The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone. ~George Elliot
From my Collection of Vintage Photos, I've been drawn to the portraits of children. Studying them in detail reveals much about their place in the family like this big sister with the big bows tied kind of cockeyed around her braids.
I imagine her Mama fixed them all straight and spiffy before the picture was taken, but back then getting your picture taken was like going to church...puttin' on your Sunday Best and Sittin' Still through lots of 'Hellfire's and Damnations' when you didn't know what that meant except that it was Hottern'Hell in all those SundayBestin's!
And then there's the 'Camera Contraption'! Can you just imagine what Big Sister was thinkin' about the Camera Creature who spoke from under the Three Legged OneEyed Smoke Belchin' Contraption? No wonder she's reaching for baby's hand! "It's all right baby. I'm your Guardian Angel."
Just look at this 'Sweet Angel' in the 'PinTuck Ruffled and Laced' Dress.
Now, one of the things I've discovered in studying 19th Century photos is that just because the child is wearing a dress doesn't necessarily mean it's a Girl Child!
For instance...in this Family Portrait of my Great Grandparents taken about 1899...
you'll notice that four of the five family members are wearing dresses.
I'll start on the left with names:
Great Uncle Meritt Douglas, Great Uncle Othello Elisha, Great Granddaddy Steven Bennett, my Grandmother Effie Estella and Great Grandmother Martha Jane.
(Boy Howdy, did I come from a bunch of 'Off The Wall Named' folks wearin' dresses)
Several years later...beginning of the 20th Century...there's one more child in the Great's Family Portrait.
And Yep, it's a Girl Child named Mary Ella wearin' a dress.
Standing next to her is my Grandmother Effie Estella wearin' a dress.
And those guys in Knickers?
Yep, it's Merritt Douglas and Othello Elisha!
Don't you know from the look on their faces they are thinkin'...
"Our Mama MADE us wear these 'SissyShirts'!!!
So here we are in the middle of the 20th Century where parents sat their kids down on the ground on an old blanket from the trunk of their '1950 Pink Nash Rambler' and said 'Say Cheese'!
So I did with my whole face.
My brother Tommy thought he said, 'Freeze', and baby sister Sonja, well, her first word was...Cheese'!