Sepia Saturday – July 2017 – Everybody Say, “Cheese!”

The prompt picture I’ve chosen from Sepia Saturday for July is a group photo of the opening of the new pavilion for the Beverley Town Cricket, Bowling and Athletic Club, in Beverley, East Yorkshire.  It is Sepia’s number 376 which is out of sync with my ending 2016 Sepia Saturday numbering. I chose it for July because I have some interesting group photos in my collection that I’d like to share with you. I have a lot of yearly school class photos for me and my sisters but I won’t be including those here.

This group photo is a blast from the past for my sister Jill. In 1976, the United States Bicentennial celebration was in full swing. The Merriam Avenue School, Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, had students from kindergarten to sixth grade. Most of the grades participated in some way. In Jill’s 2nd-grade class, the girls all wore colonial garb. Here is the photo with the girls all in the front row along with the teacher on the right. The boys, who don’t seem to be wearing anything special, are hidden in the back row. Jill is the third girl from the left and the teacher is on the right.

Jill Ann Strait’s 2nd grade Merriam Ave class

Inset from larger photo

This group photo is a blast from the past for me. Taken somewhere around 1980 or so, this is my 8th grade graduation photo. It was taken on the ground of Newton High School even though we attended Halsted Street School a few blocks away. I’m sure the facilities at the high school could accommodate the ceremony, students, and parents much better. I’m the leftmost of three girls standing between the two girls in pink tops second row from the bottom.

Jodi Lynn Strait’s 8th grade graduation class

Another group photo was taken on the occasion of a wedding in Germany. It’s from the collection related to my grandmother Etta (Pauw) Westra who had a sister named Martha Ewoldine (Pauw) Saathoff. She was known to us as Tante Dini. The couple that were married are in the center of the photo. Tante Dini is the third person from the left just peeking out from behind the second and fourth person.

A wedding in Germany

This photo has a listing on the back of it identifying some people and is in German. I confess that I haven’t fully translated it yet… I can pick out Tjard (who was Etta’s brother) and Albert and some wording about the young ones.

From my grandmother Beatrice (Repsher) Strait’s collection, I have a group photo that has many people. I apologize for the quality, it’s a photo of a photo not a scan of the photo. The original copy has been lost somewhere between the death of my grandmother Beatrice and the death of her daughter Sadie. I believe this a reunion photo for those who attended or were currently attending Vernon School in Vernon, Sussex County, New Jersey. I strongly suspect that the gentleman standing on the right side with the hat in his hand is Ora Simpson Strait, my great grandfather. And I also suspect that he wasn’t in the photo when it was taken! This photo has been tampered with. If you zoom in on his feet, you can see that he’s not standing on the actual hillside like the others. Additionally, he is way out of proportion to the other people in the photo. The other thing that is slightly wonky with the photo are the two kids on the far left. The discoloration coupled with an inspection of the gentleman’s elbow near them makes me believe that the pair has also been pasted into the photo.

A Vernon School gathering?

Another from my grandmother Strait’s collection is this lovely sepia photo of Beatrice’s brothers and their wives, circa 1943. I believe the couples are, from left to right, Bob with Jean, Hank with Laura (first wife), Art with Margaret, and Adam with Kitty.

The Repsher boys and their wives

Who said group photos had to be of people? Not me. The last photo to share with you is a happy group of windmills. My grandfather Albert Westra handcrafted and the sold or gave away many a tabletop version of windmills.

Albert Westra’s tabletop windmills


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