Albert and Pearl Cleage at home. This was a tiny photo, probably cut from a proof sheet my grandparents doesn’t have the best exposure.It was taken in the house on Scotten Avenue in Detroit, in the mid 1930s.
Here is a better photo of youngest daughter Anna holding a bag of groceries and eating an ice cream cone on her way into the house when one of her brothers stopped her to take a photo. I bet they didn’t offer to carry that bag in though.
12 thoughts on “The Cleages at home”
I had to chuckle about the photographing brothers not offering a hand to Anna. Glad she at least had an ice cream! That first photo looks like an attempt to use some kind of spot light, rather than flash…or perhaps it just was a strange flash bulb. Interesting effects though!
It probably was some sort of experiment. Way into their senior years, the girls grumbled about having to take care of the boys – waiting on table etc. I never heard about the boys doing mundane things like carrying in the groceries.
It’s too bad the first picture isn’t as sharp as one might hope. Even as it is, it’s a nice shot. But I love the one of Anna with the groceries and an ice cream cone. A nice cool way to distract herself from having to carry the probably somewhat heavy bag. I’d like to think my brother would have offered to carry the groceries for me after snapping the pic’. 🙂
I know they would when I knew them. I wish one of them was alive so I could ask. I miss being able to run my thoughts by them.
I was just commenting to a friend about how women being overly diplomatic is a problem. Males, too often, don’t have that problem. I wonder if she asked him to help, or even wanted him to.
True. The bag doesn’t look heavy as she was holding it with one hand and eating that ice cream cone. There was a corner store across the street from the house. Wonder if she’s just come from there.
Good choices for this theme. It’s funny how even poor photos lead to questions about the people and what they were thinking at the time. Many years ago my mother revealed the story behind a beautiful studio portrait that she and my father made, She remembered that on that day they had an argument about something and she was still mad at him, even though in the photo they both look serene and calm. The camera doesn’t reveal everything.
That’s true. Just like the records don’t tell the whole story.
Anna’s photo is a lovely capture. We don’t know – the brothers might have had other, heavier bags to carry. I’m thinking they might have jogged ahead, put them in and then someone might have got the camera out. Photos always tell a truncated tale.
That is true about the truncated tale. I’m just going by stories I heard about them growing up. Anna was the youngest of seven. My father was the oldest and there were 14 years between them. The four brothers were the oldes and there were 3 sisters who were the youngest. They were all about 2 years apart.
Anna was born in 1924 so she was probably 10 – 12 in this photo. Her brothers would have been 26, 24, 22 and 20 (Give or take a couple of years). All still at home going to school.
I read La Nightingale’s post before yours and now I keep looking at what is behind your grandmother’s chair and wondering what that is.
I see the chair she’s sitting in, the pillars that divide the living room from the entry way, another chair by the front door. A shadow of the chair. A window with curtain with a plant in front.
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