Monday, November 30, 2009

Harry Henderson

June and Arthur Henderson couldn't carry a tune, dance a step, or recite a line. Nevertheless, their son Harry was a showman from the day he was born. Shown here at age nine, Harry was ready to hit the boards of vaudeville, and with mama June initially at his side, he began a long and successful career that even included a brief stint in Hollywood. Eventually Harry opened a studio, and for thirty years gave instruction and inspiration to new generations of would be singers and dancers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Judith and Martin

Martin paid Judith 50 cents to switch their catches before taking this photo. Judith didn't care about the money or seemingly landing the smaller fish. She was out to land Martin and this was just one more way to reel him in. And she did.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

James "Jimmy" Ames

Jimmy Ames was teased throughout his school years because of his name. "James Ames, but always misses.", that was the constant taunt. And he did miss; classes, getting on the baseball and football teams, and friends. Jimmy didn't miss out on getting what he wanted though. He found it quite easy to lift whatever he wanted from the local five and dime, the candy store, and lockers of students who gave him a hard time.

Then he got his first car and was ready to move up to more lucrative pursuits, specifically the liquor store two towns over. Now no one calls him James Ames. For the next three years he is just number 4386, D Block. Note: this photo was taken three days before the bungled burglary. His father, Alton Ames, is number 1325, A Block.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Arthur Wilton

Arthur was a normal kid, liked to play with toys, run around the yard, hold his parent's hands, and was generally happy. Like most boys, however, as he reached his teen years, Arthur wanted nothing to do with his boyhood; it was time start acting like a man. So toys were replaced with hunting gear, and parents replaced with friends and girlfriends. Eventually Arthur found the right woman and popped the question. About one year later Arthur junior was born and Arthur senior started thinking about his own childhood again. He went back to the old house, where Betty and George Wilton still lived, and asked his mother for his old wagon. Betty sighed and said, "Arty, when you grew up, I didn't think you would ever want it, so I gave it to the Olson's for their boy Rob, and they moved away."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Muriel Chambers

Muriel's parents owned and ran the Shady Cove bungalow tourist rest stop. Twelve units, each with its own shower and fresh towels. Muriel supplied the towels, made the beds and gave directions to the (few) attractions in the area. She delighted in seeing the young families and honeymooners who usually spent one, and sometimes two nights at Shady Cove.

However, as Muriel matured, it became clear the world was passing on by and she was standing still. Change came in the form of Arthur Marks, a salesman for John Deere. He was attending a farming convention and Shady Cove was convenient for his three day stay. Muriel and Arthur chatted a bit, and had dinner together on his last day of the convention. The convention was an annual affair, and for the next three years, Muriel and Arthur enjoyed each other's company, with Arthur actually getting his sales route changed to be able to see Muriel monthly. Mother and father died that third year, and Muriel inherited Shady Cove. Now she could never leave, but Arthur was tired of traveling and together they made the beds, supplied the towels and gave directions to the (few) attractions in the area.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Charlotte Manners

Charlotte "Lotte" Manners was two years younger than her sister Vivian. Unlike some families, the younger daughter wasn't the darling; Vivian held that title and didn't let Charlotte forget it. Vivian married Charles Edgar and Charles was perfect, not like Eddie, Lotte's high school beau and husband of three years. Charles worked in the local bank, a real up and comer. Eddie worked for Marleton Auto repair. But Eddie loved Lotte with all his heart and for her 26th birthday, used all the money he had saved to buy Lotte a Roto-Broil 400, the newest and best Rotisserie/Oven available. Lotte took this picture and sent it to her sister. Vivian received it the very day her husband was arrested for bank fraud.

Here is a special bonus image of a Roto-Broil 400 in action. Interesting true note: The Roto-Broil was invented and sold by Leon Klinghoffer and family. Leon died in 1985, during the Achille Lauro incident, when he was pushed overboard in his wheelchair.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lillian Hanneman

Lillian was twelve when she wrote on the back of this photograph. "Grandma Gordat-Dad's real mother. She died when dad was only 3 years of age. She was very young when she died. She was my real grandma. I bet I would have liked her a whole lot." Lillian had a long life and saw all six grandchildren graduate college and start families.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Charlie Martin

Charlie Miller hadn't ever seen a real professional baseball game, though some traveling teams did occasionally play at Hinkel Stadium two towns over. However, on clear nights he could hear the Cubs at 670 AM on the Atwater Kent dial, beamed from the 50,000 watt powerhouse, WMAQ. Charlie's actual baseball playing was limited to his mom, Frances, pitching the ball, Charlie hitting the ball, and Rusty fetching the ball and returning it to the ball pail. His mother kept track of his hits and misses, just like a real manager. Such was life in rural Ohio. The closest thing to a happy ending came when Charlie, at age 24, got married to Gail, and they honeymooned at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The route to Elkhart Lake takes you right through Chicago, where they spent two nights, one at Wrigley Field, watching the Cubs beat the NY Giants.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lynn, Audrey, Marilyn and Jeanne

Lynn, Audrey, Marilyn and Jeanne were four of the real housewives of pilots in the newly formed Strategic Air Command, headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Military life was nothing new for Lynn, Marilyn, and Jeanne, but for Audrey, whose husband was just out of flight school, this was not an easy time. As much as the girls gave their support and swapped stories that all had happy endings, Audrey worried about the looming potential of the Korean conflict. Carl was smart, tough, and graduated with honors from flight school, but jet planes were still relatively new and untested. She needn't have worried though. Carl did two tours and came home from the second in time for the new arrival in the family. Lynn's husband was MIA, Audrey's husband became a commander, and Jeanne, who's husband was restationed shortly after this picture, finished his term and together they opened up a diner in Newark, Delaware.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lars Gilden

Lars Gilden, and indeed all of the farmers living and working around Poseyville, in southern Indiana, could sure use fifty dollars. 1931 wasn't a good year, and about the only thing to look forward to was the county fair because it got people from the neighboring towns and counties away from the land for three days. The flyer at Musselman's Feed and Grain was where Lars learned about the fifty dollar prize. "Unhitch Dobbin, hitch yourself up, and race your buggy to the fifty dollar first prize." For a full week Lars pulled his buggy up and down the road leading to the farm. It was fully loaded with his wife, Margaret, and his daughter, Stella. They spent the prize money on real curtains for the windows and a hat for Stella. The balance, $31.67, went in the rainy day jar.