Sunday, October 23, 2016

More memories...

More memories ... from my mom's photo collection...

This morning I opened up a file folder I hadn't examined before, and found about 25 large-format original photos.  Some of these I've posted before, from copies (and usually much smaller) – and these usually had new annotations as well.

On the back my mom wrote: “Mom at camp 1952”.  That's her mom, my grandmother Mable MacLaughlin.  She's standing on the stair landing, just outside the screened porch of my family's “camp” on Long Pond, just north of Lincoln, Maine.  That camp is gone now, and my brother Mark is building a new one.   That porch stood on pilings that moved nearly every winter; the whole camp was perennially out of kilter.  We really didn't care, so long as it didn't slide into the lake (which it never did, though there were a couple of close calls).  My grandmother is facing Long Pond; there were wonderful views of it from that porch.  The photographer must have been standing on the plank walkway that led to a floating dock, just a few steps away.  So many wonderful memories of that place!

This is my mom's dad, my grandfather Donald MacLaughlin.  The back of the photo is stamped “ASBURY PARK PRESS PHOTO Asbury Park, N. J.”.  My grandfather was an active bonsai artist, so I'm guessing this was from press coverage of one of the contests or exhibitions he entered.  He's wearing the heavy plaid shirt and felt cap that I remember so well.  From his appearance, I'd guess this was taken in the mid-'50s.  I remember him looking exactly like this, when I was small.  Two of those bonsai are in the traditional Japanese low clay pots, something I saw bazillions of in Japanese arboreta.  I don't know what the venue was here.

I've posted a smaller version of this one before (this original was 5x7).  On the back, in my mom's handwriting: “Me Age 18”.  This was taken in 1951, then, just before she and my dad were married (when she was 19).  She's on a swing I remember well, at my grandparent's house.

On the back my mom wrote: “Dad in his nursery”.  That's her dad, my grandfather, standing up holding a spade and a cigarette.  I don't know who the other two men are, but most likely they were hired hands.  I recognize the field and the building in the background; his greenhouse was to the left of that building.  He looks younger than my memories of him, and I see a car from the '40s in the background, so I'm guessing this was taken circa the late '40s, likely post-war.  The nursery business was practically dead during the war, as you might imagine.  The photographer has his or her finger on the lens – something my mom was particularly good at with the old Brownie-style box cameras.  Therefore I'll say there's a good chance that she took this photo. :)

Oh, I remember this photo so well!  It (or a copy of it) used to hang in the camp in Maine, and a framed version stood on my mom's dresser in our home in Robbinsville, New Jersey.  That's my mom's dad, my grandfather, Donald MacLaughlin.  I don't know when this was taken, but I'll guess the early '50s from his appearance.  That's Long Pond he's one, and the fish he's holding up is pretty big for there.  He's wearing his characteristic plaid shirt and his felt fishing cap.  Such a happy expression on that beautiful face, and that's exactly how I remember him – as a very happy man.

Finally, here's a photo I posted a small version of earlier.  This original is an 8x10 and in great shape.  On the back, in my mom's writing: “Dad in Masons - bottom row right end - He was 32 degree Mason - How handsome!”  I'd have guessed that was my uncle Donnie, but instead it's a younger version of his father, my grandfather, Donald MacLaughlin.  There's some information about 32nd degree Masons here (“Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret” – what the heck is that?), though it doesn't help me very much. :)  I'll guess this was taken circa '30.  I still have no idea what those scarves mean, or why they have different letters and numbers on them...

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