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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.