Thursday I published a piece that included a family photo taken 72 years ago, in the summer of 1943, in rural North Dakota.
Everyone was in that picture, except for the Mom, and I observed that “[t]he entire family is in the photo, save their mother, Clara, who was probably taking the picture”.
The family was not kin of mine, so I didn’t know of them except by name, but they were near neighbors and fellow church members with my grandparents Rosa and Fred Busch.
I would have been three years old when that picture was taken at the nearby farm.
Overnight it occurred to me that in the same batch of photos I’ve been reviewing for a long while now, might be a photo which includes Clara Long*.
It is here:
(click to enlarge)
There seem to be 24 women in this picture, plus one youngun’. My Grandma Busch is directly behind the little kid. Aunt Edith, my Aunt and her daughter, is in the back row at far right, it appears. This picture was in the yard of the Busch farmhouse, where pictures were traditionally taken when people came to visit. The photo was unusual size, about 2×2″, so probably taken with someone other than Grandpa’s camera.
Most likely it is the women of St. John’ Catholic Church in Berlin, both social and service, as typical in churches then and still.
Such a photo truly speaks “a thousand words”…indeed many more.
Perhaps Chistina, the sister-in-law of Clara, who e-mailed to comment on the earlier photo, will remember Clara, and see other women of the town she recognizes.
It occurs to me, now many years later, that these women represented the life of that, and every, community in more ways than one.
Grandma, just as a single instance, birthed nine children in the house that you cannot see, just to the photographers left. By September, 1952, she and he husband Fred had been married 47 years, and their youngest child, Vincent, was 27.
Likely all those women are gone now, but what a legacy they no doubt left behind.
Here’s to the ordinary women and men who brought this world to life, one person at a time!
* – I was incorrect. According to a family member, Clara had died when the youngest was two years old. The photographer was likely the second wife.