Youth Orchestra

This photo came from a huge batch of family photographs we received when my mother-in-law closed up her home. We sat together looking at all these many photos (literally hundreds!) and tried to identify something or someone in each one. The process was important to the identification of the photos, but also such a wonderful time between us. Although she is gone from us now, I treasure the times we sat together. She would reminisce about these photos, her late husband, her family, and growing up in Detroit in the 30’s and 40’s.

This particular photo shows a youth orchestra or band, including an accordion, wood winds, and brass. I am guessing the boys with white straps to the right of frame were the drummers and the straps were designed to hold the drums while they marched or played. The band director must be the portly person on the far right. I enlarged this photo to look at the faces, but realized that the monument behind them has the names of some states on it. I can see a Kansas plaque on the left, between two caps, an Indiana plaque in the center of frame, above the musicians, and in the space next to that, I can just make out 1st and 1941. If anyone recognizes this monument, please comment. I would love to know where it is! Supposedly, my father-in-law is in this picture, but we couldn’t find him.

UPDATE: After sharing this on Facebook, my eagle-eyed cousin noticed the palm tree in the top right corner of the picture and pointed out that Detroit doesn’t have many of those. At about the same time, my sister and Intense Guy uncovered the identity of this monument.¬†

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It is the Monument of States in Kissimee, FL. This interesting monument was conceived by Dr Charles Bressler-Pettis after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He wanted something to signify the unity of the United States, so he wrote to all the governors of the states – which at that time numbered 48 – and asked them to send a rock native to their state. By the time he was finished collecting, Bressler-Pettis had also included a variety of rocks from other countries he and his wife had visited. The monument was raised in 1943 with the dual goals of unity and tourism. Ah, America. It has been expanded over the years to include Alaska and Hawaii, and a variety of other locales with their rocks being embedded into the walkways around the monument.

Thank you, Steve, Auntie Kat and Intense Guy for helping to solve yet another photo mystery!

Further Reading

Monument of States via US National Park Service

Monument of States via Wikipedia

Monument of States via Roadside America

 

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Bruce D McSparrow / McSparrin

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One of these lads is Bruce D. McSparrow¬†McSparrin. Due to some home construction, I have packed these photographs away and I’m not sure which one of these had the writing on the back! Whoops. I also had it carefully labeled on the original file, but my computer is also packed away. Fooey.

Bruce was 7 years old at the time of the photo, September 3, 1897. These two photographs are small, only about 3″ x 4″ with the image centered in the card.

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They were accompanied by their mother, previously shown in this post. As it turns out, this is identified on the back as Mrs. S. M. McSparrow McSparrin.

UPDATE: As it turns out, both of these images are probably of the same boy. Bruce Darlington McSparrin lived with his parents Susan and Charles McSparrin in Dayton, PA. This begs the question of who the other photo represents. It may simply be a photo of Susan McSparrin twenty years on in life.

Christmas Day!

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All grown up

Over the course of 13 cards, we have seen Kathy & Karen Klein grow up from babies to teenagers. Kathy has grown her hair long as was popular in 1969, while Karen is keeping hers cut short. Both girls look to the side. This is our last Klein family card. I have no idea who they might have been sent to, maybe Aunt Rita who was the recipient of a different Klein family member’s card? I hated seeing them languishing in a box of other photographs, so I’m happy to have rescued them from obscurity or even the trash.

This last photo card features a pine cone, the sentiment Merry Christmas / and a happy new year! as well as the family’s names – The Kleins / Fred, Isobel, Kathy & Karen.

Merry Christmas to you, wherever you may be! There are yet more cards, because you know the mail does not always cooperate with us, and sometimes we don’t always get our cards into the mail in a timely fashion. There’s always a couple that arrive after Christmas, so stay tuned!

Christmas Eve

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It’s Christmas Eve around the world! I hope all your Christmas cards have arrived at their destinations to carry the wishes of happiness and love to everyone on your list. Kathy & Karen Klein are opening gifts in a paneled room, surrounded by more gifts. The color printed card is dated 1968 and features a horse drawn sled. It was signed Fred, Isobel, Kathy & Karen, and the signature appears to have been incorporated in the printing.

Merry Christmas Happy New Year

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Full color!

The reverse of this card indicates it was 1965. The girls Kathy & Karen are again in matching pajamas, and looking at a large decoration. It appears to have a small elf on it, and reminds me of a mistletoe ball my mother had. The girls are surrounded by pretty packages. The color printed card also features holly and ribbon ties, and is signed The Kleins / Fred, Isobel, Kathy, Karen.

Christmas Greetings

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Something important to say here

Wearing the same pajamas as the card from the previous year, Kathy & Karen are again opening presents while surrounded by more presents. They must have been very loved! The card salutation is Christmas Greetings from Our Home to Yours, and features a pair of small houses with smoke coming from their chimneys. The printed closing reads The Kleins – Fred, Isobel, Kathy & Karen.

Peace on Earth

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Girls and gifts

Some of these cards are really difficult to guess the year. There will be some help on some future cards, so I’m taking a guess that this is early 60s. Kathy & Karen Klein share the opening of a present, surrounded by more wrapped packages. The card itself features an angel, stars and the salutation Peace on Earth. It is signed simply The Kleins.

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