Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday photo of a group of unsmiling students is similar to quite a few old photos in my collection. Amidst the pictures of family portraits and school photos are two newspaper clippings that alone are nothing out of the ordinary, but paired tell a story of friendship.
My father was a proud graduate of the University of Virginia as were some of his best friends. They were members of the Portsmouth Cavalier Club of UVA, which was most likely just a social group, maybe even an alumni group. Apparently they hosted dances at the popular Suburban Country Club in Portsmouth.
|Suburban Country Club in Portsmouth, Virginia|
In the photo accompanying a brief announcement of one such upcoming dance, Daddy was standing between two friends, Jimmy Stewart (not the actor) and Jimmy Boggs. Jimmy Stewart held a higher position on the friend chain, I suppose, as he was selected to be my godfather. The three couples were good friends for a long time. As a child, I often played with the Boggs’ son Mark and the Stewarts’ daughter Melissa.
In fact, Melissa was somewhat of a “best friend” probably because I saw her so often, not just when our parents got together for an evening of cards. She and I attended the same kindergarten: Newton’s Nursery and Kindergarten. Here we are standing side by side posing for our graduation photo. (I find it amusing that Daddy and I both were standing on the back row with our best friend standing to our right.)
|Melissa and I are standing on the back row.|
I'm third from the end; Melissa is to my right, 4th from the end.
Memories from kindergarten have long faded except for one: the day I broke my nose. Melissa and I were holding hands and running in a circle, fast, faster, faster still. Then without warning she let go. I went flying face first onto the linoleum floor. The next thing I knew, one of the teachers picked me up and rushed to the bathroom. She held me over the trough sink and did what she could to clean me up but was obviously losing the battle as blood just seemed to pour.
I don’t know if my mother was called away early from Cradock Elementary School where she was teaching or if she came after school, but I remember the look on her face. I must have been a frightening sight. We went to the doctor for a diagnosis and instructions. Yep, broken.
Nightly seemingly forever, my mother applied HOT, I mean really HOT, towels soaked in some kind of salt solution. My precious little face was black and blue and swollen. Not a day went by without multiples of people staring and asking, “What happened to YOU?” Today I’d probably respond, “You should see the other guy” but when I was 5, I was totally humiliated and just wanted to stay home, not even go to school to play with my best buddy Melissa.
Yeah, I was probably scarred for life.
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© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.