When we go to visit Mom we like to make sure we take Brad with us. At 88 years old, she figures no one is going to notice if she plays favorites. So whereas she professes to be glad to see the rest of us; we are definitely just filler in her bouquet for the day. Brad is who she really wishes to see. He likes her too, so it is a good deal no matter how you look at it. When I am old there will be one person who will enjoy my repeated stories and need for a hand getting out of my chair. “You do it just perfectly, Brad!” She crowed proudly upon being lifted effortlessly out of her chair by this strapping grandson. He loves the praise, too, don’t kid yourself.
There was not a thing we could say to her about how disappointing it was that she would not wear her newly acquired hearing aids for us. So we smiled bravely and resumed our yelling to be heard. She takes her prerogatives on the merest whim. It is absolutely amazing to me. I cannot wait to be 88 years old. I have finally realized how fun this could be, after all.
Mom has a wall collage of wedding portraits of all the ancestors in our family. I stand there during every visit just looking at them. Every couple has a story. A good biographer could do a series of books and carry along a main thread of family, home, and commitment in marriage. The stories of service in war, the days of The Depression, the elopement of a couple of teenagers, the lives of two different children raised as only children, homesteading stories, triumphs and losses really need to be recorded.
This first picture is of Elv’s parents. Our June bride’s face looks much like this bride, Louise’s, here. Resemblances/roots.
The teenagers in the middle here are Ben and Abbey Hershey trying for all their might to look grown up and ready for this thing called married life. We know of not one moment of regret. They were plunged into real life immediately. Ben served on a munitions train shoveling coal into the steam engine boiler and when the Spanish flu hit, his wife and wee baby girl were sick and alone in the city far away from his work. Somehow he managed to get word to her and to his Uncle Sol that she was to go to find refuge and care with the uncle. People died right and left including the fireman partner shoveling coal one night. Ben stepped over the body and worked alone the rest of the night.
I looked long at Great Grandma Hershey’s wedding gown. Just how many yards goes into such a frock? I am guessing there would be close to fifteen yards there. Hoops and a trim bodice closed with a couple dozen pretty buttons. The full length sleeve that fits so exactly is a wonder, as well. No doubt Abbey’s gown for her wedding was adequately beautiful with the full lace collar. And her hairstyle must have been easier then her mother’s judging from the picture below.