One generation plants trees, another gets the shade.
The picture above drew me in the first time I saw it and it still intrigues me every time I look at it. Maybe it is because I can't see the faces. Like Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World we can't stop wondering what she looks like.
And although we can see in the distance what she is looking toward, we don't really know what she is looking at.
Unlike the painting, we don't know what these two people are looking at. Clearly it is a casual setting, in the more formal manner of earlier generations. Maybe they are watching children play a ball game in the park. Or, it could be that they are waiting for other's to show up for a picnic. Or maybe they are listening to a concert from the bandstand just out of our sight. But it is their faces I really want to see. The woman looks to be in her 50s or 60s, with graying hair. The man looks younger and his posture strangely familiar.
The woman in that old picture is my great grandmother. May Budd Hall, born in 1876 or so, she is easily recognized by her hairdo seen in all the pictures we have of her. Seen in this picture to the right in 1948, she stood about 4 foot 10 inches and we called her Lady May. As a little girl, I was so taken by her petite stature and loved to sit in the little chair in her room at Priest's rest home. It was just my size. She died at the age of 84 in 1959, I think. The man next to her in the top picture is more of a mystery. He does look younger than Lady May, but I can't be sure. Is this Leslie J, my great grandfather? Or maybe it is Leslie C, my grandfather. Or is it my Dad as a young teenager sitting next to his grandmother? The side of his face and the way he is sitting is very much like Dad. I can't really date this picture, which would of course help. I so want to see their faces, but I can't.
It is this kind of mystery that drives me to do the genealogy research that I do. I love the hunt. Some day maybe I can do it full time. In the meantime, if any of you have some old photos of your ancestors, please send them to me. I would love to post them.
If you get a chance today, just think of the generations that came before you and be grateful they survived so that we might also plant a tree beneath which our great grandchildren might sit. Perhaps with us. Have a great Monday.