Sepia Saturday – April 2017 – A Pair of Sisters

The prompt picture I’ve chosen from Sepia Saturday for March is one of a two children looking at each other. It is their number 363 which is out of sync with my ending 2016 numbering. The photo appealed to the Sepia Saturday folks “for a number of reasons – it’s a great composition, a fine study in shadows and light and a perfect, unposed portrait of two children.” I also liked that the date on the prompt  is my Mom’s birthdate! We won’t tell just how old she is in 2017….

I’m chosing to interpret the children as siblings. I like the way the girl has her arm around her brother. Going through my collection, I have a photo of Martha (my mom) with her arm around her sister. They are posed behind their mother, Etta (Pauw) Westra, who is seated in one of her living room chairs. The photo was taken at Etta’s house on 3 Townsend Street in Newton, New Jersey; most likely at one of her birthday celebrations.

I also like the play of shadows in the prompt picture. I have a wonderful photo of Mom and Lena when they were young standing on someone’s porch. I’m quite familiar with the porch at Townsend Street and this is not it. Mom is on the left and has a bit of a smirk on her face. Lena is standing on the top step to get the girl’s faces at the same level. You can see the shadow of a tree branch in the background along with the shadows cast by the house itself. Liking those white bobby socks too!

And then there’s another picture of the sisters that makes me smile. Lena and Mom’s father, Albert Westra, was Dutch so it would be an oversight to not have a picture of the girls decked out in some Dutch customary clothing. Mom looks to have her arm around Lena who is looking up at her. They are wearing traditional hats called Dutch bonnets or caps. The caps are usually made of white cotton or lace. They are characterized by triangular flaps or wings that turn up on either side as you can see by the one Lena is modeling. Lena also has a white lace apron. Fortunately, for them, they were not posed wearing Dutch wooden shoes.

So, there you have it. A photo of Mom with her arm around Lena (like the girl in the prompt), a photo of Mom and Lena on someone’s porch (like the shadows in the prompt), and a photo of Lena in a traditional Dutch cap gazing up at Martha (like the boy in the prompt). Just couldn’t find all three in the same photo but the upside is that I got to share more family photos with you.


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