Friday, April 9, 2010


It's March, 1925, and the girl pals have decided to present a tableau. I have no idea at all what literary masterpiece is being represented, but I'm put in mind of Anne Shirley and her good friend, Diana, over on Prince Edward Island. The back of only one of the photos says, "May Strachan and her friend Rose Henderson posed for Tableau in an entertainment given for the Church of England last March." The handwriting is Beulah's, May's mother's.

The second set is posed indoors, which I presume is inside the Church of England. The bench appears to be the same. I suspect the apparatus on the small table to the right is a radio and I recognize the calendar on the wall at the left.

It's possible that what is portrayed is the Longfellow poem known as "Evangeline" which "describes the betrothal of an Acadian girl named Evangeline Bellefontaine to her beloved, Gabriel Lajeunesse, and their separation as the British deport the Acadians from Acadie in the Great Upheaval. The poem then follows Evangeline across the landscapes of America as she spends years in a search for him, at some times being near to Gabriel without realizing he was near. Finally she settles in Philadelphia and, as an old woman, works as a Sister of Mercy among the poor. While tending the dying during an epidemic she finds Gabriel among the sick, and he dies in her arms." (Wikipedia)

At this point, May is 18 and I presume that Rose is about the same age. Now that thoughts have turned to romance, the real thing has arrived. The next photo is undated and the inscription on the back is rather blotted, but it says, "The newly weds. Mr. Fox's camera. Rose is very sober. I think the wind was troubling her." (May's handwriting.) My guess is that she was sobered but resolute in the face of the commitment she was making. The caption under the photo says, "Wedding picture. George Phillips and Rose Henderson."

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