Carrying The Damsel – 1939

carrying_girlLast week while looking for a photograph of a fisherman for Sepia Saturday, I came across this photograph of a man carrying a woman on a sandbar in the river or creek that ran through the Meadows.   I talked about the Meadows in last weeks Sepia Saturday post Hugh Fishing At the Meadows.

carry girl on pathI don’t know who the couple is but I have put out a call and will post the information if/when I get it.  Here is a photo of the same couple walking through the Meadows.

girl & guy against sky

And here is a photograph of them walking on a ridge, the sky behind, the future before, and now so very far in the past.

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CLICK for more Sepia Saturday posts.

 

Hugh Fishing At the Meadows

Route from Capac to Detroit.
Route from Capac to Detroit.

I have used some of this information before but the photographs are all first timers.

These photographs were taken at “The Meadows” near Capac, St Clair County, Michigan around 1939.

My Aunt Gladys remembers that her father Dr. Albert B. Cleage Sr  and a bunch of fellow doctors bought it. It was to be a place where everyone could get away and the kids could meet and play… big house on the property with a porch that wrapped around 2/3 of the house…  dances on the porches… near Capac Michigan… they sold it later. She kind of remembers parties on the porch… a getaway other than the Boule or Idlewild … her brothers and their friends spending a couple weeks at the meadows during the summer and brother Louis packing the provisions.

Hugh at meadows
“Hugh at Meadows” fishing with a homemade stick pole.  I wonder if he caught the fish on the string below with that pole.
Hugh fish meadows 7:1939
This photograph of Hugh was also taken at the Meadows in July 1939.

Some entries about the Meadows from Hugh’s brother Henry’s diary, several years earlier in 1936.

August 29         Meadows
Arrived at meadows at about 7:30 (getting dark) Had seen Velma before I left – I have her ring now – after had gotten our trunk in – we went down to creek – other’s brought some wood up and started a fire – I stayed down watching the creek and the farm – as it was dark they worried and came and got me.

August 30        Meadows
Sunday Richard’s club gave a picnic – we played ball off and on all day.  Daddy came out and brought Bobby – wrote two letters – Velma and Carolyn.  Bobby deliver them.

Last night when the others were in bed Morrow, George, Paul, Hugh and I sat around camp fire and sang – Nice but a little chilly  (Benard’s parents came out)

Henry Cleage at the Meadows in July 1939.
Henry Cleage at the Meadows in July 1939.

August 31       Meadows
After breakfast some of us went swimming – after that we all worked on a raft till dinner – chopped heavy logs from a fallen tree – tied together with grape vines and barrel wire – after dinner went & christened it “Frogy Bottom” & launched it – it immediately sank – logs were too heavy – were we mortified – the same group sat around the campfire again sang after dark.

September 1     Meadows
“Gee! but I’m blue, and so lonely, I don’t know what to do, but dream of you!” (a song I like to sing out here)

Boys are playing horse shoes just after dinner – we fished and swam today – George caught a pretty large bass and I, trying to throw him across river to Morocco – threw him in.

I like to get on the hill and look down towards the creek in the evening and watch –  The other nite I was there, Morocco, George, Hugh and Benard were chopping wood.  Louis and Paul were sitting further down the hill with their arms full of wood – It was almost nite – The faint light from the west gave the scene a surreal quality – The grass uneven, the rolling land, the giant trees, the creek, all outlined in this light and the boys too reminded me of an illustration in the book “Tom Browns School Days.”

 

2014.10W.05
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4 Men In Hats On Ice

ice_hats_4_men
Who are they? Probably include Hugh Cleage, Paul Payne, Louis Cleage and ? The original is not clear enough for me to really make them out.
Entry from Henry Cleage's diary, 1936.
Entry from Henry Cleage’s diary, 1936.

January 13
Haliver Greene died this morning -spinal meningitis. Didn’t get up early to study History, however there was no class – lecture tomorrow so I won’t slide, tonight. Toddy bought back two books about lives of Dictators (putrid!!) only 25 cents a piece though – awfully windy out today-not so cold thought – like March. I would like to have been in the country, wrapped up good, walking into the wind at the Meadows, down the road towards the sand pile or over the hill to the creek – zest, spice, life, health, clear eye, firm step and all that sort of thing.

Route from Capac to Detroit.
Route from Capac to Detroit.

The photograph was taken at “The Meadows” near Capac, St Clair County, Michigan around 1939, several months after the journal entry was written.

My Aunt Gladys remembers that her father Dr. Albert B. Cleage Sr  and a bunch of fellow doctors bought it. It was to be a place where everyone could get away and the kids could meet and play… big house on the property with a porch that wrapped around 2/3 of the house…  dances on the porches… near Capac Michigan… they sold it later. She kind of remembers parties on the porch… a getaway other than the Boule or Idlewild … her brothers and their friends spending a couple weeks at the meadows during the summer and brother Louis packing the provisions.

