Friday, May 19, 2017

Sepia Saturday: Snakes Alive! or Heavens to Betty!

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt is one I can hardly look at without getting chills. Snakes – hate ‘em, even the supposedly “good” ones. My aunt Betty (my father’s sister) shares my fear. Actually, she exceeds it. The day she started hating snakes is permanently etched in her mind.

This picture was taken on that very day.
Beverly Slade Anderson 1939
Beverly Ann Slade about 5 years old 1939

Aunt Betty had been sent to live with Richetta Moss, a family friend, since her mother (my grandmother) was in no emotional or physical shape to take care of a baby due to alcoholism. Mrs. Moss’s family owned a beach cottage at Ocean View. On that fateful day in 1939, the family was constructing a walkway from the cottage to the road using bricks that were piled up in the back yard.

As anyone who has ever done a major home project knows, keeping the youngins busy and out of trouble is key to making progress. Assigning Betty and Jackie (another child in Mrs. Moss’s care) the job of gathering bricks and hauling them in their little wagon was the logical thing to do. Surely it was both work and fun for two little girls to fill the wagon and pull with all their might through the bumpy yard.

However, on one trip with the wagon, Betty picked up a brick, unaware that danger lurked beneath. But there it was – a snake. As if just seeing it were not bad enough, she accidentally stepped on the thing. With that, she dropped the brick and just ran.

When it comes to those limbless reptiles, Aunt Betty has been running ever since.

Be like Aunt Betty and run, run, run to Sepia Saturday.

© 2017, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. I'm with Aunt Betty. I run if I see a snake!

  2. Never liked those snakes. Got to the point I could look at them at zoos and pet stores, but shuddered when others held them.


  3. I can certainly understand how stepping on a snake would make your aunt fearful. I'm very wary of walking around our daughter's place after being virtually chased by one.(see my blog).

  4. I am of the same opinion, feeling it's an innate instinct for humans to be very wary of snakes...I did appreciate what your Aunt went through with stepping on one. Yikes.

  5. I would react like Aunt Betty! I am just pleased I live in a country that very rarely sees snakes.

  6. No snakes here in Lanzarote I’m pleased to say. Your aunt has my utmost sympathy.

  7. I like snakes. We have a large 4' black snake around our house that my wife spotted again yesterday. As long as it stays outside and doesn't make nightly patrols inside, I'm happy to have it manage the little critters I don't want.

  8. I was wondering how you would interpret this image, Wendy. I think you have a story and photo for everything! Poor Betty. I'm with you (and her) about snakes. I can't stand them. My daughter recently posted a photo on facebook of her little 3-year-old daughter sitting on their porch step holding a snake looking totally pleased about it. I just could not "like" that photo!

  9. Too bad to have this incident happen when she was having such a fun day.

  10. Poor Aunt Betty. Most people I know are afraid of snakes. My cats love it when I lift up a stepping stone...they push right in.

  11. I can't say that I love snakes but I'll take them ANY DAY over a spider. Shudder!

  12. There is no such thing as a good snake!