In the swimsuit is my grandfather, W. C. Robert Meinzen. Beside him is his son-in-law and my father, Lee Doyle.
What a swimsuit! I usually think of younger men wearing this style but by all appearances, Grampa seems comfortable and confident. On the other hand, I'm not quite sure how to read my father's expression. Dubious, perhaps? I think this photo was taken in the early 1940's.
Grampa grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, which borders the Ohio River. We understand that Grampa swam in the river when he was a youth. My brief research into swimsuits suggests this one may have been a 1920's-1930's style. He probably didn't have the opportunity to swim often enough to warrant buying a new suit every year or two.
I don't know where this photo was taken but I suspect it was somewhere near Lake Milton in Mahoning County, Ohio. That seems to have been the usual destination for swimming about the time this photograph was taken.
The next photo is of my mom, Audrey (Meinzen) Doyle, taken when she was perhaps 12 or 14, between 1927 and 1929. I don't know the location of this photo either but it looks like a small, rock-rimmed pool. Safe. Mom never learned to swim and claimed she didn't enjoy being in the water. But to a child/youth on a hot summer day in the 1920's, what could have been better than a dip in a pool, large or small?
Which brings me to the last image. It's a very poor photograph, and I apologize, but I just couldn't resist posting it with these other two. I can almost feel the hot sun and cool water. The photographer captured the action at that split second when the water droplets sprayed the air, just before they fell onto the other bathers; captured the little "Dutch Girl" imp in the center when she was just about to bounce down and thrust her hands into the water to splash the others. I love this photo. It speaks to me of the exuberance, the joy, the delight of summer play in the swimming "hole."
In this photo the spray of water seems to be coming from opposite the photographer. When I enlarge it I think I can just see the outline of an adult behind the splashing water. Can you? Who was teasing these swimmers?
Do you have family photos of swimmers, imps, players-in-the-water? Do you have favorite memories of times spent with friends or family in swimming holes or pools?
Happy water play to you!
This is a Sepia Saturday post. If you like old photographs you might enjoy other Sepia Saturday posts, too.
Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Messier