Saturday, February 23, 2013

2-23-13 The Mammammy Set

Mammammy is firmly planted in my memory in her recliner, to her left, black desk whose drawers contained  candy bars and cigarettes and crossword puzzle books, under which was her handgun that she let me hold from time to time. In one of those drawers, always, was a tiny little red photograph album that I remember leafing through countless times. 

The pictures never changed, and they were never in order. There were a few professional photographs of my mom, of my cousin, of me, and of her oldest brother Gene and his family. The rest were snapshots. After she died, I took the little red album and put with my things, leaving the pictures were they were. It wasn't until this past month that I rediscovered the little book and began to study the pictures, taking them out to scan, because it appeared most of them were not duplicates from anything else I'd digitized. One of them, the first/oldest was behind another, and I'd never even seen it. 

Of course, in my musuem curator mode, part of me thinks I should present them in the order they appeared in the book. However, there are several problems with this, as I 1) took them out for scanning long enough ago that I don't actually remember their order and 2) don't think she has any rhyme or reason for which snapshots were stuck in which pages. She just like these photos and wanted to have them nearby.

So I've taken the liberty of arranging them chronologically and offer them here, 
as the Mammammy Set.

#1 Daughter in her kitchen
This is the photograph shoved behind another and not discovered until the album had been emptied. It's my mom in our little kitchen in the apartment at Grahamcrest. I love to pour over shots like these, spotting that  brown tin set along the wall, or the oreo cookie jar, or the big Thermos I remember so fondly from childhood. It's August 1970, so I'm a lump somewhere, while Mom probably sterilizes bottles and makes sandwiches with Miracle Whip. 

#2 Mammammy with Granddaughter
This is the only photograph in her collection that included her. On the back she wrote "13 days old"

#3 Grandaughter Lump in her swing
This was taken a month later, and I am at Mammammy's house. I remember the feel of that carpet and climbing under the long dining tablecloth to pretend I was in a tent when I was older.

#4 Granddaughter Yawning
Assuming from the same roll of film as #3.

#5 Granddaughter, Reading with Wiener Dog
Unknown month, 1971

#6 Granddaughter with Rolling Banana
Summer 1972, on our back porch on Kirkdale

#7 Granddaughter with husband, circa '72-'73
This is the only picture of grandaddy in the album. I tried to read the printing on the cup to ascertain where we were, although I suspect it's the zoo, with the fence and the ducks in the background.

#8 Granddaughter in Toybox
Circa 1973
I still have that toybox. 

#9 Granddaughter on Zoo train with daughter 1973
And Sleepy Sam, my beanbag boy doll I loved. 
I was always on the lookout for someone to wave to in Hermann Park.

#10 Granddaughter with dirt, Circa 1973
Curious choice, but hers to make. 
I was probably waiting to see something grow out of it. 
I've never been terribly patient.

#11 Granddaughter on Swingset, 1974
In Kirkdale backyard, THIS was the picture I was searching for a couple of years ago when I was describing the tiny tree in the backyard that now towers over the house from the street view. I also remember staring at that tree, willing it to grow in front of my eyes.  

#12 Granddaughter with Acorns, 1975
I'd filled a cup up with them, hoping to use it as squirrel bait. This is at Bay Area Park, where we would go for picnics. I also have very clear memories of that blue puffy-sleeved Sesame Street shirt, with its stiff, plastic-feeling iron on with Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Oscar, the Count, and Grover. I always resented that they left Cookie Monster out.


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