Christmas Candy

daisyturner
Aunt Daisy Turner

Aunt Daisy took us downtown to the show every summer and to Saunders for ice cream afterward.  And I always ended up with a splitting headache.  Too much high living I guess.  She and Alice would buy us dainty, expensive little dresses from Siegel’s or Himllhoch’s.  They all went to church every Sunday at  Plymouth Congregational. Daisy always gave us beautiful tins of gorgeous Christmas candy, that white kind filled with gooey black walnut stuff, those gooey raspberry kind and those hard, pink kind with a nut inside, also chocolates, of course!

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Doris and Mary Virginia Graham. Their mother and baby brother Howard are looking out of the window.

 

See Mary Virginia’s Christmas Memories here Mary V. Graham Elkins Remembers Christmas

In Nanny’s and Poppy’s yard – Spring of 1955

1955_kris_barbara_graham_yard

Here I am under the apple tree with my cousin Barbara where we built and rebuilt a castle for our fairies. Each family had one. Ours was Pinkie my cousins was Lucy.  In between the castles we made various dirt pies and cakes. That little black utensil next to me was a sifter.  It had holes punched in the bottom and we sifted the dirt with it.

We used to walk up the plank against the back fence and look out into the alley. Nothing really exciting out there, most of the time although I remember the police chasing a man through there once. I am pretty sure we were not standing on the plank watching.  If we did, it was only for as long as it took an adult to call us inside While the chase went on.

It must be spring because we can see that there is no garden bu the Pussy Willow bush in the background seems to have buds.  We are wearing our light jackets (or “jumpers” as Poppy called them.) and overalls.  My saddle shoes are horribly dirty. My socks had probably slid down inside of them.  Barbara is wearing buckled shoes but her socks look quite saggy.  In the spring of 1955 I would have been 8 and Barbara would have been 7. She is missing a tooth, but not those you loose when you are 6.

In the fall my grandmother made the best applesauce with the apples from that tree. They were not the kind you eat uncooked.  In spite of the sticky stuff my grandfather painted around the tree trunk, there were worms in the apples and they were very small and sour. They made the best applesauce ever though, with lots of cinnamon.

 

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Click for more Sepia Saturday

Balloons – 1926

 

Mershell, Mary V. and Doris Graham on their front steps. 1926.

Mershell, Mary V. and my mother Doris Graham are sitting on their front steps waving balloons on sticks. It was 1926.  The house was on Theodore, the east side of Detroit. Sometimes I dream about this house and the porch usually figures in the dreams as I leave or enter or start down the street going somewhere.

Other posts about the house on Theodore are – Everyday Things Then and Now and T is for Theodore Street

 

Sepia Saturday Header
Sepia Saturday Header

Just Pals – Shell & Clifton Jr

mershell & pal
Mershell C Graham and friends son, Clifton Graham Jr. About 1921.
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Clifton Jr, Mary Virginia, Lewis and Mershell Jr. Clifton and Lewis are siblings and Mary Virginia and Mershell are siblings.
Belle isle grahams 1921
Gwen, Fan with Mary Virginia, Matt with Lewis, Cliff with Clifton. At Bell Isle 1920
Perhaps an answer to the mystery photograph from Sepia Saturday #303, also pictured below.  Cliff was my grandfather M.C. Graham’s play brother and their families first roomed together and after the first children were born, they both occupied a two family flat, 1 family per flat.  Their children were born close together. Looking at the little pal in the first photograph with my grandfather Mershell, I think he could be the child in the other photograph.  He is several years older in the line in the second photo.  His ears in all three pictures bend a bit at the top. Perhaps the woman was his mother, Gwen pictured in the last photo.  Or maybe I need to keep looking for her.
"Me and my pal." From the Graham family photo album.
“Me and my pal.” From the Graham family photo album.

The Graham Sisters and Their Dog Bonzo

Bonzo, MV and Doris Graham. 1936. Backyard of Theodore, Detroit,MI
Bonzo, MV and Doris Graham. August 1932. Backyard of Theodore, Detroit,MI

My mother Doris and her sister Mary Virginia with their dog Bonzo.  The picture was taken in August 1932, about 6 months after their brother Howard died of Scarlet Fever.  Mary V. was 12 and Doris was 9.  The sisters were granddaughters of Jennie Virginia Allen Turner, who was the daughter of Dock and Eliza Allen.  My mother later had a sister-in-law named Gladys Cleage, who will celebrate her 93rd birthday this Saturday.  I could not find a photograph of her with a sister and a dog, but here she is with sister Anna.

