother's name is not even recorded, but her father was Abraham B. Henderson (nickname Sonny) who by a first marriage had two children.  She is recorded to have died around the age of 16 years.

Red hair, blue eyes, and  a determined look, fills the camera.  There is a certain sadness about her... shoulders straight, hair perfectly combed, blue dress and a red bow that surrounds a high necked, laced collar.  But it is the eyes that captured my heart.

Some say that the eyes are the windows of the soul.  In this photograph of a long forgotten ancestor, the eyes have it.