Friday, February 07, 2014

Remembrance of watermelons past

One of the hazards, although a not unpleasant one, of Facebook --- old photographs come back to haunt. My cousin, Linda, posted this one last evening, which according to the date stamp on it was taken during August of 1957 at a family gathering.

I don't remember the occasion, and as it turns out neither Linda nor I actually like watermelon, but there we are, four of the Miller first-cousins with our grandfather, William Ambrose Miller, in the middle.

That's Merv Gibbany at far left, myself, Granddad and Linda, looking like trouble. Her older sister Karen is standing behind her. The third Miller girl, Suzanne, somehow managed to avoid the camera.

Merv grew up mostly near or in Buffalo, Wyoming; the Miller girls, in Allen Park, Michigan. But Merv's parents moved to Iowa briefly, at my Aunt Mae's insistence, during the mid-1950s and I'm guessing they were living in Des Moines when this photo was taken. A yearly summer visit to Iowa by Uncle Richard and Aunt Marie Miller and the girls always was much anticipated.

My mother was the only one of the Miller siblings to remain in Lucas County; Uncle Joe and Aunt Helen (Krutsinger) Miller and Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Mary (Miller) Krutsinger always lived in Colorado; Uncle Owen and Aunt Norma Miller and Aunt Mae and Uncle Elmer Gibbany, in Wyoming. Richard and Marie alone ventured east of the Mississippi, but they moved back upon retirement and lived for many years on the family farm in English Township. Of all the aunts and uncles, Marie is the lone survivor.

So there were lots of summertime family visits --- always enjoyed.

Linda and her husband, Randy, still live in Allen Park, although Randy's career took them other places, including Pennsylvania and Tennessee, before they decided that Michigan was home. Karen and her husband, Dick, have lived in upstate New York for many years --- and Aunt Marie now lives with them. The evasive Suzanne lives in Atlanta with her husband, Bill. 

Granddad died at age 94 during 1969.

Merv settled in Denver and fell victim to AIDS at a time when there was no hope of containing it and even palliative care was insufficient to ensure a "good" death. Always decisive, he took his own life during July of 1992 as the end neared --- his remains were scattered in the Rockies.

Life's a peculiar thing and you just never know what it's going to bring. But my goodness, were't we cute?

1 comment:

Norm Prince said...

Thanks for the reminder of another reason I miss film and prints. The older ones in my collection all have that date stamp and sometimes that is a help in recalling who and where the picture took place. Although many folks can and do place the date with their digital, I find it a distraction as it appears on within the picture.
The memories your photograph recalled from my past were very welcomed on this cold, white day in Iowa.
peace - norm