In the top photo my mother, Audrey, is kneeling in the middle with the dark belt around her waist. I believe that her next younger sister, Geraldine, is sitting in front on the left of the photograph, and I think "Baby Girl" is the little towhead in the front with her face down. Those babies and toddlers are very busy characters, not the least interested in looking at the camera. And then there's the boy in back, mouth wide open. You have to wonder if he's a jokester or a tease.
The photo on the bottom seems to have been taken a few years later because it looks to me like "Baby Girl" is the little towhead in the center of the group, a few years older than in the top photo. Is the boy in front pointing to encourage the others to look at the camera, or does he see something else exciting?
Is it just me or do you, too, think that the faces children of 100 years ago look different than the faces of children of today? Is it the hairstyles or that the photos are black and white? To me there's just a difference.
I think both of these photos were taken at the home of Edward Jesse and Mary (Thompson) Bickerstaff of Mineral Ridge, Ohio. E.J. and Mary were my mom's grandparents. The house in the background of the photo on the left appears over and over again in photographs of the time period.
About old photographs, Kate Morton wrote in The House at Riverton,
It is a cruel, ironical art, photography. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to evaporate with the past; should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photographs force us to see people before their future weighed them down, before they knew their endings.Perhaps my mother or some others in these photographs would agree with Kate Morton. As for me, I'm grateful to be able to glimpse moments in time - to see my aunt as a busy infant, my mom as an interested and attentive youth, to see that across the span of a hundred years, children behave in similar ways. How about you? What do you think?
This post is a participant in this week's Sepia Saturday, along with lots of others. I encourage you to enjoy their photographs and stories, too.