For more SepiaSaturday Offerings CLICK!
For more Sepia Saturday Offerings CLICK!

Henry’s Diary Part 2 – 1936 with photos from the Black Album

While looking over Henry’s Diary 1936 post I realized that I had left out the last entries. I offer them here.  The photographs are from the same time period in the little Black Album full of contact photos.

There are a few words I couldn’t make out, but the gist of it comes through.  You can find other posts about Henry at Henry Cleage’s Journal 1936,  Follow up on Henry’s Diary,  Just Tell The Men – a short story by Henry Cleage and another short story Proof Positive

Henry

March 10   Nothing – home
did find accounting problem.  Brewer said three openings to 
Nacerema – invited me – Daddy not enthusiastic – social club, not for student at school – Brewer said that Alpha’s taking a batch – advised me to pay some on  my back fees.

March 11  school & home –
Rained – cold. tomorrow
two tests Friday – history & accounting.

March 12  Found out from kid no test in History tomorrow, just in accounting. he had better be right- However I have studied History for a quiz (oral) tomorrow – I will study accounting during two vacants tomorrow – I hope Mama & Daddy have gone to Boulé “Keno” party -now about 1:00 a.m. going to bed.

Daddy and Mama

March 13    Fri – after school (8:30) not enough money to go to the show, so I waited in Union till 7 o’clock class!  Went over to Margret’s tonite – walked home with Elmo, Marion, Micky 

March 14     had tooth treated – hair cut

March 15   Went to shine meeting with Brewer, argument whether to get Laertes or Gloster for Dexus Desus – Laertes
Everyone all bothered about going into  fraternity. 
took car to Neil Hendersons tonight. took so long they were mad.

March 16    Went to show tonite and saw two good pictures – “Old Kentucky” Will Rodgers, Bill Robinson –  & “Whipsaw” – Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy

March 17  Hygiene class went to Resdon Creamery – again I collected fares.
Nothing of import

March 18    Late for History Lecture.
Tonite I went to show and saw “Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” (Ronald Coleman) and “Remember Last Nite?” Robert Young.   Met Winafred DeGrasse at show –


March 19   Hygiene class didn’t meet so I didn’t got to school till 2:30


March 20    Accounting class didn’t meet.
I & Clark went up to do our geology lab work, but teacher had neglected to leave questions so came home with Clark.
tonight started to show with Bill Mitches after my 7 – 9 class – changed my mind
Paper due for English next week.

March 21    Sat. Done nothing but work on accounting all day –
am supposed to go to alpha meeting tomorrow to answer some questions.  Again at 3:00 o’clock all ? excited about being made – few will be made.  I could if I had the entrance fee, I think.

March 25
My birthday – 20

henry&oscar
Henry and Oscar

June 14
Went to Carolyn’s house with Bassset in someone’s Model A Ford – and Gene (a boy from Carolina)  Oscar went with us the first time But Carolyn wasn’t home- she left a note for me (see note) – came back on west side and let Oscar out, he was mad!!!!!
went back to Carolyn’s (she was home) – Basset left and said he would come back for me-
Carolyn and I became better acquainted —
Basset came at about 11:15 and we came home.

June 15
Went to Velma’s – and not sure whether or not we have a real date Sunday or not ??? – am supposed to have a date too with Nancy and Carolyn too-

I meant to have my tooth pulled today but decided to wait until after the St. Matthew’s Moonlight July 6. (I must learn to dance) and get some ? I got and get a job.

June 16
Nothing – had dentist fix a molar – said back Sat at 11 and he would fill it.  Played ball and went to bed.

June 20
Went to Carolyn’s – talked from 6 to 9:30 – some kids came over – Matthews, ?, Charlotte, etc –

Toddy & Louis
Toddy and Louis

Toddy and Louis came over so I left – Went by Velma’s – we did have a date – she expected me.

June 21
Took Velma for a short ride – Mabel fixed it – !!

June 27
Went to Carolyn’s – me and Toddy took her and Clara ? & Wilberforce for a ride.-

 

Henry

August 29         Meadows
Arrived at meadows at about 7:30 (getting dark) Had seen Velma before I left – I have her ring now – after had gotten our trunk in – we went down to creek – other’s brought some wood up and started a fire – I stayed down watching the creek and the farm – as it was dark they worried and came and got me.

August 30        Meadows
Sunday Richard’s club gave a picnic – we played ball off and on all day.  Daddy came out and brought Bobby – wrote two letters – Velma and Carolyn.  Bobby deliver them.

Last night when the others were in bed Morrow, George, Paul, Hugh and I sat around camp fire and sang – Nice but a little chilly  (Benard’s parents came out)

August 31       Meadows
After breakfast some of us went swimming – after that we all worked on a raft till dinner – chopped heavy logs from a fallen tree – tied together with grape vines and barrel wire – after dinner went & christened it “Frogy Bottom” & launched it – it immediately sank – logs were too heavy – were we mortified – the same group sat around the campfire again sang after dark.

