My Mother’s Day Tribute – 2015

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Mother's Day 1969

Mother’s Day 1969

Wishing all in my blogoshere a Happy Mother’s Day!

This photo was taken on Mother’s Day 1969. I know the year so well because . . . there’s a reason I’m wearing that empire dress. Yes, that’s my firstborn hidden yet in plain view. Oooh and he loved my Momma! My “Baby Boy” did, too. I have memories of her (at age 70) down on the floor playing with him.

Momma was so sweet, gentle, and kind. She loved us so; and her dimunitive frame did not stop her from protecting those she loved. I loved to hear the story of how she and her sisters were ready to jump into the ring to gang up on the baby boy’s opponent during a Golden Gloves boxing match. Smh. Those MABLE girls were a force to be reckoned with.

I had the fortune of spending a lot of one-on-one time with her throughout the day because I attended the elementary school where she was head secretary. My first grade class was right next door to her office. But that was cool; because I loved learning “readin’ and writin’ and ‘rithmetic.” Then, I got to be Secretary’s Assistant at the end of the day.

Even in adulthood, she didn’t hesitate to correct me. I remember during her first visit to Houston, as soon as we returned from a shopping trip I pointed to the set of dishes we had selected and said to my husband, “Look what Momma bought me.” As quick as a flash, she said,; “No. Look what Momma bought us I was just used to being “the Baby.” I think it will always be a part of my persona. But I do my best to abide by these types of motherly influence.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. I couldn’t forget this woman if I tried — for she looks back at me from every mirror. I’ve been deprived of her physical presence for 25 years; but her spirit and memories remain. This year marks the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Here are some of my posts that either focus on her or talk about the many ways she influenced my life. I love you, Momma.

The featured image for this Mother's Day 2015 post is a composite that represents two influences Momma made on my life: creativity and the love of reading.  The background photo of the yarn represents the spirit of creativity that was birthed in both my Mother and me.  Around the house, if she was sitting, she was doing some type of needlework.  The inset photo represents the love of reading my mother shared with me.  In addition to a bookcase filled with reference books and literature, there were always plenty of current issues of various magazines at our house.  Both creativity and reading have proven to be constants throughout my life.

The featured image for this Mother’s Day 2015 post is a composite that represents two influences Momma made on my life: creativity and the love of reading. The background photo of the yarn represents the spirit of creativity that was birthed in both my Mother and me. Around the house, if she was sitting, she was doing some type of needlework. The inset photo represents the love of reading my mother shared with me. In addition to a bookcase filled with reference books and literature, there were always plenty of current issues of various magazines at our house. Both creativity and reading have proven to be constants throughout my life.

Sepia Saturday 278: Photos in Need of Care and Attention

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The focus for this week’s project is on images that are past their best or in need of a little care and attention.

It’s so good to be back at Sepia Saturday. I’ve missed not only sharing — but also viewing — the images of times past that are the heart and soul of this blog. I’ve been learning more about blogging, brushing up on my documentation techniques, learning new software, viewing webinars, general housekeeping that comes with blogging. But I simply must make time to participate in this venture. Most of the entries (mine included) are genealogy-related. But I really enjoy viewing and sharing images that are “outside of the box” so to speak. They’re the images that afford genealogists a break from the mundane pedigrees, family group sheets, biologies, etc. It’s just a welcome end to a week that may have included intense research, reading, studying, etc.

I see I missed a good one last week. But, true to the Sepia Saturday scheme of things, being the opportunist that I am, I think I can segue what could’ve been an SS 277 entry into SS 278. Watch and learn. Yes, I had to strike that as well because I know y’all do it too. I think I’ll limit my images to two portraits and two snapshots.

This is a faded portrait of my Daddy, William Emmet PALMER, in his high school lettermen's (football) sweater. Circa 1930, Gary, Indiana.  Original in possession of author.

This is a faded portrait of my Daddy, William Emmet PALMER, in his high school lettermen’s (football) sweater. Circa 1930, Gary, Indiana. Original in possession of author.

