My Father’s Favorite Photo of My Mother

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My Mother’s birthday is today. This photo was taken in 1930 at Cedar Lake, Wisconsin. She was on summer break from Marquette University in Milwaukee. This was my Dad’s favorite photo of her. If Mom was still with us, she would be mortified by me placing this photo into the feed.

For those of a different generation, please note: the bathing cap, shoes and suits were made from wool at that time.

It was a charming time for her; she loved school. The Depression was going on, but she was at the lake and enjoying college. But she never forgot the soup and bread lines in Milwaukee.

She taught her children to look out for others; to never waste any food. The Depression did not mar her day-to-day existence like others at that time, due to her father and uncles owning a coal business. Coal was the chosen fuel, at the time, to run factories and heat homes.

Her favorite saying about living life was: “Do not put all your eggs in one basket.” Happy Birthday Mom. Thank you for all you taught Joe and me about how to live. Also…she loved cake. ~shared by @tejas42

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An Antarctic Adventure in Family Photos

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Baby, it’s cold outside!

Since everyone is saying we’re having “Arctic” temperatures this winter, I decided to share a photo of my Grandfather, George Tennant, who was actually in the Antarctic while on the Byrd Expedition from 1928-1930. He was the Chief Cook.

There’s even a photo of him holding a penguin, which was featured in National Geographic.

He had a mountain named after him, Tennant Peak, which was discovered in January 1929, and named by Byrd for my Grandfather. ~shared by @mooninthemeadow

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Picturing my Grandmother

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I have been missing my Grandma Evie like crazy lately. She was awesome. Raised 11 kids with my Grandpa in Brookline, Massachusets. A big ol’ Irish Fam.

Their home on Walcott Street was magic.

When I was stressed with work, or life decisions in general, she would have me play cards with her, or work in the rock garden, or prep food in the kitchen. And whatever we’d do together, it would always distract me enough to clear my head.

She knew that I would marry my husband the minute she saw us together. She was graceful, shrewd, complicated, smart and beautiful. And she had a way of making me feel better. Always. ~shared by @volatileladymer
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A Portrait of Mid-Century Childhood

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I found this photo of my Mom, Marlene, from about 1954. She was right around my daughter’s age. My Mom was an Air Force brat; they moved A LOT. I know they were in El Paso, Texas when she was 11, but this is a while before that. So, it may have been taken in Norfolk, Virginia, where she was born and where my Granddad is from.

Her father (my Granddad) was a very strict military man and she was a conservative “good girl.” I think this photo does capture her love of nature and who knows, maybe there was a mischievous girl inside who wished she could play more.

I just love this photo so much; it really says “50’s rural America” to me.

shared by ~@elizabethandrus

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An Appalachian Mother’s Legacy

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This is my beloved mother, Gatha Jean. She was born in 1934 in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. She grew up poor and fought being labeled a “hillbilly” most of her life. She did, however, learn to appreciate it and late in life was a proud hillbilly.
My Momma passed away in February, 2013 and I am so very grateful that before she passed, I had a chance to sit with her as she told me what she could remember about our old family photos, including this one.

This photo was taken in Bellingham, Washington in 1961. My Momma was 27 years old (the same age my daughter is now) and she and my father were going out. She’s wearing a dress that she made by hand and she’s holding the ever-present ciggy.
I love this photo because my Momma looks happy. She looks hopeful. She looks carefree. And from all the suffering she had already experienced up to this point in her life, I know that wasn’t really the case. My Momma struggled throughout her life with anxiety, mental illness and lack of self-worth. This was ironic because she was absolutely brilliant and a member of MENSA. It wasn’t until she was in her 60s that she finally recognized her worth and took control of her life.
When I look at this photo, I see my mother’s beauty, strength and resilience; she was definitely a fighter. Also, I love her shadow. It always stood out to me, as if it were another person. I made a piece of jewelry with the photo of my Momma on the front and her shadow on the back.
I take great comfort having her shadow with me, even more so now that she’s gone. ~shared by @holddear
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Priceless Family Pictures from World War II

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On the right is Josephine Sarah Brong, a.k.a. my Great Aunt Jo, working as a parachute rigger at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, 17 miles west of Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
My mom has dozens of Aunt Jo’s photos from this period. Most of them were taken during leisure time (many picnics and luaus on the beach), but there are a few of her working, like this one. I think she was 28 when this was taken.
Riggers specialized in packing and repairing parachutes. Marine Corps Air Station Ewa was attacked by the Japanese on their approach to Pearl Harbor. When America entered WWII, the base became a center of aviation activity destined for combat in the Pacific Theater.

Aunt Jo enlisted in mid-1943, beginning with basic training in Georgia and continuing to Hawaii. She was in the “Marine Corps Women’s Reserve”, but, as a child, my Mom was always told that Jo was a “Lady Marine.” Mom says Aunt Jo used to talk about riding home to Ohio from California on a “troop train” that was so crowded she had to sit on her foot locker the first few days.

After the war, Jo went to Chicago and studied at Vogue Design School on the GI Bill. She remained there until 1961, then returned to Ohio after her parents died (my great grandparents) to be near her sister (my Great Aunt Helen), living and working in Cleveland.

She finally retired in 1982 and moved back to her childhood home in North Canton, Ohio, to live with Helen. As a child, I visited them a few times. Aunt Jo passed away in 2003. I wasn’t close to her, so now I feel grateful to know about her life and her participation in the war effort, belonging to a very meaningful period in the history of women in this country. My Mom and I really treasure her photos. ~shared by @annamowry

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Who Will We Remember When We Save Family Photos?

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Who will we remember? Those we cannot replace… These are my maternal grandparents, in 1949, holding my uncle. They eventually had 10 children.
Growing up, they taught me about the importance of family and looking out for one another.

I have heard countless stories of how either one of my grandparents would go without, just to ensure that their kids didn’t.
They’re my bloodline; my history. ~shared by @rmkilgorejr

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Vintage Vacation Photos Discovered

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1961. My mom at age 15. Packed for her first trip overseas.
Her little brother came down with chicken pox the day before her Mom and Dad were scheduled to leave for Switzerland, a trip her Dad earned by selling Maytag Washing Machines.

The plane ticket was given to her instead, back when you could just hand someone else your ticket. You can imagine how excited she was for the impromptu father-daughter trip.
And my Grandmother made every stitch of clothing she was wearing in the photo, including the overcoat.

And my Granddad always had the coolest cars. 1960 Ford Country Sedan! ~shared by @shawnmcarson
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In love like grandma and granddad

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One day I want to be in love like my Grandma and Pop-Pop.

This is Tom and Bessie. They were married in 1946 after my Pop-Pop returned from fighting in the D-Day invasion on Normandy Beach.

For their first date, Pop-Pop walked from Staten Island to the Bronx to pick Grandma up at her door. He arrived early before my Grandma “had her face on,” which I think still traumatizes her to this day.

Even though she’s almost 90 now, Grandma still tells me that my Pop-Pop was the most handsome man she ever met. ~shared by @stephiexcupcakes

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My Grandfather the Football Star

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This is my Grandad, circa 1935, on the first day of his trials with Huddersfield Town, an English football club in West Yorkshire.

Nicknamed “The Terriers,” the club plays in blue and white vertically striped shirts and white shorts.

He was actually offered professional terms with the team, but his Mum would not let him go as it would have meant less time to work with the family business.

His name was John Derek Howard and he worked for the majority of his life as Inspector for the Lancashire Police on the Vice and Murder units. ~shared by @johnnybad1986

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