Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Photos Not Taken - Wishful Wednesday

Supine, horizontal, procumbant, flat on my back, with foot elevated.  That's me, most of the time, for the next several weeks after foot surgery last Thursday.  No laptop, no i-pad, no i-phone... just books, magazines, TV, and my imagination!  It's led to wishful thinking on my part, and not only that I could walk....  So for the next several weeks I'll be composing Wishful Wednesday posts.  Join me in posting your own if you'd like.

This week I've been thinking about photographs I wish someone had taken, both from my own life and from the lives of ancestors.  Yes, I know, wishing never accomplished anything, but it does pass the time and there's the slightest possibility that some other family member may have the very photographs on my wish list.

These are the photographs I wish existed.
  • The trike I used as a young child.  It was a positively dandy trike.  Not your little 12- or 18-inch miniature thing, but a real trike.  I think the handlebars were probably 30 inches high.  It had a wide rear wheel-base, which meant few spills.  And unlike the image at right, it had a platform between the back wheels where another child could stand, hold onto my back, and we could wheel around together.  As far as I know, no photo exists.  

  • While I'm talking about wheeled vehicles, I wish someone had taken a photo of me on the big bicycle I learned to ride
  • before I was tall enough to sit on the seat. It had been my aunt's, was handed down to my brother, then to my sister, then to me.  It was one of those old-fashioned affairs with wide handlebars, wide wheels, and a wide seat.  It was as heavy as all get-out.  Yet somehow, as a 6 or 7 year-old, I learned to ride it while standing on the wheels to balance and pedal.  (Above, my 6'4" tall brother-in-law is about to give his son a ride on it.)

  • Couples on their wedding days.  While the newspaper description of my mom in her wedding dress (a gown of blue velvet with a cameo brooch... an arm bouquet of pink roses) is helpful, it's not the same as having a photograph of my parents, Lee and Audrey (Meinzen) Doyle together on their wedding day.  Ditto a wedding photo of my paternal grandparents, Gust and Beulah (Gerner) Doyle, except in their case I have no description.  If a wedding photo ever existed it's a likely possibility that Gust's second wife would have destroyed it.  I have no wedding photo of Robert and Emma (Bickerstaff) Meinzen, or of most of my other ancestors.  Does some other descendant have photos to share? I'm wishing!

  • My great-grandmothers' kitchen. I would love to see how their kitchens were arranged, the appliances they used, how they organized their storage, dishes, utensils. I think it would be fun to have a photo of Elizabeth (Armitage) Meinzen, Mary (Thompson) Bickerstaff, Tressa (Froman) Doyle, and Elvira (Bartley) Gerner in their kitchens. Likewise, I would be thrilled to find photos of their husbands, Henry Meinzen, Jesse Bickerstaff, William Doyle, and Fred Gerner, at work.

  • One of our catches after a very successful fishing trip to to Mosquito Lake.  Several times we caught so many fish it look longer to clean and fillet them than to drive to the lake, catch the fish, and drive home. Without the photo it's just an unbelievable fish story. 

Do you have a Wishful Wednesday list?


  1. Nancy, I would love to have pictures of my great-grandmothers' kitchens, too. For some reason, even though it was the heart of the home, the kitchen never seemed to get photographed.

    And my wish for you is for a full and speedy recovery!

    1. I wonder if people wanted photos taken when they looked their best. I know when I'm working away in the kitchen, I look like I'm working and am not at my best. In my mind's eye I can see my grandmother in her flour-dusted apron, rolling out pie crusts. I KNOW she would not have appreciated a photo, no matter how thrilled her grandchildren would be to have one now!

      Thanks for your kind wish for my recovery, Shelley. I appreciate it.

  2. Thank you, Shelley. You're so kind.

    I think maybe our ancestors though the common (kitchens, barns, workplaces) was too common to waste on photographic film, especially before smaller, personal cameras.

  3. The kitchen photos would be great! I can only think of one I have, and the focus is my three aunts acting silly. (I'll probably have to post it now, as you have made me want to go locate it just to see how much of the kitchen it captured.)

    Sorry to hear that you're flat on your back...


    1. I'm so glad you shared the kitchen photo you have, Dee. It is such a fun one!

  4. Oh Nancy, I hope your foot heals quickly. What a trial - not to be able to get around easily. I wish I had more pictures of the way our farm looked years ago, in my childhood. I've been in Idaho this whole month, helping my mom with my dad's estate stuff. I have spent several hours photographing all the little things I want to remember. The canal, his shovel and boots, the back door, the grain field, his watch and wallet, the WWII medals and uniform, his scriptures, and the coin collection. Even many more things that are small, but special memories. We have a large family and these things will eventually become keepsakes to many people. But I don't need to own it if I just have a picture to remember it. Lovely post. Get well soon!

    1. Oh, Kathleen, what a hard thing to do. I remember going through my parents home with my siblings and how heart-wrenching it was. So many memories, both good and bad, and so few photos. I'm glad you're taking photos now. It's not the same as having ones from your childhood but better than no photos at all. Write down your memories and experiences. You're such a great writer, I'm sure your children and grandchildren will feel they've inherited a goldmine! Thanks for your get well wishes. With time....

  5. Hi Nancy, I had that tricycle too. Just did a little research online. At first I thought it might have been a Murray tricycle, but then I found a picture on Ebay of what must have been "my" trike. It had room for a rider on the back like yours and it came from Sears, which was pretty much the exclusive shopping place for my parents. Here is the link: Luckily, it is very expensive or I might have been tempted to buy it. Great article. Scrappy Gen :)
    Jennifer Shoer

  6. Thanks for your comments, Jennifer. I looked at the link and my trike was about 10 years older than that one, was all black, and I think it had a wider seat and a wider platform. But they do look similar. Kids don't ride bikes so often these days. I think it was one of my primary activities on nice days when I was a child.


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