Monday, February 4, 2013

A Corset - Day 4 of the Family History Writing Challenge

Yesterday was a day away from home. No, we didn't go to a Superbowl Party. We spent the day at Knott's Berry Farm. I didn't take any pictures of the boys, my child and his friend, I took a picture of a corset. I used my phone and tried to avoid the glare on the glass but the picture is not very good. So why am I taking bad pictures of a corset and not my child while he celebrates his 12th birthday? Why is a corset important?

Martha Jane (McCollum (Rhea), wrote a letter to my grandparents on January 1, 1919. In the letter, she says her daughter gave her a corset cover for Christmas. What is a corset cover? Why did they have them? I find myself woefully uneducated in the undergarments of the times. If it was important enough to share in a letter, than it needs to be important to me. Everything she wrote in the letters are clues for me to learn more about her. The letters are chatty about the family and neighbors and I have discovered I need to be more aware of the small things she shares. They tell me who she was.

Knott's Berry Farm
is not new to us. I have a page on Squidoo with family pictures taken as early as 1954 and just found another one to add, taken of my mother in 1947. That means the picture is older than me and that's saying a lot. So, while the boys rode roller coasters, my husband and I wandered the shops and museums. They have a small museum with lots of fun stuff to see. There was a display of muskets but I couldn't get a good picture of the one I wanted. A photo would have been helpful because there are many muskets but the one they had was the right time frame and used in the Civil War. He was murdered with his own musket and I would like to be as accurate as possible. I will probably have to go into Los Angeles to get a good photo. (Gee, darn, a road trip) I find the photos help stir my imagination and are a tangible link to the past.

My husband did manage to take a picture of the boys. My child has a thing about mustaches so he bought some. His fascination with them started when he was about 5 and we vacationed in Tombstone, Arizona. Every time we go back, he buys more and the car has one too.

However, time doesn’t stand still when you walk away from the computer. I came home to find about 30 pictures taken of my husband’s biological family’s graves in New Mexico. The family is new to us as he was adopted. The photographer is a very nice lady who is part of Find a Grave. She and I share information on the family. I help her identify some of the graves where she doesn’t have all the info and she shares what she knows to help my husband become acquainted with the family he was denied. It is a story that I have shared in a small book written for the rest of the children (his biological brothers and sisters) who were also denied their family history.

Today, I am not writing about Martha Jane. I have let too many opportunities get by me. I didn’t ask questions when I had the chance and those resources are lost forever. I don’t make that mistake anymore. I have some questions about the photos and today, before it’s too late, I will make sure that I understand what she is telling me about the family.

While I delve into the past to learn about Martha Jane, it is easy to put off updating what is current. The lady taking the pictures is 70 something and not in the best of health. I appreciate what she is doing for me and don’t want to make it any harder for her. The pictures show that there is snow on the ground and although we have never met, her safety concerns me as she tramps around the old graveyard. Today is the day to deal with the current. The past will not change so it is safe to put it off until tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment