Thursday, April 15, 2010

This is Katherine "Kay" McIntyre and her friend Doria sometime around 1942-45.

We have tons of pictures of Kay and her friends and it's recently occured to me that although we know most of thier first names, their last names have been lost to time and the feeling that thier last names were just not important pieces of information to hold onto.
It is interesting that although there are many sites dedicated to ancestry and geneology, I can't think of any that have spaces set aside for close friends.

I come from a very small family and perhaps that is why I developed a handful of very close friends at a young age that have developed into extended "family". All of my milestones from grade school til now have been shared with the same handful of friends.
It seems to me that any historical record of my life would be lacking without thier being a part of it.
Seeing all of these pictures of Kay and the friends she kept for life, makes me think something important is missing in any family record that does not include them as well.
I've noticed that now has a photo upload function. As they grow, maybe sometime in the future they might add links for other non-familial but never the less important, relations.
It is not only blood that shapes where we come from, I think it's clear that who we are is, in the end, built by all of our important relationships.

Charles Cummings

I think this might be Charles Cummings. The house in the background and the pony seems very similar to the photo I recently posted of Katherine Cummnings and the age seems right that this might be her brother.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I wasn't entirely sure who the girls in the second pictures were until I found the first one and noticed that the girl standing on the left is definately Katherine Eileen Cummings (my great aunt).
The other girl is either Katherine's sister Mary or her other sister, my Grandmother, Claire (also known as "Cecelia/Celia"). My Grandmother died before I was born and I did not see Mary often as a child but I did see Auntie Kay quite often and I think that's how I knew it was her in the more casual picture. The glasses threw me a little but something in her expression made me realize, "Oh, that's definately her."
I never knew Auntie Kay to wear glasses but I do remember her wearing contacts when I was growing up. I saw them on her dresser when I was a kid and thought the very idea of sticking little things into your eyes was just the weirdest thing.
I'm not sure when contacts were invented (or put into popular use by the masses) but I do know this may be the only picture I have of Katherine in glasses. There are tons of pictures of her from her late teens-30's and none of them show her wearing glasses.
I find it an interesting insight to her personality that she must have taken great care not to be photographed wearing them. I am pretty sure she wouldn't have had contacts until she was older, I just don't think they were in mass circulation then, but I could be wrong...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

This one is really neat on a lot of levels.

This is my Grandmother Cecelia/Celia/Claire (Cummings) McIntyre and her brother Charles Cummings. When I first saw it, I thought how great it was that the background shows that the stone wall that now surrounds the yard was not yet built but the intersection of Walter Street and Cotton Street in Roslindale is still very easily identifiable.
(What happened to that evergreen behind them, who knows? It wasn't there in my lifetime...)
It's pretty obvious that this picture was taken at or near wartime but a mark on the back narrows it down even further.
"MAR 1943"
(My Mother was born June 6, 1944 which is no matter in regards to this pic but interesting none the less.)
I really liked this picture because I thought my friends Rebecca and George, who in the early 90's lived in a great attic apartment just up the street from where this was taken, would find it interesting.
But there was more...
Ages ago,
(sometime in the late 80's perhaps?)
there was a Christmas party at the Rolindale house and my Mother wanted to give a special gift to her Aunt Mary's family.
(Mary was "Claire", Charles and Katherine's sister)so she had some old pictures she had copied (this was before the ease of scanning, she paid a photograph professional quite a chunk of change to have those pictures copied and I remember how tense she was til she got the originals back, but I digress...)
I very clearly remember sitting in the living room near my Mother and Mary when small talk turned to where we were living, My Mother told Mary that we no longer lived in Brookline and had moved to Jamaica Plain. My Mother was describing the neighborhood when Mary seemed to recognise a street name and animatedly exclaimed, "We used to live near there!"
At that point her sister Katherine entered the room behind her and stated rather vehemently "We never lived near there." and kind of rolled her eyes a bit.
At the time it seemed that Mary might have been confused and the conversation was dropped but I always kind of wondered about it.
Then along comes this picture with a faded mark on the back that looks a bit like a postmark and reads "MAR 1943 Jamaica Plain".
I'm not sure who made the mark but taken in context of that old tossed away in the back of my brain conversaion, I think it's pretty clear that someone lived in Jamaica Plain in or around 1943 and they had to be close enough to the family to get the film developed.
Curiouser and curiouser...
I am sure there is some totally boring explaination but mysteries like this are why I really love digging through all these old pictures.
On the back of one in every dozen is a really great clue to figuring it all out...