May I Direct You To …

Smadar Belkind Gerson at Past-Present-Future has added a new post, Photo Detective Study of Produce Row, that includes information about the Morales Banana House in Houston Texas. She did some great detective work and was able to date the photograph of flooding that I included in my post about the Banana House.

Smadar was so kind to include additional information about the Morales produce business in her blog post! And she found video footage and another photo that may offer additional glimpses of the building. I’m still looking them over!

Please hop on over and take a look!


Non-Familial Person of Interest Located – A Happy Blogging Story

Squirrel in a Hole

Squirrel in a Hole

I have been absent from my blog for a few weeks. I’ve been feeling like a squirrel in a hole (you really must click on the picture to understand the feeling I wish to express) and the creative juices seemed to just stop flowing. The result – no writing.

I’ve been reading other blogs, though.

A couple of weeks ago I hopped from one blog … to another blog mentioned in the comments … and on to another blog related to the story.

Do you ever hop down those internet trails?

Sometimes I think I shouldn’t do that – it’s a time waster!

It turns out this wasn’t wasting time after all. This was research! I just didn’t know it at the time.

I’m not going to tell the whole story here because the person at the end of that trail has done that for us and I’m sending you over to her blog to read about it.

Please visit the blog Past-Present-Future, where Smadar Belkind-Gerson has written about the serendipity of our blog hopping and how it led us to a greater understanding of our own family histories.

It involves floods and bananas.

We often hope for cousins to find us when we blog about our families. And we sometimes put something on our blog as “cousin bait.” But sometimes people who are not related can add another layer of information and texture to our own family histories.

What shall we call these people?

non-familial persons of interest?

I think they may be worth looking for. Choose the moniker of your liking and send out a little bait.

And please – Go read this story!

Sepia Saturday – Smile!

Sepia Sat 05-25 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.

The prompt picture this week pays tribute to the human face. And, indeed, this face invites you to spend time studying her features; looking into her eyes; wondering about her thoughts. There is nothing to distract us from her face – not even the style of her hair.

When I was trying to come up with ideas for this week’s Sepia Saturday theme, I thought about a few photographs I have with missing faces – faces that should be there, but have been forcibly removed. Faces we will not spend time contemplating.

Also this past week, Carole King became the first woman ever to win the Gerswhin Prize for Popular Song, an award given annually by the Library of Congress. Her 1971 album, Tapestry, was the background music to my late teen/early adult years. I played it over and over again, always from beginning to end.

I find that some days I still need a dose of Tapestry because there is a song there that speaks to the need of the day. Some days I need “Far Away.” Some days I need to hear that “You’ve Got a Friend.” Some days I need to find shelter “Way Over Yonder.”

And some days I really need to hear “Beautiful” – either because I don’t feel particularly beautiful or because I don’t feel like facing the day ahead. Carole encourages me with each refrain that the day will be better if I face it with a smile:

You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes, you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel.

As I listened to the Tapestry album this week, it crossed my mind that the women who cut themselves out of my photographs could have used a dose of advice from Carole. And what about those stern looking matriarchs of the family? Surely they weren’t as mean as they look in the photographs I have of them.

If only they had had Carole King’s encouragement singing within ….. Smile. Show the love in your heart. Or maybe treat yourself a little better and don’t cut yourself out of the picture. You probably don’t look as bad as you think you do.

My husband’s grandmother, Lena Morales, cut herself out of photographs on several occasions. Sometimes with just a raggedy tear.

Lena missing

My grandmother Abbie replaced her face (and my cousin’s) with a big heart.


I wanted to remove myself from the photo below. I arrived at school, hair unwashed and pulled back in a headband as a last resort, only to learn that it was picture day.

You can make me get my picture taken, but you can’t make me smile.

Kathy's 5th grade class

If only “Beautiful” had been written in time to help me and my “greats” realize that a smile can be the secret to beauty – or at least to a better photograph.

Susan Nancy Hendrickson Strange2

Susan Nancy Hendrickson Strange

Cecilia Jenkins copy

Celia Jenkins Harris


“I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls.” – Audrey Hepburn

You will find many faces to contemplate at Sepia Saturday today. Go take a look.

P. S. if you read my Sepia Saturday post last week, you might recognize some of the faces from the class portrait – now two years older. Another post I could have prepared for today’s prompt!