Three generations of my Cleages. Front left is Henry, with Louis behind him, center is my father, Albert B. front right is Hugh. Behind Hugh is my great grandmother Celia Rice Cleage Sherman. Back left is my grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage holding baby Barbara Cleage Martin. This photograph was taken about 1921 somewhere around Detroit, Michigan, perhaps on Belle Isle. My grandfather took the photo. There is another from the same day with him in the photo taken by my grandmother.
This shot was taken in our living room in the parsonage of St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield, Mass. I just noticed the reflection of my father taking the picture last night. I looked everywhere for that teapot in later years but it was lost in one of the various moves. It was blue with a gold design over it. The couch was with us for many years. Eventually the cushions were covered in reddish leather, or something like it. I remember that table, which was also around for a long time. And those little plastic records my sister and I used to play on our little phonograph.
Bringing this back from August 2011 for this weeks Sepia Saturday prompt showing a mirror and the reflection of the photographer. If only I had a rose behind my ear like Billie Holiday.
Here are 6 young women at a Boulé event back in the 1940s in or outside of Detroit. Two of my aunts are in the picture. Barbara Cleage is front and center with a light dress and jacket. At the end of the line is my aunt Anna Cleage who seems to be wearing trousers. Unfortunately the photo was unlabeled and I do not know the names of the others. I recognized the woman on the far right as one in the background photograph of the photograph of my grandfather, Albert B. Cleage Sr with a camera. Sheryl asked last week what sort of even my grandfather was attending. It made me go back and look at the background in the photo below and then look for photographs that appear to have been taken on the same day. You can read an post from 2012 about the Boulé at this link.
My grandfather Albert B. Cleage with his camera. In the background we see the young woman with her hand on her hip and the dark dress, from the first photo above. The woman closer to us in the striped outfit, carrying a big purse, appears in the bleachers (which we see in the background here) in the photo below.
First a photo of the men, then one of the women. Or vice versa. Who is that on the second row taking a photograph of the photographer? Front row center is Cornelius Henderson, engineer who graduated from the University of Michigan and helped design the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor.
My grandmother second bench, 2nd from right. My aunt Anna (from the photo of the lovelies) can be seen behind the lady first in my grandmother’s row. My aunt Barbara is 1 person over from Anna. You can see the woman in the striped dress in the first photograph lineup. Toward the left side, top row, you can see another young woman from the first photo.I do not see any family members but do notice the men and women are sitting together in this one. I wonder how the man in front lost his leg.
I first shared these photographs 5 years ago. Time to bring it back.
Taken at Old Plank about 1963. Me with my cousins, Blair, Jan and Dale. They seem to be trying to pose for the photographer while I am about to cause trouble with that ball. I was a senior at Northwestern High School in Detroit. Old Plank was 30 minutes outside of Detroit near Wixom. We had 2 acres with a big house and although there was talk of moving there, we didn’t. We went for weekends to get out of the city until 1967, after the riot when the printing business lost the businesses that burned or left. At the same time, a man bought the barn and let his chickens and hogs run lose. Before he and Henry came to blows, they sold him the house.
There were two more photographs taken that same day. I think they were taken in the order shown below. My uncle Henry took the photos and developed them at the print shop that he and Hugh ran at the time – Cleage Printers.
This store was located some blocks from our house on Oregon on Tireman Ave. Sometimes my mother called and ordered the food and the delivery guy brought it to the house. This day we went there in person and there is my mother in the glasses and me in a scarf with the grocery bag coming behind her. Henry must have been there to take the photograph. There is that strange grassy stuff at the top of the picture. It seems to be on a bunch of photos, maybe they were all taken on the same roll.
My most memorial story concerning this store is the time my mother, my sister and I were on the way to the store. My sister and I were going in while my mother waited in the car and she was telling us what to get. One item was ground round and she was explaining the difference between hamburger (don’t get it!) and ground round (do get it!) when I heard my voice saying, “ok, ok. We’ll get ground round.” There was silence for a moment and then she said get out, get the groceries and walk home. That was about 5 blocks, with heavy paper bags of groceries. We made it. Probably she had little to say to us when we finally did get home with the ground round and the rest of the groceries.
I was going to put a photo of the store as it is now but that area on goggle maps was vacant lots covered in cracked asphalt or brush. I can’t even tell where it was. You can read more about the house we lived in during this time and my life there in O is for Oregon.
(The links will take you to posts I have written that give more details about his life.)
Henry Wadsworth Cleage was born March 22, 1916, six months after his family moved from Kalamazoo to Detroit, Michigan. He was born at home on 1355 24th Street, the 3rd of the 7 children of Dr. Albert B. Cleage SR and his wife Pearl Reed Cleage. This was my first digression. I went to look on Google Maps to see if the house was still there. It wasn’t. There are mostly empty lots with a few houses scattered about. The house was located on the corner of 24th Street and Porter, a few blocks from the Detroit River And the Ambassador Bridge.
Between January and June of 1920, when Henry was 5 years old, the family moved 3 miles north to a large brick house on 6429 Scotten Ave. My grandmother was pregnant with Barbara, her 5th child and first daughter, who was born in the new house. I remember my aunt Gladys telling me that all the girls were born in that house on Scotten.
Henry and his siblings attended Wingert Elementary school, a few blocks from the house. He built forts in the backyard with his brothers and neighborhood friends and told of riding his bike out Tireman to the country where they roasted potatoes in a campfire. His father’s mother Celia Rice Cleage Sherman stayed with the family during that time.
He attended McMichael Junior High School and then Northwestern High School. While at Northwestern he played in the school orchestra and the All City Orchestra, played school baseball and was on the 12-A dues committee.
After high school Henry attended Wayne University, getting his BA and then entered Law at Wayne school. These posts talk about his life during those days Henry Cleage’s Journal 1936, Follow up on Henry’s Diary.
Henry married Alice in 1941. When WW2 started, Henry and his brother were conscientious objectors and moved to a farm in Avoca where they raised dairy cows and chickens. Henry and Alice were divorced in 1943.
While on the farm, Henry wrote short stories and sent them out to various magazines of the day. None were published. I shared two of them earlier – Just Tell The Men – a short story by Henry Cleage and another short story Proof Positive. In 1947 Henry returned and completed Law School and began practicing in Detroit and Pontiac.
This ends part 1 of the life of Henry Cleage.
Note: You can find out more about Henry’s time as a conscientious objector in this post – Of Cows and Conscientious Objectors.