Friday, July 18, 2014

Sepia Saturday: Girls Gone Silly

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt depicting four chiffon-clad women striking a pose (although I’m not convinced they were really women) called to mind some photos of girls being silly.

July 1925 - it was the summer following my grandaunt Velma’s freshman year in college.  She invited two new friends from Harrisonburg Teachers College to spend a week or so with her in her home in Shenandoah, Virginia.  Olive Williams and Dot Lloyd both lived in Martinsburg, West Virginia, so they might have traveled by train the 90 miles for their summer holiday. Velma’s neighbor and good friend Virginia Cole attended HTC too, so she was part of the fun that day when the girls decided to take pictures doing silly things.
 
Velma Davis and friends July 1925 Shenandoah, Virginia
Dot Lloyd, Virginia Cole, Velma Davis, Olive Williams
from album of Velma Davis Woodring
dated July 1925

Whether the girls were blowing party horns or chugging a drink, they definitely orchestrated this silly pose. They probably thought they were being hilarious.

Velma Davis and friends July 1925 Shenandoah, Virginia
Virginia, Dot, Velma, Olive






Posing with toes pointed in must have been the 1920’s version of “wacky.”  But what that hand gesture meant, I have no clue. The gestures seem to form a progression.  

In August, it was Olive’s and Dot’s turn to play hostess to Velma and Virginia. Olive wrote to Velma’s mother (my great-grandmother) asking permission for Velma to extend her stay. 
  





Martinsburg, W. Va
August 19, 1925

My Dear Mrs. Davis:
Velma and Virginia are getting along fine.  We are having a fine time.  Mother certainly is glad that they came home with me and we sure do hate to give them up.

I want to tell you I certainly did have a lovely time while visiting



Velma.  She certainly did show Dot and I both a good time. 

The girls have been staying with Dots some too and Velma has been too [sic] see her cousin and also down to see Rhine’s.

Daddy and Mother wants [sic] to take the girls to Gettsburg [sic] next week and so I am writting [sic] and asking you if Velma might stay another week.  Daddy has already planned 









the trip for them.  That isn’t any longer than I stayed with Velma.  So please let her stay.  Mother and daddy both wants her and Virginia to stay so we can take them on that trip.

Closing, hoping to hear from you in a favorably [sic] reply to my question.

With Love,
Olive










Now who could say “no” to that? I wonder what kind of wacky photos they took at Olive's house.


The full range of poses from artistic to silly awaits your visit at Sepia Saturday.



© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

36 comments:

  1. What fun they had. I am wondering if the friendships lasted a lifetie or whether they slowly slipped away as marriage, children, different interests and distancec came between them. A lovely story.

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    1. I know they hung together through each other's weddings, but how much longer I don't really know. I "met" Olive's granddaughter through Ancestry.com. She sent me a photo of Olive's wedding gift from Velma. While the granddaughter had never heard of Velma, her mother remembered that Velma was Olive's good friend, so it seems they must have been lifelong friends.

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  2. What fun photos! And I loved the title! Thanks.

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  3. Those girls seemed to live for fun alone!

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    1. I think they did. My mother said her aunt Velma was always a lot of fun.

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  4. What fun those girls must have had posing for ?..wonder who took the photos...another friend or perhaps Olive's Mother or Dad who so wanted the girls to stay longer. So neat to have the letter. What a different world today...she would have had her 'favorable' answer through a much faster mail or more than likely a much smarter phone. Great post for the Saturday theme.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. I'm guessing Velma's sister Violetta took the pictures.
      As for that letter, Velma's mother scribbled a response on the back of Olive's letter and sent it back. Talk about cheap -- couldn't even write on her own paper! HA

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  5. I love the nontraditional photos. The girls sure look like they were having fun. The second photo made me think of the kids' song "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."

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    1. Now I'm singing that darn song. Thanks ~

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  6. Great photos! I too wonder the same things as other commenters.

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  7. My husband's mother liked to call herself "wacky" but in her case she meant unfettered by rules and regs and a bit fast with the fellows. The hand gestures do look progressive - like a riff on "see no evil, hear no evil.....". They sure knew how to have a good time.

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    1. I think the hand gestures make them look like they grabbed a bug and ate it.

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  8. Velma and friends are definitely a perfect match for the wild and wacky element of this weekend's theme.

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  9. I love Olive's expression in that second photo. Fantastic eyes!

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    1. Yes, Olive's eyes are dark and mysterious, and so distinctive that I can always spot her in a photo.

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  10. Whatever the girls are pretending to do, they all look very happy being in each other's company.I'd also like to know if they kept in touch in later life, as did a number of my mother's teachers' college friends.

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    1. I commented on that in response to boundforoz.
      My mom kept in contact with her high school friends much more than her college friends, but she was an active alumna and so saw her roommates at reunions.

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  11. What a wonderful match for the theme - four girls doing something silly!

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    1. Thanks -- it worked out well for me.

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  12. Thanks as usual for a most interesting story based on photos, and this time on a letter as well. I remember posing pretty sillily with some gal friends, and thank heavens, nobody knows where that photo now is (I'll never tell)

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    1. I have some silly poses too, and it occurred to me too late to carry this story into "MY" story as well. Just as well ....

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  13. Those girls are having so much fun. It's so great that you have those wonderful photos giving you glimpses into your grand-aunt's personality as a young woman. Good pick for this week's theme.

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    1. Thanks to all these photos, I feel like I know Velma better now than I did when she was alive.

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  14. The wonderful thing about this is that you have the photo and almost a contemporary written commentary as well. This is family history at its best.

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    1. Thanks Alan -- I have you to thank!

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  15. I can't say anything more than above. It is great to have such fun family photos.

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    1. I know -- I'm grateful that family members entrusted me with all these photo albums.

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  16. Isn’t it great that they all got along so well? I have a feeling we’d all have like to know Velma as the stories and pictures you share with us from her life are so entertaining.

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    1. My great-grandparents probably enjoyed all the laughter that a bunch of college girls could generate during summer break.

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  17. Such a fun set of photos showing thier friendship, and the letter to prove how much they wanted to remain as a group that summer!

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    1. Unlike her grandmother, my mother always discouraged too much togetherness, but this group seemed inseparable that summer.

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