Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nostalgia, Old Photos & Memories...

Several of the blogs I follow have been posting old family photos and memorabilia.  I must admit I enjoy following the lives of those who came before us.  So, I thought I would share a bit of my family today.

The first is of my Mother and me.  She was of Welsh, English and American Indian descent, with very black eyes, dark complexion and dark hair.  I always thought of her as very beautiful.  This came not only from her appearance but also from her heart.  Of course, that's me with her.  In case you can't tell, my father was Austrian and both my brother and I were blessed with blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin.  So much for the darker genes being dominant.

This one is of my Brother, Mother and me.  The broken leg was compliments of my green broke mare.  Did I mention I grew up in Sidney, Iowa?  At that time it was home of the third largest outdoor rodeo in the U.S.  Horses were a big part of my life.  The little black dog at our feet was my Cocoa.  She was such a faithful dog.  Our town was the county seat of Fremont County and the courthouse sat in the center of the town square.  The library was in the basement of the courthouse and there were doors at both ends of the building.  One day I walked uptown and went to the library.  Later that night we couldn't find Cocoa.  We searched the neighborhood and everyone was upset.  Finally my brother went up town and found her waiting at the courthouse door in the dark.  I had gone in one door and out the other.  She was not going to leave until I came out.  That's dedication!

This is my Father, John Sober Hummel.  He is a story for another time.  He was a kind, honest and decent man.  He worked hard, took care of his family and was someone people were honored to have as a friend.  Most of who I am was imparted by my Father and his simple lessons in life.  He taught me the Psalms although he didn't attend church.  He loved poetry, especially Robert Frost.  He insisted on responsibility in his children, 'If you make your bed, you will lie in it' is one of the many lessons that remain with me to this day.  He worked hard and complained very little.

Below is his christening photo.  He was born in 1912.

This is my Great Grandfather and Grandmother (no, I don't know their given names).  The younger man is one of my Grandfather's brothers with his wife and child.  I recall the story told by my Father about one of the babies being pricked by a needle that was tucked into its mother's lapel.  The baby contracted an infection from the prick and died.  I don't know if this is the baby he referred to or not.  A sad story.

Finally, this is my Mother's Mother, Sylvia Grey Pierson.  She was a wonderful person who was a big part of my growing up years.  The little lapel watch she has on I have.  It's the only thing I have to remember her by except for all the wonderful things she did for me as a child.

Well, that's it for today.  There are so many more, but I don't want to bore you.  I was blessed with a wonderful family that, I'm sure, by today's standards would be deemed to be flawed.  My Grandmother Pierson and my Great Grandmother Grey were both divorced.  Back then that wasn't something that happened too often.  Guess I come from a gene pool of strong-willed women.  My Grandmother raised eight children on her own without any assistance from their father.  And today, we females feel put upon because we have to work outside the home.  Just imagine, making a home for eight kids while you worked in cafes and took in laundry to put food on the table and to clothe them.  No public assistance back then!


  1. What a wonderful post, Coni. There is something compelling about your father's photo. What a gift your parents were to you.

    Ah, I see that you were into horses, too. My oldest has had her share of spills off her now five year old gelding. She still loves him like crazy, though.

  2. Horses were a big part of my growing up. It was not her fault that my leg was was 'user error'! She had been green broke by a young man who wanted to be a 'cowboy'. Whenever you mounted, she took off. I wasn't paying attention and actually clamped into her flank so that she commenced bucking. My Father was in the pasture with me and saw that we were headed toward a low-hanging wire. He shouted for me to get off so I let go and fell into a fence corner post, breaking my leg. The horse survived and I attended my prom in a full cast. Didn't deter me from the pursuit of horses. Still love to ride.

  3. There is something wonderful about gazing into the faces in vintage photos. You have some very special treasures here. I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

  4. Willow, Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your posts as well. You live in a wonderful home and have a true artistic spirit. Your talents inspire me.

  5. I love these old photographs and these snippets of family history. Your father looks such a kind man in that photograph - he has a lovely smile. It is so good to pass these things on to our children so that the memories live on. I really enjoyed this post.

  6. Weaver, My Father was a very kind and compassionate man. He was a man full of contradictions; he operated heavy equipment to earn our living but always grew gladiolas in his garden. He never missed a day of work due to illness but stayed up all night to nurse us kids when we were sick. He had actually created a pure black glad that he was very proud of before he quit gardening. I have found more photos and hope to do another post in a day or two. I do hope you will come back for a visit then.

  7. People love old family photos. One learns so much about the past from these photos, especially about fashion, hairstyles, leisure time spending.
    Judging by the photos in your post- your Mom, Dad, brother , grandmother, and great grandfather and mother are very nice -looking, kind people.

    Thanks for sharing.