Thursday, February 18, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I love this photo! I love their clothes. I love how similar their stances are. And I especially love the angle of their heads. Truly, like mother, like daughter.

Everything I know about this photo can be stated in these few words: This is my great-grandmother, Elvira (Bartley) Gerner, and her daughter and my great-aunt, Mabel.

I know neither the location, the circumstance, the date, nor the photographer. Perhaps they are in work clothes. They could have been spring cleaning, or gardening, or preparing food for a July 4th celebration, or any number of other activities.

When I look at this photo I wonder what kind of a relationship this mother and daughter had. Were they friends? Did Gramma Elvira possess a maternal attitude? Did they enjoy working together? Did they joke and have fun as they worked, or was work serious business?

I wish photos could reveal more than what's apparent to the eye.

I wish, wish, wish someone had written details on the back of the photo -- at the very least a date and location. However, I'm not complaining because I'm thrilled to have the photo, a gift of the generosity of my cousin, Don D.

Bless them all!

Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Messier.


  1. They are quite similar. I wonder what other similarities you will find as you unravel the past. I love old photos that are not posed but show the real person - like your gramma and great-gramma.

  2. I'm drawn to the photo, too. They both tilt their heads the same way when posing for the camera.

  3. This is a wonderful picture! They do bear a strong resemblance to each other. In the words of an overquoted cliche. . . "a picture is worth a thousand words."

  4. Joan, yes, unposed photos are fun and special. I have few of the formal ones, and probably fewer of the informal ones, but for this family, informal photos are the only ones I have (oh - except one formal portrait of my grandmother). BTW, this is my grandmother's sister - and surprisingly, they look nothing alike.

    Amy, that's what I first noticed, the same head tilt. I'm wondering about the body language involved here. Is mother drawn to daughter, daughter not drawn to mother?

    Brenna, it's true that photographs can tell you things words never can describe but, on the other hand, sometimes words can give information never available in photographs. Do you think the resemblance is in face or in demeanor?

    Thanks to all three of you for looking and commenting. I appreciate it.

  5. I can only think of them saying: "Now why is he pointing that thing at us?" Great picture!

  6. Oh I love the photo too. Makes me wonder all the things you do too. Oh if all those old pictures could only talk : )

  7. What is it about this photo! My first reaction was "I love those women!" But then I noticed that they weren't smiling or anything...and I thought now why do I feel like they are great people? There is just something about them -- an energy or something. When I read the comments I see I am not the only one that got this impression. Very interesting photo to provoke such a reaction. Sure does make you want to know more about them! :)


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