Friday, November 30, 2012

A MYSTERY POSTCARD - Grandpop Kuhn, 1913

Looking through my various photos and copies of documents from my cousins as well as my grandmother's box of saved items, I came across this postcard of my maternal grandfather, Charles Edward KUHN, to share today.

Here's the postcard front, of my grandfather, with something cylindrical in his right hand.  It reminds me of a small recorder for some reason, but I simply can't see it clearly.  Perhaps it's a cigar!  Any other ideas, readers?

He's rather well-dressed with vest and tie, long winter coat, with his hat perched on the head of the horse he's apparently riding.

But you can see that it's all a prop, can't you!  Very amusing photo!

And here's the back side of the postcard:  post office marked as November 2nd, 1913.  The stamp is quite clear and is a 1-cent stamp!  It is addressed to my grandmother, Marguerite, at home in Vancouver:
Mrs. Chas. E. Kuhn, 
106 Sylvia Court,
Gilford St.,  [sic: Guilford]
Vancouver, B.C.

Memphis, Tenn.  11/1/13.
11 30 P.M.
Will be thinking of you and Dinky Babs and Madre at 7 A.M. --- hard
How do you like the "eye-protection"?    (black ink splotch)
                              (signed)  Boy.
= = = =  = = = = = =

I enjoy the humour in his signature "Boy" ... clearly they had pet names for each other.

"Dinky Babs" is their 2nd child, Barbara, who was born in July 1912, so she would be about 15 months old at this time.  Their first child, also a daughter, was "Betty" who died in 1911 after about 9 months.  See the post I wrote about her here.

"Madre" is the formal version of a nickname for my greatgrandmother, Clara Augusta "Gussie" Graves, Marguerite's mother.  As he is mentioning her in this postcard, likely Maudee (which is what we kids called her) is visiting in Vancouver at this time.  Maudee lived with her husband, "Grove" James Grover Terwilliger,  in either New York or New Jersey for most of her life.

You can't help but notice all the nicknames for individuals in this family.  It's a "very" family - creative, intelligent, attractive, dramatic, passionate, controlling, and more!

I have absolutely no idea why Grandpop is down in Tennessee.  I have a vague idea he was doing something  for the military... but he didn't get drafted, so this must be something else.  Although a US-born citizen, born in Pennsylvania, he and Marguerite (known as "Daisy" among other nicknames she had) spent most of their married life in Vancouver, BC, Canada where 5 of their children were born.

If anyone has any ideas about what kind of military work might necessitate Grandpop being in Memphis Tennessee in November 1913, I'd love to hear your ideas!

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis