Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday commemorates 300 weeks of sharing old photos and stories by recalling the photo that got this group started. While there is no shortage of photos of ugly people in my collection, I decided to follow the prompt even more closely by recalling the photo I posted on my very first blog back in August 2011. Partly because I’m lazy, partly because there is nothing new to say, and partly because it was so darn good the first time, I am simply repeating the story (with a few minor edits) from the post that got my blog started:
|Standing: My great-grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis, Sallie Jollett Clift,|
Victoria Jollett Breeden, Laura Jollett Knight
Seated: Emma Jollett Coleman, Ulysses Jollett, Laura Jollett Sullivan
For years, this Jollett family portrait hung above the piano in my parents’ living room. My great-aunt Violetta Davis Ryan had several copies made from a little photo, and everyone who shared her pride in the Jolletts got one. As children, my sister and I heard stories of the Jolletts during every visit with our relatives in Harrisonburg and Shenandoah, Virginia. To children’s ears the Jollett family seemed like characters in a storybook, so mysterious and out of reach. Naturally we willingly adopted Jollett Pride as our own.
Then baby sister’s boyfriend came a’callin’ and snapped us into reality. He entered the living room, took one look at that gold-framed family treasure and said, “Who are all those ugly people?”
Until then, we probably never noticed the glum expressions and the general absence of beauty among the sisters. As my sassy sister noted, “They probably didn’t have Mary Kay.”
I used to think the Jollett girls and brother were old in this picture. Now I realize they were YOUNG. They were in their 30s-40s, maybe. If that’s a wedding ring on Vic’s hand, the photo was taken after 1902. The clothing appears to be 1910’s style. Mary Frances’ brother Ulysses died in 1931 at age 44, so that helps date this photo as well.
Now HERE they are in their late 50s and 60s.
This photo was
taken at a family reunion probably 1934 or earlier. My handsome
great-grandfather looks healthy, but he died in October 1934.
Standing: James Mitchell Knight, Sallie J. Clift, Leanna J. Knight,
Walter Davis, Mary Frances J. Davis, Decatur Breeden,
Victoria J. Breeden, Laura J. Sullivan, Will Sullivan
Seated: Jack Coleman, Emma J. Coleman
Please visit Sepia Saturday to read more of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.