Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt expresses the joy of summer at the beach with a man jumping over a twisted beach towel held by two women. My photo contains some of the same elements: a dog and a man who is not jumping, but judging by his tan, it must have been summer.
The man is Stephen Barany. In an earlier Sepia Saturday post I told about his marriage to my grandaunt Catherine Walsh Barany, about his being a bookie, and about their eventual separation. I thought there was nothing else to learn. But then I was given two scrapbooks that had belonged to my great-grandmother Mary Theresa Sheehan Killeen Walsh. In them she had glued greeting cards. That’s when a sentimental Stephen Barany emerged.
Even though Aunt Cat signed both of their names to cards sent to her mother, Steve sometimes sent his own. According to family lore, Steve and Mary Theresa had a special bond, far from the stereotypical mother-in-law/son-in-law relationship.
In the movies and on television, bookies are often portrayed as the slimiest of low-life beings. Funny how a sweet vellum card can remind us that people are much more complex than images coming out of Hollywood.
© 2016, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.