Malachi's Promise "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers...." Malachi 4:6

Saturday, August 7, 2010

That's Grampa, But That's Not Gramma

The man in the photo at the left is my grandfather, William Carl Robert Meinzen. The woman beside my grandfather is not my grandmother. Who is she? Perhaps she's a relative, or perhaps she's a friend, or maybe she's a date. The way she's leaning toward him gives me the impression that she's at least slightly possessive of him. She impresses me as a very self-assured young lady who knows what she wants and goes after it. Grampa, on the other hand, is only just slightly leaning toward her, and there's no physical contact, unless she has her elbow resting against his side. I wish I knew who this lady is/was, but I probably never will.

I'm guessing this photo was taken in about 1912. Grampa was born in 1892 and looks about 20 in this photo. He married my grandmother, Emma Bickerstaff, in 1914.

This is a section of a larger photo of Grampa with the unknown young lady and another couple. I found it in my grandmother's photo album. I wonder if she would have put the photo of a "rival" in her album, even if it was a great photo of her husband.


As with all of the photos in Gramma's album, this one had been attached to a page in a different album, removed, and then placed in this newer album. When it was removed from the previous album, a hole was torn into it, but not all the way through it, where the other couple are standing. My grandfather and the unknown lady were left intact.

How much do you think you can tell about someone's personality from a photograph? Have you ever seen a photo of someone and guessed at their personality, then later learned that you were accurate (or very far from close)? What do you imagine about the relationship between Grampa and the lady and the lady's personality?

You might enjoy some other sepia photographs. You can find links to them at Sepia Saturday. Enjoy!

13 comments:

  1. Your photo and story are so interesting; your unknown lady looks as though she is thoroughly enjoying herself and has a great dress sense. She is very confident in her relationship with your grandfather - she could be a cousin, neighbour or girlfriend, it's too hard to say. Like you say in your piece about yourself, I would love to be able to go back in time as an observer as I have many unanswered questions about some of my ancestors too. Thank you for this great post.

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  2. Oh a mystery, and don't I love a mystery. You are so right in what you say about "reading" photographs : making deductions from looks, poses and all the other clues that are there. Wonderful picture at the heart of a wonderful post.

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  3. Hi Nancy, a very interesting photo. They are all very nicely dressed. There are two couples, this is not a coincidence. They had an outing together.
    Perhaps the two girls chaperoned each other. I think they were friends perhaps there is a budding relationship. Your grandpas friend looks very self confident. Perhaps their relationship has not worked out or he fell in love with an other girl.

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  4. She does look like she knows what she wants - self assured and very pretty. I do often have ideas about a person's personality based on facial expressions and body language, but I have often been very wrong.

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  5. I love the mystery in this photo. The women's hats and clothes are so lovely.

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  6. I love the woman in the hat. It's Anne of Green Gables grown up.

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  7. She looks like a firecracker of a woman. My bet is that she ran away and joined a Wild West Show. Your grandfather was relieved because if she'd stayed around much longer, she'd have married him. And he was saving himself for your grandmother.

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  8. She looks a little too cozy to be a relative. I think she's got designs on him (whatever that means). He, on the other hand, doesn't seem too interested. I don't know what makes me think that.
    I love his sleeve garters,though!

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  9. She looks like a Kate Hepburn to me! Always enjoy your blog posts becausse your ending questions get me to thinking about things. And I suppose I will not toss all the unknown folks in photos from my Mom but merely speculate who/where/ and what.

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  10. i say they're cousins. a little too comfortable...a date might show more reserve as there would have been more at stakes.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  11. Well she certainly is adorable. I absolutely love the hats! I wish I could find photos of my grandparents during this time period!

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  12. I love your post. Love those hats! I think maybe they are cousins. I was recently given an old photo of myself and a male cousin at the local winter show. I remember we talked to a man trying to sell us insurance and we thought it very funny he assumed we were a couple and enjoyed letting him think so. What a treasure to have and what a mystery.

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  13. Several of you commented about these hats and I wanted to add a thought. I was looking at the hats again.... If you went to an estate sale and found one of these hats, would you imagine that the person who used to wear it had a Very Large Head? The diameter of the hats had to fit not just the head but also all that hair. I agree, they are wonderful, just very large!

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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