Saturday, May 5, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 18

Catherine Crusham
This week I selected a photograph of my mother, Catherine (Crusham) Kubler, for the writing prompt Close Up. While I do have a photo of her from when she was quite small, she is in a baby carriage and her features are hard to make out. I believe this picture was taken around 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can’t tell from this black and white photo, but my mom was a natural redhead as were her father and at least two of her seven siblings.

Catherine was the third child born alive (two others were stillborn) to Michael and Mary (Metz) Crusham, and five additional children followed her. I’ve always been a bit surprised that this photograph was taken, as it was obviously done in a studio. Michael and Mary were not a well-to-do couple, and by the time it was taken a fourth daughter would have been added to the family. Where did they come up with the money for the portrait? Did the other children have their photos taken as well? I’ll have to ask my aunts next time I see them.

Mom seems pretty pensive in the picture. Perhaps the gargoyles carved on the chair scared her! Most likely she had never seen a photographer with a big camera before. But smile or no, I am grateful to have this depiction of what my mother looked like as a child.

Kim Kubler
I find it interesting to compare her photograph to one taken of me around the same age in Chicago where we lived from the time I was a few months old until I turned five. I obviously had no qualms about having my picture taken. My dad always had a camera around, so I was used to having one pointed at me.

Mom and I both had curly hair, though mine was brown while hers was red. I see the most similarities in the upper part of our faces, in the shape of the eyes and the nose. From my mom I also inherited my height, or lack thereof, my pear shape and my bunions. Yay…

But it is inside where we are most alike, I think. I share my mom’s sense of humor, her view of seeing the glass as half full, her fierce protection of her family, her love of travel, and her willingness to try new things.

It would have been wonderful had she lived long enough for us to be able to travel and try some new things together.

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