Monday, October 14, 2019

AN OLD FAMILY PHOTO

Thanks to Gregg's genealogy hobby, he found this old photo of my father's side of our family.  
Usually in these old photos people don't smile this much, but everyone here is either smiling or laughing.  After a minute or two I find myself smiling as I study all their faces.  It's not that nothing bad ever happened.  This was taken post WWII and I remember stories of people lost during the war and the hardships experienced back home, serious illnesses for some. But here I am looking at this wonderful family, and smiling at all those lovely faces.  Such a joyful photo!

As was the way back in those days as many of you will remember, there were no TV's and we entertained ourselves by listening to each other.  From childhood I remember sitting on the floor cross-legged, loving the tales that were told, and some were pretty darned funny.  And then there were the sing-songs.  My Dad played the piano and we would all gather around and sing.  We didn’t care if anyone sang out of tune, we didn’t even notice.  Family coming and going, the kettle always whistling and the tea always brewing. We entertained ourselves by telling stories of real-life experiences. I still to this day would rather listen to a good story than watch a TV show or a movie.  

And here I am looking at this lovely photo wondering what had been said to tickle everyone's funny bone, from the oldest member of the family to the youngest.  Several seemed to be looking in the direction of the young lady on the left, middle row.  My great-uncle is just to the left of center, with his hand up to the side of his head.  

Do you have your own memories of how your family entertained themselves?  I would love to hear about them. 




41 comments:

  1. This was the first thing that struck me when I first saw the picture. The sheer joy and happiness of everyone. It is sure a precious and rare find! You just don't see this many people this happy. Yes, when I was growing up, I listened to all the family stories over and over. For some reason, they never got old.

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    1. Hi Ginny, I said the same to Gregg when he showed me the photo. Lovely to hear about your own memories. Thank you :)

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  2. They look like they are having fun!

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  3. How lovely to have a photo filled with joy. You are right, it was rare then and is I think not all that common even today.

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    1. It certainly is EC. I love looking at all those smiling faces :)

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  4. I have old family pictures from genealogy research, but not one with smiles such as your ancestors here. Such a happy get together. I remember my Mom saying that in Chase City Va. Family and friends would get together on a Sunday afternoon and sing gospel music and have the best time.

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    1. That's a lovely memory of your family Betsy, thank you for sharing it :)

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  5. My three piece family would go to Dad's sister's house for entertainment. And oh boy were we entertained. War years seemed to have an effect on the population.... sing now or listen to bombs, your choice!

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    1. Hard to imagine. My mom also used to tell me of those years in the bomb shelters, during the air raids. She was an air-raid warden later on. Thank you for those memories Valerie :)

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  6. What a joyful photo it is, indeed! Absolutely beautiful, I love old photos so much, thank you so much for sharing☺

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    1. Thank you Natalia, and you are very welcome :)

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    1. Estou feliz que você achou, obrigado e um bom fim de semana à frente também :)

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  8. We used to play board games which often ended in lots of laughing - my brother cheated and we all knew he did and would catch him and his excuses were terrible!

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    1. Now that made me smile Carol, and about your brother. Thank you for sharing these memories with me.

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  9. Hello, what a great family photo. They are all smiling/laughing and having fun! These old photos are treasures. Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

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    1. They are indeed, thank you Eileen, you too :)

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  10. WoW!!!! what a great photo!!! that was the first thing i noticed about this picture, everyone is smiling!!! i am with you about talking, and we don't do it enough. i love hearing old stories, telling stories about when my kids were little. thanksgiving, at my nieces, we tell a lot of stories...really funny stories. there are a few italians on her husbands side of the family that really know how to tell a story. and they always say "don't let the truth get in the way of a good story"!!!

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    1. Thank you Debbie. Your get togethers with your nieces sounds like a lot of fun. How wonderful! :)

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  11. I have never seen a photo from the distant past where everyone was happy and laughing. this is amazing. if anyone had taken photos of our family get togethers they would have been like this, no one had a camera back then. I was the only child that liked to sit and listen to the men tell their stories. all the men would gather in the living room and tell tales... the women were in the kitchen. the children were either out or in the kitchen. I was always with the men listening. the tales they told were from their youth, which was from 1906 through 1920.. I still remember a lot of them

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    1. Hi Sandra, you and I were the same listening to everyone tell their stories. It was a wonderful way to spend time. Thank you, lovely memories!

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  12. The photographer caught these people at the right moment or was able to get them to be sill. When I take a group picture I always ask for a funny one. The group loosens up for the next photo. We did not have TV and as kids. the outdoors was our playground and toys A snowbank was a toy. Now when I went north in the sixties the same thing happened. We had no TV and visited with everybody and anybody.

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    1. Thanks Red, I have seen those funny pictures and I never thought of them being a tool to loosen everyone else up for the next one. Such a great idea! Everything you mentioned I have similar memories about how we played. I used to join in throwing sticks up at the conker trees to loosen them, and then we thread string through them for another game. Thank you for telling me about those memories :)

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  13. That's a great family photo. Sometimes the photographer used to say something funny to get people to smile although as you say times were serious. What strikes me is there's quite a lot of family members so maybe it was a special get together? I lived with my grandparents and of course my Mum and Dad and being after WWII I used to listen to stories that were still fresh in the grownups' experiences and it still felt quite real in my imagination as there was the air raid shelter still in the garden and gas masks still hanging in a broom cupboard etc. Even though I was an only child I had lots of aunts and uncles and cousins and we were very close. There were card games and sing songs around the piano.

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    1. Those are wonderful memories, thank you so much for sharing them :) Yes, I'm thinking this photo was taken at a very special event.

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  14. What a wonderful find! I have seen pictures on ancestry of grandparents, uncles and cousins ( never knew. How wonderful it is to put a face to a name. I look, too, in the faces trying to see if I see me in any of the faces.

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    1. Hi Linda, I'm glad you have been finding old photos too :) I noticed similarities in these faces, not necessarily as much with me but with my grandparents.

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  15. This is great, a true gem considering photos were generally so formal then. Something spontaneous happened and a photographer was wise enough to have captured the moment that made everyone smile and laugh. I remember the excitement of gathering around the radio with my sisters to listen to a mystery show on Sundays. Instead of popcorn, my mom was at the stove making crispy French fries from scratch. We munched on this delicious snack while our imaginations took wing inspired by the story told on the radio.

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  16. What a super find, great photograph.

    All the best Jan

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  17. I love seeing the glorious photo of yesteryear, Denise! Such happiness expressed.
    I used to love playing hours and hours outdoors, riding my bike, skating, and playing with friends. I also spent endless hours playing games with my siblings. TV has never been my favorite as well.

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    1. I loved playing outdoors too Martha Ellen, and swinging on the old garden gate, getting together with my cousins and their friends besides my own. Fun times! I enjoyed learning about your own childhood, thank you :)

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  18. Whatever was said or done, it must have been funny. Cause I see this picture and immediately I want to know what was so funny till I can laugh too. You are blessed to have this to look at. And so glad you share it.

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    1. Thank you Rose and I do feel blessed every time I find a treasure like this one, or as in this case hubby di :)

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  19. Thanks for sharing this family photo, Denise, Unfortunately, I do not know how my family entertained themselves, but I suspect it was by talking or listening to the radio. Years ago people communicated face-to-face and not through the modern ways of texting, emails, and video chats and I really think they enjoyed each other a lot more back then.

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    1. You are very welcome Dorothy. The radio years was great entertainment too wasn't it? I enjoy texting but I enjoy talking on the phone a lot more, or face-to-face, a lot more than that :)

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