Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Carringers in the News -- Mrs. Lyle Carringer Garden Club Activities in 1957

 It's time for another edition of "Carringers in the News" - a weekly feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Carringer (my mother's maiden surname) that are interesting, useful, mysterious, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week's entry is from the San Diego [Calif.] Union newspaper dated 17 February 1957:

The transcription of the article is:

"Clubwomen Use Flowers, Weeds to Tell Of Nature

"Nature's stories in weeds and flowers are being sold by two local clubwomen.

"'It's just a hobby, though,' Mrs. Charles Bustamente and Mrs. Lyle Carringer say.  They will speak to garden section members of the afternoon division of the La Mesa Women's club at 1:45 p.m. Thursday at the La Mesa clubhouse.

"'I'm just a garden arranger,' Mrs. Carringer insists, 'but Mrs. Bustamente has studied under a Japanese teacher.

"Whatever their formal training for creating unusual designs, their story telling know-how with everyday materials is interest.

"'We find pleasure in decorating our homes with distinctive floral compositions,' Mrs. Carringer says, 'and, by compositions rather than arrangements, we mean accessories -- either dried or treated materials -- have been used along with fresh plant material.'

"Materials include grasses, flowering fruit, bamboo and anything that a 'seeing eye can pick up on a Sunday afternoon drive' -- from rocks to old wood.

"'Flower arranging embraces many pleasurable hobbies,' she points out, 'such as container and accessory collecting, rummage sales, antique shops and Goodwill Stores.'

Mrs. Carringer confesses that her intriguing fish, used in the illustrative display, was picked up at Goodwill Industries. 'I paid only a couple of dollars for it and later found out it's probably quite valuable.'  Made from an old water buffalo horn, each scale on the fish (used as focal point in the water composition) is hand-carved, complete with fan tail that can be unscrewed.'

"'An arranger's garden is more apt to be a collection of plants gathered with the express purpose of decorating the 'inside' of her home rather than the usual exterior landscaping,' Mrs. Carringer tells women.

"'Springtime,' she says, 'is high water time in many parts of the country (Southern California excepted) so we're trying to capture the spirit of spring by creating compositions in which water, expressed or implied, plays a part."

The picture legend says:

"This 'water and spring' composition displayed by Mrs. Lyle Carringer, right, rests on an old plow disc painted black, fish is focal point with bamboo forming spray.  Flowers represent foam.  Mrs. Charles Bustamente, left, and Mrs. Carringer will demonstrate designs to clubwomen prior to Spring Flower Show."

The source citation is:

"Clubwomen Use Flowers, Weeds To Tell Of Nature," San Diego [Calif.] Union newspaper, Sunday, 17 February 1957, page D-15, column 1, Mrs. Lyle Carringer article;   GenealogyBank,   Obituaries   (https://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 7 February 2022).

Mrs. Lyle Carringer is my maternal grandmother, Emily Kemp (Auble) Carringer (1899-1977) of San Diego, California.  At the time of this article, Emily and Lyle resided at 825 Harbor View Place in the Point Loma neighborhood o San Diego, overlooking San Diego Bay.  Emily always had a beautiful garden outside and intriguing flower arrangements in her home decorating her coffee and dining room tables, the entry way, and the living room fireplace.  I know that my mother, Betty Virginia (Carringer) Seaver (1919-2002) delighted in each one, and I know that Emily is one of the reasons that my mother became an artist.

As a child and young adult (I was age 13 at the time of this article), I paid no attention to what or how or why she did this.  I vaguely knew that she exhibited flower arrangements at the San Diego County Fair, but I had no inkling that she was so well known and appreciated.  I am discovering some of the "real and secret life" of my grandmother with these articles, and love the results.  

This was her "fun time," her "me time," her "creative time," and her "social time" in this part of her life.  Her husband was still working fulltime, her daughter was married and producing grandchildren, she had many friends and garden society colleagues, and her new home (built in 1951) was stable and needed endless garden work.  

There are hundreds of Carringer "stories" in my family tree - and this was one of them. Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes a newspaper article provides more detail about your very close family.  I am glad that I can honor my grandmother, Emily Kemp (Auble) Carringer, today.

You never know when a descendant, relative or friend will find this blog post and learn something about their ancestors or relatives, or will provide more information about them to me.


Disclosure: I have a paid subscription to GenealogyBank.com and have used it extensively to find articles about my ancestral and one-name families.

Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook,  or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

1 comment:

Diane Henriks said...

It's fun to see your family mentioned in articles, and definitely gives you a glimpse into their lives! :)