Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's a heartache

Still photographing and scanning, enough to force me to pay for "pro" status on flickr!

Meet Georgia, and doesn't she look like a pistol!

This is my Great Great Grandmother (1846-1925), date of this photo unknown. I titled it "1890s" but she could be anywhere from her 50's to her 70's here. I'm thinking 60+, making the photo from 1910 or so. There's no telling.

She's my ancestress straight down the female line, my mother's mother's mother's mother.
You can see her three daughters here.
My grandmother (the short story writer) used to tell an anecdote about her own birth. Apparently, Georgia took one look at her newborn granddaughter and said, "Well. She's all Burroughs." Gran did look very like her father, not so much like her mother, who was Georgia's middle daughter, Iola.

It seems that there was more to it. In my journey through old photos, I found a photo of a younger Georgia,

marked on the back with Gran's handwriting:

"She did not like me."

How anybody, much less her own grandmother, could dislike my grandmother at all, much less on newborn sight, is disturbing.

Gran had loving parents and doting aunts and uncles, and an essentially happy life, so it didn't wreck her or anything. She rarely talked about this lady, and the inscription on the picture was my first encounter with the fact that this wasn't just a snitty first reaction, but persisted.

The inscription was written fairly late in Gran's life - that's her handwriting from when she was at least 40+ and looks more like the age 50's and 60's writing I always knew. The fact that she identified her grandmother this way makes me pretty sure that it still stung. She had plenty of love and support, but it's hard not to want people who should love you to love you, or at least for their opinion of you to make sense.

I'll never know what that was about, other than resemblance to the "wrong" side of the family, and maybe Georgia disliked her son-in-law for, again, unknown reasons. My first reaction to the top photo was that this was one tough but witty lady, and maybe that's still true. I'm not sure whether I'd have liked her or not, but I'm pretty sure crossing her wasn't a very good idea!


ronnie said...

Wow. That wrenches the heart, from across all those years.

Sherwood Harrington said...

What ronnie said. Just the statement's flat tone -- rather than something angry or even just with an exclamation point -- is devastating.

southernyankee said...

I'm not sure any longer, if getting someone else's opinion to make sense makes sense.

I was blessed with a grandmother who was not bothered by the opinion of her daughter, and freely showed her love. And thank God for that :-)