I’ll go ahead and lead off with the aforementioned missed entry. It’s a faded portrait of my Daddy, William Emmet PALMER, in his high school lettermen’s (football) sweater. Because I graduated from his alma mater (Roosevelt High School &
Indiana) , I know the “R” on the front of the sweater was gold. So, even though the photograph is sepia, in my mind’s eye, it’s grey and gold. Long live the black and gold. Panther Pride!!

This is a composite of my mother's and my graduation photos.  We both graduated from Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana in 1931 and 1967 respectively.

This is a composite of my mother’s and my graduation photos. We both graduated from Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana in 1931 and 1967 respectively.

My second portrait is actually a two-fer because I’ve created a collage of my Mom’s and my graduation photos. Three corners of hers are missing. I think they got folded and ultimately became separated from the photo. The fading of my portrait began lonnnnng ago. In fact I recall being disappointed when I opened the envelope from the photographer. It was developed much lighter than I was expecting. I was looking for a full-color photo. Despite his development process, it has stood the test of time for the most part.

For the snapshots — wow there are so many in need of a little care and attention. Okay, I’ll go with this snapshot of my Mom, Floretta Violet MABLE, and all her siblings circa 1970 (based on my uncles’ afro hairstyles). The composition was the eight of them in the same positions they were in for a photo they took as children (circa 1935). I came up with that year because my mother (the oldest, born in 1915) was a teen or young adult in the photo and my youngest uncle (born circa 1933) was a toddler in knee pants. It’s so cute. I’ll have to get it from Jay. No doubt you’ll recognize that it’s a Polaroid. We all have more than a fair share of specimens from this genre of photography.

This is a snapshot of my Mom, Floretta Violet MABLE, and all her siblings circa 1970.    The composition was the eight of them in the same positions they were in for a photo they took as children (circa 1935)  The ninth person is a grandchild that raised with them as a sibling.  The original is in possession of my cousin, Jay Evans of Gary.

This is a snapshot of my Mom, Floretta Violet MABLE, and all her siblings circa 1960. The composition was the eight of them in the same positions they were in for a photo they took as children (circa 1935) The ninth person is a grandchild that raised with them as a sibling. The original is in possession of my cousin, Jay Evans of Gary.

Oh, and I also wanted to mention that there are some generous members of facebook groups who share their talents by offering to restore photos for other members. One randomly calls for photos in need of restoration then posts before and after images of his work. It’s really quite remarkable. I haven’t availed myself of his generosity yet; but I have a few potential projects for him.

Welp! That’s my offering for this week’s theme. Any genealogist worth his salt is bound to have similar misfortunes among his photo archives. I’ll be watching for yours. And don’t be surprised if some of your older posts get revived by my comments. I have no shame; and will take some time to go back and see what I’ve missed. Have a great week!

See other Sepians’ worse-for-wear photos.

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Sepia Saturday 269: The Violet Polka

It’s Sepia Saturday; and this week’s vintage photograph call connects with the theme image and encompasses music, dance, polkas, violets ….

Palmer Singers (1979)_for_web copy This post will touch on each of those things.

Music was always in our house. Momma and Charles played piano. Pat took voice lessons. And we all (except Daddy) sang. Everybody read music and played an instrument except for me (and Daddy). To this day, I can only surmise that the reasons were financial. (Because Daddy’s health problems began just as I was entering jr high (middle) school.) But that didn’t hinder my natural singing ability.

Gospel, show tunes, Chicago_Bandstand_Posterand R&B were the main genres we enjoyed. I remember the time Billy and Pat went to Chicago Bandstand. Our family gathered around the television, watched  and squealed with delight when we got a brief glimpse of them among the teenagers on the dance floor.

Our family loved music; and it was one of the things that bridged our ages. I was the youngest; and while they did teenager things together, I enjoyed one-on-one time with Momma and Daddy. They all attended school together (walking a few city blocks). But I rode across town with Momma to attend grades 1 through 6 at the school where she was the secretary. My parents were pleasantly surprised when, at the age of 10, I debuted with “The Palmer Trio” — expanding our gospel group to be called, “The Palmer Family Singers.”

