Saturday, May 29, 2010

Keeping up with the Joneses!


While browsing photos, I stumbled upon some of my mother-in-law's family pictures. Phyllis Jones Williams was previously pictured in her elegant 1950's dress at a New Years celebration.

I do not know many details, but I will speak from remembered snippets heard at family reunions. The Jones were Welsh miners who immigrated to Pennsylvania to supervise laborers in the lucrative northeastern coal mining region. A young Grandpa Jones is pictured in the straw hat. A member of the family became a brewmeister at Stegmaier Brewing in Wilkes-Barre. I also do not know the identity of the children in the little ox cart. I am quite sure they are siblings of my mother in law. I do know that they lived for a time in Williamsport before building a house in the back mountain of Wilkes-Barre. Phyllis used to tell me about her father's wonderful victory garden! Grandma Jones was a severe woman who made the female children wash the kitchen floor every morning before going to school.

They were depression era children and lived a frugal existence. Hard work was expected and valued.

There are only two surviving members of this generation. Their children gather every August for a family reunion. Perhaps I will show these pictures and get some more stories over the summer.

15 comments:

Nana Jo said...

I'm curious to know what the brewmeister is drinking. My grandfather wore a similar straw hat from May to September each year, along with white shoes, I should add. I love how these family pictures often create more unknowns. The stories we seek are endless ...

willow said...

I love vintage photos and hearing great stories of one's family history. Wonderful post.

Martin H. said...

I love that first photograph. If those are 'empties' on the table, little wonder he's sitting down!

Meri said...

Glad you decided to post anyway. I can't believe you had to crank out five or six paintings a week as a resident artist -- how did you do it?

neetzy said...

Nana Jo,

I'm not even sure if that is the brewmeister. I just liked the picture. Husband wasn't sure who it was. He did i.d. Grandpa Jones. Come to think of it, I never met him and I don't even know his first name.

Willow,
I loved these photos, but I will have to get some help on the stories.

Martin,
Haha! It could be root beer for all we know!

Meri,
I cranked this post out quickly this morning. I hope it made some sense. I was in a hurry and didn't get to proofread. It was a little jumbled and disorganized. I just couldn't resist the photos!
Yeah, that resident artist thing was crazy. It was definitely a learning experience!

L. D. Burgus said...

Your photos are classic. I thought it might have been Frank Lloyd at first in the middle photo. I really appreciate the one of all the kids piled on as we did that when I was young.

Alan Burnett said...

You I too love the photographs and - being me - I love the thought of the brewmaster as well. There is something about those photographs taken in the vastness of North America in the thirties that always seem to represent space, hope and a fair degree of hardship.

Barry said...

Strong and evocative photos but its the personality of the brewmaster that shines through.

Or is that rosy glow due to something else entirely?

neetzy said...

L.D. He was a classic looking fellow wasn't he? It looks like the kids were having fun!

Alan, I'm not sure if that was the actual brew master. He looks rather young for that. I just know that one of the Jones men held that title. Not a bad line of work for the time!

Barry, I have no idea. I think it would be fun to use any of the Sepia Saturday photos as a writing prompt just to see were our imaginations take us!

Brown said...

Is he using a koozie, [or coozy, or quoozie] in that first picture?

Nancy said...

Interesting post. I especially enjoyed looking at the photo of the children with the cart. The "oxen" look very young. Suprising that a mere boy is training them.

It seems that often the older generations' adults were much more strict that we are/were. Poor girls.

neetzy said...

Brown, I'm not sure how you spell it either!

Nancy,
Babies leading babies. Maybe it should be called a "calfcart".

neetzy said...

Apparently, the brew master job was offered to Grandpa Jones. Unfortunately the prohibition started around the same time.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Fantastic photos.I love the one of the brewmeister.What a fantastic job that must have been!

neetzy said...

Totalfeckineejit,

Unfortunately, prohibition occurred almost immediately after his promotion!