Saturday, April 6, 2019

Grandma Markham's Photo Album

Grandma Markham kept a photo album of pictures I sent her over the years.  I opened it for the first time today.  This picture took me back decades to a special day.  After four boys, I was thrilled to have a little girl.  So was Ben.  Please, check out that hair!

I obviously sent Ida Mar my best pictures.  I titled this one, "Something new in the crib."  Corinne is two days old.  Please notice two brothers and the dog.  Lizzy believed she was the mother.  Ask me later.

I took these pictures with a Pentax.  That means real film.

We lived in New Jersey at this time. This afternoon I shared the scanned photos with my kids and we've had fun exchanging comments.

Ben wrote on the back for his mother, "Dave's favorite stance."  Ben was the baseball coach.

We moved to Clear Lake in 1985.  This was a favorite chair, so it came with us, and it shows up in several pictures.  You might notice Ben's favorite t-shirt from 1984.

I sewed in those days.  Everything.  Corinne's dress, the pinafore, the goose.  The dress in the next photo. I loved her so much.  Well, I still do!

My camera came out at fun moments to preserve memories of happy times.

Ben assembled Corinne's first bike.  Before this, she rode on the back of my bike.  Everywhere.  The occasion was probably her fifth birthday, but in Texas it could have just as easily been Christmas.

I have a vague memory of visiting San Antonio during spring break.

I cropped out the Alamo so I could see us better.

We drove to Disney World when Corinne was 5.  We had a blast -- the kids were good and the lines weren't too long.

On the back of this photograph, I wrote, "Long, hard day at DW."  I have no idea where we were or what we were doing.  In my defense, my pictures were always accompanied by letters, so I'm certain I had explained everything to Grandma.

This was Christmas, 1989.  Now I know that one of my grandchildren's most favorite toys is 30 years old.

This is a classic picture, certainly Halloween, with a cheerleader and a geek.  A young woman in the ward loaned Sammie her cheerleading outfit.

We fed the missionaries often in those days.  Ben was late arriving for dinner, as he commuted from Houston.  I was out of glasses by the time he showed up.  That's a root beer float.

This is obviously Ben and his mother.  I can guess that we were at a church event where a child was speaking or performing.  This happened a lot, I was good at taking pictures, not so good at writing on the back of the photographs.

I made the dress for a fancy work dinner.  I don't remember the evening at all, but I was happy about the dress.

Remember that this was Grandma's photo album.  Someone else gave this picture to her because I've never seen it before.  Dave and Jeff were at BYU together.  They lived with Jose, center, and he did serve a mission, but not in Provo, so I can't even guess at the occasion.  Jeff told me today that he bought the Ducks Unlimited cap in honor of my father at a Salvation Army, and he wore it until it fell apart.

My heart melted as I scanned this picture.  Steve and Jeff have always been close, and yes, they were honestly playing a duet together.  Ben saw this picture and noticed the snow out the window covering the rose garden Dave and I built.

It's clear I pulled out the camera every time someone had a birthday.  We were all counting candles today trying to figure out when the pictures were taken.  A better clue for me was to estimate how old Cori was.

I made lavish desserts for birthdays.  I still do.

The candles indicate Dave was 14.  That made me 35.  That was a long time ago for both of us.

I wrote, "Labor Day 1988" on the back.  Steve was born on Labor Day 7 years earlier.  I baked two batches of cookie bars for an event last week, and I used the pan in this picture and the glass baking dish in the next one.

We have all counted nine candles on the cake.  The only explanation is that I ran out of candles.

This is a great picture!  My guess is that Sammie was preparing to leave on his mission, right after his 19th birthday.  His favorite birthday dessert was cherry cheesecake.

Quite a few pictures included our pets.  This is a favorite photograph of mine, and I have scanned in different copies of it many times since I began this vast scanning project.  Applesauce is on the left.

Darth Vader is on the right.

I wish I could explain this picture, but I can't.  In my defense, in these years I taught early morning seminary, I had five kids, and I could have painted the windows black and Ben wouldn't have noticed.

Applesauce was a wonderful pet, and she was especially cooperative with all of Corinne's ideas.

For the record, I didn't have to pose the kids.  They set everything up and then called me to bring the camera.  My grandchildren do the same thing.

Is this cute enough?

In those years, we lived on Armand Bayou.  The boys kept the weeds mowed or else we got snakes and alligators near the yard.  No one in our family thinks I'm exaggerating at all.  It was Sammie's job to mow that area, so I'm going to guess this was him, but it kind of looks like Jeff.

Muscovy ducks flourished in the bayou, which is why we had problems with snakes and alligators.  The ducks safely nested in the planters in our backyard.  Well, no.  Snakes got past the fence, now that I think about it.  Ask me later.  Corinne, in the background, is gathering ducklings.  Tommy had a collection of his own. 

We quickly learned that we could play with the ducklings before they ran off to join their mom, with no problems at all.

This was a wonderful day for Corinne and me.  The ducks jumped from their nest in the planter and fell into the pool, and they couldn't get out.  Mom got tired of waiting and began to leave the ducklings behind.  Corinne got in the pool, gathered up the baby ducks and returned them safely to Mom.

Not many things are more fun than baby ducks.

I can date this picture by Dave's hair: 1992.

I had a learning experience today.  Sammie's hair is not scraggly.  Well, maybe it is, but it's planned.  Turns out these were Dukes of Hazzard years.

Jeff pointed this out to me today.

I quickly spotted the trend.  I was the barber. This is something I probably knew and have forgotten.

Hair was a big deal in our home.  Don't ask me later.

Steve told me his kids loved seeing all these pictures this afternoon.  I asked him what they thought about his hair.  "Mom," he said, "It's 2019.  Not a big deal."

Dave sent this picture to Grandma directly from his mission.  He wrote on the back, "A picture for your fridge!"  The new convert is on the left.  Dave, on the right, and his companion, center, taught and baptized him.

This is a fun story.  Sammie is at JFK, having flown from the :Provo MTC where he had a several hour layover before heading on to Italy.  That explains the other elders in the background.  Sam had let me know in advance, and that day I pulled Cori and Steve out of school and we drove to the airport and spent a few hours with him.  This was, of course, after we had moved back to NJ, and it was in the days when we could wait at the gate with departing passengers.

My camera sometimes came out when kids lost teeth.

I was good with a camera in those days, not so good as the tooth fairy.  I paid the minimum I could get away with to get the tooth out of their hands.  I was a terrible Easter bunny, too, now that I recall.

I love this picture. In 1996, two Stephen Markham's stood in the Carthage Jail, where 152 years earlier their ancestor, another Stephen Markham, spent the night trying to save the life of the prophet Joseph Smith.

My boys grew up.  Jeff, on the left, and Steve, on the right, posed with Dave and Carolyn at Dave's graduation.  For the record, you are seeing a graduate who was very happy to be out of school.  His brothers (all three, actually) went on to get advanced degrees.  Dave never looked back; he was done.

Look at this picture!  Taken 20 years ago, Ben is holding his first grandchild, the little boy who would later name me Dewey.  But look at Dave.  Will is now about Dave's age, not quite, but almost.  Frankly, it's a little scary to see how much Will today looks like the Dave in this picture!

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