No one in our house danced the polka; but we tuned in every Saturday night to watch it being performed on The Lawrence Welk Show. The smiling conductor’s trademark gesture was, rather than the traditional baton tap on the music stand, the queuing up his band with his famous, “a-1-annn-a-2-annn-a . . .” Book_Music_with_lavender_roses_resized copy The Violet is my dear mother: Floretta Violet MABLE PALMER who had a beautiful choir voice and accompanied our gospel group on piano. Sheet music was a staple in our home. I clearly recall their planned trips to the music shop (for show tunes) or the Bible Book Store (for gospel renderings). I’m working on a scrapbooking page which includes a scan of Momma’s “Gospel Pearls” hymnal — turned to her favorite, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” And Daddy did have a favorite hymn: “Peace in the Valley.” Hearing reasonable renderings of either of these songs — or even reading the lyrics — evokes a heart tug and a cloudy eye.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my older sister who was named Violet Marie PALMER. None of us ever knew her because she died of pneumonia at the age of 11 months. The only photo I’ve ever seen of her tells that she was an extremely beautiful baby. Our parents kept her memory alive within our family structure. And I’ll rejoice to meet her “on the other shore.” Books_of_Faith_resized copy And don’t you just love Alan’s image for this week’s theme? I couldn’t help but notice that, in addition to having the word, “Violet” in the name, it also includes the word, “Flora” (close enough to, “Floretta” for me). My genealogist eyes notice things like that. I can’t wait to see what other Sepians have prepared for this week’s theme. Sep_Sat_2015_0307

Sepia Saturday: Valentine’s Day

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My Sepia Saturday post for this week is about the couple who demonstrated everything I needed to know about love and marriage. My boyfriends had to be assertive yet still need my input. The man I married reminded me so much of my father . . . at first — stern, loving, soft-spoken. Anyway, it was my mother’s example I followed to care for him during his lengthy illness.

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He called her, Sugar — sometimes, Momma. She called him, Daddy. I heard other adults address my parents as, Bill and Floretta (pronounced, “Florita”) or Flo. But I can’t recall one time when they called one another by their names around us. I wonder if it was to demonstrate to us what we were to call them?

My Daddy was a steelworker — working “swing shifts” at US Steel. When he worked midnights, we had to be extra quiet because he slept during the day. He wore plaid shirts and, for some reason, a belt and suspenders. And, as the photo shows — that man could wear a hat! Dobbs felt in the winter, straw in the summer. I even have a high school photo of him with a lettermen’s sweater and a “Big Apple” cocked ever so slightly to one side. Yeah, my Daddy was a “Dapper Dan.”

Momma was a school secretary, then a medical transcriptionist. She still managed to put full meals on the table every evening and listen to our bedtime prayers. Then we were up and out the next morning; and she always looked like she’d just stepped out of a McCall’s magazine ad. From an early age, I’ve been constantly reminded about how much I favor her. Our facial resemblance is unbelievable. And she was neat, petite, and sweeter than sweet.

While we found our parents’ spontaneous lip or cheek pecks entertaining, we were also being taught how to appropriately display affection. And there was nothing weird about it. They just loved one another and weren’t ashamed to show it. They both served as usher and choir member, respectively, at St. Timothy Community Church. And they brought us up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. My parents were married for 34 years before my father’s untimely death at age 59. I was only 20 years old. Momma remained with us for 20 years after; and did not remarry.

We used to love leafing though those photo albums with the heavy black pages and their high school yearbook. That’s where these pictures are from. I don’t have the albums — just a few pictures from them. I, obviously, have much more to share about my parents. But I tried to keep the focus on “love” for this week’s post. When I get into their individual bios, you’ll get to know them better. Happy Valentine’s Day!

See how other Sepians have been inspired.

See how other Sepians have been inspired.