We are fortunate to have a pretty good collection of old photos of both Bryan’s family and mine. A couple years ago, I was trying to think of a great way to share the pictures – and the life stories – with our kids and decided a gallery wall might do the trick! I rounded up so many photos that we’ll need a photo book, too, to bring it all together – so the “ancestry wall” as I am calling it, will feature mostly childhood photos of Leah and Michael’s grandparents, great grandparents, great-great and yes even great-great-great grandparents! I hope it helps Leah and Michael feel a deeper connection to the generations who came before them.
This is my my dad’s dad/my grandfather Harold and his little brothers. He was born in Georgia in 1900 and went to work in a cotton mill at age 9 part time – before this photo was taken! He was working full time by age 12 to help take care of his parents and younger siblings – or simply to ensure his mother continued to enjoy a certain social position. (See photo.) Harold worked 12 hours a day, six days a week until he was 55 and was fired because he had become ‘too slow’. No severance, no pension, and no Social Security until 62. He was a very, very old man at 55 and died 11 years later. He lived a hard life in many ways but a beautiful one, too. Harold was a star player on the mill village baseball team and was a devoted husband to my Gran Gran. Together, they raised four boys and two girls who all grew up to be such good people.
These are the stories that I want Leah and Michael to know.