Looking Over the Fence 1937


This is my grandmother’s page from the “Black Album”. The photographs are the actual size you see if you enlarge the photograph above. They seems to have been cut from a proof page. Every member of the family except the youngest, Anna, had a page.  Judging by the ages of the people in the book I think they were taken about 1935 – 1937. My grandmother would have been about 50.


The prompt this week shows a man facing away from us and leaning on the top of a truck. In my photograph my grandmother is leaning on the backyard fence of the house on Scotten. There is a spade in front of her and a pile of leaves behind. It looks like she was working with her plants. I remember my uncle Louis telling me once, after she was dead and he was old and not very well, that his mother always had the most beautiful flowers and that she would save the geraniums from year to year and they thrived.  We were sitting in back of his cottage in Idlewild and looking at the geraniums and petunias his sister Gladys had planted in some flower boxes.  The house on Scotten is a vacant lot now. Strangers live in the cottage in Idlewild.

Sepia Saturday 160 Header

30 thoughts on “Looking Over the Fence 1937

  1. You seem to be the first one to pick up on the man kneeling in the wagon – he would be done by Health & Safety these days. To travel like that he would need a hard hat, safety harness, and toetector boots and kneepads.

    Grandma, seems to be looking at, or for, somebody over the fence. Their appears to be two youngsters in the wood opposite are they coming for tea.

    1. Tony Z. has a backward person too. You are right about not being able to travel like that in most places now. I believe my state of Georgia is one of the few (only?) states to allow people to still ride in the back of pickup trucks. I looked at my larger photo and can’t make out who the blurs are across the street. It’s a city street and there was a corner store over there so maybe she was reminding somebody to get flour.

    1. I wasn’t born until about 10 years later so my memories of my grandmother are in another house and of an older woman. At the time this photo was taken she wasn’t a grandmother yet and all her 7 children still lived at home.

  2. Your grandmother’s garden looks very tidy – I wonder what the climbers growing up the fence were? Perhaps she was calling to her neighbour to offer her some cuttings as she tidied up? 🙂

  3. What a neat picture and story, except for the part of the hold home now gone. I enjoyed the scrapbook page too. Geraniums do last forever and grow very large if you have the right climate and can bring them inside during the cold months.

    Your Grandma’s flowers almost look as if they are smiling.

    Kathy M.

  4. That’s a wonderful shot Kristin, the perfect pairing with Tony’s. And like Tony’s I wonder who had the foresight to actually snap your grandmother in that pose. Mike is right, it does look as though she seeing what the youngsters are up to.

  5. These moments, when captured on film, perhaps even by accident, can tell us so much more than carefully posed photos. Nice of you to share these images from your family albums, Kristin, thank you. Just like Alan’s image, this one preserves that moment.

    1. I agree about the unposed shots. Especially when there are a lot of photos of the person. I wouldn’t like this to be my only picture of my grandmother but one of many, very nice.

  6. I wonder if the steps were new — they don’t look a bit worn. Your grandmother must have been talking to a neighbor. That looks like a dress to the left of her hand. It seems people of her generation always saved geraniums from year to year. Everyone had a nice sunny window. I don’t know anyone who does that anymore, but I’m sure they do.

    1. I didn’t notice that but they do look new. I have some other photos where they don’t. I’ll have to go find them now. That could help get a more exact date to the pictures.

  7. My grandmother spent time every morning working in her garden. I was thinking your grandmother’s shoes look a little nice for using that spade. Maybe one of the kids was supposed to be using it and had run off to that corner store. 🙂 I really like this picture. It captures a moment even if we aren’t sure what was happening.

  8. What a perfect photo to finish with, in keeping with Alan’s theme photo. Your grandmother had a lovely spot of greenery growing and she could look into the street with fairly good cover.

  9. As with others your post reminds me of my grandmother who planted a vegetable garden every year – even when she was 92. I wish I had her enthusiasm and optimism.
    I love this photo.

    1. I wish I had her garden spot. When we bought this house I just loved all the trees not thinking that it would make a garden problematic.

  10. That is a really great group of photographs. So many of the photographs in the various family albums I have are of a similar size to that, and also pasted in groups on an album page. The wonders of scanners means that the detail, the information, everything, can be brought back to a size we can appreciate. You would never notice the spade in the original sized image, but it becomes such an important focal point.

  11. I love your connection between this phto and the Sepia Saturday one. Isn’t it bitter seet to think of houses and gardens long gone, where they were once full of life.

    1. It does make me sad when I see houses that are gone. Especially the ones that my family lived in and that I know the stories that happened there. And sometimes I wonder about the stories are for houses I don’t know.

  12. This post brings back memories of my mother-in-law bringing a geranium plant in each Fall. I think that she always selected the healthiest one–and then used it to start new plants in the Spring by breaking off some of the branches and putting them in water until they got roots.

Comments are closed.