Every photograph tells a story… and it’s often the little details… forgotten until too way to late to even ask. If only I’d started telling their stories earlier… I would have all the answers, but the photograph still tells me a story!
My parents and I in Union Point, Georgia.
I would date this the summer of 1957… what a great year that was for clothes, cars, foods, and fun… and also a much more safer time in America. This photograph was taken at my grandparents home (Paul & Evelyn Bryan)… they lived just one house away from us on Binns St. I’m thinking it was probably a Sunday afternoon and grandmama Bryan was probably in the kitchen cooking, while granddaddy was relaxing with a cigar on the back porch… after earlier picking a mess of corn, string beans and butter beans for Sunday dinner. That mess of corn would have been turned into fresh creamed-style corn… and nothing better for me than one of grandmama’s biscuits filled with cream corn. Granddaddy had two large fields where he grew all the family vegetables… but it was always his corn field that held my attention… although I was also pretty partial to his watermelon patch! He never picked vegetables to eat or even sell until the last minute… as he only wanted fresh for the table and fresh for his customer. When he grabbed his hat and threw his satchel over his shoulder… you knew he was ready to go picking!
As to who took this picture, I strongly surmise it was Tom Bradberry, who lived just across the street and enjoyed taking pictures of whomever would strike a pose for him. Mama always said if he hadn’t taken so many photos of us, she’d have very few of me growing up; Tom was single and lived in a small house on his parent’s property. If he saw us outside, he’d hustle right over with his camera! I’m assuming he must have also developed all those photos… as he didn’t work, and film processing would certainly have been an expense for him. I’ve often wondered if his photos were saved… as he definitely preserved the history of our small town of Union Point.
If you’re wondering why the photos are cut in odd shapes… well, one year my mother announced how she’d taken all our photos and “made” them fit into a photo album. I so wish today, she hadn’t trimmed them to fit… but I’m thankful I have them. In as many of those photos were now smaller, I taped them to 4×6 photo blanks, to ensure they weren’t lost.
This photo of us sitting in classic 1950’s summer chairs at granddaddy’s, is one of my favorites in showing so many details… also reminding me that we spent time together as a family. I can even see the dirt driveway winding behind us that led down to their house. Looks to be a sunny day, as daddy is squinting at the camera in his, dressed down, white tee shirt… and the heat undoubtedly has pushed me to kick off my shoes to enjoy the feel of grass on my bare feet. I’ve never been one for wearing shoes and hubby often scolds me today… but as soon as I come home, I can’t wait to kick them off! I guess I’m just not a shoe wearer… I’ll always be a barefoot girl!
I colorized the photo in a free program, and while not the best, it still gives me a little more insight into the colors. I can now see that mama’s dress is actually two pieces with a plain dress underneath, and the more colorful layer on the outside. Daddy’s socks are definitely colorful… and some of the coloring on the ground makes it look even more fall-ish, but it definitely was a summer day they dressed for! The chairs seem to have been of olive green and white stripes.
Mama seems to be well dressed, as always… and I’m sure in a dress she sewed… she never bought a dress I remember… always saying, they never fit right, and never the style she wanted! She’s always been fussy about the clothes she wore! I loved seeing this dress pop in color above… and see the colored design of the panels in back that hang along the side. Mama sewed my dress also, as well all my clothes until I begged for store bought… as I neared junior high school. My mother never went anywhere without being completely dressed, and Sunday dinner here seemed to be no exception. Her hair is pulled back and styled back neatly, possibly in a French bun… and she’s accented with jewelry and wearing shoes, unlike me. I’m leaning forward, squinting, and now barefoot… definitely not looking happy! I can honestly say I don’t take after my mother in wanting to dress, and pose for a camera!
In the photo with my father, I’m more laid back, smiling, and wearing one sock and one shoe… not sure what was going on with that, but daddy didn’t seem to care! By the time the photo with mama was taken, I’d squirmed right out of both socks and shoes… and not looking very happy! Maybe that photo was taken second, as daddy and I are both looking very laid back, but he’s squinting… sun didn’t seem to be bothering me though… but I was looking very happy with the one shoe off! I guess Argyle socks were popular in the 50’s, and daddy is showing his off! If this is 1957, daddy was 29 and mama, 27… so why do they look older to me? Oh, and how did I forget to mention that crazy wild hair of mine! Yikes, I could have played the lead in Little Orphan Annie with that frizzy hair. Mama always said I had curly hair when I was little, but as it grew long, the curl grew out… glad for that!
Another crazy “sock” photo… stripe socks this time! Daddy would fit right in today as you see socks again like these. Well, they do say what goes around, comes back another day! You certainly were handsome daddy… and I bet mama thought so too when she first saw you!
The colorized pic isn’t showing me as much color as I’d hoped for… had thought those socks might have been crazy colors… but they’re actually more subtle colors of black, white and grey. Seems mama wasn’t the only poser in the family, as I have lots of “just daddy” also!
Hope you’re enjoying my stories written around just a photo… as I’m having fun in the narration of only a photo… and bringing it alive!
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