Wednesday, November 14, 2012

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 231: Sitting on a Bench

 I am posting photographs from my family collections for (Not So) Wordless Wednesday (you know me, I can't go wordless!).

Here is a photograph from the Marion (Seaver) (Braithwaite) Hemphill family collection passed to me by Aunt Marion's daughter in 2000 after her passing. 

I know who the two ladies are sitting on the bench - Dorothy Taylor (1904-1992) and Emily (Richmond) Taylor (1879-1966) - but I don't positively know who the young man to the right is.  It may be Dorothy's husband, Marshall Chamberlain, but it might not be.  Dorothy married Marshall in September 1925 in San Diego.

I don't know the setting for this photograph, either.  I think that it is in La Jolla, a section of San Diego, that has homes right on the beach. If a reader knows where this house is, and this bench, I would like to know it.  Based on the apparent ages of Dorothy and Emily, I think that this picture was taken in the 1920 to 1930 time frame, and perhaps around 1925.  

Both ladies are wearing coats and appear to have blankets on their legs, so it must have been a bit chilly at the beach (which is not uncommon for October through June in San Diego).  Dorothy is eating something that was wrapped in a large paper - this is obviously not a posed photograph!  It was probably taken by Dorothy's father, George Taylor.  

It is possible that this photo was taken before or after the wedding of Dorothy and Marshall.  I cannot see Dorothy's left ring finger.  Now I'm wondering if there is a wedding announcement in the San Diego newspapers about the wedding that might shed light on this photograph.  I'll have to check that out.

Emily (Richmond) Taylor was a sister of my grandmother, Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver, and a grand-aunt of mine.  Dorothy (Taylor) Chamberlain was my first cousin once removed.  

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Gerry said...

I will bet you know someone who is expert at dating photos from the dress and accessories of the subjects, which I am most definitely not, but I purely love solving photo puzzles. I will draw a few details to your attention.

The unnamed man is holding two ladies' hats - presumably the ones belonging to our subjects. There is a tweed coat hung over the bench that probably belongs to either the man or the photographer.

The man seems to be wearing a high starched collar with his bow tie. Surely the pegged pants are a clue - but I don't know to what. And is that a pen in his pocket next to what I presume is a handkerchief (but might be a piece of paper)?

It's possible the lap coverings are blankets, but I think they drape like lighter fabric. The plaid one on Emily continues right on up under the sweater, and I'm thinking it might be a plaid dress. It also seems to me that the lace collar is on whatever Emily is wearing under the sweater.

I think the man was standing back where he thought he would be out of the photo. Someone, either the man or the photographer, wanted the photo of Dorothy and Emily together. Dorothy looks happy and relaxed. Emily looks a wee bit irritated (Oh for heaven's sake let me eat in peace!) - which suggests the photographer was her husband . . .

I'm wondering if this was early in the courtship, and Marshall was working hard to make a good impression on his beloved's parents.

Have fun solving your puzzle. I hope you do and that you'll tell us how you did it.

Alex Smith said...

It also seems to me that the lace collar is on whatever Emily is wearing under the sweater.
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