Contemplating.

Contemplating.
Wayzata, Minnesota

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sepia Saturday 85 Saturday 30 July

Welcome to another Sepia Saturday as we drive through a new week's theme ... Alan has seated us with a delightful photo for his Sepia Saturday theme this week. 

The moment I first saw his prize photo (of a beautiful girl sitting on a bumper) the photo below instantly came to mind.  I hadn't seen it for a few years but it was one of many valuable photos I collected, regarding a true story about greed, love, power and death on a Minnesota Lake.....back in 1933.

The Pioneer Press ran this photo from Fort Snelling Golf Course & Polo Grounds.  This was a much happier time for the lady on the right, Mrs. Ralph (Adele) Mather and her friend, Mrs. Clarence (Florence) Stone.  Adele Mather was alive and well on this day May 29, 1933 but in a few short months she drowns unexpectedly when the canoe she shared with two other people capsized.

There is an interesting story that follows the life of this photo.  I took an assignment on writing about a well known business man of Minnesota and my journey began at his untimely and unexpected death along with the death of Mrs. Adele Mather and the guide that accompanied them on that fateful boat ride.

From the more positive side of automobiles, families all across the world were busy taking photos of their family car or truck......and Dan Seals sings about that special love they all carried... from his song, My Old Yellow Car

                      "She weren't much to look at, she weren't much to ride- She was missing a window on her passenger side-The floorboard was patched up with paper and tar-But I really was something in my old yellow car!"
Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society.   Minnesota History featured a story about The Johnson Family, all gathered here in front of their fine automobiles.

Alan speaks about the bumper in it's glory days sporting enough room for anyone to hoist on top of, but it brings to mind not just the bumper or fender or hood, but the entire romanticising of our automobiles.  Our cars held status even then and so did those that owned them or perhaps drove them....as in the case of this dapper gent in his "Chauffeur's uniform".....
A dapper Mr. John Riggs chauffeur for the Rothwell  family.....they say John never married, and he never owned or drove an automobile that was yellow.
In those golden years as they're called now.... our fascination and adornment for the automobile went far beyond limiting ourselves by any means...they followed their dreams.

An American boy with his hands on the wheel -
Of a dream that was made of American steel-
Though the seats had the smell of a nickel cigar-
I really was something in my old yellow car.

We celebrated a great many things with our fine automobiles .......
Courtesy of Lyon County Historical Society on "Boxcar Day" in Tracy, Minnesota.
Pageants were only a part of showing off......
Friends would gather and take photos of themselves year after year......back then sometimes not every family had their own automobile, but surely somebody they knew did and often an automobile carried as many riders as those posing for this photo.  Back before the seat belt law came to be. -Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society


Somewhere in a pile of rubber and steel
Thee's a rusty old shell of an automobile
And if engines could run on desire alone
That old yellow car would be driving me home!

They knew they'd be powerless without their wheels so they took fine care of them!
They'd wash them, polish them and often times make money for some sort of reason....from Boy Scouts to building a new swimming pool at the local high school..... - Courtesy of Lyon County Historical Society.

Just what is that magical fascination we have with the automobile.....
Will you look at all that possible seating on those bumpers and hoods, and don't forget to notice all those proud drivers of such fine work trucks......another adventure in our precious automobile circle of life.....
-Courtesy of Lyon County Historical Society.
"There was no road too winding and nowhere too far
With two bucks of gas and my old yellow car
That old yellow car would be driving me home!"

Now for a little old fashion southern Minnesota farm life.... from the Seabury family (care of a shop on 50th and Xerxes) in Minneapolis.....they have a story that begins like this....
First comes marriage (and our own Ford).... than comes babies...and more babies, and many families had 12 or more babies .....big families in those days. The man bending his head down looks like James Dean (to me).
then meet......
Son # 1 Gordon at age 2 years and 4 months, of course the family automobile took top billing on the other side of this photo....
Gordon and his toys, and I wonder why Gordon's face doesn't appear too happy, for such a cute little face...maybe somebody wanted his toys!

Lastly after raising all those children....a woman just needed a break.....

