Saturday, February 04, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Old Dogs and Children and...

Yesterday Vicki Lane posted about a wonderful box of family photos and letters that her husband received from his cousin. One of Vicki's commenters, Martin, provided a link to another blog, Sepia Saturday, that I think most of you will enjoy as much as I did. Sepia Saturday sets a different theme each week and challenges readers to post old photos related to that theme. As luck would have it, the theme for this Saturday is DOGS. Now, you know I can't leave that one alone, don't you?
I'll start with the oldest of my old dog photos and apologize for its poor quality. It's actually a photocopy of the original image. The lady at the left of this photo is my great-great-grandmother, Amy Lucinda Smith, née Hagadorn, and the man is her son, Arba. It's my understanding that Amy was a serious participant in séances in her later years and that Arba was at least a little bit dimwitted. Amy passed away at the age of 80 in 1923, so we know this photo is older than that.

Amy and Arba Smith and man's best friend.

There are two spotted pups in the next photo (also scanned from a photocopy). The family group at the right is headed by my paternal grandparents, Erna and Audrey Barclay. The small blond boy with his thumb in his mouth is my dad. The other family is known to me only as "the Pinkertons." I don't know if they were friends, neighbors, or distant relatives, but I know from this picture that I would have liked them.

The Pinkertons, the Barclays, and the pretty, speckled pups.

Next we have my maternal grandparents, Lewis and Lola Saunders, with my mother, her older brother, and someone's dog. I'm guessing this photo was taken about 1928. It's interesting to me that these stern-looking grandparents are the ones I remember as the fun ones, while the other grandparents, shown smiling in the photo above, were stricter. (I thought Grandma Barclay would either have a stroke or kill me one time when I helped myself to a piece of salt pork before grace was said.)  

The Saunders family with a dog who may or may not have been theirs
but recognized a photo-op when it saw one.

I love the photo below of my mother's first cousins, the Gaylor kids, sitting on a hill with their dog. This photo probably dates back to the early 1930s. The boy on the right was written up in the local newspaper a few years later in an article that begins as follows: "With his 2-ton Flying Fortress so badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire that it could not reach a speed equal to that of a fast automobile, Second Lt. William R. Gaylor, 19, Springfield bombadier, rode his bomber back to a night-time landing in England after an Eighth AAF daylight attack on oil refineries at Merseburg, Germany." Quite a change from this peaceful scene, don't you think?

Bob, Pat and Bill Gaylor with faithful companion.

The girl snuggling the terrier in the photo below is my mother. She was probably about 10 or 12 in this picture, which would date it in the early-to-mid '30s. I never thought about it until this very minute, but there weren't very many years in my mother's life when she didn't have a dog. Maybe that's where I get it.

Wanda and the furry object of her affection.

My plan was to end this post after the preceding pre-1940 pictures, but then I came across a "recent" one (from 1957) and couldn't resist adding it to the mix. In the summer of that year my family traveled from our home in Missouri to visit with Mother's older brother's family in East Texas. The photo below shows my sister and me (I'm the one in the doorway) with our boy cousins. Does it strike you as odd (and more than a little creepy) that three of the five of us are scratching our heads? What the heck? Other photos from that trip show us all at the beach, so I'm choosing to think that our heads were itching from sunburns. Yeah, that's it, sunburns.

Saunders boys, Barclay girls, and, yes, a dog.

After all that, I'm reminded that the theme for this post is supposed to be dogs. Regrettably, I can't tell you a darn thing about any of these dogs. I wish I could. Maybe, if you check out the Sepia Saturday site, you'll find it will lead you to some blogs that feature dogs the writers knew well enough to tell stories about. Click the image below to go there:


Usually, if I post on a Saturday, I post a music video. I 'd planned not to do that this time, but then I remembered the perfect song to go along with these photos: Tom T. Hall's "Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine." (I can personally testify as to the blessings of old dogs and children, but I don't know nothin' 'bout no watermelon wine.) Enjoy!

Thanks to consman22 for posting this video on YouTube.
Lyrics are posted here.


  1. This is interesting! I'll visit the site, but wanted to say that I only have a picture or two of my ancestors where dogs are in the photo. I think I've made up for it-I have a couple hundred photos of dogs I've had over the years!

  2. Very interesting indeed. I'm still working my way through a package of old photos from my dad's family. I'm with Janet...not many pics of my ancestors with dogs even though I know they had them. While I rarely take pics WITH my dogs, I have lots of photos of them!

  3. Great stories! I enjoyed reading them alongside the photos.

  4. Well welcome to Sepia Saturday - and what a post to start with! Perfect Sepia Saturday material - old images and memories woven together to perfection. I hope SS becomes a regular feature on your blog.

