My family was never guilty of labeling
photos. Mama kept them in her cedar chest along with such things
as the hospital bill she and Dad had paid for my fractured elbow
in 1952. There were several pictures of this lad throughout her
collection but, for years, I had no idea about his identity.
In the mid 1990s, I began scanning the
lot and storing them on one of my early computers. Mama sat and
watched as the images slowly emerged on the monitor. By this
time she was so deeply into the throes of Alzheimer's Dementia
that she could not make a complete sentence, but, as this one
appeared, a large tear ran down her cheek. I asked her who he
was but she could not say.
The next weekend, I took her to Newport
to visit her sister Grace and I showed her the photo.
"Oh," she said, "That was
Mitchel, your mama's first beau. He died during the war."
She went into a closet, brought out a
big box, and gave me this newspaper clipping: