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.