Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The title is my father's title for this album page.

It's October, 1921. Seth, the youngest, sets up a camp in the yard. He has a headdress of what are probably turkey feathers and a bow and arrow. His camp includes a framework for hanging pots over a campfire, which has attracted the attention of the camp cat. (A variant on the more traditional camp dog.) My father, who remembered these times as idyllic, made sure to get a small "teepee" for our own backyard later in Portland and took a photo of my brother at about the same age and in the same pose. Raising we kids was for him mostly a matter of recovering the past.

Now the cat seems more like a kitten. May's note on the back says, "This was taken in the fall of 1921 after the leaves are all off. Her constant bow is in place and she wears a shiny stiff skirt. Maybe this is a Sunday afternoon photo.

This is little Doris Innes and my grandmother, "Mrs. Strachan." There appears to be some construction to what I assume is the front of the house, but might be the back. Note the geraniums wintering over in the window, just as I do now.

Glenn seems to have taken the photo, so that's his shadow. Otherwise, from left-to-right, Beulah, May, Seth, Bruce, Sam Strachan. It's possible they were actually looking at something, but I suspect it was a made-you-look joke where you organize people to peer steadfastly at nothing to see who else will come look. In other words, prairie humor.

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