2022: D… A to Z April Challenge: Time Traveling… Dear Photograph Thanks for the Memories…

I first thought of turning this topic of “Time Travel” into a stand-alone blog post… presenting on Letter T… I’ll keep you guessing on that one. But for the most part, I will be re-posting twenty-six of my favorite posts out of the 746 written on genealogy, family memories, crafting, food, recipes, and occasionally a smidgen of Chit-Chat.

YooHoo… I’m super excited to be back with everyone in the “7th” April A to Z Challenge… and my theme is “Time-Traveling” through my blog – “Everyone Has a Family Story to Tell“. If you have stumbled upon this post and wondering about the challenge… The Blogging A to Z April Challenge is one month of every-day blogging through the alphabet. 26 days, 26 letters, 26 posts! Daily blogging is Monday through Saturday… leaving Sunday to rest, read other blogs, and prepare for the following week! From the first day in 2016 when I happened upon this challenge… it still has me just as excited… and always eager to begin! Who doesn’t love a good time travel of events… so where would you travel to?

Grab a coffee… as you follow me down the rabbit hole… Hippity Hop!

Dear Photograph – Thanks for the Memories…

First Posted:  September 4, 2014

Paul Pinkney Bryan with grandson Robert Bryan

I’ve always loved this photograph of my grandfather Paul Pinkney Bryan as he stood there admiring his work on the goat cart. Now if you knew my granddaddy Paul, you’d know that he’s a little out of character in his dress – his daily attire was always overalls… and only the “Pointer” brand with the dog. Now why only this specific brand, I’ll never know… but maybe it was just the local brand sold. There weren’t choices for things back then, and especially in a small town. Here in this photo he’s wearing one of his more ‘dressy’ clothes and hat. Maybe he was going somewhere because he usually wore overalls daily, even to work. I wonder what happened to that hat… as I’d love to have it sitting on a shelf! He loved overalls because of all the pockets… and always had a cigar stuffed somewhere, along with matches, pocket watch, toothpicks and probably much more. The toothpicks sent him to the hospital once when he dozed off while holding onto the toothpick between his teeth, that ended up with an emergency surgery to remove from his throat. I wonder if he still continued that bad habit of holding onto the toothpick… while napping?

Doodle bug, Doodle bug….

The car shed pictured above was one of my favorite places to play… underneath was a sandy floor and that’s where I played doodlebug. You took a stick and swirled it around and around in a circle as you sang “doodlebug doodlebug come out, your house is on fire, doodlebug, doodlebug come out.” Now whether I ever found a doodlebug – I can’t remember! But that often entertained me most afternoons. Granddaddy’s tool shed was in the center of the car shed… and if no one was looking I’d sneak inside to play with the vise hooked on the work bench until I was discovered… most often by my grandmother… and yelled at to come out. Tools can be interesting even for girls… they’re used to build things like that cute goat cart!

My mother, Helen McKinley Bryan and me sitting in the slingback chairs at granddaddy’s.

These two sling back chairs were always sitting at the edge of the car shed… always accessable for relaxation They were pretty comfortable, and you could take a long nap in them quite easily.

Faintly behind the car shed I see the tall corn growing in Granddaddy’s fields. He grew a lot of corn… growing more than they could ever eat; locals often came to buy fresh corn. Boy what I wouldn’t give to have a “mess” of just picked corn from his garden! We never went home in the summer without a car loaded with fresh vegetables. Mama never bought produce from the store… never even thought about it. To the right of the car shed were a couple of cedar posts that held his scuppernong vine arbor. I remember hanging around under there when they were ready for picking. So many memories in just this one photo.

Moving on….

granddaddy with dogs

Here’s Granddaddy McKinley, known to family and friends as “E.T.” This is a favorite photo of mine as he’s holding onto two of his fox hounds, Smoker and Bill. Fox hunting was his passion and he went every Friday night like clockwork. When we arrived at the farm on Friday evenings, I’d take my perch at the window, which faced the road… watching for Granddaddy. I faithfully waited for the lights of his Ford pickup as he came home. I always ran to greet him and the dogs as he unloaded them from the back of the truck. The two dogs in this photo were the yard dogs who alerted you if anyone entered the yard, and they were quite protective. After my grandmother’s mind became bad, they watched over her faithfully… tugging on her clothing if she dared to leave the yard. He only took hi Walker hunting dogs with him on those Friday night foxhunts and were kept penned up otherwise… or they’d be chasing every rabbit or small animal, picking a scent on. My favorite activity, when I was small, was to daily let the dogs out of their pens. No matter how high he put the locks, I’d find a way to get my small fingers up there. Granddaddy did a lot of grumbling through the house when I was around, but he never stayed mad at me… for too long… as I was the only grandchild.

Clayton Bryan – Abt 10 years old (my father)

The photograph of the boy sitting on the grass  is my father Clayton Bryan. This photo was sent to me by a cousin… it had never been in my grandmother’s album. And until I had the tin photo cleaned, I couldn’t even tell what he was wearing. Just recently I learned from a local in his nineties that he was on a baseball team for the town he lived in… Union Point, Ga. The man said he was on the other team from the mill town area in Greensboro… the closest town over. Whether it really was what he played ball in, or just his “good clothes,” I’m told he was a pretty good baseball player, something I never knew. Isn’t it amazing when you learn information on a close family member, like your father… from a perfect stranger!

