Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sepia Trees on Parade.........

As I sort through the many pictures of the past that include the family members of my family tree,  I find it interesting that sometimes the trees help to identify the place in which the picture was taken.  They were taken before my time but yet I get clues and the mind starts to evaluate the background growth to know just where the picture was taken.

The above picture is clearly identified as my Grandmother Mabel Brown Brooks.  She is holding my mom's first born son, my brother Ron.  This makes it a photo taken in 1942 as my brother was born in October, 1941.

The trees are younger here and I can see a house in the background so it is in Murray, Iowa where my Grandmother lived or it was taken out on the corner a few miles out of town at the filling station where my parents first lived along highway 34.

My mom's brother, my Uncle Kenneth Brown, stands beside the big tree for his informal portrait. The tree doesn't give me any true clues but the house tells me a little.  The house is not my great grandparents house as this house is a single story with a coal shed or small garage.  It is in town but I cannot guess which one.  It is just a mystery tree to me.  The age of my uncle makes the picture to  have been taken in the middle thirties.  He and my mom lost their father in 1937 and mom who was the youngest was 18 years old at the time.  Judging by how old he looks there it must have been before '37.
Yes one of my blogger friends is correct.  Kenneth's t-shirt says Consolidated Aircraft.  He went to California and helped build bombers until he was drafted.  I expect it is the 1939 or a year later. He could have returned to Iowa to go into basic training.

This cemetery is the Union Cemetery in southern Iowa and my dad stands in front of the stones of his grandparents on his dad's side.  The trees in the background shows that it is a rural cemetery and the timber runs parallel to the gravel road in front of the place.  This isn't an old photo as it was taken in 1990's but characteristic of a lot of cemeteries in Iowa they are lined with volunteer trees around their fence lines.  The old cedar trees in the cemeteries are at least a hundred years old.

The trees in the background are in rural a rural area, on a farmstead near Murray, Iowa. You can see the barn in the background on the left and trees lining the fence row. The tree next to the small shed was probably a volunteer tree as it looks too close to the shed to have been planted there on purpose.

  The husband of the women at the end of the table must be taking this photo. They were having their evening picnic meal before heading inside to play card through the evening. She is Janice Nannen sitting at the end of the table and she is the only person still alive today. The photographer would have been Ted Nannen the farmer who owned this place with his wife.

In memory of those in the photo from left are Jesse Burgus,  my dad, Galen Burgus, a distant cousin, Bill Farr, my uncle, Janice Nannen, the hostess, Mary Farr, my aunt and dad's sister, Zella Burgus, my mom, and June Walters Burgus, distant cousin's wife.

As we all think back there were favorite trees in our lives that we experienced or remember.  I liked climbing trees and building things in trees but some trees were just large trees that shaded my sand pile or held my swing.  The large trees around my property now are old and have a lot of history that was before my time 35 years ago.  The weather has removed one while I was living here and one was taken away by the city.  I still have three large silver maples that could tell tales of lightening strikes and of model T's passing by the house.  As they become more of  a dangerous threat to my house they will have to be removed.  Before that I guess I need to write a poem about them. 

Check out the others who are participating with Sepia Saturday.


Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...


This is a great post! The picture of your Uncle Kenneth is a wonderful shadow shot too. Trees are part of the family, aren't they. I will always remember the ones at the house where my mom owned for 40 years.

Happy SS,

Kathy M.

Little Nell said...

It’s amazing that we can use trees and houses to help us date the old photos. Our memories of trees have tended to be good on the whole and a poem would be a fitting memorial. It sounds as if you alreday have the germ of one in that last paragraph.

Postcardy said...

I think your uncle looks older than 18. Maybe the Consolidated Aircraft / San Diego t-shirt is a clue.

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

A great post Larry. I always enjoy your SS but popped over to your other blog and the photos are marvelous. Great job.

Karen S. said...

What great photos enjoyed your family moments...the Union Cemetery is a favorite name in so many cities...those headstones must have cost them a fortune, very stately!

Bob Scotney said...

Family trees have a lot to tell us even when we can't trace all the branches. The real trees are often taken for granted too. I used to spend hours in an apple tree in our garden when I was a boy. The house remains but the tree has gone along with our family.
I picked out te Uncle Kenneth shot as well.

Tattered and Lost said...

Trees really do become family members if people pay attention.

I know that the person who bought the house where I spent my pre-teen and teen years came in and cut down all the trees my father had planted. Thus I have no desire to ever see the house again. I must say, there was some karma because the guy swindled the city of San Francisco and I believe did some jail time where for a few years he could only dream of trees.

Kristin said...

Nice tree shots. Now I will start looking specifically at trees when I look at old photos.

Crystal Mary said...

Yes, I love trees and I have never thougth about taking photos beside them as time goes by.. they seem to remain the same yet we grow older. .....Lovely memories Larry.