08 September, 2011

{this memory} 16

Every photo has a story behind it, and this one is no exception. The catch is I don't know the story, only the characters. Even then, there is no one here I ever met because the image was taken on Independence Day in 1909 - almost four decades before I was born.

My goodness, this was even a few months before my father was born, but what a line-up!

Seated is my great-great-grandmother, Sarah Gamron Brown (1834-1909). She died just two months after this photo was taken. Standing behind her left to right, we have her five sons: Arthur M. Brown (1879-1954); George Henry Brown (1872-1938); Jasper Brown (1868-1957); Jeremiah Brown (1864-1930); and Archibald Brown (1859-1937).

Her sons, of course, are my great-great-uncles with the exception of Jeremiah who is my great-grandfather.

So what do I think about when I look at this? I think of family, of course, but more directly I think of family traditions - all of those holidays when the family reconvenes from distances near and far to celebrate their connectedness.

That is surely what we have here - a family gathering on Independence Day, a gathering just like the ones we have all experienced so many times. The only difference is that this one happened over century ago.

It's those memories of family togetherness that I cherish, and this image reminds me to rejoice in my own family's traditions.