Week two’s prompt for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is Favorite Photo.
Below is my favorite photo. It was taken in the backyard of the row house in Frederick, Maryland where my father lived with his grandparents.
The handsome young man in the foreground is my father, Charles Leroy HEISER (1913-2001). He was raised by his maternal grandparents after his mother, Goldie PRICE HEISER (1893-1919) died when Dad was five. (You can read about that here.)
Dad and his grandparents were quite poor. Dad dropped out school after the seventh grade to drive a truck because they were starving to death.
This was likely my dad’s first suit. I’m thinking he’s in his late 20’s. You can see his full face smile and his dark, nearly straight hair; but one thing you can’t see is his twinkling blue eyes. They were even more striking against his naturally ruddy complexion. He was a handsome man, when young in this photo and when older, too.
I love this photo of my dad, but that isn’t the only thing that makes it my favorite photo.
The old woman standing in the doorway is his grandmother, Sallie PYLES PRICE (1862-1940). I don’t think she knew she was in camera range since her expression and body language are casual. I say this because she is more stoic in the other photos taken that day.
To the side is a close-up of Sally’s face from this photo.
You can see the love she has for my dad all over her face and posture. She’s just standing there, leaning against the door frame, taking in what a fine young man he’d become. This candid view of my great-grandmother, revealing her love for my father, is the other thing that makes this my favorite photo.
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