2021: T – April A to Z: Mama in Photos…
I’m back for my sixth year (2021)… can you believe it… of participating in the yearly April A to Z challenge… and I’ve had quite a time in deciding on my “theme.” I had a few running through my head, but as I lost my mother last November, I thought I’d honor her through the many photographs I have of her… and tell the story of the photograph… as every photo has a story.
I’m fortunate that my mother had many photos of herself growing up… and I’m honoring her this year as the theme of my April A to Z… especially as was she was an April baby. Mama would have turned 91 this year… but she’s now back home celebrating this birthday with her parents and brother on the farm… where I believe she was always the happiest. The past few years my mother fought off dementia, while still managing to live alone until the last couple months of her life. I miss her every day… thinking of her daily and remembering all she did for me. She was the storyteller… She supplied me with stories… and it’s because of mama, that I write!
T… The Family Photos
Mama’s parents… Ola (Askew) and Edgar McKinley. Love how granddaddy dressed up for this photo… even with a vest. He didn’t dress often… as he loved his overalls too much. I’m assuming it was taken at the farm… but I never saw this car… it must have been the one before he bought “new” a 1954 Ford… it seems Granddaddy only bought Fords.
Mama with her parents and brother Leroy (abt. 1931)
This photo must have been taken the same day as the the last photograph on this post… while that one is more of a better closeup… I love this one showing granddaddy’s Ford Model T in the background… such a classic!
Mama’s only sibling was Leroy… she was about 14 when he left for the Army. This photo of Leroy in uniform in Guam was sent to me a few years ago from a cousin… it was never in mama’s album. I wrote a few posts on Leroy serving in the Army and the letters he wrote home. He referred to himself as a plowboy… longing for home… and to be back behind his daddy’s plow… just one more time. Sadly that did not happen for him!
Mama always talked about her mother having a flapper-like dress and a cloche hat… which reminds me here of the one Nancy Drew wore on the cover of The Secret of the Old Clock. While mama wasn’t born yet… as this photo would have been taken around 1924. The hat and dress became one of mama’s remembered play outfits when she was a young girl… after discovering it in the hallway closet. I sure wish it had been around for me to have seen! It makes me smile to see my grandmother Ola smiling here as she holds baby Leroy… who seemed to be a happy baby. (Edgar Lawson McKinley was my grandfather’s father and Miss Bay was his step-mother. The other boys and girls in photo are his siblings, and brother in law.)
3 Generation Photo
This has always been a favorite family photo of mine… and we are all smiling! My mom with her parents, Ola & Edgar and me (Jeanne)… taken about 1952-53. Whomever the photographer was did an excellent job in capturing our happy smiling faces!
Our Family Photograph
I had my original photo colorized to see the color in the embroidery that mama sewed on my dress. I’ve always wished that this specific dress had been saved… but people didn’t think that way in those days. Clothes were to be used, and it was passed down to her bestie’s daughter Pat to wear… and there’s also a photo of Pat wearing it; mama often embroidered on my clothes. In looking back through the family photos… I’ve noticed how mama often wore pearls… and daddy wore bow ties in many of his photos.
Granddaddy (Edgar T. McKinley) in his WWI uniform.
Mama talked often and told stories about her father… she had a love for him that she never forgot. He was a hard worker and provider for their family on their farm… and when he came in from the field after a day of plowing, under the hot Georgia sun… mama brought out a pan of water and sat on the back stoop with him to wash his feet… now that is Love! I know mama is finally happy and at peace now… back with her father!
When I began sorting these photos years ago, I found the best way was to display, was to attach the small cut-ups to a 4×6 photo size paper… so much information was “cut out” in the backgrounds, but I’m thankful of what was saved… and I have.
1930… Big brother Leroy with little sister Helen. As I look at this photo, I’m noticing… someone dragged out a chair to prop mama in… and at first I thought, “why didn’t you take this photo in the house“… but of course, there were no lights… as they were lucky enough to even have a camera, or even have access to one… and no one except photographers had bulbs for indoor shoots. Most photos in these early years, you’ll find most children barefoot and standing on dirt yards; they didn’t have grass in the early years, that is why they often swept their yards to clear out the stones and sticks. (Most likely it was Aunt Emma McKinley who took this photograph, as mama always told me that if it wasn’t for her, we would have no photographs)
My previous years of A to Z Challenges:
- 2016: A to Z Southern Foods and Memories… they said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.
- 2017: A to Z Conversations with Mama… it was a somewhat easy one for me to write as I’d journaled our conversations for years… I researched favorite topics to write.
- 2018: A to Z All About Nancy Drew… this one has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another one to equal it
- 2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories… I felt it was time to finally write the favorites of my husbands family foods.
- 2020: A to Z Family Stories… writing the stories of my husband’s family.
For more A to Z of Mama in Photos… click HERE!
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