Saturday, February 6, 2010

sepia saturday: dressing up


today's sepia saturday photo features my great aunt helen. I have no idea exactly when the photo was taken, but given helen's hairstyle, make-up and the relatively short dress it is safe to say that it was taken in the 1920s. I don't know the story behind this photo and why helen is holding that humongous bouquet. I tried to call my cousin suzi - I copied this photo when I was at her house a couple years ago and perhaps she knows the back story to this photo, but alas she wasn't home.

helen was my paternal grandmother's sister and the youngest of four children born of andrew and mary urinchak. helen was born in 1910; the other children were: mary (my grandmam) catherine (katie), and joseph. joseph, born in 1897, died of the flu when he was 19 or 20 years old. the girls in the family all lived long lives. the first of the sisters to die was katie who passed away in 1980 at 85; mary, my grandmam was the oldest, she was born in 1889, she died in 1983 when she was 94. helen died in 2007, a few months shy of her 97th birthday. I don't know if it's cool to post non-sepia photos on sepia saturday, but I thought it would be nice to include this one of helen on the eve of her 95th birthday - in the picture she's with my dad. she was twelve years old when my father was born - if you are good with your math, you will notice there's quite a gap in years between helen and the rest of her siblings.

helen never married; for most of her life she worked in the garment industry - another woman of the cloth! helen's joie de vie was infectious; she was a vivacious and generous person with a great love for her family. as the last surviving member of her generation, for many years she reigned as our matriarch. for most of her life helen lived in the tiny borough of beaver meadows, pennsylvania with either one or two feline companions. when she was in her early 90s, severe arthritis forced her to be dependent on a wheelchair, but not even that forced her out of her home and living independently. however, when helen was 96 years, her beloved cat angel died, only then did helen move out of her home and into a nursing facility where she spent the last year of her life.

the cure performing dressing up


added at 4:20
thanks to the field, I just realized today is bob marley's birthday - to celebrate the day and marley (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981) here's a bonus song three little birds, one of my all time faves - by the way, aunt helen liked bob! yes it's true!

15 comments:

California Girl said...

what a sweet photograph of your aunt when she was young. how lovely she was.

willow said...

My great aunt Winnie never married, either, but was so loving and generous to her extended family, just like your dear aunt. Lovely photo!!

K. said...

What a beauty! I wonder why she never married...Even in Beaver Meadows, she must have had her chances.

Poetikat said...

She was a beauty, Kimy - right to the end. I knew I liked her from her fancy outfit and her smile, but the felines clinched it!
Don't worry about the non-sepia photo; Alan stipulated in the "manifesto" that it could be sepia or otherwise despite the name.

Really enjoyed this photo. Did you see my post on Harold Lloyd's silent film, The Freshman? This reminded of that somewhat.

You can read it here, if you like:

http://hyggedigter.blogspot.com/2010/01/wednesday-review-freshman.html

Kat

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Helen was quite the popular name for women before 1940 or so. It was my mother's name, and when one of uncles married a Helen, she had to go by Mary Helen since it was just too confusing at family gatherings. It's a bit odd now to get mail from her now that she's dropped the "Mary" and has my mother's exact name.

Great photos and story of your Helen.

Barry said...

A special woman, lovely in her youth and as she aged.

Thank you for sharing her with us.

Meri said...

She was so glamorous and beautiful in such a natural way. That is one huge bouquet -- I wonder if she won some kind of beauty pageant.

L. D. Burgus said...

I can't imagine a photographer having a large bouquet around just for her, so it must have been some special occasion. It is quite a photo. The hair band does say 20's. It is a cool photo.

Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla) said...

Your great aunt Helen is gorgeous! I just left a comment on Lettuce's blog observing how incredibly evocative these old sepia photos are.

Martin H. said...

Lovely photographs of you great aunt Helen. She looked great, in the 1920s and when she was 95 years young.

John Hayes said...

Both photos are wonderful--there's a real joy in your aunt's face at 95! Great to think of her listening to Bob Marley.

RobinB said...

After losing my own beloved Aunt Helen last year it makes me happy to see yours so beautifully honored here. Thanks for the words and photo, Mouse!

Baino said...

Weren't the bouquets in the 20's just devine. It doesn't seem to matter what the financial circumstances of the bride, she always seemed to have fabulous flowers. Gorgeous dress too. You'd be a fashion icon in something like that today! I'd love to know why she has a sort of 'wedding' photo but never married.

Angella Lister said...

Such a beautiful photo of Helen. I so love looking at photos of elders from all stages of their lives, so thanks for including the more recent one, too. And Bob Marley is the man. He's my homeboy from Jamaica, so I remember him when.

tony said...

What A Lovely Smile Helen Had.She Looks Such A Nice Lady.