Saturday, June 7, 2014
Elvira and Her Sisters - Sepia Saturday
I love seeing Elvira and her sisters standing in front of the porch of the home where they grew up, the home of their father, Dixon Bartley, and that it was still standing and in good repair decades later. In the top photo you can see the balusters on the upper porch and the brackets on the lower porch just as they were in the 1909 photograph at right. The awning and little railing on the side porch are still there though the decorative touches seem to have been removed.
I love the dresses Elvira and Lavina are wearing. They are classic shirt-waist dresses. It's possible that the dresses were not at all comfortable to wear (though certainly more comfortable than the corsets of their youth!), but they remind me of the grandmother I grew up with who wore similar dresses 25 years later. Those dresses speak to me of comfort and love When I think about a person's clothing I sometimes imagine the things the person did while wearing it -- baking pies or paring potatoes, walking to the mail box, reading the newspaper. I imagine catching a whiff of fragrance from the cologne she wore or the powder she dusted on her face and neck. After someone wear's a dress or other piece of clothing for a while, it seems to me that it just becomes a part of that person: holding the clothing is almost like being beside the person, sensing them near.
I love just having a photograph of Elvira with her sisters. Arabella is on the left, Lavina in the center. I believe this is the first photograph of Elvira that I ever saw. I was surprised. It was like the first time you finally meet someone you've heard about or read about but never seen. I didn't have all that much information about her but I knew she was a strong, independent woman. And here she was a small, elderly woman. I don't have an exact date for this photo but it was probably taken in the late 1930s. Elvira would have been 80 in 1934. It was not long after this photograph that Elvira began the slow decline into senility. She lived until 1943.
I'm linking this post to Sepia Saturday 231. This week participants are sharing old photographs and new reflections.
© 2014 Copyright by Nancy Messier