Friday, November 14, 2014

Sepia Saturday: A Couple o' Couples

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



This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features a couple crossing a river.  On January 25, 1925, “couples” seemed to be an important theme of the day for my grandaunt Velma Davis (later Woodring when she and Woody became an official couple). 

In 1925, Velma was a student at Harrisonburg Teachers College (now James Madison UniversityGo Dukes!).  Even though it was an all girls school, there were plenty of men sniffing around.  Some lived locally; others came by bus from nearby schools like the University of Virginia and Virginia Military Institute. 

Lucas's House Harrisonburg, VA 25 Jan 1925  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Top Left to Right: Unknown,
Thelma Haga, Thelma Hockman,
and Unknown
Bottom:  Velma Davis and Unknown
On that Sunday afternoon in January, several couples posed for pictures at “Lucas’s house.”  I have no idea who Lucas was.  Aware that Lucas is a common surname in the Shenandoah Valley, I searched the 1920 census for Harrisonburg, and sure enough there was a Lucas family who ran a boarding house.  Maybe one or more of the young men who were paired up with Velma and her friends were living there in 1925. 

"Mac and Skeeter" 25 Jan 1925 http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Mac and Skeeter























Either Mac or Skeeter appears to be proposing to Velma’s longtime friend Thelma Hockman, but Velma’s caption in her photo album suggests they were just joking.  But maybe not.  In 1927, Thelma married Lacy Sarver.  If I were a man named “Lacy,” I’d gladly adopt a nickname like Mac or Skeeter.

Of course, Lucas could be a first name as well, so Lucas COULD be this young man with Thelma Haga, another one of Velma’s college friends.  Velma captioned this photo “Quite contented.”  If this is Lucas, then they were not content for long.  Thelma married a man named Charles Ragland in 1930.

Thelma Haga and friend 25 Jan 1925 http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Thelma Haga and Friend
captioned:  Quite contented



As for Velma and one-half of “Mac and Skeeter,” they didn’t work out either.  Two years later – almost to the day – she married Arthur “Woody” Woodring. 
 
Velma and Woody Woodring, Violetta Davis Apr 1929  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Velma and Woody Woodring, Violetta Davis
in the Shenandoah River April 1929

Hold on tight as you cross the river to Sepia Saturday.


© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

45 comments:

  1. I love the last photograph. The girls look so happy. How nice to find captions on the photos, I wish my family had done a little more of that. Note to self – I must put captions on the photos! 

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    1. I wish the captions had included people's names though!

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  2. Velma had no idea you would one day write about all the Macs, Skeeters, and Lacys in her life!

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    1. Yeah, she needs to send me a sign.

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  3. Wow, they sure were a picture of happiness, a group that played well together, and took great photos even balancing on that flower pot, right?! Lacy for a boy is really odd, although today parents are coming up with names I've never even thought were possible! Or old names spelled differently. Kamryn instead of Cameron (and like 8 changes for Cameron) Wendy is now the new Whendie! Seriously!

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    1. Oh -- Wendy with an "h" is new to me. I've seen a lot of Wendi and Wendie variations, but no "h."

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  4. What playful pairs! It looks as though it was all done in fun, but what would he have done if she’d taken him up on his proposal. Lacy is a fine name and I don’t think you should pick holes in it :)

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    1. I guess I'm used to hearing Lacy as a girl's name. Maybe it's like Shirley and Beverly which were historically men's names but now sound very feminine.

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  5. Oh I love looking at the hair and clothes styles. That last picture is especially fun. Oh and as for names in the family, I have a woman named Bruce. I have lots of records for her and every single last one says "Bruce" for her first name. I wonder if she had a nickname?

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    1. My sister worked with a lady named Bruce who could cuss like a sailor.

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  6. A tale with more to be added or conjured who knows when. I have a similar family photo pose but in the Pittsburgh area of PA of some of my family on similar river rocks, the Allegheny river. I still marvel at how dressed up they all were, so different today!

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    1. They did dress well. Of course, it was Sunday, so that might explain the better dress too.

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  7. The men all look a lot older than college men do today. It's probably because of the way they are dressed.

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  8. Great photos. Seeing the contrast between Velma and friends with today's college students is unsettling. NO ONE dresses like that anymore. Standards have deteriorated to such a low level that I wonder what the next generation will think about similar pics and videos of this era.

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    1. Yes, there was a time when schools were much like parents, much more rule-driven. Now schools have chosen other battles.

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  9. School romances can hit the rocks when couples set out into the 'real' world where things are a bit different. Still, those happy carefree times make for nostalgic memories to be trundled out & thought of with a slow smile & a warm heart from time to time.

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    1. I know what you mean. Now I'm wondering what happened to the fellas in the pictures.

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  10. Mac and Skeeter, what were you thinking?

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    1. And I think that Mac and Skeeter are in the first photo as well.

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    2. Yes, they are. I didn't identify them because I didn't know which was which. Logic would say Velma identified them from top to bottom, but who knows . . . .

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  11. You have so many happy photographs to match this week's theme.

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    1. They did seem to be having a lot of fun.

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  12. Velma and two Thelmas in one post. Great photos.

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    1. HA yes. I imagine there was constant confusion in their conversations. Which Thelma? Did you say Velma or Thelma?

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  13. Thanks for sharing such a great collection of young couples...and even a river! The name game has been fun also, especially as comments.

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    1. It's funny how we got off on a tangent with the various names.

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  14. The photos represent the era beautifully. And I'm glad that you have stuck with Peter Pan's "Wendy" and not tried ot update your name, :-)

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    1. Peter Pan's "Wendy" is the ultimate and all-time best "Wendy."

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  15. I wonder if they got their shoes wet?
    Great fun photos :)

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  16. Great photos, but I particularly enjoyed the last one of the trio on the rock. Three is not a crowd in this instance, and they look happy to be together.

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  17. They do all look happy and playful.

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    1. Yes they do. I wonder what kind of joking was going on when Mac and Skeeter decided to pose that way.

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  18. There's a wonderful short story here waiting to be told.

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    1. I'm sure there is. But I have no idea about the plot.

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  19. These are such great photos. Like Michelle mentioned in her comment, it's so fun to see the fashions of the day back then.

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    1. I like studying the hair styles too.

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  20. That urn looks precarious I must say but the waterside picture is lovely. What a shame their marriages all fell apart.

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    1. Oh, actually none of these couples were married. This photo was from their carefree college days before they met their future husbands.

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  21. Wendy, your posts sometimes just crack me up. I can't quit laughing. Those poor couples....

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  22. I love the toy kitchen. My daughter wasn't impressed when one day I opened my handbag to produce a matchbox car for her son and a toy iron for her daughter !!

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    1. I don't know how your comment wound up here instead of where you intended, but I appreciate the visit and comment. I loved a toy iron much more than a real one. HA!

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