About the time I am writing this, there will be quite a few family pictures taken as families and larger family groups get together at Christmas time. The "family group" picture is one of my favorites for what should be an obvious reason - it puts a larger number of people together at one place and at one time. That provides an opportunity to tell stories and share memories, either about the event (especially if it is more recent) or about individual people (especially true of older pictures.)
Among the many pictures in the "archives" are some good family group shots. There's no way I can show you all of them at one time, but I can share a couple of my favorite and most memorable. This can also be another theme for future "vignettes." (And one reason I asked everyone to take a group shot whereever they are this Christmas-time.)
Just a quick comment about something interesting I have noticed about many of these group shots. Seldom is everybody there. For one reason or another, not everyone is in the picture. Sometimes that is one of the stories to be told.
Location: 4711 20th Ave, Kenosha (The Haubrich homestead and where Unclke Kelly/Aunt Norma lived (downstairs) and Ma Haubrich (upstairs.)
Date: 1960s, late summer or fall.
Occasion: Uncle George and Ant Lilah leaving Kenosha and moving to California and Ma Haubrich's birthday (I think.)
Here's the roster. That's Mary Beth in the front. Don't ask me why, but I vividly remember that outfit. Over Mary's left shoulder is Aunt Norma, and this is the way I will always remember her. By the way, she was often the hostess for many gathering, 4711 20th being "the" family hub during these years. Norma, I feel, was sort of the "mother hen" of the family during this time, and when she got sick a few years later and died at age 59, a lot of things changed.
The kid with the "say cheese" grin is me and Aunt Lila has her hand on my shoulder. Over my right shoulder is cousin, Audrey Hart. Behind Norma are her cousins, Hilda (Lorenz) Wegner and Elvira Lorenz. Elvira was an "old maid" (not my term) and Hilda was a recent widow. Something I learned just recently is that Aunt Norma and Hilda were more than just cousins, they were best friends from childhood. On the far right is my Grandma Dolan. They often came from Zion for major event gatherings, like this apparently was.
Peeking out between Hilda and Elvira is Aunt Bertha (Kroll) Haubrich. My Grandma (Ma) Haubrich is to her right and Uncle George is behind them. My Great Aunt Bertha was Grandma's little sister, and had been a widow since 1927. (This is 1960, remember.) That is a future story to be told. These two sisters married brothers, my Grandpa ("Pa") Haubrich and his younger brother Adolph. He died in Phoenix, AZ at the age 39. Another vignette to be told.
Finally, that's Mom in the back with Grampa Dolan, and in front of her to her right is her sister, Aunt Lucille (Haubrich) Hart and her husband, Uncle Joe - the family's "one-armed man." I guess there's a story there too.
So...where is my Dad and David? What about Uncle Kelly? And Carol and Warren? I know some of them were there, as other pictures show. Uncle Marv, Aunt Evelyn, and cousin Karen were already moved to California by this time, I think. Somebody took the picture, of course. Maybe not everyone fit in the shot - the living room was not that big. I guess we'll never know.