Thursday, February 25, 2010

Heirloom of the Week

When I was a kid, I used to play with this Brownie camera, not appreciating its history. Now it holds an honored place in my collection of family memorabilia. This little Brownie contributed many of the family photos in my possession. It sits here on the tattered photograph album that belonged to my mother and which she filled with photos from her college years. There are photos of her and her classmates at Mary Hardin-Baylor, there are photos of the family taken on summer breaks, there are photos of old boyfriends and of her cousins.

I am currently putting together a slide show to run as part of the memorial service we have planned for Mother. I decided to go back through the old album and check for photos I might have missed scanning and that should be included. I ran across the one below, which I found interesting for several reasons.

The photo was taken during Mother's freshman year at Mary Hardin-Baylor and, if I'm not mistaken, was taken on the porch of Ely Pepper dormitory. Ely Pepper was torn down some years back, but it still stood when I was attending college there. It had been turned over to the business department and converted to classrooms and I spent many an hour there as I worked toward my Business Administration degree. Both Mother and my Aunt Bettye were residents of the dormitory during their years there.

Both Mother and I experienced truly spectacular snowfalls (for Central Texas) during our respective freshman years at Mary Hardin-Baylor. I have numerous photos of her and her roommates playing in the snow that fell in 1949. That I rediscovered this photo on Tuesday when we were enjoying a rare and beautiful snowfall seemed significant in some way. Then I noticed she was holding the well-loved Brownie. What a perfect discovery on a special day. My mother, standing in snow 60 years ago, holding the camera that documented the family in the 1940s, and the snow falling outside my own window as I studied it.

It felt like a gift.


1 comment:

Bettye said...

I think this picture was taken on the balcony on the front of Pepper. You had to crawl out of a second floor room to get out there.