Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt shows a man speaking into a large megaphone. Four years ago, I was ahead of myself AND Sepia Saturday when I mistook a megaphone for a telescope. In response to the prompt photo which featured a telescope, I used this photo:
Oops. Anyway, I told the story of how my grandaunt Helen’s husband Herbert Parker had been a clerk at the Pig Point Ordnance Office in Suffolk, Virginia during World War I. Since then I have learned a little more about Uncle Herbert and his family.
Sometime ago, my dad’s sister gave me a suitcase full of pictures, letters, and cards that she saved when she cleaned out our Aunt Helen Killeen Parker’s home. Some of those letters were love letters full of news of the day’s events, always ending tenderly hoping to hear back soon. In one letter, Aunt Helen mentioned “Captain Dick”:
There is a photo of Captain Dick too in Aunt Helen’s scrapbook.
But who was he?
Helen’s mother Mary Theresa Sheehan Killeen Walsh even knew Captain Dick. In a letter to Helen, she wrote:
When I asked my aunt whether she had ever heard Aunt Helen talk about a “Captain Dick,” she recalled hearing that name but could not remember who he was.
Then the genealogy fairy showed up. A distant relative sent an old photo to my aunt thinking she was the proper person to have it.
On the back was written “Ephraim Dick Parker and Herbert.” That is when my aunt remembered - Aunt Helen always called her father-in-law “Captain Dick.” Why? We have no idea. Herbert’s father wasn’t even named Richard. He was Ephraim Champion Parker.
Herbert was the only child born to “Captain Dick” and his wife Margaret Williams. They lived at 1616 Atlanta Avenue. That is where Herbert brought his bride in 1927. He and Helen lived downstairs; Herbert’s parents lived upstairs. That arrangement probably worked well for Helen since Herbert traveled frequently in his job with the railroad.
|Herbert Parker in his home office|
Even though Herbert was living in my lifetime, I have no memory of him. However, I have vivid memories of his office. It was a pine paneled room just off the living room. French doors were always open, but I imagine Herbert might have closed them when he was concentrating on work.
|Econolite train motion lamp|
Lamps like this sell on eBay
anywhere from $35-$350.
On a side table stood an Econolite train motion lamp. It always seemed like a toy to me, but knowing Herbert used to work for the railroad makes the lamp make sense to me now.
Having seen the photo identifying Captain Dick and Herbert as a little boy, I believe the identity of this previously unknown boy in this photo is coming through loud and clear.
It looks like Herbert to me.
To see what others made of this week’s prompt, please follow the links at Sepia Saturday. I SAID PLEASE GO TO SEPIA SATURDAY!
© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.