September 1     Meadows
“Gee! but I’m blue, and so lonely, I don’t know what to do, but dream of you!” (a song I like to sing out here)

Hugh fishing.

Boys are playing horse shoes just after dinner – we fished and swam today – George caught a pretty large bass and I, trying to throw him across river to Morocco – threw him in.

I like to get on the hill and look down towards the creek in the evening and watch –  The other nite I was there, Morocco, George, Hugh and Benard were chopping wood.  Louis and Paul were sitting farther down the hill with their arms full of wood – It was almost nite – The faint light from the west gave the scene a surreal quality –
The grass uneven, the rolling land, the giant trees, the creek, all outlined in this light and the boys too reminded me of an illustration in the book “Tom Browns School Days.”

Illustration from Tom Brown’s School Days

Follow up on Henry’s Diary

henrysdiary
Top row: The Meadows; John Mullins; Henry Cleage, Pearl Cleage (their mother, my grandmother); Albert Cleage Sr (their father, my grandfather) Center – Barbara & Gladys Cleage Lower row: Hugh Cleage; Louis Cleage; Albert “Toddy” Cleage Jr (my father), Minnie “Girl” Mullins; Bill Mullins, Anna “Pee Wee” Cleage.

 

Since posting Henry’s Diary I’ve gotten several questions off of the Blog so I’ve decided to add an explanation entry. Some of the information come from transcriptions I made of conversations with Henry during the 1990’s and some are new from today via my aunt Gladys Cleage Evans memories.

First Question was about the band:
Ben said “Enjoyed reading his journal. It sounds like they played in a band. Do you have info about the band?”

I sent out the call to two of Henry’s sisters via their daughters and got the following information back:

“okay, Gammie can’t remember what Hugh played, but Toddy was the manager, and booked the gigs and whatever they needed, he switched everybody around to accommodate … Louis on piano, Henry on sax and bass, cousin John on sax and soprano sax, cousin Bill on trombone, maybe cousin Harold was there, can’t remember, if anyone sang it was Henry… she’s still thinking I’ll get back as more is remembered! I didn’t even know they had a band… sorry as Gammie says, combo! 🙂

And from Aunt Anna via my cousin Anna: “Hi there! I had a chance to get Mom’s remembrances on Uncle Toddy’s band. This is what she recalls:
Uncle Toddy was trying to establish the business of being an agent where he would send singers and instrumentalists to different clubs etc. to perform. If he couldn’t get enough players, this is where he would ask Uncle Louis (player of drums), Henry (sax player, bass violin and vocalist), and sometime Mr. Hand (Oscar) – not really sure what he played – to fill certain jobs. Uncle Henry was a really good sax player and he had a great voice. Some group called the Vagabonds wanted him to play the sax for them. Mom thinks that Henry actually joined their band for awhile.”

From Henry, told in the 1990’s: “John was pretty good on the saxophone. He turned out to be pretty famous on the West Side of Detroit.” Henry says “When I played with John, he was so temperamental until he wouldn’t play. I remember a couple of times he didn’t like the set up. You know, at that point he was a jazz musician. I was more a Johnny Hodges type. We were playing at some big thing and he didn’t like to play outside, it was cold, So I played the whole thing myself. All the parts. He wouldn’t play.”

Second Question from my daughter Ayanna:
“What does he mean when he says that his parents went to the show. Was it movies?”

Yes, going to the show was going to the movies. There was a segregated theater on Grand River, which was a big business street several blocks from their house. Black people had to sit in the balcony. This was in Detroit, Michigan.

Henry in the 1990’s. Once he was going to the show with his cousin, Minnie “Girl” Mullins (she was named after her mother Minnie, hence the “girl”). After they purchased their tickets, the man was standing there directing them towards the balcony. Minnie put her nose in the air, said she wasn’t sitting up there and went and sat downstairs. Nothing happened, they weren’t thrown out or arrested or anything. He admired Minnie for her boldness.

And from my aunt Gladys again via cousin Jan again: “She doesn’t remember a segregated theatre! She doesn’t remember being in the balcony! JUST remembers Hugh taking her and Peewee to the show which was in walking distance! probably the same theatre…this is getting sooooo intriguing! anything else you need, let me know.”

Henry mentioned The Meadows several times. “The Meadows” was a former farm within driving distance of Detroit. They used to go out there and fish and camp out. I need to get more information about who owned it and where it was. More to come. Back to the Aunts!

And the reply arrives – got to love the internet!

From Aunt Gladys via FB message and her daughter:
“Albert Senior and a bunch of fellow doctors bought it. It was to be a place where everyone could get away and the kids could meet and play.. big house on the property with a porch that wrapped around 2/3 of the house… (Plum Nelly was the conscientious objector farm) … dances on the porches… near Capac Michigan… Apparently they sold it later. she kind of remembers parties on the porch… a get-a-way other than the Boule or Idlewild. Mom remembers the boys spending a couple weeks at the meadows during the summer and Louis packing the provisions.”