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I love looking at old family photographs, don’t you? This one is of my great-grandmother, Madeline and great-grandfather, Pietro, and their 2 oldest children, Carmela, 5 1/2 years old, and Nick, 3 1/2.

 This was taken in September of 1917. Everyone looks so solemn here. You know how people didn’t used to smile in photographs? Maybe that’s the reason for the sad faces. Well……sort of. Turns out that Carmela, the little girl who later became my grandmother, remembered this occasion quite well. Seventy years after this picture was taken, Carmela told the story:

“Night before pictures were taken, landlady made spaghetti with EXTREMELY hot peppers, and I got such awful cramps and wanted to go to the bathroom, but no one paid attention as they were busy with photographer and prices. I cried so much that the picture shows the tearful face.”

Oh my….look at the picture again.

Yep, they can’t wait for the photo session to end. So that just goes to show you. Things aren’t always as they appear to be in old pictures. Sometimes there is a very good reason for the long faces.

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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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10 Responses

  1. Glenda says:

    What a family treasure of a story! How sad for your grandmother!!!

  2. Jo Anne says:

    wonderful picture. old photos are to be treasured.

  3. Nancy says:

    What an amazing treasure! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mandy says:

    Love the picture and you Grandmother’s story!

  5. Karen says:

    Isn’t it great that you know the story behind this picture! I love your grandmother’s big white bow and the little gathered pockets on her dress! She is so charming. What a precious keepsake. xx

  6. Louise S says:

    Even with tears, she was a beautiful little girl.

  7. Kathy says:

    I had to smile at the story. I love old family photos (I have quite a few of my own) and especially if they have a story attached to them. How wonderful that you have this treasure.

  8. Glyndalyn says:

    Love the old photos.

  9. Becky L says:

    Love the family photo. Sad story about how your grandmother was feeling that day. You also need to remember that cameras weren’t as quick and easy as today. It took a bit of doing since you had to stand still longer in those days because the film was really slow. And there were multiple photos taken, probably. just so ya know!

  10. Jeanne says:

    I love the photo and the story! Old photos are sooo neat!! I have a few too, and really cherish them as well as you obviously do. Thanks for sharing this little part of your grandmother’s life. She was a beautiful little girl!

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