Extended Family Gathering – Memorial Day 1922

“Daddy, Grammom, Uncle Jake. The whole bunch” Written on the back.

Memorial Day in 1922 was on a Sunday. The temperatures were in the 70s. My paternal grandparents with their five children joined the extended Cleage family at a picnic. There are several photographs from the day. Unfortunately both group photos are damaged – the one above has pieces missing and the one below is very blurry. Both group photos are hard to identify because people are so jumbled up instead of standing in easy to see straight lines.

Starting from the left of the first photograph from the outing are two headless women and I don’t know who they are, although the second one is wearing an identical coat (click link to see it) to the one Uncle Henry’s wife wore the next year. The little girl is my Aunt Barbara, next to her is my Uncle Hugh, Uncle Louis, Uncle Henry, Theodore Page (who looks like he has a double). My great uncle Henry’s little daughter, Ruth, who is holding the same ball the catcher is holding in the action shot. Behind her is my grandfather Albert B. Cleage Sr., with a cigar and a flag stuck in the ground in front of him. In back of them are, an unknown man, my great grandmother Celia Rice Cleage Sherman, her son Jacob, my father Albert “Toddy”, three people I don’t know them.

Another photo from the day is a very blurry group photo. 

Above is a very blurry group photo.  My grandmother Pearl on the far left. Looking over her shoulder is Aunt Gertrude (Theodore’s aunt). Next to my grandmother is a woman I don’t know, next is my great uncle Jake (Gertrude’s husband.)

with little Barbara in front of her. ,   Hugh is next to Barbara,  My father is in the front row center, next to him is my great grandmother, Celia Rice Cleage Sherman, a little kid, probably my uncle Louis is next.  Behind Louis we see Theodore Page.  My grandfather is on the end holding a flag.

“Theodore Page and Toddy”

My father’s cousin, Theodore Page, is ready at the bat while my father, “Toddy” seems oblivious to the fact that he could have his head knocked off when Theodore goes to hit the ball. 

My uncle Henry loved baseball and often described the game in terms that made it seem like a work of art or a piece of music. My mother’s mother used to listen to games on the radio. I never liked playing the game – I could not hit the ball. I didn’t like watching it, compared to basketball, baseball games seem so long and slow moving.

More about Theodore Page, the batter above, from The Church Calendar in 1960

Mr. Theodore Page was a charter member of Central Congregational Church. He was Deacon-Trustee of the church from it’s organization until the time of his death. He was a member of the Men’s Club, the Usher Board, Area Group III and was co-chairman of the Stewardship Committee. He accomplished an effective job in evangelism.

Mr. Page loved three things, his church, Masonic Lodge and his music. He was a very active Mason, a musician and a conscientious church worker.

(unreadable) minister, one of four children and born in Helena, Arkansas, Aug. 24, 1902. At the time of his death, he was working as a Final Inspector in the Automotive Department for the U. S. Government. His wife and daughter, Ann, will always remember him as a dedicated husband and father. Mr. Page succumbed May 22, 1959.

My paternal grandparents. Dr. Albert B. Cleage with a flag and a cigar . Pearl Reed Cleage pregnant with their sixth child, Gladys.
Clifton, Mary V, Lewis, Mershell Graham. 1922 Brighton Gardens, Michigan

Meanwhile, my mother’s family was celebrating at Brighton Gardens, a black resort about 45 minutes from Detroit. My mother wasn’t born until the following year.

A clipping from the same Memorial Day outing above that comes from my maternal grandmother’s scrap book.
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14 thoughts on “Extended Family Gathering – Memorial Day 1922

  1. You sure matched the prompt photo of the baseball player at the bat! Interesting to see blurry photos and all…some fingerprint may have been the camera’s fault, rather than everyone wiggling about. Glad you figured out most of them. My family never celebrated at Memorial Day…but I raise my kids by usually going to a pool, lake or beach…which was crowded of course. Picnics were the main attraction.

    1. I think it was the camera or the camera person, nobody wiggles like that.
      We used to go over to my maternal grandparents for the day, eating outside on the table my grandfather set up.

  2. Baseball is not a common game here, I only know it from American movies etc. We used to play another (similar?) game with bat and ball and running involved at school but I was never any good at it… Sports of any kind never “my thing”…

  3. Wonderful choice for our theme. I especially like your last photo of the children and the flags. Holidays in earlier times seem more authentic to me in the way they were also an occasion for family gatherings. There’s too much commercialization in modern times that overlooks the meaning behind holidays like Memorial Day, July 4, or Labor Day.

    1. When my family &/or extended family went on picnics, we never played softball, but most of the church group, etc. group picnics I went on always had a softball game going and I loved to play because I was good at it which made it great fun. I relish those memories when I was young & agile & could do that sort of thing so easily. 🙂

    2. Mike, When I was growing up, all holidays were days when we gathered with one or the other side of my family. I don’t remember doing anything specific to the original meaning of the holiday, except for Christmas and being Thankful at Thanksgiving. We never visited the cemetery or talked about the 4th or any of that. It was just a reason to get together.
      When my children were growing up in Idlewild, we lived in a resort area and they usually had part time or summer jobs so they’d be working while the summer people were holidaying.
      Everything in my life was so interrupted by covid with no family gatherings, that we don’t do anything as a big family group, although my children do things with their children. Very discombobulating.

  4. How cool your grandmother kept such a detailed scrapbook! We played something called ’rounders’ in school, involved a bat and ball and running round four ‘bases.’ I was rubbish at it, only ever any good with a badminton racquet. 🙂

  5. These are some amazing photos. A shame about the first two. However, there is a Facebook group called Random Acts of Photo Restoration that might be able to work with the two photos and create a digital one that is complete. I have not used them, but they have done wonders with some photos others have submitted.

    1. I do a lot with Photoshop and Gimp and I don’t think the two photos can be combined. Too much difference. Thank you for the idea though.

  6. Wanted you to know that 3203 Glendale is for sale. I was googling the address for history on the house and found your post from 2013. There is even a photo of your cedar room in the listing photos. Great stories, here’s to hoping the new owners preserve the history.

    1. I just went and looked at the house. So sad. It was so nice when we lived there! So many of the houses in my life are either gone or a wreck. It was nice to see the old cedar room! Thank you for letting me know.

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