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Friday, July 19, 2013

The Brothers -- A Mystery Solved

When my mama and her eldest sister passed away in the summer of 1993, there were some boxes of old photos that came into my safekeeping.  Some had belonged to my grandmother Grace.  Others were from her mother, Augusta.  I spent many hours the following year sorting, scanning, and making attempts to identify them.

There are yet photos that no one knows or recognizes and I have them filed under the category "Unknown."     

This particular photograph has been the object of much conjecture and curiosity - especially when my brother Mike and I have discussed our genealogy interests.  

Mike recently had the opportunity to read the journal written by the grandson of my great Aunt Hattie, my grandmother Grace's older half sister. Hattie was born in 1869 and married Herbert, a photographer, in 1887.  We knew that one of the reasons we inherited many interesting pictures was because of Herbert's livelihood.   Hattie's grandson Newton was born in 1928.

Last week, twenty years after this photo came into my possession, my brother called with some excitement and much amusement in his voice.  

"Pam," he nearly shouted, "I know who the big man and the little man are!"

Then he read to me Newton's written words:

"The winter of 1933 we moved to the Lettenmaier Place on Willow Creek.  This was about 2 miles up the road from the Emmett Highway and joined the Aikman Ranch of Andy Little.  Our cabin was two small rooms with a 6 1/2 foot ceiling and a 6 foot door.  The Elam brothers would come to visit occasionally.  One of them was about 5 foot 4 and the other one was 7 foot 2.  The big one had a very deep voice and very coarse features.  I thought I had found David and Goliath in person.  I looked the big guy over pretty thoroughly and after he left Mother scolded me for staring at him.  I said, "But Momma, he looks so funny."  She said, "Maybe he thinks you look funny."  Next time he came I said to him, "I guess some people think I look funny, too."  Mother walloped me good after he left."

Mystery solved.  In a delightful way.




10 comments:

karmyn R said...

awesome - now write that down on the back of the photo...

I wonder if you could contact those brother's relatives.

Lisa Dewane said...

Haha, he sounds like part of my family, with no filter between his brain and tongue, lol.

Steve Skinner said...

What a neat story!

Sayre said...

That made me laugh! Not relatives, but a funny story from one of them!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Way to go! I enjoyed the photo it was interesting! I hope you are having a good summer! :)

Intense Guy said...

:) That must have been a real thrill learning who these folks were!! What a humorous story!

I hope you are well - have missed you.

Intense Guy said...

The big guy might be Byron Delbert Elam - he had several younger brothers. He died young - and perhaps had Marfan's Syndrome? His WWI draft form shows him to be "TALL".

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=40986948 shows the family, unfortunately, I can't find any photos of any of them.

JoeinVegas said...

My wife has photo albums like that, no one left alive to tell us who all of those people were.

Desert Songbird said...

The fact that he was 7'2" is very unusual, especially way back then!

Tammy said...

Great story and photo to go with it! I love genealogy as well...Do you watch "Who do you think you are?"
And thanks for visiting my new blog today, Pamela! I asked you a question there...