Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, September 9, 2017


My son seems to be pretty serious playing his sax in a high school Jazz Band performance. His group won a lot of competitions as he worked through his four years in band.  I am thinking the year is 1997.

Kids love school picnics and these two are having their picture taken with their country school teacher.  My mom is the teacher and the year must be 1939.  I like seeing the old car and a concerned parent or grandparent looking on as the photographer was snapping the picture.

Even thought is says it is 1956, I am betting the photo was taken in the fall of 1955.  I am standing there at the age of five with my brother, Dwight, named after one of our presidents.  Dwight, 7 years old,  has a good bike there but I didn't have one at the time.  I really didn't learn to ride a bike for another couple of years later, when my dad brought home a couple of beat-up old bikes from a farm sale.  We had a hill in the back of the machine shed and I learned to coast down it and eventually pedal. I like seeing the hand-me-down pants and shirt that I am wearing in this photo. My age difference to my brother was three years so his clothes really were too big for me most of my childhood. I did have the privilege of having my own underwear and socks.
Living on the farm meant having lots of pets.  The cats were continually reproducing and the dog Tippy lived long after I was in college. Tippy was mostly border collie with some other mixture added to his breed. We got the dog in 1954 and he was still around in 1970. I am thinking the ages of the boys, this summer shot, no shirts, is four, seven, thirteen, and twelve. Leaves on the old locust trees in the backyard and the Chinese elms are standing strong as a windbreak for the old house.

This is a photo from an album that I have full of family shots. I now know that the house they were from had owners by the names of Webster. I don't have much more to find among the photos.  The youngster doesn't look too happy having his photo taken. If it were a photo where he had to hold still, it may be why he is so stern.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wheels of Fortune......

Tractors and bicycles have some things in common, but not too many when you think of all of the differences. Wheels make them belong to the same big family. My brother was born in 1942.  He sits on this tractor 74 years ago.  A Farmall M, which must have belonged to one of my uncle,s as my dad was in the service at that time and didn't become a farmer for five more years.

Carnival rides really don't have any bicycle in them  and yet there are all those wheels.  A classmate of mine in school shared this photo of her family on the ride, going in circles of course.  The think that has always fascinated me about this photo is what is in the background on the left. The year this was taken has to be in 1953, judging by the age of the littlest girl whom I still know today. The carnival is set up in a park right next to the train track in Murray, Iowa.
A first cousin of mine also is proud of his wheels. Unfortunately for him, he drowned within the next year. Keith was an only child and was probably close to being 15 in this photo. He and his friends ran off to swim at the Thayer lake. His parents, my uncle and aunt, did not know he was even gone until they told them of his drowning. This photo is also taken on a main street in Murray, Iowa. I can only guess that this was taken in 1936. The wheels of misfortune that helped to cause his death was said to be bicycles that took out to the lake. I don't think he was allowed to drive this family car.
Uncle Kenny was a dashing guy as he grew up. He is proud of these wheels.  He sits on the running board of a car sitting in the yard of my great grandparents, near Macksburg, Iowa. Those who know anything about American cars can probably date this photo. This guy was born around 1916 and had not gone off yet to be in the army for WW II. I am guessing 1938.
Southern Iowa farm boys leaning against the Ford not even thinking of their futures.  They were leaning against the one set of family wheels. I am the youngest here with my older brother to the left of the photos. Second older brother is the tall one and my brother, three years older, is on the far end. The year is 1956 and we have been on this farm since 1953.  The guy on the left is the guy that was sitting on the tractor in the very first picture.

The weather was probably middle summer  as three out of four were without shirts. We were poor but we did have undershirts that we could have worn. The two youngest guys probably didn't wear shoes most of summer until school started. The photo was taken with the Brownie Kodak camera and you are seeing the photo that is being held in a packet of photos as was the way photos were process then. The fortunes of these four guys were all different with the two older guys now live in warmer climates. The older brother is in Arizona and the other is in California.  The brother on the end died in 2008 from additions of his past. He had lived in Arizona and returned to Iowa for about 15 years before he passed. He was 61 yeas old unlike the age of 9 that his is at the time of the photo.

I will close with the photo of our 1957 Ford Fairlane.  It was green with a cream color. It seemed like a beautiful car at the time and we took family trips in it to the great out west in the summers.  No air conditioning in this car other than rolling down the windows. The heater did work in the winter. This is the first time that I have seen in the photo tail fin of a 1976 Plymouth of a relative of the family.

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