This weekend, my grandma passed all of the old family photos on to me! I have beautiful albums from the late 1800's to today. One of my very favorite things is my Great Grandma Alma's teenage memory book. There are so many beautiful things here that will eventually turn to dust and be lost forever so I'd like to share them here with you before they do! In addition to her memory book, I'll share some old photos from the family albums and some funny stories passed down through the generations. There are also so many beautiful fashions and hairstyles and it really is an amazing look into the way people lived in the past.
|Great Grandma Alma Leaver with her daddy, Lawrence in 1920|
|Great Grandma Alma Leaver with her mother, Florence in 1921|
Who was Alma?
The Great Grandma Alma that I knew was very proper, well educated with this sort of "not amused" expression.She had a passion for history and writing and she spent much of her later years researching and recording everything she could find about our family.
|Alma with her two sisters, Emma Clair and Onita Jefferson City, MO 1935|
|Alma in the 1930s|
|My great grandpa, William Vaughn during their dating days in the 1930s|
I loved spending time with her as a teenager during my summer vacations. She taught me to sew and crochet and I learned so many things about being a frugal housewife from her Great Depression mindset. I'd often catch her slipping out of that frigid proper lady and we had a funny moment that made her blush. I loved her stories and I loved how my Great Grandpa gave her a hard time and made her smack her lips and roll her eyes.
She always had a blast taking me shopping at the nearby mall. She'd say about the sales, "Let's go to Penny's and see if they're just -giving- anything away!" She looked just like Bette Davis and seemed slightly annoyed every time someone made the comparison. She loved taking me out and telling everyone "This is my granddaughter. Well, actually she is my -great- granddaughter!" and then she would beam when they'd talk about how young she looks. She'd say funny things like "When I was a girl...back in ancient times..."
|sisters Nita, Alma and Clair - my great grandma in the middle|
When I'd go for a visit, I always asked her to pull her photo albums out and tell me who everyone was and where they were and spill the memories of those days. She'd always say "Ugh, you don't want to hear about that!" and I'd say "Oh yes I do!" as I plopped the old black paper album down in her lap.
|Alma, Nita, their mother, Florence (my great great grandmother) and sister Clair|
Now she's gone and we try to remember the stories that she told about these old photos, relying on my grandma (her daughter) to fill in the blanks. While sorting through them this weekend, grandma found Alma's memory book, which I didn't even know existed! This little album is crammed with every little memory from her teenage days in the 1930s. There are letters from friends, report cards, pressed flowers and dance cards full of names. Programs from plays with little notes on who she went with and jokes scribbled in the margins. As I read these things, I think "This is not the Alma I knew...not at all!" She was so funny and girlish but had her sights set on school and a career but she definitely wasn't afraid to have fun. She had daydreams and doodled sketches of outfits she wanted to sew. I'm comparing photos from her albums to the names in the book and filling in pieces from the stories that she decided to leave out.
Every week, I'll share some snippets of Alma's scrapbook in Memory Book Monday. I hope that you all enjoy an intimate look into the life of a young woman growing up in the 1930s. I'll also share some beautiful photos of her life as a baby and little girl in the 1910s and 1920s, living in rural Missouri and life after she married my Great Grandfather and lived in Hawaii during the 1940s and 1950s.
|Great Grandma Alma with her two younger sisters, Clair and Nita|