Showing posts with label Lyman Larson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lyman Larson. Show all posts

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sepia Saturday 93 sleepers

I've been really attempting to get the extra room uncluttered from all the stacks of photos and memorabilia this week and what I happened on fits right in with the theme--I love it when a theme comes together!  Actually if I  spent more time rummaging photos I am sure I could have found even more Sleepers. And this has also distracted me from another task paper work on financials, but I am willingly ignoring that.  Not a pleasant task these days.  

First I begin  January 1, 1943, Springfield IL, my father, Lt. Lewis S Ball,  pilot, sound asleep on his US Army cot, sleeping bag  pulled snug, with Mom's photo on top;  one of the guys grabbed his camera and took this.  I still have that 8 x 10  photo of her today, it survived through the years and is a beautiful Sepia itself.  I also have the gold and amethyst necklace that she is wearing in the photo, a gift from him to her, her birthstone and just as beautiful today as it was then, so many years later.  This photo is   in his scrapbook but I scanned it for this post. This is my oldest sleeper photo.

Next forward to 1969 and my uncle John Irwin, asleep on the couch, in exile from the bedroom,  in Pennsylvania.  I don't know the particulars but my aunt Virginia likely snapped this Polaroid of her  wayward husband to preserve the memory. On the back side she wrote, "John  being punished." He doesn't appear to be bothered by much here.  Perhaps he'd imbibed a few too many,  perhaps there were too many words exchanged, never the less it does not appear to be interrupting his sleep. 

Now to the right is a 1980 pose captured by my Uncle Carl of "Joe" one of his friends on one of their many hunting trips, where the men gathered in a cabin at the end of the day.  I don't know  who this fellow is, but Uncle Carl was quite the photographer of their events and so he is in the cyber world for all to see.  I was sorting photos this week and found this and when Alan put the Sleepers as the theme for the week, I knew I was in business.   Was this the end of a long day in the woods?  Too much to eat at the evening meal?  You can speculate with me.  

1984, to the left here are my in laws about whom I have recently blogged--that is Lyman to the left and Florence to the right.  They have made themselves  at home and comfortable in our living room in Newcastle, CA.  As I have mentioned before,  our home was their vacation site.  I suppose it was a compliment that they felt so "at home there" but I often wondered why they did not stay with their daughter, Barbara who lived 30 minutes away.  As I recall this particular day, I arrived  home from work  and there they were, awaiting when I would prepare the meal for everyone.  The newspaper on the table has a headline, something about "retirement." 

Well the photo to the right is 1986, Jerry's cousin, Milo (actually  his cousin's husband) who was catching up on some rest after a rough day at the work for the city on its maintenance  crew.  We were back in  La Crescent on  a trip we took across the country from  California to Minnesota, to Pennsylvania and then swinging back westward through the south.  So we stopped at Milo and Jeanette's.  We had come in from visiting, camera in hand and got this pose. These days, Milo does sleep a lot in his recliner, he has aged and tends to nap away the afternoons.  It is not the same as Jeanette passed away years ago, and although he has a live in companion, he misses her as do we.

1989 another one to the left,  from Uncle Carl's photos.  This man is Fred Hemming and he was in the Army, 809th Tank Destroyers in WWII with Uncle Carl.  Each year the men and families gathered to reminisce and usually to tour some site.  This time they were in Altoona, PA, I believe which meant that Uncle Carl and Aunt Marge had likely made arrangements for the group.  As we have seen, no one was safe when Carl, the photographer was around.  

For my finale I could not resist this one, also from Uncle Carl's collection.  This is Punkin, his last pet and beloved "pal."  After Aunt Marge passed in 1997 Punkin and Carl went everywhere together.  He  had many photos of Punkin.  I have to say, I have shared an array of sleepers and to end this post, let sleeping dogs lie.  (Groan.....)
1988 Punkin
As usual, click on the title to get to the Sepia host site and see what others are sharing this week.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sepia Saturday 91 Hidden stories in photos (Click here to go to the Sepia site)

While my photo this week may appear to be one of folks merely enjoying travel, standing or admiring scenery, there is a story  behind the faces, an unsuspected tale of secrets, jealousies, pettiness and revenge amidst the  unsuspecting.  These two photos are not that old, certainly not Sepia quality, taken in  June,1980 the year we drove to Minnesota from California to attend an aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary.  With  the three of us, we took Jerry's mother (MIL) Florence and her husband, Jerry's  stepfather and (FIL), Lyman Larson.  It was her eldest sister's Golden anniversary and they could not have gone otherwise; so as a dutiful son, Jerry with my agreement, he says at my urging, invited them to come along.

It amazes me to look back to those years when we 5  grown people Jerry, Steve who was 16, myself and the two inlaws all traveled in our  cab over camper truck the entire  approximately 1800 miles, one way.  Today, Jerry & I have another new  luxurious 40  foot motor coach, with slide outs for travels, our retirement house on wheels.  But back in 1980 we thought we were right uptown with the camper.  There is no way I would squeeze into any such accommodations today to travel and certainly  not with four others, but back then we did.  Steve rode mostly in the back except when he shared in the driving.  We had  4 drivers, Jerry, Lyman who drove bus in Los Angeles, myself and Steve, so  we planned to  drive right along through the night, alternating drivers, stopping only for gas and making the  journey in two days. 

