Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Take a closer look ...

Do you know these little girls?

A few weeks back, hubby and I were browsing an antique mall when I came upon a basket of photos marked "Half price sale - 50 cents."

While many of the snapshots were sepia toned, the majority were black and white. I couldn't help being transported back to the good ol' days while sorting through that pile.

This particular photo was taken in 1960 of sisters Lindsey (two-and-a-half years old) and Gail (two-and-a-half months). On the back of the photo is an address: 24 Grampian Way, Sandon Park, Luton Beds, England.

My attempt to look up this address on the internet was not too helpful. While there are various listings for Grampian and Sandon Park, the closest I came to finding "Luton Beds" was a Luton, Bedfordshire. Perhaps it is sometimes abbreviated.

I can't help wondering who lost this photo or entrusted it to someone else who eventually lost it. Perhaps it was lovingly placed in an album but slipped out and was picked up with old newspapers to be tossed out.

How, I wonder, did these little girls end up here in Alabama?

It's also possible the photo of these girls was passed along to a second or third generation family member when a parent or grandparent died. Not knowing the girls personally, the recipient may not have seen any reason to keep the photo. Feeling badly about the thought of just tossing it out, they donated it to charity with other goods when the estate was settled. At least it's a theory!

We will probably never know the journey of this photo before it landed in that basket on a shelf in our local antique mall. I just couldn't let these precious little gals lie there indefinitely, could I? How many other shoppers saw the photo and smiled? How many voices whispered, "Awww ... how sweet!"

Something about their expressions captured my heart.

While there's not a lot we can tell from just one photo, we can surmise a few things. Look at Lindsey's bright eyes and sweet little dimpled grin. She is proud of the new baby her parents brought home. Her touch is gentle, she holds the baby "just so" and seems to enjoy playing the part of big sister.

And baby Gail? She's relaxed in her big sister's arms and seems to be listening to the person next to the photographer. I'm guessing it is own her mother cooing and calling out to her so she will look up as the camera clicks.

Note her little hand, which is open and relaxed. This is one way of telling she's not hungry or sleepy or upset. No worries for little Gail -- she is perfectly content and at ease. Did you notice both girls are nicely dressed and well-groomed? Behind them, a pretty lace doily rests on the sofa back.

All of these hints point to one thing for me -- Lindsey and Gail were in a nice home where they were secure in their parents' love. There is no dread or fear in their eyes ... only delight. And because they were cherished and happy, I am happy, too.

Not every child comes into a loving home, nor do they have reason to relax and feel secure. Some parents abuse and/or neglect their little ones. Others have no time for storybooks or quality time, which builds a child's self-confidence and gives them that "I know I'm loved" look. Oh that we could rescue all the little ones who are hungry for food and affection!

Oh, that every child could be raised in a loving, happy home!

If I've figured right, the eldest child (Lindsey) would now be perhaps 52 years old and the baby (Gail) would be about 50. I wonder where they are today, and if they get to see one another often. Are they both still living? Do they live in England or America? Did they somehow settle right here in Alabama?

When I first saw this photo, it touched my heart. Perhaps Lindsey and Gail wanted me to see this photo and interpret their story for them. I hope I got it right.


  1. What a precious post, Nan. I too, have scrolled up and down to look again at the photo and see only love and care. I lost a photo of me at five and hope one day someone may publish it in a blog and I can retrieve it! Perhaps one of these ladies read your post or someone who knows them, recognises the names and you'll have clarity. For now though, a picture is worth a thousand words... (((Hugs))) and blessings Jo (North Africa)

  2. Nan...You are such a sweet soul. I do hope and pray that someone somewhere passes this along...and one or both of the two women (or someone in their families) will see this...and get back to you...and you will get back to us. What a loving person you are.
    Smiles and warm hugs,

  3. I have noted the address, Nan, to see if I can find out anything, but only if you want me to. You're right about Beds being an abbreviation of Bedfordshire. There is a racecourse at Sandon Park, very well known.

  4. Nan, I popped back to admit my mistake.... the racecourse is Sandown Park, not Sandon Park.

  5. Valerie - please feel free! If you'll contact me via email, I'd like to discuss this further.

    Jo and Jackie, thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind comments.

  6. Pictures are so fun, but they can be a little frustrating when you know nothing about the people or circumstances in them, huh?! It would be fun to find their story out.


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