Ray and the boys visit Oklahoma

This series of photos come from the photo album my father-in-law kept while he was in the Air Force. I don’t know exactly where he was stationed, but at some point, he and his friends were in Oklahoma. While there, they visited the Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Birthplace Ranch. Will Rogers was a pioneer of vaudeville and early Hollywood, gaining fame first as a trick roper, and later as a humorist. He had intended to retire to Claremore, OK with his wife and family, and had purchased a large piece of property there. After his death in a plane crash in 1935, it was decided that a memorial would be created. During the Great Depression, raising funds was difficult, but people gave pennies, nickels and dimes to help fund the purchase of the land and set aside funding to build the museum. After the state of Oklahoma set aside funds to supplement the grass roots campaign, the museum was finally built in 1938.

These two photos were taken in front of the original location of this statue. It is a casting of the “Riding Into The Sunset” statue (sometimes called Will Rogers and Soapsuds) made by his friend Amon G Carter. The original is located in Fort Worth, Texas at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. There are two other castings of the statue, located in Dallas and Lubbock. The statue was moved later to a location near the tomb of Will Rogers and his family. I can’t nail down a date of when it was moved, but I know for sure it was after Ray visited, so after 1953. The new location also added a high pedestal under the statue, likely to prevent people from climbing on it.

This picture shows the sunken tomb where Will Rogers, his wife and several family members are buried. Though Rogers was originally interred in California, his body was moved in 1944.

This unnamed friend of Ray’s posed in front of the sign with the name Rogers on it. Will Rogers is a famous name that most people today will not really be able to associate with anyone other than someone from the old days. I myself did not know he had been more of a vaudeville name than a early Westerns movie name. I encourage you to learn more about Will Rogers, including his Cherokee lineage. He was a really interesting person.

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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.

Merry Christmas Happy New Year

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Military dad

A simple, deckled edge card with a small square photo of a family. The father is in his military uniform but I can’t tell what branch he is in. Two boys are in between Dad and Mom. The printed text reads Merry Christmas / Happy New Year and looks like a letter in a mailbox. The card is signed “with much love, Antoinette & Allen & the boys.”

Merry Christmas to You!

Marvel Farm035

Brewer family Christmas from the 1950s. Center is Katharine “Pat” Brewer and George S Brewer, my grandparents. Surrounding them are family from the Erie, PA area. I just love how Gram is holding a doll and makes it look like she’s just part of the family. That sort of captures Gram’s spirit. This photograph was taken at their home at 1216 West 9th Street and is a Kodak color slide. I scanned the slide using an Epson Perfection 4870 flatbed scanner. Scanning slides can be difficult because of the slide frame and “in the old days” this particular scanner had a great interface to detect and scan slides. Unfortunately, the drivers for this scanner are outdated and don’t work with the latest versions of the Mac OS, so I use the built in interface. It doesn’t have as many features and I can’t scan slides easily. While the scanner is nearly ten years old, it is a workhorse for standard images that can go on the glass, so I’ll keep using it until it quits!

We have certainly had quite a lot of distractions around here this year! I realized I haven’t blogged very much at all except for on my recipe site, and even there I took a month long break. The photos are in my hot little hands, I just haven’t made many opportunities to write and post, but I hope you will stick it out and come back for some really fascinating images. I found some great CdVs of national costumes, some hand painted images, and some that I wonder if they were nuns. Wow!

Until then, I wish you the very best during the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

Christmas Eve dinner

Christmas Pix 1

Christmas Eve 1955

Christmas Pix 3

And it was delicious!

The top photo was dated as Christmas Eve 1955. The bottom photo was not dated, but the presence of a Christmas tree behind the diners suggests the time frame none the less. I can’t believe we are winding down the year already!

 

Best wishes

Three kids all with various teeth growing in

Three kids all with various teeth growing in

Here we have Billy on the left, Shelley on the right and Big Sister in the middle who rebelled and did not wear her personalized pajamas. The children all have teeth growing in at some stage – Billy is missing his lower tooth, Big Sister has her upper incisors growing in, and baby Shelley only has two teeth. The family was Kay and Bill Spurgeon, Billy, Big Sis and Shelley.

Merry Christmas

From the Nelsons

From the Nelsons

Here’s Ozzy, Harriet, Wally, and….nope, not *those* Nelsons, sorry!

A winter scene replete with Santa Claus greets us along side a happy family looking off toward Santa to check up on what he is doing. The children look like a boy and a girl to me. I love love love Mr Nelson’s funky tie!

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