Arrival in  Minnesota, left to right
Lyman, Jerry and Florence
 By the time we arrived in Minnesotta about 70 miles from our destination, Jerry, Steve and I  knew we were  down to three drivers, but we kept that secret.  Lyman, though well intended had started to doze off on his driving shift, which Steve and Jerry both noticed from their seats in the cab; the agreement was that at night  another person would stay awake with the driver, so while Jerry tried to merely rest his eyes, Steve was wide awake.   I was snoozing in the back of the camper with  MIL.  Steve made Grandpa pull over at the next stopping place and took a shift, while Grandpa Lyman was shifted to the back to bed, and I staggered to the front cab to snooze.   This photo shows Jerry with coffee cup in hand after pulling the longest shifts driving, insisting that he was not in the least tired so that Lyman would not feel it necessary to  help drive.   If Lyman ever realized that he had been permanently relieved of driving, we never knew.  Jerry just said, he could drive and did so with infrequent help from us two.  

Our return trip involved sightseeing stops and overnight rests at motels; we were not in such a hurry to return home and Lyman had wanted to see some of Yellowstone and other sights.  He was enjoying not having to drive for once in his life and maybe a rare if not the only trip where he could just sight see.  We returned through  the Black Hills of South Dakota, the badlands, and Yellowstone.  We have many pictures of this trip, but the following photo is one that sticks out for Jerry and me after something I  read early this year, 31 years later.  Lyman died in 1990 but Jerry's mother, Florence is still alive at 95, in the local nursing home with dementia but physically pretty good. 

1980 at Yellowstone   Lyman, Jerry, Florence
You can see in this photo that Lyman is enjoying the sights; this was just one of our stops in Yellowstone.  I recall when I took this photo that Lyman had mentioned to be sure to get copies of the pictures for him when we developed these because he had lost his camera somewhere on our trip, or so we all thought; we had even back tracked when he discovered it missing.  It was filled with memories and photos he had taken on the trip, relatives, the family gatherings and now the sights, well the sights until the camera disappeared. It was kind of unusual for him to take so many photos but this was a different trip for him and one he wanted to remember.  Generally all the trips to Minnesota were he and Florence and while they were younger their daughter and son.  Lyman was so very upset but said at least he was seeing the sights and that was worth it and if we shared photos it would be all the same to him.  Florence standing there with her coat collar covering her mouth to shield the smell of the sulfur from the hot spring behind, Dragon's Mouth. Later when Lyman saw this photo he teased about having the Dragon Mouth out there with us, referring to Florence.

Here is where appearances are most deceiving and most unrevealing.  Florence had been in some sort of snit after we left Minnesota, none of us knew why, but she made it her mission to make sure everyone became miserable.  When her misery was not shared by the rest of us,  she declared herself ill and demanded that we get her home to California  quickly.  Jerry vehemently told her that we were going to see some things as planned and that we could stop at a local emergency room to determine what was wrong with her.  Suddenly she was no longer ill.  We never knew what had set her off, but went along our way and did tour Yellowstone, enjoying its wonderful sights. 

Flash forward to 2011, when early in the year I was browsing through some of Florence's writings in the calendar/journals she kept, before we tossed them. There it was 1980, June and so I thought maybe she had some reflections about the trip.  She had written very little about  her sister's Golden wedding anniversary and other visits.  But, she bitterly wrote how she did not want to leave Minnesota to just drive and see sights as Lyman and Jerry planned.  This was not a surprising statement because she is a very self centered person, quite selfish at times, has been all through her life.  Jerry recalled many bad decisions she made, over the years always thinking of herself and her needs.  But then, reading the remarks she made along the journey home, came the revelation of how twisted and evil this woman could be.  

It was in the South Dakota Badlands when Jerry, Steve, Lyman and I left the camper to walk along an area and just observe the vultures circling.  Florence intended to suffer and had been saying very little, but said she did not want to see the dirty birds or the hills.  So we all left her in the camper at  the parking lot.  And she wrote...."..Well I tossed his damn camera in the trash and I covered it up so they could not see it.  While they walked along I saw to it that he would not have any pictures......"  Although nothing really surprises me about MIL at this point, I was astonished and called Jerry to read it himself.  He too was astonished and commented something like, "Well that old witch did it, that's what happened to Lyman's camera!" 

She never said a word when the four of us searched and backtracked several miles looking in vain for that camera.  Yet she very well knew what she had done.  Why?  Who knows?  Jerry said, that explained her "tantrum" along the trip, not getting things her way.  And yet, he admitted over a lifetime now he can look back and see how she was manipulative and vengeful. I consider it downright mean.  So today when people may think, what a sweet old lady, we know differently for many reasons, one being the missing camera.  While we wondered if she ever told Lyman what she did, we think not.  That is the story hidden behind this photo.  We will never look at it the same way again.

As always, click on the title to this post to go over to the Sepia site and see others' photos and tales.