Friday, October 3, 2014

Sepia Saturday: The Boss

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




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features the cover of a Saturday Evening Post with suggested themes including magazine covers, packages, and the little guy. 

John C. Holland at Ocean View about 1919  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
John C. Holland, about 1919
from album of Helen Killeen Parker
captioned "The Boss"
Clifton and Mae Holland with John  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Clifton and Mae Holland with baby John
probably 1918
Helen captioned this one "They're happy"


No little guy was more welcome to the family than John Clifton Holland.  Born in 1917, he was the first child of my grandaunt Mae Killeen Holland and her husband Clifton; he was also the first grandchild of my great-grandmother Mary Theresa Sheehan Killeen Walsh.

Not only was John the first of the new generation, but also he was no doubt the pet of the entire household of dear sweet Irish aunties.  The little guy was probably fought over and passed around like a special prize, making sure everyone had a turn holding him and posing for pictures.

Helen Killeen with John C. Holland about 1918  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Helen with John

Helen Killeen and Lillie Killeen with John C. Holland about 1920  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
John's aunts Helen Killeen and Lillie Killeen 


















In adulthood, John Holland was anything but “a little guy.”  He was a big man with a huge personality, a character who was larger than life.   And he was a self-made millionaire. 

What was John’s secret of success?  Garbage. 

No, seriously. 

John bought land and created a landfill.  He developed a business to collect, destroy, and process trash.  I guess it’s true:  one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

John shared that treasure with lots of charities.  In particular, Toys for Tots was a favorite charity that his children have carried on now that they run the family business.

The Hollands still look out for the little guys.


Please visit the little guys and gals at Sepia Saturday to see what they made of this week’s prompt.



 © 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.



35 comments:

  1. Cute pictures and interesting story.

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  2. It's so nice that all that spoiling from his aunts didn't spoil him in grown-up life. It's so lovely to have a family story of success.

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    1. I agree. John Holland had wonderful parents, and the Killeen sisters were the grandaunts I knew. Sweet ladies, every one of them.

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  3. What a great story! Regardless of size, it sounds like John was a Prince of a man who brought his children up to follow in his fine footsteps!

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    1. They are generous and very community-minded in a quiet way.

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  4. Great way to compact a life (aka the trash theme) from birth to choice of charity for "the boss."

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  5. You are so clever Wendy. I love how you can tell a story.

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    1. Oh, thanks but don't make me blush.

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  6. Great story. I like the first photograph of him. He looks like he is very determined.

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    1. Yeah, I think you're right -- determination started early!

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  7. What a heart warming post! and a very cute little guy :)
    TGIF!

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  8. I love seeing little boys in dresses. I'm sure it made diapering very easy but it's hard to imagine a boy in a dress these days. How wonderful that he became both successful and generous.

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    1. HA -- yes, much easier to change a diaper under a dress. Remember those pants that snapped from one ankle to the other? Remember how much fun it was when the snaps were stubborn or you didn't get them lined up right???

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  9. Trash (litter) is a particular hate of mine. We all need men like Little John.- great story.

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    1. Thanks. Holland Enterprises does provide a good service although if the wind is blowing just right (or just wrong), the nearest neighbors aren't too happy.

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  10. I like the way you built this story.

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    1. Thanks. I tried to keep the theme in focus so as not to wander off course.

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  11. My sister's name was Eilleen Killeen of which I was always envious- I loved the lilt and the rhyme. She suffered her entire life because of the double L - always had to spell it and point out that it was a double L. I'm guessing Lillie had the same problem and the same gift of a beautiful lilting moniker.

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    1. It doesn't get more "Irish lilting" than "Lillie Killeen." But Eilleen Killeen is begging for a middle name.

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  12. A lovely story. I hope John wasn' an only child and had some brothers and sisters.

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    1. He had 2 sisters, as a matter of fact.

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  13. Great story! I love the little guy!

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  14. You are so good at creating a facinating profile of an ancestor and the story of your "little fellow" was a lovely one - and an inventive "take" on this week's prompt. .

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    1. I saw your comment on another Sepian's page expressing your struggles to meet the prompt -- this is one where I struggled. I had to make it work. But it was the photo caption "The Boss" that grabbed me. How often families view the new baby as "The Boss." I think it was the same in this case because everyone doted on John as a baby, and then as an adult, he was still very much "The Boss" on many levels.

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  15. What a great take on the prompt. Nice to hear how the little guy grew into a larger than life character.

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    1. John was memorable, that's for sure. Talk about larger than life -- when his wife died some years after him, her eulogy was peppered with stories about HIM. People left the funeral confused over who had just died. HA!

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  16. Great story! Do you have any photos of the little guy all grown up?

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    1. I really don't. I should contact the grandchildren to see if could get at least one photo for my database.

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  17. John was a cute little guy. And it sounds like he grew up to be a wonderful man with an equally wonderful family. Great story!

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