Sepia Saturday #347: The Days of Wine and Roses

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When Aunt Sadie was born, her mother’s friends and family sent well wishes. This card comes from Violet and quite humorously wishes my grandmother, Beatrice (Repsher) Strait, “Lots of Luck” and called the baby Mercedes Ann instead of the correct name of Mercedes Marie. Violet was the daughter of Charles Lincoln Hunt (who was the son of William Henry Hunt) and Sadie’s first cousin once removed. Violet would come to visit Grandmother Strait (Audrey) about three or four times a year.

The baby on the front of the card is surrounded by pink roses. They also surround the bow on the inside. Roses were absolutely my grandmother’s favorite flower even though she raised violets by the hundreds for many years.

The photo prompt of a wine growers advertisement reminded me of a snippet of a poem that led me to look up the rest of that verse:

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
– Ernest Dowson, from “Vitae Summa Brevis” (1896)

Days of wine and roses!! My grandmother was a vibrant young woman who often said to me, “You know, I was never at a loss for beaus. I had my pick of boyfriends.” One of my favorite snapshots of her bea-with-mom-annashows Beatrice (on the right) sitting on a blanket with her mother Anna on the banks of Lake Musconetcong, Morris/Sussex County, New Jersey. I normally crop the photo to focus on the people when posting and I usually cut out the wine bottle at the bottom. But since we’re talking about the days of wine and roses, this time I left it in! Also, a close inspection of the photo shows two, count them two, six packs of some sort of beverage just over Beatrice’s left shoulder. Perhaps beer, perhaps soda. The angle of Beatrice’s left hand holding the paper makes me wonder what’s hiding under there….

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Beatrice (left) with sister Helen and their swim caps

Along the banks of the Lakes (both Hopatcong and Musconetcong), my grandmother adopted the latest styles.sepia347012 She was captured in her risqué bath suit posing with a bunch of different people.

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Beatrice (left) with a neighbor or boyfriend

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Bea (second from the left) goofing around

And here is Beatrice hamming it up with a group of friends. I would speculate that since the man in the middle has a cross on his top, he was probably one of the lifeguards. Not sure where the guy on the left thought he was going to put his hand but my grandmother had a firm grip on his wrist. And the poor kid on the right was certainly getting harassed a bit with that leg around his neck! And I just hope no one got burnt with the cigarette the guy on the right was holding. Beatrice’s sister Helen’s leg was quite close to him.

The whole Repsher family got in on the fun during the lazy, summer days. They paused their activities to have someone snap this picture of them by their car. Since he didn’t pass away until 1936, I would speculate that someone was the patriarch of the family, George Arthur Repsher.

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Anna with her children, Bea, Helen, Hank, Bob, Art and Adam

These photos were probably taken shortly before the Great Depression hit which sank the country into one of the longest, deepest and most widespread depressions of the 20th century. Beatrice and her family certainly made the most of their days of wine and roses!

The concept behind these weekly Saturday posts can be found at Sepia Saturday Intro.
Theme taken from Sepia Saturday photo (originally #296, 12 Sept 2015): Wine and roses

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