Hard Times With Mettie Knight Swain


Five of Maw Maw’s seven children.  My father, Bill Swain is the little boy with wet pants holding the cap.  One more child was born after this picture was made.  It is likely someone just happened by with a camera and snapped this shot. Continue reading


See What All that Marrying Gets You!

Surprise party

I’ve never properly introduced you to my family.  You hear me tease and torment my mother Kathleen in my blog all the time.  She’s a good sport, and believe me, she gives as good as she gets.  Luckily, she lives very close to me.  I see her several times a week, and speak to her at least daily.  Mother illustrates my blog.  She has always loved sketching but came into professional art late in life. Continue reading

Five Photos, Five Stories Day One Hard Time Marrying

Man and kids (2)Thanks Author S B Mazing for challenging me to join her Five Photos, Five Stories.  This is just the type challenge I love.  It stimulates me to do what I want to do.  I will be writing a series based on vintage photos.  This will eventually become a book.  I have four others in front of it.  Who knows if it might push itself further up the line? I don’t know the story behind this photograph since it came from an estate sale.  I just love it.  It hangs in my writing room.  I know I am not telling the true story, but at least I am giving my friends a voice.  Now, the best part, I’d like to challenge Mom, at Maybe someone should write that down to join me.  I just love her stories and pictures!

Hard Time Marrying

Their union had a bleak start.  Meeting at the train in the freezing rain, she clutched his letter.  They married minutes later at the preacher’s house, barely speaking as they shivered the two hours home in his open wagon.  In her letter, she’d not mentioned the two little ones, though with all fairness, the marriage was only one of need on both parts. They were proof she could bear the children he hoped for.  Burning with fever by the time they got to his homestead; dead by the next sundown, she left him with two little ones he had no taste for.  Barely reaching his knee, they toddled mutely in perpetual ,soggy diapers dragging to their knees, uttering gibberish only they understood.  As soon as he could get her wrapped in a quilt, he buried this stranger wife and headed back to dusty Talphus, Texas with the sad burden of her orphaned little ones.  The church or the town would have to do for them.  Loading them in a snug in a bed of hay, wrapped in a ragged quilt, hay heaped over them.  he pitied and grieved for them on the long trip back to town, knowing the hard life they faced.  Stopping several times to make sure they were warmly covered, he was relieved to find them pink and warm.

He hardened his heart against them, knowing only too well the life they were facing.  He’d never known family, just been passed from hand to hand.

to be continued



Hard Times



My dad was born in rural Northwest Louisiana in 1924, growing up during the bleakest of The Great Depression.  Fourth of seven children born to a sharecropper who was barely scratching a living out of the red dirt, life got even harder for the family when his father died, leaving a destitute widow and six children under sixteen with only a mule, a Continue reading

Grieving Beauty

Graveside0001 (2)This lovely photogragh, taken in 1911, is of unknown family members of my Cousin Kathleen Perkins of Grayson County, Virginia  She had no information about the the beautiful grieving young woman.  The name on the tombstone is Rhudy and date of birth 1803.  I plan to have this photograph restored and appropriately framed.  Cousin Continue reading