Sepia Saturday: Fantasy Family

An evocative patchwork of photos in a shoebox. Starting at upper right and proceeding clockwise:

Aunt Tulip and Uncle Tum (really Tom but baby Pinky couldn't pronounce her short O). They were known collectively as T&T. Here they're standing in front of the remains of their house in Gary, Indiana after the rear of it was crushed by a falling barnstormer.

Upside down: Cousin Elda and her sister Irva in Denver, under the spreading chestnut tree. Irva later fell from the tree, unluckily on inconveniently placed rattlesnake. Much excitement ensued.

Grandpa Estefan's doomed invention for harvesting carrots, parked on the runway at Jones Airforce Base.

Estefan's wife, Grandma M. (she never knew her real name), seated on the primitive log fence in her yard, with an unknown woman. A skilled acrobat and contortionist in her youth, M. never gave up the balance beam, to the extent of sawing the edges off her bed because it was too wide.

"The Tad, at 16 months," says the caption on the back. The Tad was an adopted Moldavian orphan that Estefan and M. brought back from the war. He later became the star pumpkin-eating champion in a tri-state region.

Buddyboy (below) and Star of Bethlehem (otherwise known as SOB), a prize-winning and persnickety quarterhorse owned by Uncle Festus. Buddy had a bit of a crush on the horse, and on the pictured occasion had driven SOB atop a wall in an attempt to avoid Buddyboy's attentions. It was futile and SOB bore a total of 23 puppies over her long life.

Cousin Flotilla. This is the last known picture of her, as she was left behind inadvertently at this rest stop somewhere along Route 66.

Uncle Axel, showing off the freakish "devil horns" that made him a star attraction of his parents' travelling circus.

Aunt Gertie, right, with her lifelong piano accompanist and nurse, "Fuzzy" Cataldo, on their scandalous trip to the Acropolis.


  1. What a lovely lot of photos and stories to go with them. Don't like the idea of falling out of a tree although I did many times during my childhood but I never fell on a rattlesnake ...one reason could be that there aren't any snakes in NZ ;-)
    Did Grandma M really never know her name?

  2. What a wonderful jumble of old photos just like we always had at home.. a box of photos that never made it into an album. Love the stories.

  3. For a city family, you had a lot of black sheep.

  4. a Hoard Of Treasure.I'm Intrigued about the doomed invention for harvesting carrots!a mecanical rabbit ?