Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sepia Saturday 203, 2013 November 16; McPherson Grandparents and Door at Anderson


The Sepia Saturday prompt for this week has a familiar feel to it.  Have you ever noticed how many photographs are taken in doorways? It might have been the desire to search out a convenient frame, but more likely it was the need to go in search of natural light in order to tease those silver salts into life. Whatever the reason, a lot of old photographs feature doorways and this provides our theme for Sepia Saturday 203.  As usual for me, it is the memories that these prompts evoke -- and so it is the door  and the memories of my McPherson grandparents and the times I spent at that house are the fare for this post.




 The Door and the House in Anderson, California

 This is the house that I associate with my McPherson grandparents, Jabez Burns and Elizabeth Alfreda.  They lived in this little two bedroom house just outside of Anderson, California, for a little over ten years -- from about 1938 until 1948 or so.  During the time they lived in the house, I grew from a rambunctious three-year old to a sassy teenager of thirteen. Until my siblings and I rebelled at having to be away from our home on Christmas,   I spent nearly every Christmas until I was about twelve  going to, at, and coming home from the huge family gatherings at my McPherson grandparent's home. I had nine aunts and uncles, plus a gaggle of cousins, all of whom converged on this little house -- not only at Christmas, but any time there was a gathering of  more than two of the siblings. The walls reverberated with laughter, yelling and telling of stories of when the adults were young.  Oh, and not to forget the card games. Grandma's big round table was the center of a nearly non-stop poker game. My McPherson's were serious poker players and stopped only for meals. Pleading of children had no effect, only my grandmother's need to feed her beloved children interrupted the endless poker games --  I often thought that feeding of grandchildren was an afterthought.  My grandmother doted on her  ten children.

When we were older, my cousins, Nancy and Marilyn, and I also spent Easter vacation with my grandparents. However, I think the allure was more connected with my older cousin Tommy and his teenaged friends, than wanting to spend time with my grandparents.  We were also allowed, at that time, to sleep in the sleeping porch, which meant we were part of the "grown up" world, or so we thought.  The door in this photograph opened up into the screened sleeping porch.    My younger of the McPherson aunties, Verna, Betty and Olive Lorraine, had left home to make their own way in the world, but in their wake they left wondrous treasures, a dressing table with gold leaf trim around the a big mirror and side cabinents, hand mirrors, bright red lipsticks, high-heeled shoes, and dressing gowns.  So between the the teenage cousin and his friends, and the "leavings" of our glamours aunties, my cousins and I spent a couple of wonderful Easter vacations, which some what made up for the kid-boring Christmases we had to bear in our earlier years.

Back to the door, and pictures of folks  in the door way.  I had thought that there were scads of pictures of this door.  It is true that there were many pictures taken in doorways, but only a few of this most remembered door way.  Here are the few that I found:


In the photo on the right, the door is almost obliterated by my Aunt Margie (Marjorie Avery McPherson Bryant) and her dog -- or it may have been Grandpa's dog -- a favored dog no matter the owner. Margie was the youngest of the older grouping of siblings;  She was the second eldest daughter, and third eldest child.  She was a teenager when the family arrived in Calipatria, in southern California, from Wisconsin.  She never strayed to far from Calapatria and the Los Angeles area for the rest of her life.  Of course, she was a McPherson, so she was always at family get gatherings.  She would travel the length of California to be at a with her brothers and sisters, and seemingly never gave it a second thought.  I always thought of her as being very sophisticated, what with hats, gloves, and fancy dresses.  Such are the impressions of a child.



The picture to the left is of my grandparents and their youngest daughter, Olive Lorraine, standing in front of the door.  Olive Lorraine was the youngest of the ten children.  The photo was taken in the late 1940s and she and her husband were living in Vallejo.  She too never missed a family gathering.  She often made the nearly three hour drive to see her parents, and two to three times a year she made the five hour trek to our home in Klamath Falls.  But then, one must remember that as a toddling baby she made the trek from Wisconsin to southern California with her ever-traveling family, so it seems traveling is in the McPherson blood..















The last photo does not really show the door, but rather a blotchy faded photo of my grandfather relaxing just on the other side of  the door.  Even though the quality of the photo is not good, it is a favorite of mine as it brings back a host of memories of that wonderfully cool dreamy place that was a refuge from the scorching  heat of Anderson's summers.  And it is how I best remember my grandpa. I think he was one of those men that got better looking with age.





This ends my photos of the door -- not nearly as many as I had thought, so I am glad that my memories are not so limited.  Now check on the doors, doorways, and such of our fellow Sepians.


~ ~ 

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

15 comments:

  1. Isn't it nice that people take photos standing in front of the doorways of their homes. I think about it now and realize it would easily be a nice category to collect. And it's fun seeing the dog on a chair. It was so common to stand a child on a chair for a photo, but a dog is even better.

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    1. There are ever so many photos of the dogs of my McPhersons. Definitely a doggy-crazed group. There is a photo of the dog in this collection, in which he is standing on the backs of two chairs --- front feet on one chair and back feet on the other. Maybe it will show up on a SS day.

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  2. I've got a photo of my grandfather relaxing on his front porch in his chair too. This is a nice collection.

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    1. Thanks, Kat. I really thought there were more photos of folks infront of this door. Odd about memories.

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  3. Lovely memories of that one doorway and the home into which it led. Your grandparents' place must have been packed to the rafters when everyone was there at Christmas time!

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    1. Indeed, it was. The base crew of my dad's family was 22 adults and 10 to 15 kids, and there were always an array of friends that just showed up. Definitely packed.

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  4. You really have opened up the door and let us in on your family. I love the description of your grandparents house and how it acted as a kind of magnet for family happiness. I think we can all wish the same of our own houses.

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    1. Thanks, Alan. I hope my kids and grandchildren remember my house as fondly.

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  5. Photographs in doorways are so out of fashion these days, more the piity.
    in my family, anyway. But I suppose they had to get out in the daylight to take a photo - no flash. Great granparent holiday memories.

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  6. This week's prompt inspired wonderful memories and storytelling on your part. I need to do more of this.

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    1. Thanks,Wendy. One of my passions. I am going to present a class on writing memoirs and family history at the local genealogy center -- a group for folks that always wanted to "tell the stories" but dinna know how to start. Should be fun -- I hope.

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  7. A lovely post, I find my grandparent's houses priceless as well. Thank you for sharing your family memories!

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    1. Karen, thanks for the kind words. The memories are so much more vivid than the paltry photographic images -- ahh, the 4-D of memories and mind.

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  8. The first photo is delightful. They were proud of their home even if it was small.

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