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Friday, March 23, 2012

Family Photos Friday: Grams On Horseback

Elsie Charlotte Hayes (1926-1992), Michigan, probably early 1940s.
I don't do "Wordless Wednesdays", particularly since I can't ever remain "wordless" on those posts. So, I've picked "Family Photos Friday" to serve as my version to these quick easy posts that showcase snapshots from our family history.

The inaugural photo is one of my grandmother, Elsie Charlotte Hayes (1926-1992), on horseback. I don't know the date, or the exact place. Best guess is early 1940s, somewhere near her home in Southfield Township, Michigan -- before she moved out to California during the war.

Why did I pick this photo to kick off my Family Photos Friday? Because as a child, this was always one of my very favorite pictures of Grandma, since Grandma wasn't exactly active. A lifetime of smoking, severe asthma, and an obsessive love of reading kept Grandma pretty sedentary.

I was shocked the first time I came across this photo and questioned my mom. Mom told me Grandma used to love to ride horses as a child and young adult, and that a family at a neighboring farm used to allow Grandma to exercise their horses whenever she wanted -- it gave her a sense of freedom. I used to gaze at this photo every time I went through Mom's albums.

Although I never got to see it for myself, Mom says Grandma was an excellent rider, even into older age. Mom kept us kids away from horses because she had a terrifying experience, when I was already a young child, during a horseback riding day trip with Grandma and my uncle (who still rides).  Mom, who did not ride, was given a beginner's horse, but the horse spooked during the ride and took off with her on its back. My calm grandma kicked her horse into a sprint, went after Mom, pulled up alongside of her, and took the reigns of Mom's horse to get it to stop. Mom never rode a horse again. And she never quit sharing how impressed she was by Grandma's equestrian skills.

I would give anything to have Grandma still with us, and to enjoy a day of horseback riding with her.

Like Grandmother, Like Granddaughter.

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

5 comments:

  1. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"
    http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/
    http://www.examiner.com/x-53135-Springfield-Genealogy-Examiner
    http://www.examiner.com/x-58285-Ozarks-Cultural-Heritage-Examiner
    http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/drbilltellsexcitingstories

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the welcome, Bill. The ability to share real stories is a big reason why I migrated my longtime family history site from a static site to a blog.

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  2. Welcome to Geneabloggers. I loved the family tree with the photos in them. I'm sure you'll find quite a number of blogs on Geneabloggers which are very interesting.

    Regards, Jim
    Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jim! I've followed Geneabloggers for years; just never listed my family history site there until now since prior to a handful of months ago, I was using a static site for my genealogy, instead of a blog.

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    2. Oh, and the family tree with photos in them is done via the free embeddable widgets from WikiTree -- a big reason why I chose WikiTree over Geni to share my lineage outside of Ancestry.

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