Granddaddy Paul’s famous “back porch” and front porch with the swing

This photograph of Granddaddy Bryan’s house shows the front porch… my favorite place to relax after a Sunday meal… and also the back porch, another place to hang out, and often eat. Granddaddy and I would sit and swing on the front porch after a Sunday dinner, and it wasn’t long before he’d fumble for one of those toothpicks… always hiding in one of those many pockets. Sometimes he’d enjoy a cigar out there too as Grandmamma wouldn’t let him smoke in the house! The back porch was where I usually found them whenever we arrived… it seemed to be their favorite afternoon sitting area. Grandmamma often was shelling peas and Granddaddy would be enjying a little relax time.

Grandmamma Bryan, myself with son Stephen, daughter Melissa sitting on Granddaddy Bryan’s lap. This place is where I remember them the most!

This was probably one of the last times spent on the famous “back porch” at my grandparents home in Union Point. Granddaddy was usually taking a snooze… while Grandmamma shelled peas in the tin dish in her lap. That porch saw more family dinners than the dining room… and it’s where we often ate until the winter set in; there was a large table there for the family dinners. The table you can slightly see on the left of the photo. I don’t know why all the buckets hanging, other than to go pick a ‘mess’ of something in the garden. Everything he needed, was hanging out there… and as always, he was wearing his “pointer” brand of overalls – he never looked right in any other clothes.

Granddaddy McKinley also had a swing on his front porch as most Southern homes did. When my mother left the farm she took the swing that her father built and I have that swing today. There is a lot of memories stirred up in remembering swings. Granddaddy McKinley enjoyed sitting out there during big thunderstorms – it seems he loved a good lightening storm.

Aunt Lena McKinley Van Dusen

Photographs of your parents as young children are a treasure to have from years ago but camera’s and film were expensive back then. Most photographs were usually taken when the more wealthy relative visited who had a camera. My mother had an aunt that came quite frequent in the summer and always brought her camera, so I guess I have Aunt Lena (McKinley-Van Dusen) to thank for all my early photos.

My mom, Helen McKinley Bryan, with brother LeeRoy McKinley… Granddaddy’s T-Model car in background

Here is my mother and her brother Leroy standing next to Granddaddy’s Model T. Mama talked about this car all her life – its the car that Granddaddy courted my grandmother in. Even after it stopped running, he kept it parked under the car shelter for many years. It became Leroy’s favorite toy, against Granddaddy’s wishes. Leroy never liked school but let him put his hands on a piece of machinery and he knew all about it quickly. One afternoon he took the entire motor apart and laid out all the pieces on a sheet… Granddaddy blew a gasket when he saw that, but Leroy put every piece exactly back where it went. One day Granddaddy sold the old car for scrap… for a measly fifteen dollars.

Edgar & Ola McKinley

This photo of my grandparents, Edgar and Ola McKinley, shows them standing in front of the smokehouse; the  farmhouse is behind them, and still stands today (2014). There was a long enclosed porch on the side of the farmhouse… this was really not the front of the house, but this was where everyone entered… into the kitchen. No one ever went to the front door. The dirt yard was my play area when there… always peeking inside the smoke house, chasing the abundance of wild kittens, letting Granddaddy’s fox hounds out of their pens, throwing feed to the chickens in the yard and playing with Smoker and Bill… the two fox hounds who ran loose in the yard; they were the security system.

Clayton Bryan wearing his “chef apron” I made him for Father’s Day

One of my last photographs of my dad on a trip to New Hampshire for work… he had stopped at my house on the way up. I made him this apron for Father’s Day and it’s a treasured photo, and the only picture I have of him wearing it. You can tell from this photo that I loved antiques, as far back as in the early eighties. In this photo I already had my Hoosier cabinet and Daddy is standing next to my 1940’s porcelain stove – which I wish we’d kept when we moved. That stove was so heavy, and if my husband wasn’t as strong as he was, it never would have gotten up to our second floor apartment. It was still in perfect condition when we moved, and I should have taken it, but I think we were reminded of exactly how heavy it was; it had been bought for forty dollars in West Haven.


Previous Years A to Z April 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.
2021: A to Z of Mama in Photos... blogging on my mother through photos and memories

To read more 2022: A to Z… click HERE.

© 2022, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved


About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2022: A to Z April Challenge... Time Traveling, Daily Writings and funnies..., Family Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 2022: D… A to Z April Challenge: Time Traveling… Dear Photograph Thanks for the Memories…

  1. Fantastic photos and great memories. Laughing at the toothpick story though probably not funny at the time 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cassmob says:

    I love the photos and how you’ve teased the memories from each. You did get into some strife with your grandmama 🙂 And what on earth is a scuppernong vine?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing photos. We found a whole load of old photos at my uncle’s house after he died and it’s great looking through them. There are pictures in there of my grandparents when they were young and my mum and aunts as little girls. We take photos for granted these day with everyone having a phone, but the physical ones are precious. My mother-in-law also has a lot of glass slides she foudn when her parents passed away.
    Tasha’s Thinkings: YouTube – What They Don’t Tell You (and free fiction)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Donna Smith says:

    This is a wonderful excursion into the past – so nice to get the memories written down!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dyannedillon says:

    Those photos are such treasures! I love the goat and cart!

    Liked by 2 people

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