Sunday, November 11, 2007

Two Girls in White

There is a lovely story behind this picture of two girls in white. The older girl is my grandmother, Ruth, the younger one, her sister, my Aunt Florence. The picture was used at my grandmother's funeral almost six years ago. Aunt Florence wrote the following after she saw the photo there.

Today would have been Aunt Florence's 97th birthday. Her birthday is easy to remember - because the Armistice happened on her birthday (note I don't say she was born on Veteran's day - she came first!).

I looked up my picture of the two girls in white and found that I had two pictures – one like the one you saw. There were three people in the other one. The third person was my cousin Nelson. Now I know all the circumstances of the existence of that picture.

It was taken in 1918, probably in the month of August. 1918 was an important year. On May 1 of that year our sister, Stella Rose, was born. That was a memorable day – not so much because she was born, but that morning, the 1st Friday in May, three children, ages 11, 9 and 7, went to church and then by THEMSELVES went to a restaurant for breakfast!

When vacation time came, Ruth and I went with our grandmother, Genevieve Forderkonz, to Port Gibson. I have many memories of that trip and visit.

At the close of our vacation there, Ruth and I were put on the trolley to go to Syracuse to visit our relatives there, the Howard grandparents: Alfred, Jr., and his wife Anne Wheeler Fogg; their son, our Uncle Charles; and Nelson the orphan son of my Father’s sister, Stella Howard Clark. She had died from infection following the birth of her second child, Carroll. Her husband disappeared after her death, abandoning the two children. Nelson stayed with the Howard grandparents, Carroll spent some time with them, but more, when young, with the father’s people.

I never saw Nelson except in Syracuse. He did not visit us in Ohio. So when Uncle Charles, who made his living by photography, picked us up in his Franklin car at the trolley station, saw what beautiful nieces he had, he took their picture.

In 1918 we moved to another house. That was the year of the flu epidemic. Ruth was in bed with it when the Kaiser, recognizing that Florence Howard deserved a good birthday present, signed the armistice on her 8th birthday, November 11, 1918.

Love to all!
Aunt Florence

Just as an aside, Ruth and Florence are the two little girls in the picture in my header.

1 comment:

Esther said...

How lovely Chris!