Friday, December 7, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 49

Mayme Crusham ~1950
With the writing prompt being Winter, I immediately searched through old photographs to see if I had a wintertime photograph of one of my ancestors. I came across this one of my maternal grandmother, Mary Barbara (Metz) Crusham.

Known by all as Mayme, she was born 5 February 1890 in Cincinnati to Peter and Bridget (Maher) Metz. Mayme was the second oldest of five children, with the others being Helen b. 1888, Alice b. 1892, Stella b. 1893, and Walter b. 1895. Mayme married Michael Crusham on 21 June 1911 when she was 21 years of age.

The photograph was taken in front of Michael and Mayme’s house at 1238 Rosemont Avenue in the Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati. My older sister Kathleen is seated on the bumper of what was probably my dad, LeRoy Kubler’s, car as we owned the house next door to Grandma and Grandpa. After discussing the photo with my sister, we decided the boy in the photo is most likely our brother Kenneth. It is difficult to say as he is turned away from the camera, and with my sister being seated you can’t get a feel for the difference in their height. Kathy is two years older than Ken. Our older brother LeRoy was diagnosed with aplastic anemia when he was a couple of years old, so he would not have been allowed out in the snow.

Having said that, and guessing that Kathy is around six years of age in this photo, it is likely that the photo was taken late in 1950. LeRoy died at the age of seven in January of 1950. And a huge storm system moved into the central part of the United States in November of that year.

The snow started out just before Thanksgiving in 1950 as a seemingly normal weather event, but it turned deadly. The significant winds created blizzard conditions, and Cincinnati and other areas received more that 2 feet of snow in three days due to the slow-moving storm. The snow conditions lasted from November 22-30. As if that wasn’t bad enough, above average temperatures during the first week of December led to flooding, with the Ohio River reaching 56 feet, 4 feet above flood stage. That certainly must have made for an interesting winter in Cincinnati.

There are a couple of things that strike me about this photo. First, Grandma’s feet and legs must have been freezing! It sure doesn’t appear as though she has boots on. Second, just in looking at her I would have guessed she was in the winter of her life. And yet, she would have only been 60 in this photo. Heck, I’m older than that right now, which makes me totally revise my idea of the definition of the “winter of your life”!

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