Sunday, March 11, 2007
My Dad and My Son
This old photo is probably too small here for you to get a really good look at the people in it, but trust me when I tell you a little bit about the young man behind the sled and the small child in the sled.
My aunt, who gave this photo to me, told me the young man is my Dad and that the toddler in the sled is her. However, another aunt says that's not completely true. It is my Dad, that part is right, but the other aunt says the toddler is my Aunt Sis, who was next to the youngest of my dad's family.
All that really means, ultimately, is that the photo was either taken around 1918-19, if it is my dad and my youngest aunt (Aunt Mike) or it was perhaps taken a couple years earler, in or around 1914-15.
The thing that amazed me when I first saw this picture initially, was how uncanny it was that when you look at the toddler and then if you were to look at baby pictures of my grandchildren, my children and of me too, you can see how much we all resemble my dad's side of our family tree.
But, as I looked more at this snapshot and studied my dad, I realized my son looks VERY much like his grandfather. Not just facially, but in the way he stands, the way my dad's hair is loosely combed as well as how the shirt just doesn't want to stay tucked in too. I never thought of the "shirt bit" as a family trait type thing but maybe it is one after all!
When I first got this photo and scanned it in, my son was living about 160 miles from here and I e-mailed a copy of the picture to his girlfriend at that time to get her thoughts on it. She wrote back saying, in her opinion, that it was almost like looking at a carbon copy of my son had he been around back in that particular decade of the 20th century.
At least it told me that I wasn't seeing things there if she saw that resemblance too!
This photo though was taken probably in the late 1920's, perhaps the very early 1930's and is one of my favorite pictures of all I've ever seen of my Dad. You have to admit one thing for sure, he was one very handsome dude now wasn't he?
And, if you glance back through some of my other posts with family pictures on them, I think you can see how much my kids and I do look a lot like him. (Like me, for instance, on the picture I posted of my cousin and I together when I was only about 18 months old, but you can see the same expression in the eyes, which in my dad's family is one of the most telling things. Just like with my cousin, her smile is exactly like her Dad's was and whenever I look at old, old family photos, I can always pick her dad out of the bunch right off because of that smile. And, if you were to see fairly recent pictures of her, her daughter and granddaughter as well, you can see that smile is very evident in each of them.
The last two photos here perhaps show my point just a bit more on family likeness. The one to the left is my son - not necessarily the best picture of him, but one of the most recent ones. But the gentleman in the suit on the right is my cousin, Mike, who I had never before thought of him as looking like my Dad, much less of he and my son sharing a lot of similarity but the older both of them gets, the more I see that family likeness in both of them.
Maybe I'm seeing things here but I just thought I would post these and see if anyone else sees the same resemblances as I see between my Dad, my cousin Mike and my son. (And by the way, the lady in the photo on the right here is yet another cousin - Bessie Ann - who I met for the first time ever about seven or eight years ago this spring.)
As I said, this picture of Clate isn't exactly one that shows him at his best - he really is a very good looking young man. But, with the cigarette dangling there, the look in his eyes and how his hair is pushed up and back somewhat, this one kind of puts me in mind of him maybe trying to do a "James Dean" type look for whoever took the picture of him - a little smoldering maybe?
One way though where my son - my girls too - DON'T take after my dad's family is in height. My dad was the tallest of his siblings, towering at a big old 5 ft 8 inches. My son, however, is about 6 ft 2 inches, the older daughter is about 5 ft 9 and the younger girl is right around 5 ft 8. And me, last I checked I was 5 ft 6 but my height always made me feel somewhat like a giant around my dad's brothers and sisters as well as my cousins because of the girls anyway, I tend to be the tallest of my cousins.
Your turn now. Tell me what YOU think.