Sepia Saturday: The Bigger Picture

Sep Sat Nov 16 2013Sepia 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.

I haven’t participated in Sepia Saturday for quite a while and it’s good to be back – even if it’s just for a random week here and there. The prompt picture offered this week reminded me of one I have shared previously, but I’ll go with something else.

This photograph was taken the day my Uncle Roy married the love of his life, my dear Aunt Joan.
Deb before Roy's wedding copyThat’s my cousin Deb standing just off our grandparents’ porch and petting a dog. Although my cousin is not standing in the doorway, there are others behind her in the half-opened door. I think the woman in the doorway is one of my aunts. I am the little girl mostly hidden from view behind her.

I have another copy of this photo. My grandmother tried to cut out the extraneous people in the doorway, leaving only my cousin and the dog. Although my cousin was clearly the cute subject of the photo, I prefer the original. It tells more of a story. Croppers beware!
Deb and Bimbo

On the back of this cropped picture, my grandmother identified my cousin by name and the dog as Fido. But the dog was named Bimbo. Maybe Grandma was thinking back to the dog my Uncle Roy once loved and lost in a sad tale of a dog who killed a neighbor’s chickens. His name was Fido.

When I think of Bimbo, I always think of this song that one of my uncles must have taught me. It’s the chorus that I remember. Bimbo was primarily an outside dog and there were no fences so he had run of the surrounding area and we didn’t always no where he was – which makes the song rather fitting.

Knock on a few more doors and see what other Sepia Saturday participants are sharing today.

A Rediscovered Book from Childhood

Oh the wonders of the internet, Google, ebay and Facebook! And the kindness of fellow bloggers! This time I reconnected with a book from my childhood.

Kat Mortensen blogs at Acadianeire’s Heritage. I met her through Sepia Saturday and she is also participating in The Book of Me and now we are Facebook friends. One day back in October, Kat posted that she was looking for a book from her childhood that held special memories for her. In a very short time she found images for it and posted them. She was so successful that I told her about a book I have always wanted to find from my childhood.

The description I provided her was very brief! The book had a red cloth library style cover with a black line drawing. The story was about a little girl who went to the circus, but lost her ticket. She went all around the circus looking for it, but it was stuck to her cotton candy. I assumed the book had been published in the late 1940s-early 1950s. I didn’t remember the name of the book or the main character.

In less than 10 minutes, Kat found the book! Once I knew the name of the book, I went looking for one with a red cover just like mine had – and I found one on ebay.
book.Sally Goes to the Circus coverbook.Sally Goes to the Circus inside

Since it was just days after my birthday, I decided to give myself a present. :)

I had forgotten that it is a “chapter book” with 12 chapters divided among 44 pages.
book.Sally with mom   book.Sally arrives at circus

Maybe I related to this book not only because I liked the thought of going to the circus and Sally’s adventure, but also because I often rode the city bus – and I seem to recall riding alone at a fairly young age.

Or maybe it was the thought of all those treats Sally just couldn’t resist.
book.Sally treats

Poor Sally, the show is about to begin and she still hasn’t found her ticket!
book.Sally looking

Cuckoo the clown found her ticket and Sally got into the show just in time! Her father was there waiting in the stands for her. Whew!
book.Sally finds ticket

Here is a picture of Sally dressed to go to the circus.
And a picture of me dressed almost like Sally. Our coats are even open almost identically showing our dresses underneath!

Me in front of Elsie Swick's house on Brick Row, Ottumwa, Iowa

Me in front of Elsie Swick’s house on Brick Row, Ottumwa, Iowa

I wasn’t sure of the location of the picture, although it looked like the street where my grandparents lived. I posted it on Facebook and my aunt confirmed that it was taken on their street, two houses to the west of my grandparents’ house. Elsie Swick was a good friend of my grandmother, Eveline Coates Hoskins.

Thanks, Kat, for helping me find this little piece of my childhood!

If you enjoy children’s books, I previously wrote about a few other books I had as a child here. And I mentioned this book that I hoped to find someday!




Sepia Saturday – Umbrellas for Rain, Shine, or Romance

Sepia Sat july 13, 2013Sepia 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.

I looked through my photographs and could only find pictures of me with an umbrella, so my offering for the prompt today will be all about me…

This first picture was taken outside Charles’ and Abbie’s Place - a gas station/grocery store/cafe owned by my grandparents. They lived on the property and I also lived there with my parents as a baby and toddler. The picture shows part of the lot beside and behind the business, including two small houses, a water pump and a picnic table.

On a sunny summer day my umbrella was for protection from the sun rather than rain.


I’m a little older in the next picture. No rain on this day either. I think I am standing outside the house of my other grandparents – Tom and Eveline Hoskins. It looks like a neighbor’s house in the background, although the driveway that would be on one side of their yard is not there, nor is the hedge that would be on the other side of the yard, so I am a little confused.

This picture feels like fall to me, so I’ll venture a guess that I received a new purse, coat, hat, gloves and umbrella for my October birthday.


I am one of those people who thinks that a rainy day is wonderful if you can stay at home and listen to the rain and thunder outside while you read and drink tea, or sit on your porch and watch the rain.

In 1966, my 13-year-old self thought that this song by The Hollies was very romantic. I fantasized about finding true love under an umbrella at a bus stop, just as depicted in the lyrics.

When I was in college a deluge caught me across campus from my German class and without an umbrella. I couldn’t afford to miss class that day and I arrived soaked to the core; made squishing noises as I walked across the old wooden floor to my desk; and a puddle formed on the floor under my chair as my hair and clothing dripped and dripped. I had just started dating my future husband, who was also in my German class. I didn’t know whether to be angry or embarrassed that he didn’t seem to recognize me.

So much for adolescent fantasies.

On this very hot sunny day in Texas where drought plagues us again this year, I invite you to sit in the shade of an umbrella or enjoy a rainy day as you read what others have prepared for Sepia Saturday.