  5. You got off to a flying start in Sepia Saturday with this very enjoyable post. I hope we’ll see many more. Your pictures are all interesting, but your words are even moreso. A well-crafted piece.

  6. Thank you for the music! On the last picture that dog is mooning the photographer ...

  7. I used to like Tom T. Hall, but I had forgotten about him. I'll have to see if there are more videos with his songs.

  8. I enjoyed this post and hope you'll be back next week for whatever the theme will be. Your funny little observations (like the head scratching and grandparent photos not matching their real personalities) are similar to the things I notice in photos. I need such company!

  9. A great start for a Sepia Saturday post - old photos and the story to back it up.
    I also went to your blind dog blog and read about Butch. One of the dogs (Sam) in my post was blind for the last two years of his life. It was obvious to us all when it was time for him to go. I'm promised that an article I've written about his blindness will be published in a UK dogs magazine.

  10. I'm glad you posted this for Sepia Saturday. What a great post. I think I would have liked those Pinkertons too. they look like a lot of fun.

  11. Welcome to Sepia Saturday! I loved your post ... quite a variety of photos with dogs, with great stories to go along with them.

    Hope to see you around S.S. often,

    Kathy M.

  12. don't think it could be fleas causing all the scratching, do you? ;-D
    Great batch of dog photos.

  13. I joined the dog loving group when our dog, Socks, arrived at our door. His personality was evident from day one (stubborn, opinionated, loyal, pragmatic) and now he is a valued member of our family. So far, we aren't brushing his teeth or putting him in a raincoat on spring walks, but this is only because he will not tolerate either.....

  14. Janet, I see that you did find a photo that fit this theme -- a good one, too.

    Holly, I think we all take more photos of our pets since the advent of digital cameras. It was different in the days of film photography, when the mistakes were as costly as the good shots.

    Dani, thank you.

    Alan, thanks for the comment and the warm welcome.

    Little Nell, thanks. I very much enjoyed the challenge of Sepia Saturday.

    Rob, you're welcome! And thanks for pointing out the moon shot. :)

    Postcardy, what did we do to satisfy our nostalgic urges before YouTube?

    Wendy, thanks. It's always nice to meet a kindred spirit.

    Bob, isn't it fascinating to watch how quickly a dog learns to use its other senses to make up for the loss of its eyesight? Truly inspirational! Good luck with your magazine article. I'd love to read it.

    Christine, if those Pinkertons could get a big smile like that out of my grandma, they must have been something special.

    Kathy, thanks for the welcome. I'd love to do it again.

  15. Kristin, haha, I thought of fleas and even (ugh!) lice, but I'd like to believe I'd remember either of those. I also remember being bitten by the biggest mosquitos I'd ever seen on that vacation, but they chewed us up all over, not just on our heads. Nope, I'll stick with sunburn. Or maybe hot, sticky sweat.

    Maria, I've read about your Socks enough times that I feel as if I know him personally. It seems that some people who don't have dogs think they're all alike, but those of us who do have them are very aware of their individual personalities. That's what makes them so special to us, isn't it?

  16. Lovely old photos, and the Pinkertons do look like a friendly family. Smiling at the thought of "sunburn" :-) Jo ( I'm not able to comment using my Wordpress ID as Blogger has a problem with their new threaded comments software.

  17. Excellent post, Linda.. I love going through old pictures and letters of my family. In fact, I inherited a bunch of old pictures and info from my mother when she died in 1991. Since then, I have put all of them in different albums.. SO much GREAT info of my ancestors...

    Loved your photos and words... Strange though about scratching your heads!!!


  18. Jo, welcome. I'm happy you visited even if Blogger is being less than hospitable. I hope they fix that problem soon.

  19. Betsy, congratulations on putting all those old photos in albums. That's a big job and one that requires a lot of love and care.

  20. A Lovely Pack of Dogs!The Quality of those photocopies are really ! Welcome to SS.

  21. Tony, thanks for stopping by!

  22. Linda,hope this reaches you, as I accidentally came upon this blog by googling Amy Hagadorn. Was really surprised when I saw the picture of Amy and Arb, my great grandmother and her son, I guess my
    gr.uncle. Also, the pictures of the BARCLAYS and PINKETONS. Unfortunately, I was not in the picture, as I had not made my
    appearance in this world yet.
    Interesting things you find on the
    internet when you start browsing.

    Hugs, Aunt Shirley

  23. Well, hi, Aunt Shirley! If you're googling old family names, it must mean you're still exploring our genealogy. Me, too. Sometimes it's a hobby, sometimes it's an obsession. Glad to hear from you.


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