I have many favorite photos in my vast collection, and this is one of them. The original was B&W, so I used the tools at MyHeritage to enhance and colorize it.
This photo is a favorite for three reasons.
First…it’s a photo of my grandmother, Florrie THOMAS MARTIN (1894-1979).
Grandma didn’t like having her picture taken, so that’s enough to make it a favorite. And she’s almost smiling, which is an added bonus.
Second…looking at this photo brings back a flood of memories of my childhood.
This was probably taken in 1957, the year my parents bought their house. The house where they would raise my older sister and me. The house that would become the ‘homestead’ for many of my extended family. I wrote about this being the family homestead here.
See the sewer covers on either side of the street? Many a day drifted by with us sitting on those playing jacks or doing hand clap rhymes with my friends, B. and J. I don’t know why the sides of our hands weren’t raw from dragging them over that rough concrete as we played jacks.
See the slightly leaning power/telephone pole on the far right? We tied a rope to that pole when we jumped rope. The rope was long enough that the holder of the other end was way out in the street. Many an afternoon was spent jumping rope there, encouraging each other to jump in and cheering each other on when a turn lasted longer than usual. B., J., C., S., N.,me, and others jumped rope there.
The street was the perfect place to play kickball, and we usually played in front of my house. Those games drew in kids from up and down our street and even from the next street over sometimes. In the summer, we had bike races around the block. In front of my house was the starting point.
And tar bubbles! Oh, how my sister loved making tar bubbles in the summer. Actually, we all did. The road was not black-topped yet, so there was tar that got soft in the summer heat. In the mornings we’d use sticks to poke holes in the tar. Then in the afternoons the holes would be bubbled up so we could break them open to see them ooze a little. Ah, the simple pleasures of growing up in the 60’s.
Third…the house you see behind Grandma was where my dear friend B. lived.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know B. She’s in the photos from my 3-year old birthday party. I was 3, and she wasn’t quite 2.
I can still see myself running across her front lawn, knowing exactly where to step and not trip. I knew her front lawn as well as I knew my own. The sound of walking up her kitchen steps still plays in my mind. Her front porch was a cool respite on hot afternoons because of the shade it got.
B.’s dad and my dad were buddies. They fixed lawnmowers and cars together and just hung out together. Our moms were friends, too. B.’s older brother, M., teased me and treated me the same as he did B. We were in B.’s bedroom, the one with the large window at the front of the house, when he took great delight in cheating us in a game of Clue. He laughed and laughed about it afterwards. We were not amused.
I could on but I won’t except to say that B. and I have remained friends throughout our lives.
We ran around together as kids and young adults. We spent many a weekend or summer night playing Crazy Eights or Rummy 500 into the wee hours. We were in each other’s weddings. We had our first babies only a few months apart. And more. B. and I rarely see each other now since we live several hundred miles apart. But we burn up the phone lines talking to each other. (Or we would if we were talking on landlines. LOL)
B.’s house is gone now. Replaced by a McMansion. The house in this photo is the house of my memory, and I’m glad I have a photo of it to remind me of the place and the people who filled my early life and beyond.
I’d love to hear about one of your favorite photos! Please comment if you want to share.
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