Monday, September 7, 2015

What is the rest of the story in this cousins photo

In the photo above are me and my twin brother and my cousins, two of whom are also twins. The tallest boy in the back is our cousin Duane and at far left is his younger sister Sheryll, standing besides their sisters, twins Pauleen and Paulette. Standing at right are my twin brother Dennis and me. Seated in front is another cousin Rita. Rita's dad, Mervin Flanders, my mother Ruby Flanders and the other cousins mother, Pearl Flanders Harris, were all siblings in the Milo and Nannie Flanders family. If I was just looking at faces in the photos, I'd smile, say "How cute" and go on to the next picture in the album. But as I looked at this picture, I recognized it as being taken while we were all standing on the front porch of my grandparents' house in Hoisington, Kansas. 
I can verify that with the photo above of me and Dennis as we played with our dad's violin in the front yard of his parents' house, when we lived there with them in 1949-52. You can see the same mail box on the front of the house in each photo as well as the grating under the porch, that I know was painted dark green. 

Now let me tell you why I find it significant that my cousins on my mother's side of the family are standing with me and my brother on the porch of my father's parents' house. My mother and father were divorced in 1949. Since my father had custody of me and my brother, we lived with him and his parents in Hoisington, KS from 1949 until he remarried in 1951, and built a new home where we moved back to Great Bend Kansas in 1952. It's my thought that the picture was taken in the Fall or Winter of 1951, based on the fact that we all have coats on and Dennis and I would have been 4 years old. Paulette and Pauleen would have been 3-1/2 years old and Rita would have been 2-1/2 years old. I think that looks accurate, or close. 

I cannot fathom any occasion when members of my mother's family would have visited us at the home of my father's family at that time. But there's the proof that they did. 

It's good, as we enjoy looking at the old family photographs, that we take the time to really look at the whole picture. I wish our family photos could tell us the rest of the story! 


Michelle Ganus Taggart said...

I feel that exact same way when I look at some of the pictures from when I was little---for the life of me I can't remember anything about the occasion, but the picture stands as living proof that it happened. Thank goodness for those who took the time to record those occasions through photographs.

Jana Last said...


I want to let you know that two of your blog posts are listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a wonderful weekend!