Monday, September 24, 2012

An Autumn Tribute to an Artistic Aunt

Autumn Greetings to You!  I wanted to share this post again because it is one of my favorites (and took awhile to prepare!).

In my post today I'm sharing about my Great-Aunt Addie. Not everything in the above photo was hers, but rather I chose some other items to complete my "Autumn Vignette." Here are some photos of my Auntie:

The photo on the left is dated 1910 (she's top right & my grandmother is top left);
the center photo is dated 1946 (in San Antonio); the largest photo is undated.
The little Disney figurines were hers.

Auntie was born in 1897, never married, took care of my mother for a time, and I believe she worked as a secretary. We know she also worked one week in Indianapolis in 1936 for the husband and wife actors, Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels. I briefly glanced at Wikipedia and they started out as silent film stars, and both had long, successful careers:

 Auntie was very intelligent, had a great sense of humor, and made wonderful drawings.  Her sketch of Rudolph Valentino is my favorite:

The watercolor painting was done by my grandfather.

 Here are a couple more photos of her:

 The little odd instruments are ocarinas, also informally called "sweet potatoes."  Webster's New World Dictionary (1964) says: "a small, simple wind instrument shaped like a sweet potato and usually made of terra cotta, with finger holes and a mouthpiece: it produces soft, hollow tones."

Here is some of Auntie's school homework:

In the book Betsy was a Junior by Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy, Tacy and Tib are supposed to create herbariums during the course of their junior year, which would have been circa 1908/1909 because as I recall they graduate in 1910.  In typical Betsy fashion, the girls put the assignment off until the very last day before it's due, scrambling and staying up most of the night:

"They were supposed to be making herbariums for botany but not Betsy nor Tacy nor Tib had begun.  The fall flowers were still abundant.  It seemed such an easy thing to do to pick and press just one of each kind, that they forgot to do it."

" 'A herbarium,' said Betsy, 'is a collection of dried and pressed specimens of plants, usually mounted or otherwise prepared for permanent preservation and systematically arranged in paper covers placed in boxes or cases.' "

"Mr. Gaston awarded a grim 75 to Betsy, to Tacy and to Tib.  'Never, never in my whole life,' said Mr. Gaston, (he was twenty-four), 'never in my whole career as a teacher,' (he had taught for three years), 'have I seen such herbariums!  Not a fall flower included!' " 

Apparently, by the time my great-aunt had to create her herbarium in 1915, she was able to use a pre-made 2-ring notebook.  I cherish this book, and here are just a few photos of the 35 entries:

The first entry is April 17, 1915.

The last entry is dated May 19 (1915).

Aunt Addie made a special folder to hold some of her drawings:

This one must be for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere! :o)

My aunt lived to be 85.  At some point in her life she developed a horrific tremor in her head and extremities.  My mother said Addie had the tremor even when my mother was a youngster.  I don't know if she kept drawing, but I do know she was able to embroider and sew.  Most importantly, I never knew her to be, as evidenced by her letters and in person, anything but positive and upbeat.  

The plasticine box bears her initials.

I've so enjoyed sharing my Autumn Vignette with you, Dear Readers.  I leave you with one last drawing from my beloved aunt:

 Happy Autumn!

I hope to be linking this post to the following wonderful places/posts. Please go visit them, you'll be glad you did!

Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Kathy at A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Mary at Very Merry Vintage Style for Share the Love Wednesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays

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