I have this photo that my father gave me when I was last visiting. I’ve been looking at it a lot of late. Why? Because it’s family and it interests me. It’s late 1961 and my father was due to go to
shortly after and my mother is the dark haired lady in the middle of photo between
to the two larger ladies – my maternal Grandmother Elsie (left) and my paternal
Grandmother Alice right. One of the
reasons this photo appeals to me is Elsie and Alice are chalk and cheese. One is the quiet
country mouse Elsie who always, as the family will tell you, waited for her
prince to come and some would tell you she should have waited longer. And then there’s Alice. A rough diamond, drinker and brawler who
raised 13 kids in the slums and wasn’t always a good woman. And my mother. So
young and completely unaware what was headed her way but clearly happy. The
rest are aunts I believe.
Look at these people. In 1961 they weren’t fancy dressers. They didn’t expect much and made do with what they had without complaining. They are plain simple folk. Look at us at now. Would we go back to a time that was so simple? No. Of course we wouldn’t because we’re spoiled. Yeah. You are. I am. We all are in the western world.
And no, I look nothing like my mother or father which, as a child, had me happily believing I was adopted until my mother, always the realist told me to snap out of it. See? Simple folk. Simple realities.