Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sepia Saturday: The Importance of Seeing Ernest

The subject of this week's Sepia Saturday photo prompt is a well-dressed lady who smiles as she sits beside a small, cloth-covered table while a uniformed maid pours her a cup of tea. That photo sent me scurrying through my own files in search of the photo below. The two nicely dressed ladies in the foreground of this shot are my great-aunt, Cleda, and my grandmother, Lola. They, too, sit at a cloth-covered table, though I'm sure their  cups had been filled with coffee.
(L-R) Cleda, Lewis, Vicki, Kathy, Lee, Ernest, Lola--late 1950s

I have nothing else to say about that photo except that it's the perfect time to drag it out, because I've been wanting to tell you about Uncle Ernest. He was Aunt Cleda's husband.  I probably met the man only half a dozen times in my life and, frankly, I haven't thought of him all that often through the years. Until recently, that is. Lately he's been popping  into my head on an almost daily basis.

I know very little about Uncle Ernest. I know he was a successful businessman in Kansas City. I remember that he always dressed impeccably, and he was charming enough that I enjoyed being around him in spite of his ever-present cigars. He was also the first completely bald man I ever knew--for a long time the only one--and I had to be careful not to let anyone catch me staring in fascination at his sleek, shiny, sun-tanned head.

The photo below shows Uncle Ernest (at right) when he had hair. Even at that time, though, when he would have been no older than 25, his hairline had begun to recede. One might say he already had a "head start" on baldness.

Uncle Ernest (far right)--abt 1920

It seems odd to me that memories of someone long gone, someone I never knew all that well, keep popping up so frequently. It always happens when I'm totally relaxed, when I'm sitting out on the patio with a book in my lap, a cold soft drink on the table next to me, and my feet propped up in a chair. Uncle Ernest will be the farthest person from my mind, and then--poof!--there he is again. Do you think he's trying to tell me something?

Good ol' Uncle Ernest. I wish I'd known him better. If I had, maybe I'd understand why I keep thinking about him now.

UPDATED TO ADD:  Could it be that my "sleek, shiny, sun-tanned" knees remind me of  him?


The Saturday Song Selection this week is an old favorite. You might not immediately grasp its obscure connection to the Sepia Saturday post above, so I'll spell it out for you:
a) The song is performed by The Eagles. Eagles (the feathered ones) are bald.
b) A line from the lyrics:  "It seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table..."
Get it now?


The song is "Desperado" by the Eagles.
Thanks to TheEaglesHD for posting this song and its lyrics on YouTube.

To see what other Sepia Saturday participants
have "laid upon the table," click on the image below:


  1. I do like the way old images allow you to focus in on one person in a group and tell their story. This is what is so fascinating about Sepia Saturday - so many images, so many people, so many stories.

  2. I love this post -- I totally relate! I have lots of photos that really don't seem to go with anything else I have to say. I like them but all I can think to say is, "Well, here it is." But now I see an opportunity to use it to spotlight someone even if the photo doesn't tell the story. And like you, I always have somebody knocking at the door of my brain.

  3. Some people will think me "nuts" (my husband does) but I do believe that sometimes our relatives send us messages and guide us in the right direction. I have had too many unexplained coincidences to believe otherwise.
    Did Uncle Ernest have children? Maybe there is someone you need to meet or contact who has some information or photos that will benefit you?

  4. I was wondering who was the woman in the back of your 1st photo. Maybe a maid as in the prompt photo. Or is she a family member?
    Wonder if uncle Ernest will ever give you a message.

  5. Your knees do resemble Uncle Ernest's head.

  6. 3rd times the charm.... 3rd time trying to leave a comment that is. Wait and see - the message may still come through. happy sepia saturday.

  7. An interesting diversion from the photo promp with a few 'bald facts’. Hmm Uncle Ernest knock once for yes and twice for no.

  8. Brilliant! As a fellow baldy, I can relate to Uncle Ernest. But I was on my knees laughing at the end. Enjoyed the Eagles too.

  9. Love the Eagles even as old as I am. Enjoyed this post very much. Made me recall some folks in my past that I knew and wonder where they are now.

  10. Oh, thank you, thank you. I love The Eagles and particularly this song. I also love how you tied it all together. I think I'll go back and listen to the song again.

  11. I like that your knees may have reminded you of him!


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