Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt offers many ways to interpret it, but my eye keeps going to that white tent, I suppose because it makes me think of the tents my grandaunt Helen Killeen Parker may have camped out in in her glory days. I have written about her camping trip before HERE.
I thought it was a darn good story, impossible to improve upon, until I found a poem that recounted the events of that very trip, which I wrote about HERE.
The end of the poem combines a bit of teasing and an inside joke, but reading between the lines reveals the fondness for a group of friends.
So I tell you dear friends, if you want to die
Just go on a Camping trip, with the “Terrible Five.”
It occurs to me that in every group of friends there seems to be that one person or that little core that holds everyone together. They’re the fun ones. They’re the trouble makers that make even trouble fun. In Helen’s crowd around 1918-1921, they were known as “The Terrible Five.” Not a single one of the five is my family - that I know of, anyway. But I can’t stop wondering about them. I guarantee no one in my family cares, but I just need to know who they were. It’s a curiosity thing. A genealogy thing. I can’t help myself.
After studying photo after photo, I think I figured out 3 of the 5. The first guy on the left is Pete.
But Pete who? “Pete” isn’t always a diminutive of “Peter.” I knew a man named Albert Clifford who was known as “Pete.”
The guy on the far right is Mitz Ollice. The photo with Lucille Fritzinger was taken probably not long before they married.
I could find no other pictures with people identified to match the dark-haired fellows. That light-haired guy in the middle appears in lots of pictures though. One photo turns out to be the perfect gift for this curious family historian.
There he is with a gun.
What does that say? Rayell? Rayill? Roy ice? I knew it would be a longshot, but I searched Ancestry for Rayell, Rayill, and even Roy born about 1900 living in Portsmouth, Virginia. Nothing.
|Closeup of the patch on the sweater|
I noticed the patch on Whatshisname’s sweater and zoomed in. CRC. That meant nothing to me, but I Googled that too. CRC. CCR. Nothing.
On a whim and really just giving in to frustration, I went back to Ancestry and searched for “Roy Ice” born about 1900 living in Portsmouth. And what do you know - there he was! ROYCE! Chester Royce Crawford, to be exact. CRC! (I bet those crazy friends of Helen’s dubbed him “Roy ice.”)
In stalking Royce Crawford through Ancestry, FamilySearch, and online newspapers, I learned an INTERESTING thing, a SAD thing, and a FUNNY thing.
INTERESTING - Not only did Royce work for the railroad, just like Helen’s husband Herbert, but also he rented a room from Herbert’s parents, the same house where Helen and Herbert lived in the downstairs apartment. Now that’s a friendship!
SAD - Royce never married. He died much too young at the age of 58. Ironically, Royce was predicted to be the second of Helen's friends to marry.
|Royce was 2nd from the right|
and predicted to be the second to marry
FUNNY - When Royce was 10 years old, his fifth grade class at Berkley Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia presented a Christmas program consisting MAINLY of original poems, stories, skits, and songs. Royce’s contribution was a recitation of “The Mischievous Stocking.” I suspect his was an original piece. He seems like the mischievous type!
Please visit my friends at Sepia Saturday where you can pitch a tent, but just don’t pitch a fit.
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