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.
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