Gladys and Anna Cleage, about 1930 beside their home on Scotten, Detroit.
Gladys and Anna Cleage, about 1930 beside their home on Scotten, Detroit.

Gladys and Anna were the grandchildren of Lewis and Anna Cecilia Cleage, and great granddaughters of  Frank and Juda Cleage of Athens, TN.

To see more Sepia Saturday posts CLICK!
To see more Sepia Saturday posts CLICK!

Mershell Cunningham Graham Jr. Death Certificate

Mershell, Mary V. and Doris Graham on their front steps. 1926.
Mershell, Mary V. and Doris Graham on their front steps. 1926.

Mershell Cunningham Graham - Death Certificate

Mershell Graham was born June 10, 1921 in Detroit Michigan.  He died on November 2, 1927, at St. Jopseph Hospital, also in Detroit, from traumatic cerebral hemorrhage resulting from a fracture at the base of the skull during an automobile accident.  Mershell was described as a single, colored male, a school boy age 6 years 4 months and 23 days old.   He lived at 6638 Theodore Street with his family.  He was buried in Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery on November 4, 1927. Both of his parents, Fanny Turner Graham and Mershell C. Graham were born in Montgomery Alabama.  His father, my grandfather, Mershell Cunningham Graham, was the informant.

You can read more personal memories and descriptions of my Uncle Mershell’s death at these links links  –  Births, Deaths, Doctors and Detroit Part 1;   1940 Census – the Grahams – Supplemental Material;   Go Bury thy sorrow – complete words and tune.  Mershell Cunningham Graham

Howard Alexander Graham Death Certificate

Howard Alexander Graham, 1930
Howard Alexander Graham, 1928 – 1932
Howard Alexander Graham's death certificate
Howard Alexander Graham’s death certificate

Howard Alexander Turner was my mother’s youngest brother. Howard was born September 7, 1928, in the year following his older brother, Mershell’s death by trauma after being run over by a truck on the way back to school.   My grandparents felt that Howard had been sent to fill the space left by Mershell.  Unfortunately he died of Scarlet Fever, exacerbated by  Diabetes

Howard died at Herman Kiefer Hospital in Detroit. He had been ill for fifteen days before his death. He is described as a single, colored male age 3 years, 5 months and 27 days old. His mother’s maiden name was Fannie Turner and his father was Mershell Graham.  Both were born in Alabama. He was born in Detroit, Michigan and lived at 6638 Theodore St. in Detroit.  He died at 5:05 AM on March 4, 1932.  His father was the informant.

I wrote more about Howard in these, much more personal posts with copies of his mother’s thoughts and memories:

Fannie Mae Turner Graham’s Bible

Births, Deaths, Doctors and Detroit

The Red Wagon – 1950 & 1954

Pearl and Barbara in the wagon. Kris (me) and Dee Dee standing.
Pearl and Barbara in the wagon. Kris (me) and Dee Dee standing.

This photograph was taken in 1950, the year before this other wagon photograph 3 in a wagon.  This time Dee Dee the photographer appears with us. My sister Pearl and I had just moved to Detroit from Springfield, MA.  We spent most Saturdays at our maternal grandparent’s house with our cousins Dee Dee and Barbara.

Fast forward to 1954 and there we are in the wagon again.
Fast forward to 1954 and there we are in the wagon again.
For more Sepia Saturday wagons, click!
For more Sepia Saturday wagons, click!

 

Mary V’s Shoes

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Mary V. wearing little black shoes. This picture was taken in 1921. She would have been about 1 year old.

My mother said that after a difficult birth, her sister Mary V.’s foot was turned inward.She did not  know if this was the fault of the doctor or not, but Mary V. wore a brace for years.

Mary V’s grandson, Ahmad Elkins, posted the pictres below on fb recently.  They are his grandmother’s well worn baby shoes, saved through the years.  Amhad shared his photographs with me and gave me permission to post them here.

shoes side by side shoes - side view

Two other posts about Mary Virginia Graham Elkins are:

Mary Virginia Graham Colorized

Old County Building and Mary V. Elkins

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Click for more Sepia Saturday posts.