 Momma gets to sit on the front of the family automobile...

A fine automobile at their disposal and no where important to drive to......

Take a look at me now throwing money around
I'm paying somebody to drive me downtown
Got a Mercedes Benz with a TV and bar
And God I wish I was driving my old yellow car.
I hope you enjoyed this journey through Sepia Saturday with me, and if you want to play along or just drive through a few other posts go here

20 comments:

Little Nell said...

As ever I am totally in awe of the sheer number of ‘on theme’ pictures you manage to find. Beautifully linked together with songs and tales of the past as well. The first story got me hooked and I thought you were going to say that one lady murdered the other!

Bob Scotney said...

Great post with lots of cars and ladies. The one that caught my eye was that for the Belgian American Day. The front of the car looks like a big mouth with large teeth.

Postcardy said...

You found an interesting assortment of photos. I wonder whether people still take a lot of photos with their cars. The modern cars seem so boring compared to the old ones.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Karen,

Wow, you went all out! I really enjoyed this posts, and all of the ones before it. Sad about the lady who died in the canoe.

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit, and I hope that your SS is great.

Kathy M.

Kristin said...

I thought maybe one of the women murdered the other too! Glad to find out it was just a drowning.

Karen S. said...

Bob S. thanks for stopping by again! I don't really understand why I still can't post on your blog, but I am a faithful follower of yours everyday...and yes those do look like mighty big teeth on that front bumper! I so agree!

Cloudia said...

interesting history


Aloha from Waikiki;


Comfort Spiral

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Mike Brubaker said...

Wow! That is a whirlwind on a theme! All great and so amazingly in sync. The last is a real hoot!

Howard said...

Great fun. I love the CDV of the chauffeur.

JJ said...

Terrific post. I have so many old photos of family members going back to one of my great-grandfather. I really should post some of them one of these days.

Alan Burnett said...

What can I say. You must win the prize this week for the most perfect matches with the theme image. But your post is so much more than that. What I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

So many photos on theme! These are really great. The first two ladies look so elegant, it's a shame there was a sadness to come.

TICKLEBEAR said...

what a stunning pic to start your post!! and i sure enjoyed the whole journey!! the students piling up on the car made for a great shot!! as for the little boy, i just hope the breaks were "on"...
;)~
HUGZ

Doctor FTSE said...

Great! Superlative post. Your readers can listen to the quoted song HERE

Christine H. said...

What an amazing post. Those are some fabulous pictures. Any chance you will post more of the story on those ladies in the first photo. Greed, love, power, death...I'd love to know more.

Tattered and Lost said...

Okay, I'm sure it's just me, but when I looked at the first shot I flashed on Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in "Some Like It Hot"

And the final shot is so classic. Hood sitting. These days cars barely have hoods. Nothing to sit on. Even when I'm inside my car I can't see any hood. just windshield. There's no place on my car to sit on the outside.

tony said...

(as somebody mentioned above) We dont take photos with our cars that much these days.But they are a great anchor for our dreams ,as your photos prove.An excellent Tour,Thank You Karen.

barbara and nancy said...

A busy week! I'm just now finishing reading all the Sepia Saturdays. This was fascinating. I particularly want to know the rest of the story about Mrs. Adelle Mather and her guide. Is there more?
Barbara

Karen S. said...

barbara and Nancy, yes, Adele's story will be told one day soon!...as will the tour guide and wealthy well-known business man in another Saturday Sepia at a later date.

Tony, maybe people don't so much these days, but yes there are a few still being shot, right now as I write this....I even take lots of other people's cars, even in the middle of a soccer game! lol

Tattered and lost, I agree, it was the era I think...I saw lots of those old movies as reruns growing up...we even own some of the real goodies like Breakfast at Tiffany's...!

Karen S. said...

Alan, I always appreciate your nice words and input....thanks for having Sepia Saturday, I really enjoy it can't you tell?!

Christine, oh yes there will be the entire story unfolding...but still not sure if I should do it in small posts or a larger one...still working it all out....! Thanks for asking about it!