Mystery Baby – Who was Eric Dewell?

I’m diligently scanning and rescanning photographs originally in the possession of my grandmother Eveline Coates Hoskins – the ones sent by her relatives in England. I have not yet been able to determine how this beautiful baby fits into our family tree.
Unknown - Dewell, Eric copyYou know you want a closer look at those curls  … and that expression …
Unknown - Dewell, Eric cropand those toes …
Unknown - Dewell, Eric toesBut who is this precious one? The back of the photograph provides a name and a date.

Unknown - Dewell, Eric back signature

Hmm … I’m thinking the baby didn’t sign this.

I haven’t run across any Dewells in the family tree. No Erics either – in the event Dewell is a middle name.

As I was placing the photograph back into its page protector, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before (and there has been ample opportunity for noticing). The date and handwriting match the date and handwriting on the back of another photograph.
Dawson (Cherry), Ida back signature and date I know who Cousin Ida is. Ida Dawson is the daughter of Nellie (Mary Ellen) Coates Dawson and Robert Dawson. Ida was my grandmother’s first cousin.

Dawson (Cherry), Ida copy But who is Eric Dewell and what was his relationship to Ida? I’ll keep looking, but I’m sending this out and hoping someone can give me a little help. I’d like to claim this little one as one of ours.


Sepia Saturday – Such a Face!

Sep Sat 10-31-2015Gee, I haven’t participated in Sepia Saturday in quite a while! I mean too, but my muddled brain doesn’t always cooperate. But I am here today!

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

Today’s prompt is an image of a vintage Halloween greeting card. I don’t have a greeting card, but I have a couple of pictures that I think complement the theme.

Doris helps Jim HalloweenHere we have a woman standing with her back to us, right hand raised, facing a man dressed in a jacket and wearing a hat. This guy looks pretty grumpy, as does the guy on the card.

A second photo was taken a few minutes later and now we understand that this is a grumpy boy. His hat looks rather juvenile by comparison. Perhaps he grew into a grumpy man.Doris and Jim Halloween costumesThese pictures were taken while my mom and step-dad were dating – so the poem on the greeting card is also a match:

She believed in the mirror’s magic spell;
That of her future husband it would tell.
He must be tall, and good lineage trace:-
But how could he, with such a face.

I recently showed Dad this picture and he said that they went to a costume party and assumed people knew who they were, but after sitting on a couch for some time with no one speaking to them, they realized that no one had any idea who they were.

I think these are pretty great masks! I wonder where they (probably Mom) found them? This was long before the internet after all.

At the time this was taken, Mom and I lived with her parents in Ottumwa, Iowa. I’d never noticed until now that my grandfather’s hat is hanging on the back of the chair on the right.

They made quite a cute couple at Halloween – and on their wedding day!

It’s Halloween, so go trick-or-treating at the doors of other Sepia Saturday participants.

Our Sweet Mom is at Rest

2015.09.04 Funeral cover

It was a long good-bye, as Alzheimer’s Disease made its steady march, chipping away at memories and function. I really don’t know what to say today, so I will simply mark Mom’s passing with some details from the memorial service.

2015.09.04 Funeral inside

2015.09.04 Funeral back

The service was just as it needed to be. A talented young man, Aaron Rogers, who is studying to be a music director, sang the solos – Amazing Grace and Going Home. As many people with dementia do, Mom spoke often of her desire to “go home,” so Dad chose this beautiful song especially for her.

Here is a link to the eulogy, should you wish to read it. We are thankful that my sister’s pastor, the Reverend David Roberts, was available to lead the service. Although he never met my mother, he spent time talking with Dad and seemed to get a genuine feel for many of the qualities that make mom so special to us.


It is hard to say good-bye to a mother, wife, and sister, but we are at peace because she is at peace after a long and brutal disease.